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Discussion Starter #1
I just started a rant about microwaves on someone's thread and began feeling guilty about it. IMHO microwaves have done more to lower our food values than anything since the propane grill, which I do own. When traveling there is life and if you do it well there is great food for that life, there is time to cook too. Let me suggest a great entrée one can cook and serve in well under a half hour.
My point is there are wonderful easy meals to cook on the burner which sort of suck done in a microwave. I know my attitude is not going to change the world here.
Below is an example and I expect someone is going to tell me they get one just as good frozen from Lean Cuisine? NOT! Notice its about 25 minutes start to finish. We need to take time to eat wonderful food too. I watch people warm up stuff and they have to open the microwave, stir it, chop it to get it heated evenly etc. Buy a non stick pan and even the connivence of paper is largely negated. I asked about coffee earlier and some of the folks have espresso makers, and all manner of time indulgent paraphernalia for that, perhaps the same folks cook too but have not “come out” about it. I’d like to hear from anyone who cooks and has something worth doing on the road. If possible make it a one or two burner meal, 1/2 hour prep., real ingredients, stuff you can cary dry, frozen, or available in any small town.

Here is my contribution to start:

CHICKEN CARBONARA ala RD, serves 2
1/2 lb. spaghetti
3 oz. bacon, diced (precooked ok use 3-4 slices)
1 small onion, diced
3/4 c. heavy cream (Trader Joes has it and no refrigeration is necessary- $1.29!)
1 chicken breast, cut in strips
1 tbsp. butter
1/4 c. grated cheese (real parmesan not dried from a can)
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 egg yolks (Whites for morning scramble w/bacon?)
Some chopped parsley (sprigs fresh will keep well in the refrigerator and enhance many plates)

Cook spaghetti in boiling water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in large saucepan crisp the bacon bits until golden. Drain off some drippings if they bother you; add butter, chicken strips and onion, and cook until chicken is tender it won’t take long. BTW I make this on one burner as the nearly done spaghetti can sit while I do this frypan part.
Drain spaghetti and place into pan with chicken. Add cream, salt and pepper, stir well over heat until just boiling. Add the cheese and egg yolks. Turn off heat, stir well. Place on dish, top with chopped parsley; serve immediately.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
True KOV. It is great for three things. 1 Softening Ice cream so you can scoop it. 2. Reheating your coffee. 3. Making pop-corn. Actually cooking- not so good, I try to avoid that. If you post here I want a recipe and don’t give me “heat a cup of water in the microwave, pour into a “Cup ‘O Noodles” wait 5 minutes, enjoy! LOL Even an avowed microwaver can do better than that!
 

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I don't have a recipe, but I've actually found my microwave to be quite useful while on the road. The main things I use it for are cooking oatmeal, heating up bagels/bread and reheating meals that I've frozen or refrigerated. The added advantage of the microwave is that it cuts down on cleanup and water use. I can prepare and eat some meals out of the same bowl/plate so I don't have to wash both a pan and the serving dish.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys. I am in hopes some road chefs will ante up a few great meals and if they use a microwave so be it. Johnny I have a really super Stanley Thermos that I fill with hot water and McCann’s Irish Steel Cut oats before I go to bed. In the morning it gets real Maple Syrup made by a former neighbor back in Vermont and a bit of that cream I mentioned earlier. I have had what you are eating and I understand why you do it BUT If you have never had mine trying it will spoil you I hope. Cleanup is easier than you would think and it takes only a cup of water to do it. I don’t want to start an argument here as I support you eating whatever you want. I toast bagels on my burner with a great little toaster and use a paper plate too. Reheating in most plastics seems a risky thing but what the hey..... "Some eat to live, some live to eat” MM, let me say I am not here to just eat or just live. I live for a lot of things and a part of that is to enjoy life, the people I know, the places I go and to maximize life in every way. It seems me to trivialize food for expedience is a mistake. I support your making that choice if its what you want.
This has fast deteriorated into a defense of microwaves and I accept credit for setting it up badly. I wish I hadn’t. Any great road recipes folks?

Here are the products I mentioned:
http://www.stanley-pmi.com/store/stanley/en_US/pd/productID.323680700
https://www.amazon.com/Camp-A-Toaster-41296-Stove-Top/dp/B0064DRNAC
https://www.morsefarm.com
 

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I do use a microwave for it, but this was a staple for me on my cross country road trip last summer.


Breakfast burrito

Break 2-3 eggs into large ceramic mug
Add a bit of milk/cream
Beat/whisk with fork
Cook in microwave for... 2 minutes? (to be honest, its been awhile, and I forget the exact time; its easy to fine tune it as needed)
It will be extra puffy right of the microwave, use the fork to break up the one piece of egg into small chunks as desired
Place slices of cheese on tortilla
Place hot eggs on the cheese
Microwave the whole thing for 20 seconds to warm up the tortilla
Remove, wrap, set to cool a bit and let cheese melt.


Sometimes I'd do up some bacon and add it, or some green chiles, often some slices of lunchmeat, or whatever was around.
 

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How about this low end feast... on grand-dads bernz a matic a quart pot with water and liquid from can of corn/peas/green beans to cover 2 top ramen packs. When noodles are ready add veggies and 1 flavor packet, heat and serve in disposable bowls.
Clean up is a snap, wash pot , pitch bowls and flatware.
This quickie meal served my daughter and I well on our road trips. Lunch would be a can of beanie-wienies or such at the end of the trail or at a fine dining establishment like Der Wienie.
 

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Yeah I was defending the microwave when this threads intent was about recipes....my bad :(
But it did get me thinking of a fav. recipe that may or may not apply to the campervan lifestyle BUT it
involves yet another machine---the crockpot type slowcooker.
Firstly I admit that throughout the day quick meals are the norm. After the shooting day is over a nice meal is a plus.
Now the merit of the slow-cooker, does it have a place in a campervan lifestyle?
Remember this is all theory to me as of right now. Even the concept of amp-hours is still foreign and I think will be until I've actually lived by the amount of hours I have left.
OK, so I googled and see on low setting for a small crockpot 0.4 amps/hour so an 8 hour burn would cost me 3.2 amp/hours....does this sound right?
Now a fav. recipe I'd love to enjoy one evening in the PM-
1 cornish hen
1 pack long grain wild rice
1 can mushroom (low sodium please) soup
slow cook 6-8 hours
enjoy
Seems viable energy wise to me with 250amp hour bank but if I'm completely off open my eyes please.
 

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I have a three way in my rig - combination microwave, convection oven, broiler (https://www.amazon.com/Built-Microwave-Oven-Black-RV-980B/dp/B012U50G7E) . Right off that makes a big difference as I can really cook if needed.

One interesting source of inspiration for cooking on the road is "Cook'n on the Go" by Virginia Harrington - it is intended for the various 12V ovens you can get at any good truck stop. They work very well, BTW. You can also use any slow cooker recipes, either in one of the 12V ovens or in a slow cooker + inverter.
 

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True KOV. It is great for three things. 1 Softening Ice cream so you can scoop it. 2. Reheating your coffee. 3. Making pop-corn. Actually cooking- not so good, I try to avoid that. If you post here I want a recipe and don’t give me “heat a cup of water in the microwave, pour into a “Cup ‘O Noodles” wait 5 minutes, enjoy! LOL Even an avowed microwaver can do better than that!
SOFTENING ICE CREAM???

How Barbaric!

:D
 

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Thanks for that cookbook reference. A 12v crockpot was one of the first things I bought for the van, but I haven't used it yet.


We've been gone for more than a week. Evening temps usually in the 30's. We do not use a stove in the van. Even if we braved the cold to cook, the food would be cold before we could get it inside. Every dinner has been cooked and vacuum-packed at home, then reheated in the MW.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Volts X Amps X time = Power consumed. I have long thought about the small slow cooker and my solar often has my batteries full by 10am so I’d have the power on a sunny day. The thought of a cooked Cornish with a chance to add some flavoring and rice or noodles, and veggies when I return from a hike and then have a complete hot dinner from that pot makes my mouth water. RoadPro makes a 12 volt one that is 8 amps so 98 watts, higher than you mention. They are not noted for quality though. See:
https://www.amazon.com/RoadPro-RPSL-350-Quart-Slow-Cooker/dp/B0013IR88A
 

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SOFTENING ICE CREAM???
How Barbaric!
:D
Hey I resemble that remark! LOL But next time you can’t get that Ben and Jerry’s out of the container just try 20 seconds!
Now you owe me a road food recipe!
 

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That's a great idea, Ms Nomer! Energy not used during the day if your batteries are full is a waste. Put it to use by using a slow-cooker.

I also intend to food-prep my meals, freeze them, and keep in my 65qt fridge/freezer.

My favorite salad/side dish that surprisingly tastes just as good even after frozen...can be eaten cold, room temp or hot.

Zesty Quinoa Salad

Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I use half of this)
  • 2 limes, juiced (I use from concentrate)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes (I use a can of tomatoes and green chilies, like rotel, but the cheaper kind)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed (I also sometimes add a can of chickpeas)
  • 5 green onions, finely chopped (1 small/medium white onion is just as good)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Whisk olive oil, lime juice, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes together in a bowl.
  3. Combine quinoa, tomatoes, black beans, and green onions together in a bowl. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture; toss to coat. Stir in cilantro; season with salt and black pepper. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator. Can also be portioned in containers and frozen.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Thanks Ang
This thread is to encourage road food ideas in the van. I’ll post another one cooked in an old oven I bought 30 years ago for my SVEA 123/Tourist setup. It is desert:

Death by Chocolate Pudding Cake a la RD serves three (or two hungry) campers.
Dry, combine at home put in zip lock:
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
dash of salt
1/3 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. cooking cocoa
1/2 cups choped walnuts
Wet add when mixing:
1/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp. shortening melted (warm butter works great)
2nd Dry in ziplock:
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp baking cocoa
Wet
1 cup water, hot

Mix the first set of dry ingredients with the milk and butter, fill the oven, sprinkle the 2nd dry ingredients over the top and pour over the hot water, put on LOW burner heat for 45 minutes more or less, while you eat dinner. It is done when it looks and acts like cake in the oven. Then scoop out and invert into small bowls with the rich chocolate sauce on top of the chocolate cake. Add my favorite thick cream from Trader Joe for an indigent finish to your day. Expect your life partner to show renewed interest in you.
Here is a link to the stove top oven like my antique one:
https://www.amazon.com/Camping-Boating-Parchment-Omnia-Stovetop/dp/B01H80FLTY/ref=pd_sbs_200_2?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B01H80FLTY&pd_rd_r=M8VTN0ZVF1AC4Z26SV60&pd_rd_w=G8gHF&pd_rd_wg=DE81a&psc=1&refRID=M8VTN0ZVF1AC4Z26SV60
 

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Got it, but it can easily be fixed up in a van. Also, good because most ingredients are canned or do not need to be refrigerated so you can have a lot of it on hand.

Here is another of my favorites. Again, this can easily be frozen as meal prep, then reheated in the microwave.
One Pot Wonder Spanish Rice with Chorizo Recipe



Preparation 10 mins
Cook Time 22 mins


Serves 4


Ingredients


  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (10 oz.) can Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or any broth)
  • 1 medium bell pepper (use red if want it sweeter), seeded and chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3/4 lb. chorizo sausage links, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces (about 4 links)
Instructions


  1. Place a wide, high-sided skillet or pot over high heat. Add the beans, Rotel, broth, bell pepper, onion, rice, chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine. Cover the pot.
  2. Bring liquid to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the sliced sausage. Cover. Continue to simmer until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed (about 10 minutes for white rice).
  4. Remove the pot from the heat. Uncover and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

The van and entire campsite will smell amazing....
 
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