Recipes for the Road

My husband dislikes most truck stop food. There are a couple of exceptions here and there across the country, but as a general rule, he stays out of the truck stop restaurants. I don't blame him. Most of the food is fried and laden with calories and cholesterol. It seems the food that is good for you, such as baked or broiled items, is cooked beyond measure and has a texture resembling that of beef jerky. The salad bars are usually the best way to go when looking for a fresh meal in a truck stop restaurant, but if you have a tendency to eat your meals at odd hours, you run the risk of finding brown salad greens and sour mayonnaise items. What can a driver do to find a good, healthy and tasty meal while out on the road?

The answer is simple. Cook your own meals in your truck. Since there's a good chance that you have your own lunchbox oven or 12–volt pan collecting dust underneath your bunk, I challenge you to take it out and try at least one of the simple recipes below. I think you'll be pleased to know how easy they are to use, how tasty the meals can be and how easy clean–up can be when used with aluminum pans. Recipe books designed specifically for your Burton stove can also be found in various truck stops. Good luck and happy cooking!

(Please note that lunchbox oven recipes work best with aluminum baking pans, which can be found at most grocery stores and truck stops for under $3.00 for a set of three. Also remember that when using canned goods, it is always best to choose sodium–free items for a healthier lifestyle.)


Corn Beef Hash
  • Approx. time: 1.5 hours
  • Peel two fresh potatoes and cut into bite size pieces
  • Add 1 cup of water
  • Boil until potatoes are tender
  • Drain water
  • Stir in one can of Hormel corned beef until mixed well with potatoes
  • Heat for 10 minutes
  • Add salt & pepper to taste
  • Lemon Pepper Chicken & Rice
  • Approx. time: 1.5 hours
  • Using 2 small, fresh chicken breasts, add lemon & pepper seasoning
  • Spread 1/4 cup of instant rice in bottom of aluminum pan
  • Place uncooked, seasoned chicken on top of uncooked rice
  • Add 1 cup of water
  • Cook for 1 hour
  • Using 12–volt pot, bring your favorite fresh or canned vegetable to boil
  • Serve while hot. Use leftover chicken breast for chicken sandwich for tomorrow's lunch
  • Homemade Vegetable Soup
  • Approx. time: 2.5 hours
  • Brown 1/8 pound of ground beef in 12–volt pan
  • Remove from pan and place into aluminum pan for oven
  • Add one 4.5 oz. can of diced or stewed tomatoes
  • Add one can of 4 oz. mixed vegetables
  • Add salt, pepper & garlic to taste
  • Cook for 2 hours to let flavors blend
  • Serve with crackers
The only limitation in using your lunchbox oven to prepare meals is the time you wish to invest in eating healthier. The opportunities and recipes are endless.

Additionally, most 300–watt inverters will run a crock–pot as long as the truck is turned on and idling. My husband uses a crock–pot quite often and the opportunities for fresh, healthy meals are endless and leftover are always a benefit. I will share my favorite crock–pot recipe with you, but I highly recommend using the recipe book supplied with your crock–pot for more choices.

Homemade Beef Stew

  • 1/2 pound of beef stew meat
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced (you may substitute onion powder or onion flakes)
  • 3 carrots, sliced (or 1 6–ounce can of carrots)
  • 1 can of peas
  • 2 fresh potatoes diced
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbs of flour
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tsp each of garlic, pepper & salt
          Add meat to crock–pot. Add remainder of ingredients, leaving out flour. Cook for approximately 5–6 hours or until meat tears with fork. Mix flour with 4 Tbs. of water in small           bowl or cup. Mix until thin flour paste forms. Add to stew, stirring until mixed well. Cook for additional 30 minutes. Serve with instant rice cooked in 12–volt pan.

Written by: Dawn Rodriguez