As you can imagine, I’ve learned quite a few lessons after living in an RV for several months. These lessons have simplified how I cook and shown me how insanely overwhelmed I was with what I had in my previous home’s kitchen. Who would have thought I’d be less stressed in such a small space?!
Minimizing Dishes = Minimizing Time
This is probably an easy one – If you cook with fewer dishes, you will spend less time washing them. And this is a really important thing when you’re living in an RV because everything must be hand washed. Talk about time-consuming! In our RV kitchen, we have just enough plates and bowls for foods that are too heavy for plastics. For water, we drink mostly bottled and sparkling water and for coffee, my husband and I each have one regular coffee cup and one travel thermos. My daughter has more dishes than anybody, but I suppose that just goes with the toddler life. Ha! Overall, using things we can toss or recycle saves us a ton of time on washing.
Work with What You’ve Got
There are certainly times that I plan a meal based off of cravings, but I generally try to plan meals around sales and cooking supplies we already have. This has been especially helpful when it comes to dishes. When we began to stock up our RV, we knew we’d be limited on kitchen space so we’d have to be selective with them. We decided on the following – a crockpot, one small pan, one larger pan, one medium sized pot, a muffin pan and a pizza pan. Aside from the crockpot, all of these dishes are able to fit into our oven for storage. (We don’t use the oven often enough to keep it empty.)
I’ve found that the easiest thing to do is plan a meal using the fewest dishes. For example, we might grill meat on the outdoor grill, cook “baked” potatoes in the microwave, and cook some vegetables on the stove. This leaves us with one or two cooking dishes to clean along with whatever plates or bowls we ate with. This has taken meal planning to a whole new, efficient level and I love it!
Break Out the Crockpot
My most recent favorite cooking tool is using a medium sized crockpot! It may take up some counter space, but the clean-up is WELL worth it! The best part – you can purchase crockpot liners that work WONDERS and take a huge chunk of cleaning time out of your evening!
I can’t end this without sharing my new favorite recipe! We tried this out just a few days ago and it was a major hit. As a bonus, it’s gluten-free and you would have never known!
Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs
1. Pour one large jar of spaghetti sauce into your crockpot, turned to low heat.
2. Add a McCormick’s Thick and Zesty sauce packet and stir.
3. Add about 12-24 frozen meatballs and make sure they’re covered with the sauce. (We used gluten-free meatballs and they were amazing!)
Let the sauce sit on low all day, stirring occasionally. When it’s time to eat, boil your spaghetti noodles (we used Ronzoni gluten-free noodles) and add your sauce! This is by far the easiest way to make spaghetti and our kitchen smelled amazing!! ENJOY!