Kitchen and Cooking

What I Eat While Traveling in the Campervan (And The Best Way to Make Coffee While Boondocking)

How the most un-chef person eats on the road.

My aunt is a legend of road trip food. No matter how small the car or how long the distance, she always had a pie, fried chicken, juice drinks, and cookies.  As a non-meat eater, non-cooker, I fall well short of her awesomeness. But I gotta eat. Here’s how I handle a typical day on the road:

Breakfast

Coffee is life. I like an easy life, so I take the path of least resistance in the house and in the van.

Easy Pour Over Coffee Method
My Melita brewer, with the filter.

There’s nothing easier than the pour over coffee brewing method. I have an inexpensive Melita brewer. Using a #2 filter (they come in compostable and reusable varieties), I heat the amount I need for coffee + 4 oz.

I go 4oz over so that I can pre-wet the filter and preheat the cup with the boiling water. This step really improves the taste of unsweetened coffee. So:

  • Insert filter
  • Pour 4oz of boiling water into filter/cup
  • Dump cup
  • Add ground coffee to filter/cup
  • Cover the coffee with the rest of the water until it foams. Wait a few seconds and continue the slow pour.

Note: Don’t let the coffee dip into a V shape. Add water bit by bit to keep the grounds level. This process should take about four minutes.

My go-to breakfast is fried potato and onion.

  • Heat pan with olive oil
  • Cut potatoes and toss in the pan
  • Ditto for onions
  • I don’t even know why I’m explaining this…

I top it off with ketchup, cause ‘Merica.  If I’m not eating this, something’s gone horribly wrong or I’ve overslept. My backup breakfast (and all day snacks) are tangelos, bananas, and Blackberries.

A billion camping lists say to bring oatmeal and pancake mix, so I brought them. They sit unused. I’m never going to open that stuff.

Lunch

Not gonna lie. I like eating out. This is one way I see the city. I grab a guidebook, or stop by the visitor’s center, and check the list of can’t miss eateries. Plus, it supports the local economy. I’m down.

Fried Green Tomatoes and Fries
What kind of monster leaves the south without trying fried green tomatoes?

If I don’t have time to go out to lunch (say, I’m only stopping on the side of the road), I enjoy the frack out of Ramen. It is my sin and my shame. I even eat it raw ‘cause I’m hard like that.

Dinner

I like to be back at my campsite well before nightfall. I’m not one for fumbling around in the dark. #That’sHowSnakeBitesHappenAndYouDie. If we’re not going out for dinner, I fall back on:

Chickpeas with Veggies

Easy vanlife food

I throw any vegetables I have into a pan with olive oil and curry (usually onions, tomatoes, and peppers). Once they soften up a bit, I throw in a can of chickpeas and masala sauce. If I have time, I’ll fry up some tofu to go with it.

Easy Vegetarian Chili

2 cans vegetarian chili + diced onion + a pan = easy freaking bliss. Throw on some lettuce and cheese (or vegan cheese) if you’re feeling fancy. Four ingredients, no mas. Toss it in a taco shell you heated over the flame. Don’t over complicate this stuff…

Pasta

I have never turned down pasta and I never will. If that makes me a common and lowbrow thing, so be it. I’m also not fussy about the type of pasta I use (I know real cooks are dying, but I’m almost done). I transfer my slightly cooked pasta from the pot into a pan heated with the same olive oil I’ve been using all day. I throw in some chopped up garlic and pepper and let it simmer. This is finished off with wine and friends.

Everything is managed with a one-eye butane burner, a pot, and a non-stick copper pan.

None of this stuff is hard, I know. I hesitated to post this, but in the interest of keeping it real, I’m keeping it real. This is what I eat. Maybe one day I’ll fancy me’self up, but today is not that day. Today, I feast like the commoner I am.

…but if you have any easy recipes, totally post them below.

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18 comments on “What I Eat While Traveling in the Campervan (And The Best Way to Make Coffee While Boondocking)

  1. coffeepjsmom

    I’ll have to try onions and potatoes for breakfast! I usually I’m a toast person.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Once again, I am laughing embarrassingly loudly in public while reading your posts 😆 love as usual!

    Food in the van is probably the thing I hate dealing with the most 😬 so we end up eating a lot of protein bars and (gasp) crappy $1 hamburgers from McDonald’s. I hope one day we’ll get it together but…

    This was such a great post idea! Keep being wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You make me giggle. I’m a yoghurt, berries and granola person for breakfast in the van – unless there is a fresh bakery nearby and I might pop the odd pecan plait!

    Lunch is usually eating out – we try to eat local produce.

    Unless Dubber is wining and dining me I will cook a one pot meal – our favourite veggie one pot is vegetable pasanda. Throw in the veg (must include cauliflower) with a spoonful of Balti sauce, veg stock, tomato purée and cook until tender. Then add ground almonds – amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We used a french press on our two month family road trip. Works particularly well for two people. Makes great coffee quickly. And what you don’t drink can be poured over ice later for a decent iced coffee. Great blog. Keep it up!

    Like

  5. sopranoanarchy

    My go-to coffee ‘maker’ is an Aeropress because it takes out the bitterness and leaves all the flavour and is (almost) as portable(though more expensive than) as the Melita filter. How about jazzed up ramen noodles for a change? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. sopranoanarchy

    *Melita pour over, that is. Can I not edit my comment? :p

    Liked by 1 person

  7. themargotdiaries

    Great blog ! I eat onions and potatoes and I’ve not even started my travels yet 😂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Chick peas are frequently on my menu. I cooked for a large family for years. They have flown the nest and I’ve only myself, and two cats, to please and I do. For the most part it is salads in Spring and Summer then I’m into the soup seasons. I’ve never been fond of meat, even as a child so my time is not spent a slave to the kitchen and more time for walking about the hills surrounding my village… I also enjoy a plate of crudite with some homemade hummus. Right now it is Roasted Red Pepper Hummus on which i sprinkle sprouts. Bon appetit!

    Liked by 1 person

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