We were worried having a tiny kitchen and unsuitability in our lives would effect our nutricional choices. Having less fridge room for fresh products or being lazy, resorting to putting a soup can in the fire or eating a cliff bar... Sometimes its ok, for sure, but not every day on the road. Eating out here in Canada is quite expensive, we did it a bit in the beginning and we spent a lot without realizing!
We organized our selves to be simple and made the cooking and food storage flow well in our small space. Here is a typical day for our stomachs:
Almost everyday we breakfast VegaOne nutritional shake, and no they don't sponsor us, we wish!!! Lol.
We like it because: it's made from real whole food ingredients, is non-gmo, vegan and gluten-free. Every scoop has 20 grams of protein, 6 servings of greens, 50% of daily intake of food-based vitamins and minerals, 25% fiber, Omega-3s, antioxidants, probiotics and no sugar or dairy. It's a all-in-one shake that has a good part of the daily nutritions your body needs. We like the Mocha flavour and we just mixed with water in the shaker cup and drink it! Easy to clean and it fills you up. We usually also eat fruit with it. One container last for about 2 or 3 weeks for both which is good for $60 CAD.
Sometimes we also allow ourselves to have a monster breakfast in some cafés or to cook a big one when we are going to do some hard exercise. Normally a bunch of eggs, spinach, lentils, cheese, peanut butter or whatever we want, we will burn it anyway, right?? :)
Here we need something fast, easy and that doesn't require cooking. Normally at midday we are doing some kind of sport or exploring new places, so we prefer not too spend too much time cooking and cleaning!! We always like the option of a Cliff bar and fruit with nuts if we are going to exercise or be far from the van. If we are close to the van we make wraps: with tortilla whole wheat wraps, cream cheese and a bunch of raw veggies and tadaaa!! Lunch is ready!! Easy peasy!
We love snacks, well, we love to eat! haha We always have nuts, fruit or fruit can cocktail for when we don't have fresh fruit, yogurt, granola bars and sometimes bad chips!! but just sometimes! ;)
Some diets say that dinner is important to be light and bla bla but for us is the most elaborate meal of the day. We relax and spend time having a nice dinner together (We try to make it early so our bodies can make easy digestion before bed). We use ingredients such as: whole wheat pasta, quinoa, wild rice, lentils, chickpeas, cheese, all kind of veggies, soups and eggs, occasionally with the great company of wine or beer or tea.
For cooking inside or outside we have a few tools:
Note: always have ventilation when cooking with gas inside.
Butane camp stove, we like it for use inside/outside the van, it's our best inside cooking option because it's powerful and sits low and stable. We bought it for about $30 at Canadian Tire . It uses butane canisters, you can buy a paket of 5 for $12 at Walmart, they last long. Works great for cooking with any size of pans or pots. It's our most used stove in the van.
Then we have a Pocketrocket stove that we use more for hiking overnight but you can also use it for cooking in the van, but in our opinion its not too safe to use inside (our van is not tall) because it's less stable, but its ok to use outside. The good thing is if you don't have too much space they are tiny, powerful and work great. Price $41 cad. The medium canister for it cost $8 and last a week for two person. It's our pick for cooking on hikes.
We also have a small Jetboil. It's ok for cooking something small such as a soup and is fairly stable in the van. But it's for one person, in our case. It is brilliant for boiling water quickly for some coffee or tea though! If you can get the big one, its a really good option too.
For pots and pans we have the Alpine 2 pot set , it has 2 pots that fit one into the other, 1.5 L and 2 L, with a removable handle. Simple and good. This one is good in storage, you can fit the Pocketrocket stove, a small canister and the spork inside.(one side fork, one spoon and a side knife). The lid can be used as a frying pan (just like an option but not the best one) and its light. We use this pot to cook everything pretty much. And as a frying pan we use a non stick one such as Bugaboo . It's actually a good one for cooking and the handle folds for easier storage.
For utensils we have just a few basics: opener, scissors, spork, knifes and tongs. We usually don't use plates simply eating from the pot and share. We don't like to clean dishes!
For a fridge we use a normal cheap cooler with block ice in it. We try to have it full and cold on ice for a few days. We are still looking for a better option. You must be carful to keep unsealed items out of the melt water and keeping the ice topped up can get a bit expensive. Our van doesn't have a power system so we are unable to run an electric fridge.
Hope this will help you with your adventure van cooking set up! Don't hesitate to email us if you have any questions!