As I mentioned before a few months ago, we have a very small fridge on our truck, smaller than dorm size, so when we shop I plan our meals for 5-6 days and try to come up with meals that use many of the same ingredients yet aren’t 100% the same as no one wants to eat the same on a daily basis.
All these meals above were cooked in an electric skillet; nothing else.
List of ingredients I used:
2 salmon filets
1 pack uncured thick cut bacon (also used one morning with just eggs, not pictured)
2 chicken breast filets
pack of 8 boneless and skinless chicken thighs
Produce: (we try to eat low carb as much as possible so I use a lot of produce)
2 red bell peppers
bag organic carrots
bag frozen peas
bag frozen corn
garlic (make sure you buy American; they have the roots still attached on the bottom. The cleaned ones are from China and are bleached you don’t want those).
Miscellaneous: (and NOT low carb!)
pack pancake mix
2 packs of Uncle Ben’s roasted chicken ready rice
I use mostly Mrs Dash garlic and herbs, no added salt for our meals and sometimes add old bay seasoning.
With all these ingredients I made all the above meals incl. a chicken vegetable soup with the leftover carrots and one bell pepper I had and also had vegetable stock and chicken bouillon cube. So it made a total of at least 7 meals, not all pictured.
You can probably tell I love soup by the amount of soup recipes 😂
This one was made in the Instant Pot. I’m not quite following the original recipe as I prefer vegetable stock over chicken stock plus I used baby kale instead of regular kale.
1 lbs breakfast sausage, I used mild,
half a red onion,
4 strip of thick cut applewood smoked bacon, cut in strips,
5 cloves garlic minced,
2 large Russett potatoes diced,
red pepper flakes to taste,
carton and a half of organic vegetable stock,
bag baby kale,
cup of heavy cream,
2 tbsp flour.
First I turned on the Instant Pot to sauté and browned the bacon and breakfast sausage meat. I added the garlic, onion, salt, pepper flakes and potatoes and stirred it all together and let cook for about 5 minutes.
Then I poured in a little stock just to scrape loose the bits that were getting stuck to the bottom of the IP, once that was done I put in the remaining stock, put the lid on the IP and set it to high pressure for 20 minutes.
When done, I ladled a little bit of the broth into a bowl and added the flour. Stirred it until mixed in and add it back to the pot. Added the kale, heavy cream and stir through until it’s all mixed. Let sit for about 10 minutes and get ready to eat!
Made split pea soup in the Instant Pot (IP).
Rack of pork ribs
Cup of diced up carrots
One red onion (usually I chop up a leek instead but I forgot to get one)
16 oz bag of split peas. I like the Goya brand.
2-3 beef bouillon cubes low sodium
Carton and a half organic beef broth
Put the peas in a bowl with hot water so they can soak for half hour or so.
First I put a little cumin, salt and pepper on the ribs after washing them and put them in the IP. I added a bay leaf and a carton of beef broth.
Set it to high pressure for 35 minutes and NPR (Natural Pressure Release) at the end.
Let the meat cool on a plate for about half hour. Leave the broth in the IP.
After half hour, scoop fat layer off the top of the broth as there will be a lot.
Once the meat cooled off I pulled the meat off the bones and discarded the excess fat and bones and put the meat back in the IP in the broth.
Add in the chopped up veggies, peas and add organic beef broth up to the 10 cups mark inside the 6 qt unit. Don't fill it too high! Also add the bouillon cubes. Set to high pressure for 12-13 minutes and then NPR at the end. Enjoy!
Appliances Used: Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker) and electric skillet.
First I cooked the pasta in the Instant Pot for half the cooking time indicated on the pasta box as the IP cooks the pasta way quicker than a regular pan/pot. You can even cut the time in half minus 1-2 minutes extra to keep the pasta al dente. I drained the pasta and temporarily put it inside a big plastic food storage tub I keep on the truck.
Then I turned on the electric skillet, cut the skin and excess fat off of the chicken thighs. Put on salt and original Mrs Dash spices, added butter to the skillet and started frying up the chicken. Once one side was done and the chicken turned around in the skillet I added 3 strips of diced bacon.
While this was cooking away I added the garlic, onion, red bell pepper and let that soften up.
When the dish was almost done I added a small chart on of heavy cream and a cup of diced up green olives and let that simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the sauce thickened up.
Once done I poured it all over the pasta and dinner was served. You can add grated cheese if you like. ☺️
Appliance used: electric skillet.
Some days you don't have much time and quick, simple and tasty is what you want. I had actually fried up 6 boneless and skinless chicken thighs the night before so all I had to do is chop them up in big chunks, add half an onion, fry it all up again, add a bag of Uncle Ben's Ready Rice, cook for a minute.
Plate it up, added half an avocado, diced up, to each plate and dinner was ready in 10 minutes!
As we live on the truck, storage space is very limited. So I try to cook most meals in one appliance to save in space and clean up.
This entire meal was made, all at once, in an electric skillet.
2 pork chops, bone in
2 bundles of green asparagus
3 strips of Wright's thick cut applewood smoked bacon
Mrs Dash garlic and herbs
1 tbsp butter (not margarine but the real deal)
I diced up the bacon and let that fry up for a bit. I then added the pork chops and while they were frying up on one side I cut the asparagus into big chunks. Flipped the chops over after a few minutes and added the butter and asparagus. Once the butter melted I stirred the bacon and asparagus together and put the lid on the skillet cooking it for an additional 7-8 minutes and that was it! Dinner served!
When I still had my trucker cooking group on Facebook, one of the many heard complaints from drivers was they could only eat fast food because the didn't have time to cook. And as always I would tell them it can be done, even teams who run close to 6500/7000 miles a week. Where there's a will, there's a way. Yes I went there! 😉
It's all about planning and organizing your meals. I think about what I want to make for us each week and think about how long each dish takes to cook, how long it takes to prep. Now we have plenty of time to cook so it doesn't stress me out as much as it used to a few years ago but it can be done.
The above containers with soup for instance took 45 minutes to make, from preparation time to finish. I used an Instant Pot, electric pressure cooker, but you could do the same in a slow cooker and just cut up all your veggies and set it on slow for 8 hours before you start driving and it'll be done when you're ready to take your mandatory break so you can divide it into bowls and let it cook off, or eat one, whatever you plan.
If you were to cook this from scratch in the Instant Pot like I did, you could do this during your 30 minute break, take 15 minutes extra and have 2-4 meals which saves you time down the road.
2 chicken breast filets
carton of organic vegetable broth
half bag precut carrots
4-5 chalks celery cut
5 cloves garlic minced
2 bay leaves
a pinch of thyme
14.5 oz can of organic fire roasted tomatoes
2 pepperoncini peppers diced
Put everything in the pot, set on high pressure for 20 minutes and shred the meat with 2 forks when done. I filled my IP for 3/4 full and did a quick pressure release. If you fill the IP to the max this isn't recommended. Please be careful to not burn yourself! Enjoy!
1 egg (use yolk only)
1.25 lbs ground Angus beef
2 slices Applewood smoked thick cut bacon
Mango Chardonnay vinaigrette
Mrs Dash garlic and herbs
Mix the ground beef with the egg yolk, a little salt, Worcestershire sauce and Mrs Dash garlic and herbs seasoning and form parties with it. Wrap each Patty with a slice of bacon.
Preheat the electric skillet and start frying up the burgers on 350F.
While that was frying away I sliced up the cucumbers and dice the avocado and arranged them on two plates, adding a little vinaigrette and when the burgers were done added them too. Enjoy!
This meal was made in the Instant Pot but you can of course use any pressure cooker for this.
3 lbs beef stew meat
celery 4-5 stalks
half bag carrots
3 cloves garlic
4 pepperoncini peppers
Mrs Dash garlic and herbs
carton beef broth
Chop up the veggies except the carrots I put those whole on the bottom so the meat won't stick just in case... which it didn't.
Add all ingredients to the pressure cooker, set to high pressure for 50 minutes. When done, let it sit for about 15 minutes before releasing pressure. I've read in many forums if you wait to release pressure it won't draw all the moisture out of the meat as some people were complaining their meat gets really dry in pressure cookers. This does seem to make a big difference so that's what I always do anyway.
If you don't care about low carb or not of course add your potatoes but they're not in this version for obvious reasons. Enjoy!