Although I do not cook in the truck, except the occasional re-heat of lunch while sitting at a customer, I know a lot about cooking. I am the “chef” in our home and have always loved making food. I am known mainly for my grilling and smoking expertise, but am also pretty dang handy inside the kitchen baking and cooking as well. As a winter job when younger, I was even trained under the head chef to help manage an Italian bistro’s cooking needs while he was off, at our local ski resort. One thing I learned and now carry with me in all aspects of cooking is that half the battle of cooking is the preparation of the ingredients!
One of the tricks I use to cut down on food costs in the truck throughout the week is to make my breakfast and lunch meals ahead of time. The same is carried over into meals at home, where prepping the stuff ahead of time for my wife makes it easier for her to prepare home-cooked meals while running around tending to our rugrats! I oftentimes experience that more than half the total time in cooking is the beginning ingredient prep work.
Even with the new larger fridge in my 2018 Freightliner New Cascadia, space is limited compared to that at home. This is why it is ever so important that meal plans are adhered to and prep work is done ahead of time. Utilizing my 30-minute rest breaks for making and eating lunch should not include 25 minutes of making said lunch, then 5 minutes of inhaling it! Lately I have favored tuna fish and cheddar sandwiches for lunch and egg white and bacon burritos for breakfast. I can literally make a week’s worth of burritos ahead of time and just reheat two per day in the morning in the microwave while I am walking around doing my pre-trip. As for the tuna sandwiches, I premix a couple days worth of tuna ingredients in a vacuum-seal bowl and store it in my truck fridge. It is as easy as slapping it on my sprouted-grain bread and grabbing a bag of my kettle chips and I am good-to-go for a quick lunch.
If you like to get all “chef’d out” in the truck like some folks I know, I applaud your commitment to cooking full-blown meals in the truck. In this instance prepping can make life so much easier and help you better utilize your downtime. The time you save by prepping ahead can be converted into something else useful or creative, like a nice evening trail walk or a scenic bicycle ride. Always remember to separate your ingredients to prevent cross-contamination and always store them at optimal temperatures to ensure longer lasting freshness. Taking the time to think ahead and prep your ingredients can almost certainly help anyone in their quest to making healthier meals on the road quicker and easier!