Life on the road doesn’t have to mean eating an exclusively roadside-dive diet. In fact, there are plenty of tips and tricks from experienced RVers to ensure a balanced and tasty diet that doesn’t rely exclusively on takeout and restaurants. We spoke to proud RV owner Susan Teich, about how she keeps meals functional, interesting, and economical for her and her husband on the road. From stocking up on potable water to learning how to use an Instant Pot, these are the top food hacks for RV life.
LOCATE FARM STANDS
CHOOSE RECIPES THOUGHTFULLY
SOUPS, STEWS & CHILIS
In addition to being easy to make in an Instant Pot, these dishes create large batches that keep well for a few days. Even when using a regular pot, they make for easy cleanup. And chili comes in many regional varieties that can make use of local ingredients.
ROAD-TESTED CHILI RECIPE
Another favorite recipe Teich recommends for the road is classic chili: "1 lb. ground meat; onions; carrots; peppers; mushrooms; jalapenos depending on how spicy you want it, 1 lg. can crushed tomatoes and get a 15-oz. can for extra if you need to make it saucier after you add everything; 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes; 5 oz. can each black, kidney, white beans. Start sauce on low in a large pot; put cans of tomatoes and add spices (honey, molasses, mustard, bbq sauce, brown sugar, oregano, parsley, basil, cinnamon). While sauce simmers, saute veggies a bit in extra virgin olive oil. Add ground meat to veggies and salt and pepper to meat. When close to being cooked, add crushed garlic to meat and veggie stir and cook a few more minutes. Rinse the 3 cans of beans, and add to sauce. Add cooked veggies and meat to sauce. Stir fry and let the flavors meld and add seasonings as needed."
CAST IRON IS ALL-PURPOSE
Cast iron pans can be used for indoor and outdoor cooking, which is especially useful for those who have RVs equipped with stove-top burners. This way you don’t need a second set of cookware, and cast iron pots and pans are built to lastand can handle heavy use on the road.
USE OUTDOOR GRILLS
Take advantage of the campsites and RV parks that have outdoor grills. You can cook just about anything on a grill, and it makes for easy and quick cleanup. Ask friends and relatives if they have an outdoor grill when planning a visit.
CHOOSE DISHES & FLATWARE THAT SUIT YOUR LIFESTYLE
“Paper plates, utensils, etc., are easy on the cleanup, but miserable on the landfills” notes Susan, who has dabbled with packing Corelle pieces and metal flatware as a one time purchase alternative. At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preferences, which may require a bit of trial and error to find the right fit.
Knowing exactly what your storage situation is, including cabinets, refrigeration and freezer, is key. As a wife and mother, Susan knows that “when health restrictions apply, it’s essential to plan ahead, especially if food storage is limited.” Planning frequent grocery shopping, even on a daily basis, may be part of the routine.
EXPECT TO GRILL INSTEAD OF BAKE
Teich laments the loss of an old stand-by: “I refrain from baking, which I miss, and roasting veggies since the oven never quite gets to the required high heat to really brown or crisp anything.” Instead she uses an outdoor grill when possible for high-heat cooking.