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Old 01-17-2019, 11:20 PM   #1
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Default Microwave recipes with minimal clean up

Hi folks.
I am considering switching to some form of class-B kitchen cooking which requires absolutely the least amount of clean up. By that I mean microwave cooking in glass bowls, or better yet, disposable bowls. We do mostly RV park camping but I never use the propane so we only have cold water for clean up. I am tired of spending more time washing than eating!
Where can I find some easy to clean microwave recipes? I have tried all the standard Mug-cooking and microwave cookbooks, but none are configured for someone who does not want to spend any time cleaning. I hate to resort to canned and frozen food. I have considered a new instant pot, but even that needs clean up.
Any help out there (other than take-out or delivery)?
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:41 PM   #2
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We make up quart-sized batches of stews, soups, chili, sloppy-joes, spaghetti-sauce, etc, etc and freeze them in plastic containers before the trip. Thaw one out (in the microwave if necessary), ladle some into a paper plate or bowl, and heat one-at-a-time in the microwave. Drink your beer from the bottle. Only cleanup is silverware.
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Old 01-18-2019, 12:34 AM   #3
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Default Thats what we are thinking too

Thats what we are thinking. The only problem is that the freezer section if the refrigerator is so small for 14 to 20 day trips. But, I can add a bottle or two of frozen water and turn the thermostat all the way down. Then the refer section freezes too! Also, using plastic silverware eliminates that clean up!
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Old 01-18-2019, 12:19 PM   #4
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.... Only cleanup is silverware.
Ditto on the home prep - we do such a massive amount of home cooking and freezing that we built a custom hitch carrier to accept a 50 quart Yeti full of frozen food (here). I feed multiple adults for weeks at a time with that.

But we have the silverware cleanup issue figured out, too. I have two disposable cutlery holders with neodymium magnets mounted to the galley wall. When we are pinched for time, they serve as single-use implements for us. When it is convenient, we do wash and re-use them several times before throwing them away.

But the bottom line is, between home-prepared meals in FoodSaver vacuum bags, paper plates and bowls, microwave operating on our lithium battery (with inverter), and disposable cutlery, many of our meals result in zero need for dish washing.

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Old 01-18-2019, 12:37 PM   #5
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Very nice!

That picture gave me a pang of nostalgia for our Interstate. There is a lot I miss about it, but those venetian blinds aren't one of them. Don't they drive you crazy?
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Old 01-18-2019, 12:45 PM   #6
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Default Still looking for "no Clean" microwave recipies

Thanks for the precooking ideas. I actually do not like cooking all that much, even thought we do that a bit. What I am really looking for are recipes that I can prepare in the RV from scratch, with little is any clean up required. We tend to drive a lot and stay only 2 or 3 days in any one place. that leaves plenty of time to hit the Safeway so as to restock with Veg, meat, etc which requires less refer-box space. So far I use disposable cooking bowls and do a lot of oatmeal and yogurt for breakfasts, sandwiches for lunch, and whatever for dinner. I tend to use a lot of potato and steamed veg. But, meat is a problem in the microwave.

I have given up on slow cookers and instapots because of the cleanup required. I want to stick to outdoor grills and indoor microwave.

Any ideas out there for 2 or 4 ingredient dinners in the microwave with disposable everything?
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:28 PM   #7
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Meat in the microwave is probably your bottleneck. I'm sure you've considered the obvious options available, hot dogs, bacon, ham, breakfast sausage, meatballs etc. A lot of grocery stores also have pulled pork, beef, and chicken with or without sauce. The veggie burger and meat substitutes have all improved over the years too. Most of those are not only microwave ready, they are designed to be done in a microwave.
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Old 01-18-2019, 07:19 PM   #8
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Default Repaired grocery store items

Thanks for that Binny.
We have looked at repaired and frozen grocery store items, as well as deli items. If we limit out storage to three or 4 days we should be fine. I would like to be able to cook using fresh veg and meat. I have found a few recopies for things such as stuffed pork which I will try at home before out next road trip. Simple meat dishes, potatoes, wild rich, steamed veg, those all look do-able. They all look to be low effort and low cleanup as well...

I am looking for additional microwave recopies, 4 items or less, that can be made in disposable cooking utensils.
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Old 01-18-2019, 07:51 PM   #9
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One trick I used to use while backpacking was to cook food in turkey bags. Put a little water in the bottom of a pot, and then line it with the bag. Cook your whatever as usual. No pot scrubbing.
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Old 01-18-2019, 08:06 PM   #10
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Default hey avanti

I have not tried cooking bags. Will that work in a microwave? Or is it best in a pot or slow cooker?
Pretty good idea
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:11 PM   #11
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If i'm collected I can make dinner in a instant-pot with only the pot needing clean-up.
Please don't use plastic as a throw away product. It doesn't take much to clean a knife, fork, and spoon. The world has enough contamination.
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:14 PM   #12
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If i'm collected I can make dinner in a instant-pot with only the pot needing clean-up.
Please don't use plastic as a throw away product. It doesn't take much to clean a knife, fork, and spoon. The world has enough contamination.
I couldn't agree more!
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:21 PM   #13
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I would also add that there are compostable cutlery sets available. Of course you have to be able to find them, but I'd hope everyone would think it's worth the effort not to just put more stuff non-decomposing stuff in a landfill. As time goes by more communities have industrial sized composting facilities that make it an easy process.
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:56 PM   #14
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Just curious - where do you imagine that compostable cutlery could actually be composted during a 6,000-mile road trip?!

And by what exact calculus would you support the notion that composting a fork rather than disposing of it in a campfire or trash bin would actually make a productive difference in this context?

Here's the sobering truth of this matter: People who are genuinely concerned about pollution, and who are willing to put their money where their mouths are,... those people generally do not buy and use Class Bs in the first place.

Let me thumbnail why this is true. Forget about the phenomenal amount of resources consumed and waste generated during the production of the Class B vehicle itself. For the sake of argument, just take a glance at some representative operating conditions.

For example, I burn 300 gallons of diesel every summer on my reverse-snowbirding migration. That burning liberates 7,385 pounds of carbon dioxide - 3.7 TONS of CO2 - plus other pollutants that are arguably worse! (American Cancer Society article here).

ALL THAT ^^, and I'm supposed to be worried because I dispose of a few plastic forks (which typically go through an average of half a dozen wash cycles prior to being discarded)?!

I encourage everyone to set personal goals and to examine how they might improve their responsible consumption as consumers - but please do not make the mistake of going so far as to start engaging in perfectionism.

If you want to embrace conservation and recycling and similar activities, that's wonderful - we desperately need that kind of public involvement. But if you fall into the trap of thinking like a perfectionist, of missing the big picture and focusing on minutiae like plastic forks, you won't accomplish anything meaningful, and you also won't appear persuasive to others. Double whammy there.

BTW, this is my 27th year working as an environmental consultant. I've owned and operated my own consulting firm for 13 of those years. Distortion of perspective on environmental management priorities has always been one of my pet peeves because it tends to distract, discredit, and eclipse those conservation initiatives that ARE effective.
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:07 PM   #15
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I could be completely off on the point, but I'm under the impression that compostable cutlery etc, if not put in a compost bin per se, will at least breakdown in a landfill in less than a lifetime. Whereas plastic is going to take magnitudes of time longer to breakdown. And sure, in the scheme of things that's not much compared to the vehicle itself, but any little bit helps in my opinion.
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Old 01-21-2019, 12:04 PM   #16
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"Every little bit" does the opposite of helping when it turns off the public and discourages them from waste minimization. People generally do not tolerate naked hypocrisy.

Here's an analogy. Pop singer Sheryl Crow rightfully ought to be eating some of her own last name - she came out several years ago denouncing the use of toilet paper, under the guise of "every little bit helps".

This is the same woman whose vocation resulted in the sale of 50 million albums, the vast majority of which were produced as individual CDs prior to full digitization of music services (her biggest-selling album was released in 1993).

That's 50 million hunks of the same type of plastic of which disposable forks are made - there's probably enough plastic in a CD plus packaging to make 10 disposable forks. And once we went to digital media, most people ripped their libraries and the majority of those 50 million hunks of plastic ended up in landfills! That's *half a billion* fork-equivalents!

And yet this woman has the gall to get all preachy about toilet paper?! Which, by the way, happens to be made from a renewable resource, duh. AND which undergoes processing here in America, which has developed the most advanced wastewater reclamation technologies on earth (including toilet-to-tap processing capacity).

Sheryl Crow's style of limitless non-thinking boggles the mind and alienates the public. For those who wish to promote conservation, my suggestion is to strive for a far, far higher level of creativity. My favorite approach is upcycling. I'm well-known for picking trash, which most people are too proud to do, but I like to divert valuable materials from landfills. Here are two examples below - some patio edge planters I made after scooping up scraps of subsurface drainage pipe from a construction project (there's more plastic in those than I would ever conserve supposing I recycled every plastic fork that a person could possibly use in a lifetime). And, ramps for my Class B that I made by scavenging wood from the massive trash piles produced when our subdivision contracted for the replacement of our perimeter fence. If you would REALLY like to inspire conservation, try developing and publishing examples such as these.



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Old 01-21-2019, 07:19 PM   #17
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Default Enough, Please...

This post has gone WAY off topic. I came looking for easy, no clean, recipes and now I am inundated with politically correct environmental and recycling BS. Sorry folks. I am sticking to cooking my microwave meals in paper and plastic cookware which I can dispose of in any dumpster in any RV park. Note that I have yet to see widespread use of recycling bins in RV parks, so why the big concern? Also, I have so little space that recycling will make life miserable. I have discovered that using a 2-qt slow cooker with foil packets works well for making “hobo” meals. These require a bit more clean up but cold water seems to do well on that. SO, enough of this nonsense. I cannot figure out how to close a thread, so I will be unsubscripted from all of this useless noise… Thanks for all the help up at the start of this. BTW my dogs name is “Cold Water.”
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:40 AM   #18
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Threads don't really "close". Most of the time, they just fade away.

The short answer is that almost any recipe that will work in your home will work for taking on the road. I didn't post about the Foodsaver vacuum-packing appliance in this thread, but I use it extensively for road preparation, both for the Yeti on my hitch carrier that I pack with two monolithic blocks of ice (they remain frozen for cross-country trips) and for preparing smaller portions for storage in my interior fridge freezer.

Beef, pork and bean stews, jambalaya and other protein-rich rice-based one-pot meals, spaghetti sauce, chili, hearty soups, etc. - foods rich in semi-liquid matrices tend to freeze best because they exclude air pockets. Pretty much any one-pot meal tends to freeze well.

Especially for my retrofitted Vitrifrigo fridge, I first freeze portions in rectangular containers. Once frozen, I remove them and vacuum-pack the blocks using the Foodsaver (solid plastic containers take up too much space). The blocks can be fit efficiently in my small freezer using a sorting tray I found at Container Store. The Vitrifrigo's freezer is unusually large for its total size (4.2 CF), so it will accommodate the tray. In the pic below, I show it loosely packed, but it actually holds a lot of stuff. The neatest part about using a tray is that I can pack it efficiently while still in my house, carry the whole thing out to the van and insert it, and then upon arriving back at the house, I move the whole tray back into the house (usually still containing un-eaten items).

The real efficiency gain is realized via the Yeti, though. I developed that method of food transport after realizing that I did not wish to spend half my vacation cooking for five adults (we typically rendezvous with other family in a remote location). Those two monolithic ice blocks weigh about 65 pounds combined. We built a custom hitch carrier for the Yeti to accommodate them.

As for the thread drift, you have a small number of posts, so perhaps have not seen the worst of it yet... if you think plastic forks and other serve-ware are bad for triggering drift, just wait until you stumble across a thread where people feel compelled to advocate for composting toilets, advocate as if the fate of the entire planet rests upon your personal moral refusal to generate wastewater in a Class B (despite the fact that the average American generates 50 gallons/day of wastewater during the natural course of living in stick-and-brick homes). Sometimes I let those drifts go without comment, but on those issues where I know that what's being advocated is detrimental to the public's environmentally-related perspective, I sometimes offer logical rebuttals.

My freezer (with food encapsulated in Foodsaver plastic film that will need to be thrown into a camp fire or trash can after use, along with the plastic forks):



My Yeti ice blocks, just prior to being loaded up for last summer's 5 week road trip (each contains larger food blocks vacuum-packed using the Foodsaver):

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Old 01-22-2019, 01:30 PM   #19
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I've said this before when my queries generate "drift," but I'll repeat it here: I like it. Thread drift makes me feel like I'm standing around talking to my friends instead of reading a manual. Sure, the ratio of hard data to opinion can get a bit low, but I'm always free to walk away when things get a bit thick.
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:22 PM   #20
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Default Slow cooker bags 👍

I recommend the slow cooker bags if minimal cleanup is a concern. Just the lid and a quick rinse of the slow cooker ceramic vessel is all that's required. While I appreciate the convenience, I've been striving to reduce waste on my travels so I haven't used them for a while but I can recommend their use when needed!
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