Eating on the road has to be more than an endless stream of fast or convenient food – especially when living full-time in a 24 ft. travel trailer.
A standing joke among foodies is that you never have to ask someone if they’re vegan, because if you wait long enough … they will tell you!
And it’s true!
Food is a big part of how we socialize, celebrate and connect with the world around us. And so, it’s no wonder that our diet was a major consideration in the choice of trailer and how we use its space. We aren’t the type of eaters who are easily satisfied with grabbing the kind of “quick bites” that are generally available. It’s been years since either of us has had fast food, and most restaurants are too meat and dairy-oriented for us. So we eat at home often and consequently needed a real kitchen with enough space to store all of the gear and ingredients.
Kitchens offer nearly unlimited opportunity for owning some really great “stuff”. A pro kitchen is much like any professional workshop found anywhere. There are specialty tools for all occasions, and the higher you go in quality, the higher you go in weight – important considerations for trailer living where you only pack what you absolutely need.
When we made the change to eating primarily plant-based about five years ago, I knew that I would have to invest some time into learning how to cook vegan if there was going to be a chance of sustaining this lifestyle. Trust me, no vegan could live on “seasonal grilled vegetables”, the classic go-to for restaurants and confused dinner hosts. Learn what you can do with nuts, seeds, veggies, beans and legumes – and the right techniques and tools – and you can learn to satisfy any hunger or appetite.
We started to outfit the kitchen by taking out what we didn’t need — losing the microwave oven and gaining a shelf.
A full set of good cookware, knives and such are essential in any kitchen. A food processor and immersion blender where the only appliances we needed for vegan cooking, especially for sauces and nut cheese that makes all the difference in any recipe. And since we don’t eat bread, we could skip the toaster!
Since we ended up using all of the kitchen cupboards for gear, cleaning supplies and a trash can slider, I added a floor to ceiling pantry in the two plus square feet of an underutilized corner, to hold all of our dry goods and seasonings.
Cold storage is a real issue, going from 25 cubic feet in the average refrigerator to only 6 in our trailer. So far it’s been easy to shop for fresh veggies often, utilizing farmers’ markets whenever we can. Knowing that winters will be different, particularly as we head north, we have been experimenting with frozen organic vegetables and berries with mixed results. For all the obvious reasons, we grudgingly gave up all of our preferred glass containers for BPA-free plastic (hoping there isn’t some other chemical leaching into our food!).
Also shown in the photo is the pizza stone we added to the oven. The stone prevents hot-spot burning that is a common issue with RV ovens. The stone distributes the heat for better results.
The moral of this story seems to be that it doesn’t take much space to have a real kitchen and home-cooked meals. Having a plan, keeping your needs modest and having a specific spot to store everything helps.
So far, all is well in the land of cooking and eating – a process made easy by our, “he cooks/she cleans” routine that has always been a practice of appreciation rather than chores. Bridget does so much for me –for us — that I welcome the chance to show her how much I appreciate her with a delicious, nutritious meal.