Many people, especially empty nesters, find that cooking large meals once or twice a week and freezing leftovers into single-meal packages make life simpler. They find they can have a variety of nutritious meals with minimal fuss. You can use this same strategy for preparing meals for your travels.
You can of course visit your local supermarket and find many frozen and packaged meals. While these are certainly convenient and handy, they can also be expensive and wasteful. Check the number of servings on the package; if it serves more than the number of people you are traveling with, or if one or two of those with you are small children, you may find you are confronted with a lot of leftover food at the end of the day. With the limited food storage available on board, you have few choices on what to do with the leftovers.
Prepackaged frozen dinners that you find in the grocery store can be very high in fat and sodium. If you have a family member on a special diet, these meals may not be a wise choice. Learn to read labels, especially the nutrition labels for information on the food you are buying. If you have a family member who has allergies, check the list of ingredients for dangerous foods.
A handy gadget you might want to consider buying is a home vacuum packaging system like the Foodsaver. You can use it to package foods in vacuum-sealed bags that are easy to store, keep food fresh, and won't break like glass jars and containers can. The bags can also be used as cooking containers in the microwave or in a pot of boiling water for meals like stews.
There are many ways to prepare before you leave that can cut down on the time spent in your RV kitchen on the road. The cook is on vacation, too, and does not want to be stuck in the galley the whole time. One of the easiest ways to prepare is to pull out your family's favorite recipes and adapt them for the road. It is generally best to stick to trusted foods and recipes, especially when you have young children. Children don't always adapt well to change, and travel can sometime be unsettling for them. Familiar foods can help ease the transition and make mealtime much more pleasant.
Precook meats such as chicken and beef. Cut them into bite-size pieces and freeze the amount needed in heavy-duty freezer bags. You can pull out a bag from the freezer and thaw it to use in a quick meal. Use the beef as a basis for stew or chili. The thawed chicken along with flour tortillas can quickly become que-sadillas on the grill or in a pan on the stovetop. Add a salad (the prepackaged salads are a great value) and you have a fast, tasty, and satisfying meal.
Another way to save time and energy in the galley is to premix dry ingredients. You can prepare the dry ingredients for brownies, corn bread, muffins, etc., and pack them in resealable plastic bags. When you are ready to make them, just mix in the wet ingredients and bake.
When buying fruits and vegetables for the road, precut fruits and vegetable are wonderful for RV travel. You can find packages of carrots, celery, broccoli, and cauliflower already washed, trimmed, and ready to eat. Buy the smaller packages to maximize space and variety in your RV refrigerator. You can stock up on these products on the road.
The packaged salad mixes seemed to be made for RV travel. You can find a wide variety of salad mixes, including some that come with dressing, croutons, etc. One bag generally feeds four to six and adds the fiber and nutrients we all need in our diets.