Crystal Gibson and her husband know the challenges of eating well on the road. She has put together some tips for cooking tasty and inexpensive meals over the road.
By: Crystal Gibson – The woman behind the man behind the wheel.
You asked for it! What kind of foods do you like? Are you a meat and potato type? A veggie type?? Sweets??
What kind of truck are you in? A Cascadia along with a few other trucks (KW and Pete and not sure about the International) will make this almost impossible unless you want to remove your passenger seat! You have to remove the cabinet behind the driver’s seat. Buy a strap to strap your microwave to the fridge! and you can also buy a TV tray! (you know, the ones that our parents used to set up for us in the living room to eat dinner when they didn’t want us using the coffee table!!) It helps you prepare meals!
You will need AT LEAST a 2500 watt inverter, preferably a 3000 watt. (it is expensive to start eating healthy, BUT…. You save money vs. fast food every day and night! You feel better, you look better, and its sooooo much closer to home cooked food! You will need a DORM size double door fridge with the Freezer on top. NOT THE FREEZER INSIDE THE FRIDGE… The one I am talking about is usually at Walmart for $125-$150 depending on season. You need a 700 (NO MORE THAN 700) watt microwave, smallest one at Walmart and its like $45 now. Plates, bowls, spoons, forks, (all plastic unless you want to walk in the truck stop to wash dishes..) A few storage containers for leftovers! Now, I’ll come up with some example meals for you, if you dont like these foods, let me know and I will come up with some more!
Oh, and stop buying drinks in a truck stop! You save so much $ if you stop in at walmart, get a WALMART ATLAS. It lists all Walmart stores for you as well as Sam’s Club! You buy a 6-8 pack of drinks for $4 vs. $2 each 20oz in a truck stop!
Dont forget to pick up a few gallons of water! You will need it to cook! AS FOR MEAT! A mans best friend. LOL. You can get hamburger buns, pre cooked bacon, and pre cooked burgers, some slice cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mayo, mustard, ketchup, ranch, thousand island or what ever you prefer! Keep them in your fridge for a salad the next day and you have double patty bacon cheese burgers..
Go to the meat section at the end of the beef or pork (I cant recall) and look for LLOYDS 6 pack BBQ ribs. Keep these frozen until the day you want to eat them! Be sure they are in the reddish brown pack and they are precooked! Just warm and eat! Also in the same area up above the ribs there are several heat and serve meats like Apple Bourbon Pork Chops, Meatloaf, Roast Beef n gravy, Salisbury steak, just heat n eat!
Go to the middle meat section, usually where they have hams, and you will find Smoked pre cooked pork chops, AMAZINGLY GOOD! Just heat and eat.
Go to the condiments aisle, and you will find gravy in jars already made, AWESOME stuff! Just use as much as you want and close it up, stick it in the fridge! Croutons if you like them, and bacon bits for the salad if you prefer… Also, you can look around the pre-made sandwiches you will find hard boiled eggs, add them to your salad if you like! Also, you can look around the same area, and you will find macaroni salad, and potato salad!
Pick up some rolls in the bakery section!
In the freezer section, you will find ALLLLLL kinds of precooked breakfast foods that just need to be heated.. Pancakes, get butter and syrup, bacon, egg bowls with cheese and sausage. Several options!
So basically you will be able to have ribs, mashed potatoes n gravy, broccoli n cheese, and rolls for dinner! MUCH better than McD’s. Or pork chops, with Garlic pasta, carrots and sugar snap peas! Remember these will be steamed so they are healthy!
Around the hot dogs you can get hot dogs, and bratwurst (some have cheese!) and then get mustard or what ever you prefer and buns!
Pick up some bread, lunch meat and slice cheese along with some chips and pickles for a quick lunch! Or you can get some flour tortillas, some pizza sauce, some shredded cheese (also good for the salad) and some pepperoni and make a *old time pizza!*
You can invest in a George Foreman grill and cook raw meats if you prefer! And a Burton DIGITAL oven (not the common lunch box oven, this one is taller with a digital display) to make some stew, soup, pasta’s, jambalaya, spaghetti with pre-made meat balls! (just buy some pre made garlic bread!) A whole world will open up once you get the hang of it! The good thing is, in the Burton oven you can put in raw meat because it cooks at a higher temp, so it opens a whole lot more options!
You can also get 2 dish pans, and use them to wash dishes with! Hubby also has a coffee pot to make his own! You pick how strong or weak you want it, you have your favorite creamer, and sugar, if you like coffee of course! You can also make nachos or popcorn if you want a snack! Pudding or yogurt for something quick!
You can also buy a crock pot!! Remember to get the one with the locking lid, and a small box, (maybe one that is used to carry multiple 6pks of sodas!) This will catch anything that MIGHT* spill out on a bumpy road! Make stew, roast, potatoes n carrots, Beans and chili, soup, Chicken and dumplings, chicken n rice.. Don’t forget crock pot liners to have some easy clean up and no dishes! You pull the liner out and toss it in the trash! These liners also come in handy in the Burton oven.
Don’t forget salt, pepper, garlic, onion, lemon pepper, whatever spices you like! Crackers for stew’s and soups! A knife is probably needed as well, unless you are one that likes to use a pocket knife for everything! And remember, now that you have a fridge, you can buy fruit as well!
I hope this lets new and old drivers know that you don’t have to sacrifice good meals just to be in that truck! Trust me, it took us years to come up with this, so be prepared to keep coming up with new ideas as you go along!