Saving Money – The Camp Chef
This post is a little out of the norm for us, but still travel vaguely related. The only way we can travel as much as we do is to be as frugal as possible. One of those ways is to limit the amount we eat out.
Traveling in our RV makes it extremely easy to prepare meals since we have a full kitchen, just like at home. We cook when we tent camp too though. Tom is a campfire master! We all love to cook, which also helps. Another added benefit is the meals are not only cheaper than eating out, they are healthier.
One of my favorite secret weapons for traveling meals is my Hamilton Beach Programmable Crock Pot! Seriously, this thing is a life saver. Throw the ingredients in before heading out on the day’s adventures, set the timer, then return to a delicious dinner. To get you started, I’m going to share one of our favorite crock pot meals. We had it this past weekend during our camping trip to Greensboro/Lake Oconee, GA.
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Aunt Darlene’s Crock Pot Pepper Pork
This recipe was given to us by Darlene, one of our best friends who lives in the Chicago area. We have several recipes from Aunt Darlene, so you will be seeing more.
3-4 lb pork shoulder (or butt if you’re from the south lol)
1 jar pepperoncini peppers with juice
1 jar Giardiniera with juice (Italian pickled veggies)
2 cups homemade or low sodium beef broth
3 Tbsp homemade Dry Italian Dressing mix or 1 package premade (1.5 oz)
Place pork shoulder in 6 qt crock pot. Pour in pepperoncini & giardiniera with juice, add beef broth. Sprinkle Italian Dressing seasoning over top of pork roast. Cook roast on high 7-8 hours or on low 10-12 until tender (falling apart).
To serve, remove from crock pot onto a plastic cutting board. Shred meat using 2 forks, removing any fat. Remove all but .5 to 1 cup of liquid from the crock pot. Save the stock, it freezes beautifully and makes excellent soup!
Return the shredded meat to the pot with reserved stock, mix and keep on warm until ready to eat.
*This meal is kid friend for our family, it has just the barest hint of spice. We don’t serve it with the veggies either so picky eaters never know they’re there. If you have no spice tolerance, you can sub banana peppers for the pepperoncini. Be your own executive chef and get creative. I think of recipes more as a guideline than hard and fast rules anyway.
Semi-Healthy Mashed Potatoes
3 lbs red or new potatoes, roughly peeled
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
3/4 cup 2% milk
1 Tbsp Kraft Real Mayo
Roughly peel leaving some skin, dice to 1 in pieces and add to pot. Cover potatoes with cold water and boil 20 minutes. Drain & mash with fork or potato masher (We like chunky mashed potatoes). Microwave or heat on stove the milk and olive oil until warm but not boiling. Add to potatoes and mix until just incorporated. Add Mayo (my secret to the BEST mashed potatoes! Weird, I know, just trust me) and mix lightly then serve while still warm.
Zucchini – wash, slice in half longways, coat lightly with olive oil and garlic salt and grill 10-15 minutes until tender.
We served this with my semi-healthy mashed potatoes and grilled zucchini. Both cook up quickly and you can have a healthy dinner on the table within 30 minutes! The leftover pork is also great on sandwiches.
So that’s it! How easy it that? No major kitchen skills required and the clean up is easy too. What do you think? Do you have any other easy recipes to share with us? Let us know in the comments please!
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