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Living in a van or a small apartment doesn’t mean you have to compromise on your health and nutrition. You can still enjoy delicious and wholesome meals with minimal ingredients, equipment, and time. In this blog post, we will share with you some of our favorite quick and easy recipes for healthy meals that you can make in a limited kitchen space in 2024.

Breakfast: Overnight Oats with Fruits and Nuts

Overnight oats are a great way to start your day with a filling and nutritious breakfast that requires no cooking. All you need is a jar, some oats, milk or plant-based milk, yogurt or plant-based yogurt, and your choice of fruits and nuts. Simply mix the oats, milk, and yogurt in the jar, and top it with your favorite fruits and nuts. You can also add some honey, maple syrup, or cinnamon for extra flavor. Then, refrigerate the jar overnight, and enjoy your oatmeal in the morning. You can make several jars ahead of time and store them in the fridge for up to five days.

Some of our favorite combinations are:

  • Banana, peanut butter, and chocolate chips
  • Apple, walnut, and raisin
  • Strawberry, almond, and coconut
  • Mango, pistachio, and cardamom

Lunch: Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is a superfood that is high in protein, fiber, iron, and antioxidants. It is also gluten-free and easy to cook. You can make a delicious and refreshing quinoa salad with some fresh vegetables, herbs, cheese or plant-based cheese, and lemon juice. This salad is perfect for a light and satisfying lunch that you can make in advance and store in the fridge for up to three days.

To make this salad, you will need:

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 cups of water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon of oregano
  • 2 cups of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup of chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese or vegan feta cheese

To prepare this salad:

  • Rinse the quinoa under cold water and drain well.
  • In a small pot, bring the water to a boil and add the quinoa, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer until the quinoa is fluffy and the water is absorbed about 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let it cool slightly.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  • In a large bowl, toss together the quinoa, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, mint, and cheese.
  • Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine.
  • Enjoy your salad at room temperature or chilled.

Dinner: One-Pot Pasta with Tomato Sauce and Spinach

One-pot pasta is a genius way to make a hearty and tasty pasta dish with minimal cleanup. You simply cook everything in one pot (or one skillet) on the stovetop (or on your portable burner), and you have a delicious meal ready in less than 30 minutes. You can use any kind of pasta you like (we recommend whole wheat or gluten-free pasta for more fiber), any kind of sauce you like (we love tomato sauce for its rich flavor), and any kind of vegetables you like (we suggest spinach for its iron and vitamin content).

To make this dish, you will need:

  • 8 ounces of pasta
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) of tomato sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of fresh spinach
  • Grated parmesan cheese or vegan parmesan cheese (optional)

To prepare this dish:

  • In a large pot or skillet over high heat (or on your portable burner), bring the pasta, water, tomato sauce, salt, and pepper to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer until the pasta is cooked through and the sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the spinach until wilted.
  • Sprinkle some cheese on top if desired.
  • Enjoy your pasta while it’s hot.

We hope you enjoyed these quick and easy recipes for healthy meals that you can make in a limited kitchen space in 2024. Let us know what you think in the comments below. And don’t forget to check out our other blog posts for more tips and tricks on how to live a happy and healthy van life. Happy travels!


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