Many of us that full time RV are not in the long bus like RV’s with 5 slides and a price tag that staggers but, in a small, much more moderate vehicle. We are short on room and storage and constantly have to reinvent ways to conquer those problems. To me, in no place is this more noticeable than in the space I euphemistically call the kitchen.
I love to cook and guess I am a passable one so I am used to lots of kitchen equipment and gadgets. I streamlined it to almost nothing when we first started this adventure in April, but, have since rethought many of those ideas.
To give up cooking would be an unpleasant idea since this is something I really enjoy so what I have done is try to simplify recipes I like and try new ones that look easy. Did I mention, I also like to eat too? It don’t work for me if they are not tasty-since then what is the point. I need to use as little equipment as possible to create adequate meals that may mean something totally different to you, but for me they must be well balanced, some less calories and most need to be healthier.) They must have flavor and be easy to prepare in a cramped setting. They can’t have tons of ingredients as storage is very limited. I have to remind myself, many RV’s were created for a three day use not everyday living facility.
There are just the two of us so recipes may need to be readjusted for a family.
The first dish is not really even a recipe. You basically need three ingredients. You will need pasta, I use wheat spaghetti. You will need chicken, I like it best when I cook a chicken breast first and cut it off the bone but, it is not bad with canned white meat chicken. You add a can of water or less if you like to a can of condensed cream of chicken soup. Pour that over your chicken for the sauce and add that to your pasta. Easy as pie. You can also use milk if you prefer for your soup but, that adds calories. It takes four ingredients if you top with Parmesan but, that adds a lot of something extra. Serve with a salad or steamed veggie. Good bread is nice but, this is very flavorful and satisfying without it. I have also had some of this chicken sauce left and served it over biscuits, quite yummy. Usually make those from Bisquick and often do the simple drop ones.
One of our ways of cutting down on calories is to make less of everything to adjust servings. Sometimes I cook what we used to eat. If we can eat less there is often small amounts of meat left such as breakfast sausage links or bacon. One of the family recipes from my husbands’ side was a baked lima bean dish. When made in the past I used dried beans, soaked them quite a long time and cooked till tender before adding ingredients and baking them in an oven. Now I simply use canned lima beans -baby size are good. Then I add leftover sausage and bacon already browned and crisped along with cooked onion and green peepers. Add some salt and pepper, a very large spoon of brown sugar and tomato juice. Bake in the oven in a bean pot or casserole for an hour or more to meld flavors. Everything is already cooked. My bean pot is a small so usually 2-3 cans of beans to a cup of tomato juice and everything else to taste. You can use 350-375 degrees temperature.
These dishes are big on flavor, use less meat and few ingredients or equipment.
Another quick recipe is a side dish and it is relatively good for you. First you fry a few slices of bacon till crisp. You can also use those leftovers if you have them. Pour away most of the bacon fat but, do not clean the pan. Add a tablespoon of oil. You sauté onions (I confess I cannot cook much of anything without onions.) Then add cabbage you have sliced. More bacon (about 4 slices) and a whole onion diced for a whole head and half for a half head of cabbage. You put it on medium heat with a cover for about ten minutes stirring a couple times. Then remove cover and toss and stir every 4 minutes for about 20 minutes to caramelize the dish. It is good. This is one way those who don’t like cabbage may eat it and it is chuck full of vitamin C.