From the pages of I RVing: Spring 2022

Eat Like Kings of the Campground

No skimping. Nosh like absolute royalty for an entire weekend, with fewer than 20 ingredients and all for under $75.

Food is a necessity. Great food is a luxury. Sharing great food is an absolute treasure. And you don’t have to let the tiny confines of your home away from home steer you away from sharing great meals. Smart meal planning makes shopping easier, but also leads to drool-inducing results—because your big weekend trips should mean an adventure for your taste buds too.

Shopping List

  • Celery – 1 small bag, precut and washed
  • Lettuce – 1 head, iceberg
  • Broccoli – 1 bag, precut and washed
  • Mini cucumbers – 1 bag
  • Asian slaw premixed salad
  • Extra-large marshmallows – 1 bag
  • Ben’s Original Ready Rice – 2 bags
  • Eggs – 1 dozen
  • Russet potatoes – 4 medium size
  • Avocados – 2 (be sure they’re ripe when you buy)
  • Tostitos – Bite size, 1 bag
  • Pistachios – 1 bag, chili-roasted
  • Kraft mild cheddar – 1 bag
  • Bacon – 1 package
  • Pork Roast – 1 half picnic
  • Tostitos salsa – 1 jar
  • Mission taco shells – 1 bag
  • Mini brioche rolls—1 bag

Meal Plan Rules

  1. Every meal plan must have an element from scratch.
  2. Emphasize on reusing leftovers.
  3. Only include ingredients on the shopping list, except oils and seasoning.
  4. All dinners must include a fresh veggie component.

Friday Night Dinner

Pork Roast
Baked Potatoes
Chopped Green Salad
Toasted Mammoth Marshmallows

A slow cooker is the perfect spot for a picnic half pork roast, because it only requires liberal seasoning and about a cup of broth in the slow cooker. Then fire and forget for six to eight hours minimum, depending on size. The beauty of slow-cooked roasts is that the cheaper cuts, like picnic or picnic halves usually perform the best.

Depending on the length of your Friday evening drive, you can bake your potatoes ahead of time (if helpful), reheating them for mealtime with your favorite campground heating mechanism. (That choice is yours.) For the green salad, finely chop the iceberg lettuce, mini cucumbers, and celery, then season and toss with dressing. Add a small amount of the Asian slaw for extra flavor and crunch, before finishing with avocado and a sprinkle of cheese. For bonus flavor, add a dusting of finely chopped chili pistachios on top.

Toasted giant marshmallows put the final sticky note on an epic start to your weekend’s dining adventure. (Additional chocolate and graham crackers—I hear you, s’mores lovers—are optional.)

Save a healthy amount of leftover pork roast—it’s gonna be your protein for more meals this weekend.

Saturday Morning Breakfast

Bacon and Eggs
Fried Potatoes

Start Saturday morning with a classic bacon and egg breakfast. Fry your bacon first, reserving all of that glorious bacon grease so it can serve as cooking oil—and your sneaky seasoning—the rest of the weekend. Fry your eggs and leftover potatoes in the remaining bacon grease, with a sprinkle of salt and pepper to finish, for a classic breakfast that brings everyone to the table.

Cook at least one extra egg and a slice or two of bacon per person, and reserve for tomorrow’s breakfast.

Saturday Lunch

Pork Quesadillas
Camp Nachos

Here’s your first chance to recycle your pork roast: Lunchtime quesadillas are as easy as they are delicious. Smear a tortilla with a very light helping of bacon grease and lay it flat on any frying surface. Liberally sprinkle with cheese and leftover pork roast, and fold in half. Flip when golden brown.

Meanwhile, camp nachos are as easy as sprinkling cheese (and whatever else you want) on some nacho chips and heating it up with any available heat source, including a campfire. Top with avocado and salsa, and your palette will thank you.

Saturday Snacks

Chef's Choice

Both the celery and the chips you haven’t finished make a great snack, with either ranch dressing or salsa. For sweet toothers, marshmallows have almost zero nutritional value and way too much sugar, but they’re not the worst snacks ever in moderation because they’re typically fat free.

Saturday Dinner

American Paella Rápida
Sort of Sopapillas

Paella is a lot like soup in that it’s a collection of delicious things cooked together as one. For this rápida (quick) version, start by sautéing any leftover bacon with some finely chopped celery over medium heat in a large frying pan to get a flavor base. Then add some of the Asian salad, which is mostly nutritious superfoods, for a veggie component that will add both flavor and texture. After a couple minutes, add some finely chopped chili pistachios. Lastly, after the Asian components have softened, add the Ready Rice, which will soak up all that glorious oil and liquid from the sauté. If you like crispy rice, which is a more traditional paella preparation, turn up the heat to medium high and refrain from stirring until your rice crisps up on the bottom. For your side dish, microwave your broccoli, and add butter, lemon juice, and salt.

Make your Sort of Sopapillas by brushing a couple of tortillas with a small dose of bacon grease mixed with butter, then sprinkle liberally with white sugar and brown sugar—or honey if you have it. Fry, either in a pan or skillet, until the tortillas puff up sort of like their namesake, being careful not to burn. To eat invites delight.

Sunday Breakfast

Breakfast Tacos

Breakfast tacos with leftover egg, bacon, a sprinkle of cheese, and a smidge of salsa will deliver a simple taste to die for. Easy. Delicious. Instagram-worthy, even, if the lighting is just right.

Sunday Lunch

Pork Mini Sunday Sandwiches
Chips and Salsa

Put the final pork roast leftovers to bed by tucking them into sandwiches. If you successfully seasoned your roast, you won’t need to do more than slice (or finely chop if you prefer a pulled pork texture) your roast, add some basic accoutrements like mayo, your leftover salsa or fresh tomato, and all of your remaining avocado. If you can find them in your grocery store, mini brioche hoagie rolls are the perfect canvas on which to write your final weekend culinary masterpiece. And your leftover mini cucumbers will provide a fresh finishing touch to those Sunday sandwiches. Slide them lengthwise, salt to taste, and place them on your sandwich where lettuce would usually go. (Same goes for any remaining Asian salad and its crunchy cash out.) Then, use your sandwich and chips to mop up any remaining salsa appropriately.

Cook at least one extra egg and a slice or two of bacon per person, and reserve for tomorrow’s breakfast.

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