Ben and the boys love fish (me, not so much). I used to make fish on an outdoor grill, but we do not have a grill at the new apartment. However, I found an easy way to make it: the air fryer! It doesn’t take very long and the boys seem to enjoy it every time.
You will need:
Any other seasonings you enjoy (I like to sprinkle a little Cajun)
Optional: non-stick spray
Using a pastry brush, gently spread a thin layer olive oil over the filet. Season with paprika, ground pepper, salt, and any other seasonings you like on your fish. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
Cut filet into smaller sections to fit in the air fryer. (I normally cut ours into about 6-7 inch wide sections).
Oil the basket tray of the air fryer using a non-stick spray or the olive oil.
Place a filet in the air fryer and cook at 390℉ for 7 minutes.
Check to make sure fish is done and enjoy! (Repeat cooking steps for each filet.)
We love Papa John’s Double Hamburger Pizza; even Ben likes it and he does not normally like pickles! Unfortunately, it’s a regional/seasonal thing because we haven’t had any luck finding it since California. We tried in Williamsburg, but they did not have any pickles.
We decided to try to make our own version! We managed to find all of the ingredients. However, we had to get creative with fitting the pizza crust in our tiny oven, as the store did not have a lot of crust size options.
We grabbed ground beef, 2 Roma tomatoes, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, Thousand Island dressing, and pickles (hamburger dill chips).
I browned the ground beef, diced the tomatoes, and had Will shred the cheeses. Once the ground beef was cooked, I drained it. I also blotted the pickle slices with a paper towel so that there wouldn’t be too much moisture on the pizza and then cut each slice in half. After placing the crust on the baking sheet, I used a pastry brush to add a thin layer of the Thousand Island dressing to the pizza crust. Next came a layer of the mixed cheeses, the ground beef, diced tomatoes and pickle pieces. I added a little bit more cheese to the top and baked according to the crust’s directions.
It turned out pretty well and was gone quickly! I can’t wait to make it again!.
If our campground has a fire pit or a grill, one of the easiest dinners to make are foil packet dinners. As a bonus, it doesn’t heat up the RV!
You can throw almost anything in aluminum foil and cook it over a fire, a grill, or in the oven. (Just make sure to double wrap in foil to help protect from burning over any flames.) We’ve done sweet potatoes (off to the side in the warm ashes), meatballs and vegetables, chicken/potatoes/vegetables.
The dinners are pretty easy to put together. On a large sheet of aluminum foil, towards the middle, place a few small pats of butter, or spray with a non-stick spray. Add a layer of sliced onions and a few vegetables. Add your meat, Place a few slivers of onions on top. Sprinkle with the seasoning of your choice (we like Cajun seasoning). Wrap up tightly. If the flames are still pretty hot, I will add another layer of foil to help keep things from burning.
Cooking in a tiny RV kitchen is a lot like using an Easy Bake Oven to make a cake for an Army. Luckily I don’t quite have an army, but two teenage boys can certainly eat. Below are some of their favorite dishes. Most of these require few baking/cooking utensils, are quick to make and pack a calorie punch for the kids.
One of the hardest down sizing activities for me was the kitchen. After 7+ months cooking and living in our travel trailer, I would recommend an InstantPot. These guys are amazing. I haven’t even explored all it can do, but it packs a lot of punch for the volume it takes up.
2. The boys rate all of these 10 out of 10. Teenage boys are generous with food ratings. I have my ratings below.
Quick and delicious; Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes My rating: 6 out of 10
How it is made:
You will need raw meatballs (frozen or fresh), a jar of spaghetti sauce (24 oz), spaghetti noodles, water, and grated Parmesan cheese (optional).
In the InstantPot, layer the meatballs on the bottom of the pan. Break the spaghetti noodles in half, and layer over the meatballs. To help the noodles not stick, crisscross the direction you lay the noodles down. (Some recipes also call for salt or olive oil drizzled over the top of the noodles. I haven’t used those extra ingredients yet, as the hatch layering seems to work.) Add a jar of spaghetti sauce and 3 cups water. DO NOT STIR! Add lid, set to Pressure: High, Time: 10 minutes. When time is up, do a quick release. Stir together. Plate and top with Parmesan cheese! (NOTE: I sometimes like to add a can of diced tomatoes as well, to make a chunkier/thicker sauce (14 oz). If using diced tomatoes, add with the spaghetti sauce.)
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 19 minutes My rating: 8 out of 10
How it is made:
You will need: 1 lb. ground beef, 1 packet taco seasoning (or use homemade!), 1 box cornbread mix and its required ingredients (we like Jiffy), 1 large onion diced, InstantPot cake pan, aluminum foil. Toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, chopped lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa, sour cream.
Cook ground beef, taco seasoning, and onions in InstantPot on sauté setting with lid off, stir frequently. Drain off grease when finished and turn off InstantPot. Remove meat from InstantPot and set aside. Wipe out an excess grease inside the InstantPot. Mix together cornbread mix in a bowl. Line the cake pan with aluminum foil. Have several (3-4) inches of foil above the pan, but make sure it is smooth and flat all the way around. Add the cooked ground beef mix to the lined pan and press down. Evenly spread cornbread mixture over beef. Place a cup of water in InstantPot and add trivet. Place pan on trivet. Cover, set to seal, cook on High Pressure for 19 minutes. Let it sit/natural release for 5 minutes, then do a quick release. Use foil to lift from the pan. Plate, top, and serve!
Inside out Omelette
Best thing Tik Tok has shown us; Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 5-10 minutes My rating: 9 out of 10
NOTE: If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, you can still get the Everything But the Bagel Seasoning online. It is amazing in a lot of recipes and Ben highly recommends it. I am not a huge everything bagel person, so I made my omlet without it.
How it is made:
You will need (per omelette): 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons milk, 1/2 tablespoon butter, 3/4 cup shredded cheese (sharp cheddar is our favorite), seasoning of choice (pepper, salt, Everything, etc.), fillings (mushrooms, tomatoes, cooked meats/lunch meat, spinach, peppers, onions).
Whisk eggs and milk together. Heat butter in non-stick pan over medium heat. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the entire pan. Cook until bubbly. Slowly, and evenly, pour the egg/milk mixture around the pan. Add seasoning and fillings. Cover and cook for a few minutes, until egg is set. Flip one side over to cover the other side to form a crescent and enjoy.
Horrible name, 100% original, filling meal; Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 18 minutes My rating: 7 out of 10. I was throwing together things in the InstantPot and the boys were bugging me what was for dinner. I was a little irritated, so I replied “slop”, and the name has unfortunately stuck. It’s my catch-all meal that always has chicken and vegetables, but the other ingredients vary. Sometimes it has rice, sometimes it has beans, sometimes noodles, sometimes potatoes, seasoning added based on other ingredients (though it is frequently Cajun). Below is one of the versions I have made.
How it is made:
You will need: 3 boneless/skinless cubed chicken breasts (raw), box of Spanish flavored rice, 1.5 cups of water, can diced tomatoes (not drained), bag of frozen vegetables.
Add chicken, tomatoes, rice, and water to InstantPot. Cook on High Pressure for 15 minutes. Quick release. Add frozen vegetables, close lid, cook on High Pressure for 3 minutes.
If you have a favorite meal, especially if you cook it while camping or in an RV we would love to try it out. Send us a comment and we will make sure to share it with others.
We normally make these delicious (although not exactly visually appealing) appetizers at Christmas. However, this year we didn’t make them. We were kind of missing them, as I usually only make them for parties and Christmas. We made them in the RV oven! It took a little bit longer, as my baking sheet is much smaller than the one I had at home. If you’ve never made them, they are really easy! You can find the recipe here (link to my other blog).
Months ago, I saw a recipe online for Cranberry Pie. I saved it because I really wanted to try it for Christmas. I was a little worried about baking it in the RV, but after successfully baking some Christmas sugar cookies, we gave it a shot. It was easy, delicious, and turned out well.
It took a little longer to cook than the directions stated. I have a pizza stone under the rack to help disperse the heat, so I think it causes the temperature to run a little low.
The pie was both sweet and a little tart, and even the cranberry skeptic loved it. I would definitely eat this warm, soon after it comes out of the oven. We had some cold the next day and it was nice, but the flavor wasn’t the same intensity.
Ok, so this isn’t a real lasagna, but it is a noodle dish that really tastes like lasagna! I was trying to find some easy InstantPot recipes that I could make in the RV. I made a few modifications to some I found online, and this is our recipe. It turned out really well and everyone loved it! (Well, Will got his portion before the cheese was added.) Click here for printable PDF recipe.
You will need:
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 lb. ground beef
1 jar spaghetti sauce (about 24 oz)
1 box uncooked penne pasta
1 can diced tomatoes (I used the diced tomatoes with green chilies, mild)
1 small onion, diced
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp dried basil
2 tbp olive oil
2 cups water
Add oil, diced onions, and ground beef to InstantPot. Set to sauté.
Cook until ground beef is no longer pink. Stir and break up frequently.
Drain any grease. Place back in the InstantPot and turn it off.
Add in garlic powder and basil, stir to combine.
Make sure ground beef is in an even layer on the bottom of the pot.
Add spaghetti sauce, 2 cups water, can of tomatoes.
Add noodles on top. Do not stir, just gently push down to make sure they are in the liquids.
Cover with lid, set to seal and pressure to High.
Cook for 5 minutes and then quick release.
Stir in mozzarella and ricotta cheeses. Stir to let melt.