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Monday, September 16, 2013

Cooking, RV Style

Many people ask if I cook in the RV and my answer is unequivocally, YES, I certainly do! I cook almost exactly like I did when we lived in the sticks and bricks. The exception is in warm weather I DO NOT use my oven AT ALL. Just too darn hot! However, I cook daily! We have an outdoor grill as well as a cook stove and those are my saving grace in hot weather so we don't heat up our 31 foot of Bliss! I will say we don't eat real fancy but we eat well.

 One of our favorites grilled polenta and veggies!

A typical summer meal looks like this; pasta dish (pesto is a fav), veggie fajita's, fried rice, veggie medley (such as boiled potatoes, green beans, corn on on the cob), chili dogs with fried potatoes or chips, pancakes (blueberry are a favorite!), bean burritos with chips and salsa or cheese dip, grilled polenta with or without meat, usually ham and a veggie (zucchini is my favorite), Chinese salad or cantaloupe with ham. Pretty typical food for us, we eat meatless a lot, we are not vegetarians we are just not big meat eaters. We do buy steaks especially when Albertson's has them on sale. I have chicken and burger in the freezer right now. Potatoes are very popular with MiRV, I prefer sweet ones and he is more of an Idaho boy!

 Grilled Veggie Fajitas

 Grilled Polenta again and zucchini

 Blueberry pancakes!

Cooler weather meals include crock pot meals. So easy to do. We love soups and stews! I will sometimes add a fresh baked bread item, but our waistlines seem to grown to quickly when I do this so I try to watch it! I love a good hearty veggie soup/stew, wild rice soup, chicken noodle soup, chili, taco soup, corn chowder, tomato soup and potato to name a few. They also make great lunches for the next day or two with a grill cheese! YUM!

If you are unfamiliar with polenta it is just a fancier name for corn meal mush. Until we lived in Italy I called it mush and we ate it fried. It is still my most preferred way to have it but since I am usually watching my waistline, grilled is a little better for that. When you fry it you slice it up thin, dredge it in a little flour combined with a bit of salt and pepper then pop it a pan that has a shallow layer of hot oil. Fry until golden brown on each side.

Should preparing polenta/mush peak your curiosity it usually comes in a roll, sometimes a brick. It is most often in the dairy section. However, at Trader Joe's it is available in shelf stable form which I love since fridge space is at a premium in the RV. If you cannot find it to buy where you live it is so very easy to make; boil salted water, pour in the corn meal stirring constanly, reduce heat, continue to cook and stir then transfer to a loaf pan to set up. Google it for better directions and exact measurements as it's been quite some time since I have made it but it is super easy! The recipe may still be on the corn meal container as it was at one time!

 Polenta from Trader Joe's

If you are curious about lunch, it can be leftovers or a sandwich of some sort, ham is popular, PBJ on occasion, tuna, chicken or egg salad are also possibilities; I also like a green salad. Sometimes we do fried egg sandwiches too, I like mine on toast with mustard, MiRV likes his with cheese and ham. It's totally random and just depends on what's in the fridge.

If you think I skipped breakfast, I didn't. I am just not a big breakfast eater and I cannot eat when I first wake up! Just give me coffee please, strong with cream! If I do east breakfast it's usually cereal cold or hot (I love oatmeal and rice), MiRV likes toast but will eat cereal once in a while. I also like toast with peanut butter and pickles on it, MiRV prefers cinnamon sugar or Nutella on his! He is also happy to grab a PopTart (brown sugar are his fav)! Yogurt is an option too!

I am sure you are thrilled to know so much more about our eating trends and believe me they are trends. We take spurts, for a while we were eating corn on the cob every evening since it was in season and soooooo good. Seasonal sales and availability do tend to influence my meal planning. I scour the local ads for the best sales and we eat accordingly! We also like to hit up the local farmer's markets for fresh produce. I did that even before we were in the RV it just made good financial sense to me so not much changed on that front!

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