Me and My CRV – Minimal Prep, Healthy Affordable Eats (2022)

I call this the simple, healthy, and budget-friendly approach to eating while living out of my car.

Kitchen:

Sticking to the simple theme, my “kitchen” consists of the following:

  • MSR Pocket Rocket stove
  • Stansport Black Granite Solo II cook pot (30 ounce capacity, 5.75″ x 2.5″)
  • Scooper Spatula

Shopping List:

I store perishables in a cooler and have found block ice to have the best longevity.

Fruits

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Citrus (Tangerines, Mandarins, Oranges, etc)
  • Avocados (fresh or in individual serving cups)
  • Berries, Cherries, Grapes
  • Raisins/Craisins
  • Fruit and Applesauce cups

Vegetables

  • Bagged Salad, Slaw or Spinach
  • Miniature Bell Peppers, Baby Carrots, Tiny Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Packaged Sugar Peas, Edamame, Broccoli Florets, etc.

Proteins

  • Cheese (sliced, string or block)
  • Precooked Frozen Chicken Pieces/Strips (lasts a few days on ice)
  • Eggs (Raw/Hard Boiled)
  • Yogurt (drinkable or eatable)
  • Packaged Tuna/Chicken/Salmon
  • Deli Meat/Cheese
  • Nuts/Seeds
  • Peanut/Almond Butter

Breads/Grains

  • Tortillas/Flat Bread/Pita Bread (for wraps)
  • Sandwich Thins/Regular Bread
  • Crackers
  • Muesli/Granola
  • Quick Cook Grains (i.e. Couscous, Instant Rice, etc.)

Prepared Foods

  • Frozen Stir Fry Vegetables (with pasta or grains)
  • Hummus
  • Deli Salads
  • Avocado/Guacamole Cups

Meal/Snack Options:

Breakfast

  • Hot muesli with fruit
  • Soft/hard boiled eggs on tortilla
  • Yogurt with fruit and granola

Lunch

  • Bagged salad with protein (hard boiled eggs, chicken, tuna, cheese, etc), raw vegetables, plus fruit
  • Wrap/sandwich or crackers with hummus or avocado, greens, protein (hard boiled eggs, chicken, tuna, cheese, etc) plus a side of fruits and/or raw vegetables
  • Snack options

Dinner

  • Lunch options
  • Stir fry with protein
  • Deli salad with protein

Snacks

  • Yogurt with fruit
  • Protein (i.e. string cheese, hard boiled eggs, deli meat, nuts, etc.) with fruit or raw vegetables

Tips:

  • Add a little water to pan before heating prepared meals
  • IMO items purchased from freezer don’t have to stay frozen to stay safe (i.e. precooked chicken)
  • Single serve items (i.e. avocado, hummus, PB and fruit cups) are easier to manage
  • I don’t carry a cutting board so I prefer bite size vegetables such as mini carrots, mini peppers, small tomatoes, etc.
  • Making my own hard boiled eggs has been a game changer. The prepacked ones have an odd odor and flavor.
  • When I’m craving melons I usually buy ready-to-eat packages. The price is worth avoiding a huge mess and storage or waste issues, plus I don’t carry a large knife.
  • Fruit stands and local farmer’s market are a great way to get produce however keep in mind you might not have a way to clean it, thus the reason I usually avoid most unpackaged produce in stores when traveling.
  • I tend to avoid trail food such as dehydrated meals, bars and jerky when I have access to better quality fresh or “real” food.
  • I avoid items that require long boil times like pasta since I’m relying on fuel canisters.

Examples:

These images might give you a few more ideas.

It might feel overwhelming, but by sticking to the basics, and adding a little variety, you might be less tempted to choose empty calories filled with excessive amounts of salt and preservatives.

While traveling this year I’ll add some photos from my shopping cart and will update this post with more meal ideas. Until then, if you have suggestions please comment below.

8 thoughts on “Me and My CRV – Minimal Prep, Healthy Affordable Eats (2022)

    • Thank you! I’ve never been much of a crap food eater and finding a way to transfer the way I eat at home to the road has taken time. A friend had recently asked for some ideas. Well since this post was on my list it was a great time to prioritize.

  1. Something I do is to vacuum pack individual servings of Zone (from the Zone Diet book) lasagna (made with zuchini, not pasta) and individual servings of quiche, along with small Glad containers of frozen chili. They start frozen and serve as “ice” for the cooler. These are road/travel meals, thawed as needed and heated up in a truckstop microwave. I place my freezer wrapped meal into one of those free carboard trays used for hotdogs, available right near the microwave usually

    • Excellent ideas. I’m usually gone from home for several months so I either have to rely on shopping as I go or eating previously made and dehydrated meals, which I prefer to save for backpacking.

Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Broken Links? I'd love to hear from you!

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