Nutritious meals during a PCS? Eating in transit usually means all the restaurant food, but it is possible to feed your family well. We know, your kids are pros at ordering for themselves and know their way around a children’s menu. But you can’t stomach another side of fries or sad steamed vegetable option. What started out as exciting and fun – eating out every night – has become less enticing and has you thinking about healthy meals during PCS.
Did you ever think you’d be dying to chop vegetables and wash dishes? Yeah, a PCS will do that to a person.
So, you’ve signed the lease, moved out of temporary lodging, and have flopped your sleeping bags on the floor of your new digs, now what? That big, beautiful kitchen is just begging to be used, but there’s one problem. The moving truck still hasn’t arrived. Just because your entire arsenal of dishes, appliances, and utensils are MIA, doesn’t mean you have to succumb to fast food for another week…or two. There are ways to feed your family healthy meals when all you’ve got is a wide-open kitchen with empty cupboards.
Pick Up Disposable Items
This may be tough for some, but we’re talking about a relatively short period of time (hopefully) here. For practical purposes, you’re going to need to pick up some disposable plastic cutlery (and maybe some red SOLO cups while you’re at it). Without a fully stocked kitchen, arm yourself with a roll of aluminum foil, paper plates, plastic bowls, squeeze bottles of condiments, paper towels, a roll of garbage bags, and Ziploc bags (for leftovers). It’s a lot like camping in your own home. Fun, right?
Use Ready-Made Foods
You rarely buy these because you know you’re paying for someone else to peel and chop the produce, but now is the time to throw the pre-cut fruits and veggies into your cart. Keep your eagle eye out at the grocery store, looking for anything that has already been peeled and cut or otherwise doesn’t require a knife to prepare. Easy-open containers (no can-openers) and squeeze bottles are also your friends
Don’t Be Afraid of Microwave Meals
There is something to be said for the convenience of a microwave meal. No prep and no dishes definitely equals a win. But, when you’re trying to serve nutritious meals during a PCS, it’s time to look beyond the frozen section. Head to the commissary or local grocery store, and make your way to the refrigerated, pre-made area. Here, you’ll find such delicacies as pre-seasoned beef and peppers for fajitas, pre-packaged meatloaf, pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, and more.
3 Easy House Camping Recipes
Beyond takeout, here are 3 simple ideas for dinner when you’re still waiting for the blasted moving truck. Because at this point, semi-homemade nominates you for rock star status:
Recipe #1: Chicken Salad
- Bag of Asian Salad
- Rotisserie Chicken
- Dinner rolls
This meal requires individual plastic bowls for serving, and you might be shredding that bird with your bare hands, but there’s no points for presentation. Where there’s a will there’s a way!
Recipe #2: Charcuterie Board (AKA Snacks for Dinner)
- Assorted crackers
- Assorted lunch meat or leftover rotisserie chicken
- Pre-sliced cheese
- Baby carrots
- Pre-cut apples
- Pre-cut bell peppers
- Olives (look for easy-open can or bag)
- Tub of hummus
Simply open up the containers and arrange on paper plates. Hit all the food groups and you can feel good about calling this dinner.
Recipe #3: Fajita Skewers
- Pre-seasoned prepared beef/bell pepper/onion skewers from grocery store deli
- Rice (microwave pouches)
- Pre-cut pineapple
- Teriyaki sauce
Fold a large piece of aluminum foil and crimp up the edges to create sturdy base. Lay skewers on foil and bake in 350-degree oven for 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes, or until meat is cooked through and veggies start to brown around the edges. Microwave rice and serve on paper plates with teriyaki sauce and pineapple slices on the side.
And if the Movers Still Haven’t Arrived
Did you know it is possible for the moving company to reimburse you 100% for household items like folding table and chairs, dish towels, pots/pans and other kitchen items, and 50% for restaurant meals? It’s true. You will need to stay in contact with the moving company and confirm their arrival date. Find out more here. You heard right. Go shopping and save receipts.
This is the time to pick up a new blender or slow cooker. And maybe some cute dish towels you’ve been eyeing. Sure, you may be waiting another week or two for your household items, but it will be so much easier to wait when you can actually cook nutritious meals during a PCS. Without feeling like you’re at a campsite.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article on Commissary or Costco: Where to Get the Most for Your Money