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6 Tips for Simple, Healthy Cooking in Your RV

Like many of you, I began a new diet as a part of my journey to better health last year. Unlike many of you, I began this diet while living in a 25′ RV. Since then, I’ve lost more than twenty pounds and established some great healthy habits. I really rely on these as I live and travel in an RV. Here are some of my tips for simple, healthy cooking on the road. 

#1 Use a Cast Iron Skillet

Whether you are an RV owner or an RV renter, I highly recommend a cast iron skillet for the RV. Some people may disagree — after all, it’s very heavy, so it affects the weight of your RV. However, it serves multiple purposes. It’s handy for dinner on your RV stovetop or over the campfire. When I’m in need of a quick meal, the skillet easily warms food, cooks meat or veggies and can get thrown in the oven too. 

Healthy cooking in a cast-iron skillet
Plantain fritters are delicious and easy in the skillet!

The best part of a cast iron skillet? Cleanup is easy! Just wipe off the food, rinse with water as needed, and you’re good to go! I especially love our cast iron skillet for quick and simple boondocking dinners (from state parks to Walmarts) on the stovetop. 

#2 Simple Proteins and Frozen Veggies for Healthy Cooking

As long as I’ve got some protein and some frozen veggies on hand, I can whip up a meal in only 10-15 minutes max. When I’m in travel mode, I love pre-cooked sausage. Or I’ll season ground meat and combine it with veggies for an easy meal. Some of my favorite frozen veggies include brussel sprouts, spinach greens, mustard greens and riced cauliflower. 

As long as you’ve got salt, fat (coconut oil is my favorite) and a few seasonings, making veggies on the stovetop is easy and delicious. And riced vegetables like cauliflower are perfect rice substitutes if you’re watching calories and want to make a stir fry or need a base for your ground meat. 

Protein and veggies make for healthy cooking
Pick your protein, pick your veggies & go!

Vegetarians and vegans will want easy proteins too. From prepared tofu and seitan to cans of beans or chickpeas, you’ve got plenty of options. And sweet potatoes and potatoes are a delicious starchy base. They cook well sliced and chopped in the skillet. You can pair them with the listed suggestions or with some eggs or bacon. 

#3 Be Prepared 

On big travel days, my mind is focused on the road. I don’t want to reach lunch or dinnertime in a panic! So, I start every day with a hearty breakfast, like chicken sausage, sweet potatoes and spinach, or pancakes and bacon. That gives me energy to tackle the day. Lunch on the go might be a can of tuna or salmon on a salad with olives or pickles. 

And don’t be afraid to batch cook at the start of the week! End the day with a delicious soup or stir fry you’ve pre-made for yourself. It’s easy and satisfying — and knowing you’ve got an easy dinner will help you say no to all of the fast food places on your route! 

I also encourage you to think ahead about what healthy snacks you will keep on hand when you’re driving. I like almonds, freeze-dried fruit, Epic meat bars and lots of water to keep me going. 

#4 Pre-cut Fruits and Veggies Are Your Friend

No, it isn’t cheating to grab some pre-cut fruits and veggies at the supermarket. Especially when I’m on vacation, I don’t have much interest in slicing and dicing. If grabbing a platter will help you make healthy choices, and it’s in your budget; go for it! Healthy cooking is easier with some prep shortcuts. 

Veggie shortcuts in healthy cooking
Sweet potato noodles make a convenient and healthy base for your ground beef, tomato sauce and cheese!

#5 Have a Good Knife and Cutting Board

If you’re flying and then RVing, you can ignore this advice. But if possible, bring your own good knife and a cutting board on your trip, whether you’re renting or in your own RV. There is nothing more frustrating than having your meal ingredients laid out and realizing the knife you have on hand isn’t up to the task! For safety and comfort, bring your own if at all possible. 

Not an option? You can always buy them if things get dire! 

#6 Think Seasonal for Delicious Healthy Cooking 

My last suggestion in service of simple and healthy meals in the RV is to think seasonally. Find the local farmer’s market and enjoy a peach or an avocado while you’re in town. I love to buy local fish on the seacoast, or stock up on beef in Texas. It’s a great way to experience the local area (without the heftier price tag of eating out) and your food will be healthier, with more nutrients, because of it. 

I love simple, healthy cooking in my RV kitchen. If you want to try the RV life for a week or two, definitely consider looking at your rental options! I hope these suggestions inspire you as you pursue delicious and simple, healthy meals in your RV this year. 

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