When you are living in a van, it’s hard to make gourmet meals… or just meals, period. Even two minute Ramen Noodle are almost impossible.
Each evening we were faced with the challenge of what to eat and how to cook it given that our tools were extremely limited; pretty much just a gas stove.
To our surprise, we made a few key meals that we hold dear to our stomachs. They have earned names such as the Otamure Special and Tepotupotu Special and will be whole heatedly brought back to the states for future dinner parties (don’t all jump at once for an invite).
Below are just three of the menu items.
First things first, our lovely kitchen.
Nestled in the back of the van, we were equipped with a gas stove, sink, ice box and select utensils.
Our first evening of the trip (therefore the first meal of the trip) was our Otamure Special, named cleverly after the campsite itself.
Ingredients: Chicken, 4 Bean Mix, Ranch Dressing
Steps: (1) Cook chicken until… cooked. (2) Then add beans and ranch dressing. (3) And Enjoy.
I don’t mean to be repetitive… but YUM! (it was actually pretty good to be honest)
Our next noteworthy meal was our makeshift stir fry, or Tepotupotu Special. (Again, influenced by the campsite)
Ingredients: Chicken, 4 Mix Beans, Cheapest bag of Veggies (it’s important to get the cheapest bag as it adds desirable colors and shapes to the mixture)
Steps: (1) Cook chicken until… cooked. (2) Then add beans and veggies. (3) And Enjoy.
We tried to keep things simple during the trip and using the same ingredients was the easiest way to keep our costs down but still get some of the nutrients that we need.
Our last noteworthy meal is a lunch special that everyone knows and loves.
The peanut butter sandwich.
And the best thing about eating in New Zealand?? You’re in New Zealand.
It’s not known for its food, but when the vast majority of tourists are exploring the country in campervans, it really doesn’t need to be. No matter how basic the meal, it is amazing because you can sit and eat surrounded by all of New Zealand’s beauty.
Every single peanut butter sandwich that we ate was in a new awe-inspiring location. I couldn’t help but think back to the past three years of lunches that I had eaten at my desk in front of a computer screen at work.
Eating lunch in New Zealand is much more memorable.
PS. New Zealand also has hot french fries from a vending machine… which is amazing.