The Camper Van Cookbook: Life on 4 wheels, Cooking on 2 Rings

Whether you’re travelling in a camper van, or renting a holiday caravan or camping, you don’t want to be spending hours preparing meals and struggling with limited facilities. Cooking on 2 rings makes the task of feeding yourself, your family or your mates easier as the recipes have all been written especially for campers and camper van owners. All recipes were actually cooked in a camper van before they made it into the book.

The Camper Van Cookbook is available as a paperback – doubling up as a great holiday read, or as a Kindle version – perfect if you’re packing super light and have other cookbooks, maps and information loaded.

This Camper Van Cookbook has several editions, the Original VW Camper Cookbook was published as a hardback in 2008 and contained 80 recipes.  Newer editions include the 2010 edition and 2012 edition.

Martin Dorey is a writer and surfer, living on the North Devon coast with his wife and daughters and Pootle, a 28-year-old Volkswagen camper van. Sarah Randell is Food Director of Sainsbury’s Magazine, having previously worked as Food Editor for 13 of Delia Smith’s cookery books.

The book’s approach is to give lots of meal ideas for a long weekend away in a camper van, serving up tasty treats with limited space and facilities. Camper Van Cookbook Recipes

There are also some lists of what essentials to pack, from playing cards for entertainment through to using a box grater as you can use one side as a zester.

The book takes a fun look at cooking in a camper van and points out some restrictions you’ll encounter and how to get round them, but overall I felt a lot of the recipes were unnecessarily fussy and long-winded, with the potential to create a lot more washing up than they promised to!

That aside, the book makes for a great book to have in your campervan, if only to sigh longingly over the great food until the local pub opens and you can retire there for a meal somebody else has cooked for you!

One short cut might be to read the recipes ahead of your trip and do the weighing out of ingredients at home, packing them into ziplock bags carefully labelled.

The helpful packing lists include how to make a quick getaway, packing light, essential camper van kit, essential cooking kit, chilling in the van, cramming it in, picking up the groceries, food to take with you, a sandwich for the journey, the journey, Camper dos and don’ts, pitching camp, one for the road and your final destination.

The expectations of this camper van cookbook if you follow it to the letter are that you’ll be living in your camper van for the whole long weekend away, with opportunities for foraging, using local farm shops and supermarkets and you still want to eat exciting food as if you were staying in a top hotel.  There’s lots of choice, so this one book would provide you with many varied combinations to enjoy on a multitude of long weekends.

Camper Van Cookbook Recipe Index (2010 Edition):

Friday Night: Full-of-goodness flapjacks; Gorgeous granola with seeds and honey; Sticky ginger treacle cake; Salted caramel nut squares; Peanut cherry cookies;
Prune and sultana Earl Grey tea loaf.

Saturday Morning: Dawn patrol breakfast; 5-minute banana, honey and orange smoothies; 5-minute raspberry, lime and apple smoothies; Exploding egg banjo; Breakfast frittata; Fruit and nut crispies; Rocky road on the road.

Saturday Lunch: Moules in coconut milk and coriander; Camper van moules; Lobster salad; A pint of prawns and mayo two dips; Garlicky razor clams; Linguine with clams, cockles, mussels and watercress; Corn, bacon & parsley chowder; A nod to gazpacho; A spring to summer minestrone; Warm quinoa, chickpea and griddled vegetable salad; Greek salad couscous; Chicken couscous with apricots and pistachios; Caesar salad
A bowl of tasty noodles; 20-minute chicken and melting cheese quesadillas; Whatever-you-have-to-hand pilaf; Lemnon, Parmesan and herb risotto; Any sort of pasta with artichokes, tomatoes and mozzarella; Thai lentil and coconut soup; Vietnamese chicken curry; The Surfdotcom Toastie; Pasta with sausage, fennel and spinach.

Saturday Night: Jam jar mojito for a summer’s day’ Jam jar whisky mac for a wintry evening; Martin’s Bloody Mary; Sarah’s jam jar Bloody Mary; Mulled cider with orange and cloves; A jug of Pimm’s for a crowd; Beef pot roast in a dutch oven; Fire-baked sea bass with leeks, samphire and tarragon; Baked apples, the campfire way; Mackers and mash, camper van style; One-pan mackerel with onion, capers and sultanas; A stewy kind of seafood soup with chilli, fennel and orange; Scallop and chorizo kebabs; Monkfish kebabs with lemon caper dressing; Barbecued lamb with orange, garlic and herbs; Lamb burgers with spring onions and feta; Barbecued rib-eye with bruschetta and chunky hazelnut salsa; Couscous on the side; Pasta on the side; Steamed summer vegetables with herbs; Broccoli, pine nut and chilli salad; Mart’s salad dressing; Simple slaw; Lemon cup cheesecakes; A spring to summer fruit fool; Sticky toffee pecan apples; Cheesy eggy bread; Stroopwafels; Peanut butter and bacon sandwiches; Big Chill chilli; Holy moley guacamole; Lamb, aubergine and spinach curry; Moroccan vegetable tagine.

Sunday Morning: Double-handed breakfast banjo; Porridge with cinnamon and raisins; Fresh fruit for breakfast; Pancakes for breakfast.
Sunday Lunch: Chocolate strawberries; Strawberries and cream; Pick your own bowl of summer; Griddled halloumi with crushed peas, mint and rocket; Asparagus 3 ways: Honey, soy and sesame – Chilli, lemon and olive oil – Crispy bacon and almonds; Camper van chunky houmous with pine nuts; Spiced yoghurt, spinach and sultana dip; Hasta la salsa; The boyfriend potato salad; One-pan chicken (or rabbit) with tarragon, lemon & garlic; Griddled vegetables with mozzarella, chickpeas and plenty of herbs; Sausages with beans, tomatoes and rosemary; Summer puddings; Easy fruity crumble.

Sunday Tea: Freddy’s milky chanterelles on toast; Wild mushrooms on toast; Chicken of the woods risotto; Sloe gin; Elderberry cordial; Forager’s salad with cheddar, apples and toasted nuts; Best-ever crab sandwiches; Drop scones with quick raspberry jam and clotted cream.

An ideal gift, or for yourself, look inside this book here: Camper Van Cookbook Preview


Last checked June 2016

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