Hey guys, this post is a little bit different than the usual updates. Before Paul and I left for our trip, I would Google van life meals to research ideas for meals on the road. We had made the ultimate decision of vanlife WITHOUT A FRIDGE! How would we have muesli with milk?? How would we have veggies? Leftovers?? All things I just was not so sure of, but I knew we would make it work 🙂 And because it was something I was curious about, I decided I’d help out anyone else planning a van trip and in need of some ideas. So here you go, a post completely focused on van life food without refrigeration : D
I love breakfast! And I always have. Different places and stages of life always lead me to different breakfasts. In the van, we stick to muesli, milk, and banana. It is so delightfully yummy and satisfying that after dinner, I am always excited to think my next meal will be the MUSE! 😀 Unfortunately, Denmark has set our standards high for muesli and other countries don’t have nearly as great of a selection. But we make it work by making our own little mixture of 2-3 different kinds of low-sugar cereals mixed together for one great delicious creation. YUM! Right now we’re munching on a blend of bran flakes, a bag of actual muesli, and plain oats. I’m a fan 😀
We’ve also been really lucky to find UHT milk mostly everywhere we’ve been (milk that doesn’t need refrigeration until after it’s opened aka we can stock up on it for when we’re at a crag for a while!) We’ve also found that many stores sell lactose-free UHT milk (Paul doesn’t drink lactose) but when they don’t, we’ll buy some rice or almond milk instead, which has been really fun tasting new kinds! (We just have to make sure we aren’t buying the kind that loads in a ton of unnecessary sugar).
And of course, what’s breakfast without a good old cup of instant coffee??
I love lunch! Especially picnics 🙂 And our lunches tend to always be picnics because we’re normally climbing! I pack our lunch in the mornings which consists of rugbrød, hard cheese, sausage, tomato, and cucumber. Some may call that a bit luxurious for living on the road (ehem… Paul), but I think it is just plain fulfilling and tasty.
To our pleasant surprise, everywhere we’ve been has also had some kind of rugbrød selection!! Along with the muesli, the variety and quality is nowhere near Danish standard, but it sure does the job! Most of what we find is packaged to be preserved for quite a while which is helpful for stocking up, but when we’re lucky we do find some fresh kind such as this one:
Mmm mmm mmmmmm!
Also, all the countries we’ve visited store their eggs at room temperature so we’ll sometimes have scrambled eggs for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner. We sure love our breakfast for dinner!
On grocery shopping day, I can’t help but stop by the fresh bread selection to pick some up for our lunch that day. We usually add some pesto to soak into the fresh bread and have the usual toppings. It just keeps things exciting 🙂
I love dinner! And for dinner, we love our grains. And we have got quite the selection! Lentils, bulgur, couscous, rice, quinoa. We’ll cook a grain with some veggie broth and chop up some fresh veggies such as bell pepper, carrots, zucchini, or eggplant. We also have some canned veggies such as beans and corn. Italy has had a really great and cheap bean selection which we’ve really loved! If we’re not having some grain and veggie concoction, we’re having pasta with pesto, beans, and veggies. Another personal favorite 🙂
Also on grocery store day, we’ll pick up some fresh pasta to eat that day, such as tortellini with ricotta and spinach or gnocci. We really are loving Italian food!
And when we’re really craving something tasty, we go out for some pizza! Ah too good.
For snacks, I’m quite the fruit fan. Apples, pears, nectarines… you name it! Paul also has been into trying different bars to snack on throughout the day or he’ll make some protein shakes. We also can’t help but have our chocolate stash. Our favorites are light or dark chocolate with hazelnuts.
And I recently bought popcorn for a bit of a healthier night time snack, it’s fun, satisfying, and reminds me of my college days when we had a popcorn machine in our house hehe 😀
As for leftovers, we make what we will eat for the most part. We do have a small cooler that we keep our veggies and milk in. We don’t use ice for it because that would just be a pain to keep restocking, but our van gets pretty cool at night so by keeping the lid open during the night, and closing it during the day, our food keeps pretty cool too.
And that’s pretty much what we’ve been eating on the road!