Gumbo being cooked on the stove
Advice,  Food

What to cook?

For us, the answer is easy: What we like to cook at home. And we cook a lot at home.

Breakfasts are often eggs with toast or flatbreads, and sometimes with home fries. Pancakes are easy as well – made easier by Kodiak Cakes mix.

When we are traveling, we like to sample the local fare, so we always eat a few lunches or dinners out. For other meals, we may plan ahead with dishes we make ahead at home. 

We have decent freezer space in our camper, a three-burner stove inside and a two-burner stove outside. We also have a Camp Chef Ranger II stove and charcoal barbecue grill.

Recent Dishes

Here are some recent dishes that we pre-made and brought with us:

  • Ribollita, a hearty Italian white bean stew. I prepared the dish at home in our Instant Pot, and froze two portions. I put the frozen container in the refrigerator when we left on our trip, then heated it up after we set up camp – an easy and satisfying first-night meal.
  • Gumbo base. We made gumbo at home with okra from our garden and froze a portion without the protein. At the campsite, we heated up the okra and added fresh local shrimp we bought at the market down the road.
  • Vegetarian potstickers, with tofu and vegetables. I made the dumplings and froze them, and prepared the dipping sauce before we departed. These cook up great from frozen.
  • Moong dal, an Indian legume dish. I made a big batch for our group and froze. After it was heated up, I added fresh spinach and served with rice and homemade flatbreads.
  • Tunisian green lentils with carrot salad, served on a bed of salad greens – a great warm-weather meal. These were prepared fresh and kept in the fridge until we were ready to eat.

Some dishes are partially prepared before we leave, such as the dough for our Campfire pizzas.

Meals we don’t prepare ahead include Impossible burgers/shrimp/fish/vegetables on the grill with fresh sides, raviolis (from the supermarket) with a side salad, a shrimp boil (when we have a crowd) and flatbread pizzas on the grill.

For unplanned meals, we rely on our pantry, which we keep stocked with canned beans, pasta and tomato sauce, cans of tuna and smoked oysters, crackers and shelf stable Indian food pouches and rice.

How you plan your meals will depend on your tastes, your setup and your interest in cooking. One of us is mostly vegetarian, which lends well to bean-and legume-based meals. 

What are you cooking while camping?