Cathy Lea, editor of GoodRVFood.com, is a long-time RVer who loves to cook as much as she loves to travel. She uses GoodRVFood.com to provide RV travelers with simple recipe ideas, most of which can be prepared using just a stove top, camp stove or grill.
I love traveling part-time in my motorhome. I also love to eat out, but in order to keep costs down and avoid going hungry during extended stays in my favorite state and national parks, I have to develop plenty of tasty recipes. Below, I’ve shared a few of my best easy-to-prepare recipes, none of which require the use of an oven.
Chicken Diablo is a slow cooker recipe that takes a small amount of prep time in the morning. By the time the evening rolls around, you’ll have a delicious dinner waiting when you get back from your outdoor adventures. I was hesitant when I first saw this recipe in a cookbook that came with my new slow cooker, but the aroma that had developed in my RV’s kitchen after a day of sightseeing changed my mind. The best part? It tastes even better than it smells. You can adjust the recipe to use whatever spices and condiments you like. I have added red or green pepper slices with great success.
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Unstuffed Peppers was developed the day I found some beautiful red, green and yellow peppers at a small farmers market in Oregon. I love stuffed peppers but without an oven, I was out of luck. So I decided to use the same ingredients cooked in a skillet. I began by sautéing some sliced peppers and onions in a large skillet before setting it aside. Next, I browned some hamburger meat in the same skillet. Finally, I added the peppers, some cheese and cooked rice. Use whatever spices you like, although I recommend Cajun seasoning with this dish.
Capitol Reef Casserole
Capitol Reef Casserole also relies on ground beef, which I cook before leaving home and freeze it in individual meal-sized bags. This casserole recipe calls for frozen spinach but you can use any fresh or frozen veggie that you have on hand. The seasoning is simple steak seasoning – salt, pepper, garlic and onion – although you can use any herbs and spices you like.
Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Grilled Cheese doesn’t have to be boring. I love to use a variety of cheeses before adding sliced tomatoes, horseradish, jalapenos, ham, bacon and many other things to create gourmet-style sandwiches. Because my butter is normally kept in the refrigerator, I melt a little in a pan, drop the bread slices into the butter and set them aside. I add additional butter if needed, put the next slices of bread in the butter and add cheese and toppings before covering it all with the top slices, butter side up. Next, I cook the entire sandwich over low heat with a lid on top. As soon as the bread is brown on one side flip the sandwich over and cook until the cheese is melted. Flipping the sandwich can be the hardest part of this recipe depending on how many toppings you include.
Coleslaw is a great side dish. Cabbage will stay fresh in your RV’s fridge much better than lettuce, which is why this recipe has become a staple for me. To create this recipe quickly, I finely shred some cabbage, carrots and onion (or just cabbage when that’s all I have) and add the sauce. If you’d rather not make your own sauce, you can use a coleslaw mixture from the store and buy coleslaw dressing. I mix mayonnaise, vinegar or lemon juice, a little sugar and some celery salt or celery seed in a small bowl before pouring it over the coleslaw. You don’t need to use as much sauce as most delis and restaurants do, as a little goes a long way. Besides, healthy and delicious is a great combination.
Salads are a great way to be sure you are eating enough veggies. To make mine, I purchase whatever vegetables look good at the grocery store or farmers market, and add some type of protein to create a complete meal. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:
Cheeseburger Salad is a full meal and side dish all in one. You can use your favorite condiments and toppings, but you don’t have to form patties and grill them. Just use ground beef and put it all on top of your lettuce.
Blueberry Lemon Chicken Salad is a good way to use up some leftover deli chicken from the grocery store. Fresh blueberries are abundant in the northwest in the summer and fall, but you could substitute any fresh berry that you like. I make a creamy lemon dressing from some yogurt, but store-bought poppy seed dressing is also delicious on this salad.
Springtime Scrambled Eggs
Sometimes breakfast can be very satisfying when served at dinnertime, especially after a long day of travel. Springtime Scrambled Eggs use a little cream cheese and dill, making them especially creamy. Just add a little ham or bacon to the eggs or on the side and you have a nice meal.
English Muffin Sandwiches
English Muffin Sandwiches can’t be beat. Just fry up some eggs, toast a few muffins and add a variety of toppings. One of my favorites is called “Huevos Carlos,” which is based on a similar recipe used by a restaurant I once visited.
No-Bake Key Lime Pie
This key lime pie recipe does not use raw eggs. I like Nellie and Joe’s Key Lime Juice, which can be found in many grocery stores all across the country, although you may have to ask a manager where to find it. This recipe is best enjoyed a few hours after it has been prepared, as it is best frozen or well chilled.