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Old 12-27-2018, 12:43 PM   #1
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Default Food Prep

Just curious about how you full timers and long term vacationers do food prep to save time and money on the road. I just read an interesting article from a full time couple about how they do food prep. They plan out for the week and do all there grocery shopping, chopping, dicing and cooking of some meats and etc all on one day and store it in their fridge in stackable containers to be able to quickly grab for meal prep for that weekday meals.

They say it helps them resist the temptation to go to fast food restaurants and blow their budget.

I was wondering what is common with you all on this forum.
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Old 12-27-2018, 04:58 PM   #2
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When leaving the house I/we do some slicing and dicing of common items but generally use sandwich bags for storage. More flexible and takes less room, especially as the supply dwindles.

Especially when traveling solo on longer trips I usually cook enough for 1-3 extra servings, i.e. a slab of baby back ribs, potatoes, scrambled eggs for burrito fill, etc.

I do a lot of "cloverleaf tours", park somewhere for a few days or more and go play in different directions on a motorcycle. It's nice to come back from a day of riding to a good meal(and a cold porter!) without a lot of effort.
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Old 12-27-2018, 08:04 PM   #3
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I do a lot of "cloverleaf tours", park somewhere for a few days or more and go play in different directions on a motorcycle.
I like that term, going to use it in the future

For food prep, I generally buy for a week off a shopping list from a recipe app called Paprika. I select the recipes that sound interesting and let it build my shopping list for me. I buy everything, plus any extras that I need to top off my staples. Then I just cook one of the recipes that interests me at the time, knowing I have everything I need.

I'm not too worried about space. I have the original 3-way refrig, plus a Dometic CFX28, so I have plenty of room. I can also run the CFX as an additional refrig, or as a freezer, so sometimes when leaving on a long trip I use it as a freezer and fill it with prepared meals from home frozen, then later set it as a refrig again.
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Old 12-28-2018, 05:08 AM   #4
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I like that term, going to use it in the future

For food prep, I generally buy for a week off a shopping list from a recipe app called Paprika. I select the recipes that sound interesting and let it build my shopping list for me. I buy everything, plus any extras that I need to top off my staples. Then I just cook one of the recipes that interests me at the time, knowing I have everything I need.

I'm not too worried about space. I have the original 3-way refrig, plus a Dometic CFX28, so I have plenty of room. I can also run the CFX as an additional refrig, or as a freezer, so sometimes when leaving on a long trip I use it as a freezer and fill it with prepared meals from home frozen, then later set it as a refrig again.
That Paprika app sounds interesting, I'll be checking it out.

Thanks.

BTW, the term Cloverleaf Tours is from Roadrunner magazine. A motorcycle travel mag that I really enjoy reading. Family business, to boot. Every issue has a Cloverleaf Tour along with other cool places to go.
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Old 12-28-2018, 08:26 PM   #5
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Soups and stews can be frozen in zip loc bags. We freeze them lying down so that they end up in a flat book-like shape. Can be easily stacked or stored upright in larger freezers.
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Old 12-28-2018, 11:39 PM   #6
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If you'd like to read an epic thread on this topic, here's the evolving story of how I developed a way to feed up to 5 adults for weeks at a time, across travel distances of 3,000 miles, off the grid for much of it, using a system built for our 22-foot Sprinter-based Class B (i.e., not an EXT, no luxury of that extra space):

Ideas for larger-scale meal transport in an Interstate? - Airstream Forums

TL;DR - My husband and I designed a custom hitch carrier (here) which accommodates a Yeti-50 into which I insert monolithic blocks of ice with vacuum-packed home-made meals frozen into them. My husband also built a form for the blocks so that they'd conform to the interior shape of the Yeti.

We have a mini-family-reunion tradition whereby we convene to vacation at a cottage in a remote area poorly served by restaurants. In addition to that, I have an off-grid lakefront property in Canada where we spend weeks at a time, so all this food-related effort was inspired by necessity.

Here's what the Yeti-shaped ice blocks look like. I can super-cool these and get them 3,000 miles on the hitch of our van without appreciable melting. It saved me the trouble and expense of having to figure out a powered freezer arrangement for the van which doesn't have space for that kind of option to start with.



The ice block form:




The Yeti:



My off-grid property:

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Old 12-29-2018, 06:41 AM   #7
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I really like the Yeti cooler setup, I only wish I could get it to work for my van. I would be concerned about approach angle with the cargo carrier on the back.

My biggest issue is that I have a gluten allergy and often travel to many southern states. I mostly stock up on items I know I won't be able to get easily in states like Mississippi and then buy fresh food items along the way.

The best part of going to the south is the availability of fresh seafood! I don't use much fancier than a Foreman grill.
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Old 12-29-2018, 01:09 PM   #8
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I really like the Yeti cooler setup, I only wish I could get it to work for my van. I would be concerned about approach angle with the cargo carrier on the back.

....
We designed to account for that (I've gotten this question before). The current limiting factor on our departure angle is the skid plates that Airstream installed to protect the generator (they rightfully should be skid wheels, but that's a separate discussion). We were not the first owners of this van; we would not have ordered a rig with a generator and we may remove it one day. If we do, you can see from this photo that the carrier still will not adversely effect our departure angle. The frame itself will serve to define it.

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Old 01-03-2019, 05:56 PM   #9
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Camping is all about relaxing, taking your time and not worrying about it. If you go to the trouble of preparing your meals in advance you are missing out on today. You have to get away from being efficient in the kitchen. Camping is a completely different life style and you shouldn't try to change it. Just try to make the change to a more relaxed state of affairs. If you are trying to be efficient for preparing meals, you are probably still doing as you would do, if you were in the big house.
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Old 01-03-2019, 06:01 PM   #10
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Camping is all about relaxing, taking your time and not worrying about it. If you go to the trouble of preparing your meals in advance you are missing out on today. You have to get away from being efficient in the kitchen. Camping is a completely different life style and you shouldn't try to change it. Just try to make the change to a more relaxed state of affairs. If you are trying to be efficient for preparing meals, you are probably still doing as you would do, if you were in the big house.
Interesting. Given the same premise, I reach the opposite conclusion. For us, there is nothing more relaxing than not having to worry about meal prep. Popping a frozen package of something delicious out of the freezer, heating it up, and adding locally-sourced bread--what could be more worry-free?
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Old 01-03-2019, 06:25 PM   #11
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Enjoying this thread. We will be traveling for 3-months beginning this spring and my wife and I both lost a bit too much weight spending just 1-week hiking in GA last summer. We need to figure out the formula for prepping, packing and or eating out enough to maintain where we need to be for an extended period of travel with heavy hiking/exercise.
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Old 01-03-2019, 06:36 PM   #12
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Camping is all about relaxing, taking your time and not worrying about it. ....
It's "all about relaxing, taking your time and not worrying about it" FOR YOU.

But please do not try to foist your personal vision of camping on the rest of the world.

MY vision of camping is developing my own off-grid property, which I show below in a photo. My husband and I spend a few weeks at a time out there and we beat ourselves to pieces bushwhacking, chain-sawing, hauling wood, and working with the place.

Yes, we do also have BBQs, go kayaking and swimming, do some hammock napping etc. when we are not working. But I'm an industrial consultant. Relaxation for me = the chance to FINALLY GET SOME EXERCISE WHILE WORKING WITH MY HANDS!! rather than sitting indoors at a bloody computer all day long, as I've done for most of the past 30 years.

But I don't try to project my vision of this camping on others. I offer it as one alternative to the existing stereotypes and paradigms. I would never suggest that anyone else's life should be "all about" what I just described. That is entirely up to THEM.

All that forest clearing in front of the lake? We did that ourselves, and it was a heck of a lot more work than it appears from this photo. I did pay a construction company to build that van pad, however. That part of it would have been far too much work for us to tackle by ourselves.

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Old 01-03-2019, 06:46 PM   #13
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Agree with Avanti and you...I travel for Big 12 Basketball, actually leaving a week from today for OK, KS and very briefly Iowa (not fun this time of year)..I will be using my InstaPot (love this appliance) to cook up some things in advance (takes about an hour or two) to have for my week trip..plus hard boiled eggs, frozen soy bacon, drinks, snacks, etc. Having everything ready and quickly available just makes life easier.. PS: Nice work on your area!!
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Old 01-03-2019, 08:39 PM   #14
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My biggest issue is that I have a gluten allergy...
We have the same issue with my wife which is one reason we travel in an RV (well that and the dogs ) because finding food that she is able to eat as we travel would take up most of the day.
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:39 PM   #15
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We bought a small motercycle trailer. Looks like a clam shell with wheels. Holds a supprising amount of stuff. The tongue weight. Is very light so no worries there. Have taken it on 3000 mile trips. Found it on line for sale but new is not much more.
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:54 PM   #16
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Camping is all about relaxing, taking your time and not worrying about it. If you go to the trouble of preparing your meals in advance you are missing out on today. You have to get away from being efficient in the kitchen. Camping is a completely different life style and you shouldn't try to change it. Just try to make the change to a more relaxed state of affairs. If you are trying to be efficient for preparing meals, you are probably still doing as you would do, if you were in the big house.
There’s no logic in this statement. We are supposed to be purposefully inefficient because we are camping? We are supposed to purposefully spend time cooking rather than exploring?

When we come in from hiking all day, the last thing we want to do is cook. As avanti said, there’s nothing more relaxing than eating something already prepared. Some people twiddle their thumbs around a campfire, but that's not us.
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Old 01-04-2019, 02:51 AM   #17
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There’s no logic in this statement. We are supposed to be purposefully inefficient because we are camping? We are supposed to purposefully spend time cooking rather than exploring?

When we come in from hiking all day, the last thing we want to do is cook. As avanti said, there’s nothing more relaxing than eating something already prepared. Some people twiddle their thumbs around a campfire, but that's not us.
Similar sentiment here. About the only difference is I have a motorcycle interface with the ground instead of my feet. Though I do a bit of hiking.
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Old 01-04-2019, 03:25 AM   #18
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Our mainstay, particularly in winter, is lasagna. Filling, freezes and reheats in MW beautifully. Nice comfort food for a cold night. Meatloaf is also good. One session in the kitchen can yield enough servings of these to last several trips.
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Old 01-04-2019, 05:24 AM   #19
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We do a lot of food prep in advance. I'll grill up several steaks (cooked on the rare side because heating them up will further cook them a bit), which are then cut up into strips and frozen. We will use that meat on nachos and burritos. We will fry up peppers and onions, and refrigerate them in tupperware containers. We also buy the pre-cooked bacon that can be just heated up in the microwave, and we will use canned chicken and canned tuna. Coffee purists won't like this, but we also pre-grind enough coffee for the trip.

We tend to keep our meals pretty simple. Typical daily menu:

Breakfast - ham/egg or bacon/egg sandwich (toasted bread)
Lunch - packed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or tuna and crackers carried in the tailbags of our motorcycles
Snack - trail mix
Dinner - Nachos or burritos using the pre-prepped ingredients

For us the van is a basecamp... our day is spent out exploring on our motorcycles, and we actually spend little time in the van other than for sleeping. Anything we can do ahead of time to minimize cooking/cleaning/etc means more time spent doing what we love:

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Old 01-04-2019, 02:24 PM   #20
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I like the sliced steak idea. Will be copying that. I also "pre-fry" onion, pepper, mushroom, zucchini, etc., not only at home before a trip, but also when weather is good enough for cooking outside and next few days won’t be.

When the home-made stuff has run out, I buy a rotisserie chicken. ASAP, sometimes right there in the grocery parking lot when fridge space is tight, I cut up and de-bone the chicken. The meat, in serving-size portions, goes into ziploc bags in the fridge. The packing and bones go in the trash. One clean-up and done for several days.
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