Some days, I do things backwards. It’s just who I am. I’ve shared a few meals that I’ve cooked while out trucking from the midwest to the southwest, as well as ideas, but I’ve never really shown you what I cook with.
So, since I’m sitting here waiting for my produce to come out of the fields, and they are taking their very sweet time, I feel asleep while writing this, the produce finally came out of the field and I’m now home sweet home, but I thought I would gather my equipment and show you how I live in a truck, which makes me very self sufficient.
My cookware is nothing fancy but it makes good meals. And that is all you need, and all that matters.
First get it out of your head that you need any real cooking experience here. If you’re hungry, and are willing to take just a little bit of time, even the most inexperienced cook can feed themselves on the road better and cheaper than you could out of a fast food restaurant. Secondly, get it out of your head that you need to be eating fancy, hoity toity food. Save that meal for home time with your wife, husband or good friends.
I hate to use the word peasant food here, but really, to me, that is what truck cooking is. Peasant food generally means transforming basic and not many ingredients into something satisfying that not only makes your belly happy, but soothes your road worn soul. And, if you look at what truck stops are feeding us these days– unless you like tasteless, overly expensive, pre-made food that is not good for you– what you can whip up along side of your truck in 20 minutes or less, will be far from peasant food.
When I cook next to my truck, I keep the mindset that I want as little mess, and ingredients as possible. And yet it is amazing how many good meals you can make using minimal ingredients. I know it may surprise the heck out of you, but if you use a little imagination you can eat very well while out of the road.
First though, think about sustenance. That is what we are after here, right? Sustenance while on the road. Something that holds you and makes you feel like you actually ate a good, healthy meal.
Then think about simplicity. Simplicity is something you need if you live in a truck and most of us practice it everyday to some point.
There are wonderful meals that you can make, just like the one above.
My steak and beans were SO easy that anyone could make them. Here’s what I did:
I bought a package of 2 chuck steaks (each were about the size of my palm). The thinner, the faster cooking. Once I got back to the truck stop from my shopping excursion, I put the steaks in a plastic baggie with olive oil-not too much-they need not be floating, pepper and garlic salt and stuck them in my fridge for about 5 hours. You do not have to marinate them, but I had the time so I did. About a half hour before I was ready to cook the steaks I pulled them out of the fridge to warm up a bit. Then I heated my cast iron skillet up for a good 5 minutes before I threw the steaks & the olive oil mixture into the pan. I cooked the steaks for about 4 minutes on one side and 2-3 minutes on the other. Once I flipped the steaks I had a drained, 15 ounce can of northern beans ready, and poured them around the steaks and continued to cook for the remaining 2-3 minutes. The beans soaked up the juices from the steak & olive oil mixture and the meal was to die for.
The whole meal cost me around $9.00 and I had one steak left over that I thinly sliced for sandwiches the next day. Of course some men out there would probably eat more, but add in a fresh salad to the deal and you have a good, well rounded meal.