Food Essentials For Your Stay In A Holiday Home - Allens Caravans
Allens Caravans

Family holidays can prove to be a costly ordeal when you have to bring everything with you, including food and drink supplies. However, this cost can be reduced if you compile a list of essentials for your trip.

If there are younger mouths to feed, bringing food to take on holiday can relieve the pressure to buy food at inflated prices on family outings. Of course, with family life there is no such thing as a nice, orderly routine to abide by; some days are just more demanding than others.

To help give you an idea of what to take and what to leave in the cupboards at home, Allens Caravans has compiled a little caravan food guide:

Breakfast: Unless you have the facilities, avoid cooked breakfasts. Instead, opt for:

  • Fresh/tinned fruit
  • Cereal bars
  • Multi-pack of children’s cereals
  • Bread (for toasting)

Lunch: Think about items that can easily be taken on a family outing and popped into a lunchbox, for example:

  • Sandwich fillers
  • Crisps
  • Fruit
  • Yoghurts
  • Cheese portions
  • Fresh vegetables (Carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, etc.)
  • Sweets
  • Finger cakes
  • Dried fruit
  • Soft drinks in cartons/pre-filled bottles of water
  • Breadsticks
  • Crackers

Picnic Traditions From Around the World

The British picnic tradition often involves a plethora of finger foods that can be eaten cold – like the ones listed above, but picnic traditions around the world differ greatly depending on the country you are in. If you want to add a unique twist to your picnic lunch, consider some of the worldly traditions below.

  • In Japan, warm spring days call for a picnic beneath a blooming cherry blossom tree
  • Australians have their very own Picnic Day Holiday that takes place every August. Families enjoy tugs of war and lizard racing
  • If indulging in a picnic in France, forget the plastic plates and glasses; the real deal is required to truly enjoy the food and drink on offer
  • American picnics often include cook-outs of BBQs and the good, old American tradition of an eating competition
  • A picnic in New Zealand is much more akin to a BBQ with hog roasts and baked potatoes cooked in the fire. And remember, don’t forget the thermos of tea!
  • In Finland, the May Day celebrations can be a little overzealous, leading to many kicking off May with a Herring Lunch, consisting of plenty of pickled fish and a glug of Schnapps to ease the hangovers away
  • In Turkey, you can expect to dine in comfort; along the lines of plush furniture, cushions and rugs to set the scene for a family picnic

Dinner: Consider the facilities you have available when packing. Do you have a microwave, hob, barbeque, toaster, etc…? Ideal items include:

  • Tinned soup
  • Microwavable rice
  • Cold meats (Ham, salami or corned beef)
  • Pasta
  • Microwavable noodles
  • BBQ meats and veg (Sausages, burgers, kebabs, corn-on-the-cob)
  • Bread rolls
  • Baked beans
  • Sausage rolls
  • Pies
  • Pasties

Caravan Cookout Life Hacks

Dinner time is the perfect time for a caravan cookout if you fancy a change from pasta and microwave foods.

You might think you’re a pro when it comes to cracking out the grill and treating your family, friends and neighbours to a barbecue feast. No doubt, you’ve probably had more than your fair share of experience hosting summer cookouts at the caravan, but have you ever tried using tortilla chips in the absence of firelighters, or used apple juice to spray on your meat by way of keeping it moist and tender whilst cooking?

Well, lucky for you, there are lots of little life hacks out there to help you get the best out of your caravan cookout. In fact, BuzzFeed and Food-Hacks have plenty of superb tips, some of which we have highlighted below.

Marinade in a Mason Jar

If you find yourself frustrated with just how messy it can be to marinade or rub your meat with spices pre-grilling, you’ll love this trick. Instead of fussing with plates and brushes, put your meat, spices, and sauces in a clean, empty jar. Be liberal with the amounts, then pop the lid on and shake. Your meat will be covered, your hands will be (relatively) clean, and your dinner will be delicious!

Vary Your Tong Choices

You will need tongs that have grip, for flipping burgers and serving up food, and you will need tongs for stoking the fire and turning the coals (preferably with insulated handles, so you don’t get burnt). These should not be the same tongs, otherwise, you get dust and ash on dinner, and grease will cause flares in the coals. And an extra life hack for good measure: if your barbecue is impromptu and you don’t have tongs, use chopsticks to turn and serve food instead.

Make Your Grill Multipurpose

As good as barbecued everything smells and tastes, it does not appeal to everyone. So, don’t limit your grill to just burgers, sausages and the like. You can cook a fresh, flame-grilled pizza for guests to enjoy, or chargrill fruit kebabs and s’mores for dessert. Put your grill to good use!

For those looking to bring the taste of the kitchen at home to the caravan, you can easily do so with meals that are caravan friendly.

Caravan Cuisine One-Pot Wonders

Meatballs and Soupy Tomato Risotto       

Serves 4        Ready in 30 minutes

  • 12 beef meatballs (about 430g)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large chopped onion (about 200g ready-diced onion)
  • 250g risotto rice
  • 2 litres chicken or vegetable stock
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes with herbs
  • 50g grated cheese (best parmesan)
  1. Brown the meatballs in a large frying pan with the tbsp. of olive oil – do this for about two minutes or until brown then remove with a slotted spoon and set them aside.
  2. Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring for five minutes or until softened.
  3. Add the risotto rice and cook the mixture for a further one minute. Pour in the stock and the chopped tomatoes. Bring it all to the boil and cover. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the meatballs and let everything simmer for five minutes, adding more stock if needed.
  5. Stir in the cheese and sprinkle it over to serve.

Smoked Mackerel, Chorizo and Potatoes

Serves 4        Ready in 25 minutes

  • 200g chorizo, roughly chopped
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 900g potatoes, cubed
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 peppered smoked mackerel fillets, skinned
  • Handful of fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  1. On high heat, heat a large, non-stick frying pan. Add chorizo and stir it for two minutes until most of its oil has been released. Remove with a slotted spoon and set it aside.
  2. Reduce the heat and add the onions and potatoes to the pan. Stir in the chorizo oil and cook for 15 minutes (stir occasionally or until potatoes are tender and onions are golden).
  3. Stir in the tomatoes and the chorizo. Flake the fillets of mackerel with a fork and add them to the mixture in the pan. Mix it all up and cook for two minutes then stir in the parsley and serve.

Easy Paella                                                                   

Serves 4        Ready in 40 minutes

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 300g paella or risotto rice
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes with garlic
  • 900ml chicken stock
  • 400g bag frozen seafood mix
  • Juice of ½ lemon (the other ½ cut into wedges)
  • Handful of parsley, roughly chopped
  1. In a large frying pan, heat the oil then add the onion and leave it to soften for five minutes. Stir in the paprika, thyme and rice for one minute then stir in the tomatoes and stock.
  2. Season the mixture and cook it, uncovered, for 15 minutes (stirring periodically until the rice is nearly tender and surrounded by some liquid.
  3. Stir in the frozen seafood and cover the pan with a lid. Let it all simmer for five minutes or until the prawns are cooked through and the rice is tender. Squeeze in the lemon juice, scatter the parsley and serve the dish, topped with lemon wedges.

Easy Chilli Con Carne                                                                   

Serves 6        Ready in 30 minutes

  • 1kg beef mince
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp gravy powder
  • 1-3tbsps chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • 1 packet frozen mixed peppers
  1. Chop the garlic and onions, add them to the pan with the mince and fry it all until browned (no oil needed, use the meat’s juices).
  2. Drain the kidney beans, wash them and add them to the pan. Add the peppers and chopped tomatoes then add the cumin and chilli (to taste).
  3. Let the chilli mix simmer for 15 minutes then add the gravy powder to thicken the mixture. Serve with rice or crusty bread.

Rustic Gazpacho                                                            

Ready in 15 minutes

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 6 oz stale bread
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2lbs peeled beef tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsps. fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup finely diced cucumber, green pepper and onions
  • 1 cup ice cold water
  1. Crush three cloves of garlic in a wooden bowl (use a pestle or similar). Take the stale bread out of the water you will have soaked it in (to soften). Squeeze the bread out and mash it in with the garlic then stir in the olive oil to create a thick paste.
  2. Chop the peeled tomatoes (or grate unpeeled tomatoes and discard the skins) and mash them into the paste. Next, add the salt and lemon juice followed by the cucumber, green pepper and cold water.
  3. Mix it all up and serve chilled.

So if you find yourself just a little too busy having fun on your caravan holiday, be sure to whip up one of these one-pot-wonders for dinner!

Very British Summer Foods 

Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, there are a handful of meals that are quintessentially British and always have a place on a British summer holiday.

Garden Salad:

A bowl full of fresh, crisp and crunchy vegetables is a great dish to enjoy on a hot summer’s day. Not only is it an incredibly healthy combination of greens and vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals, but there are plenty of variations on the dish so you can mix it up according to your personal tastes. If you fancy a salad with a dressing, with chicken, with fish or even with potato salad and pasta side dishes, you can. Flexible, tasty, nutritious and flexible, the classing English garden salad is a summer food staple.

Eton Mess:

This traditional English dessert is usually served at the annual cricket game between Harrow School and Eton College. The meringue, cream and strawberry mixture got its current name in the 19th century; the “mess” being the appearance of the dish’s mixed up ingredients. Eton Mess can be made with a number of summer fruits, including banana according to some recipes, but the strawberry version is considered the most traditional and indeed, the most iconic.

Pimm’s and Lemonade:

The British drink of choice during the summer months is Pimm’s and lemonade with plenty of ice and a whole medley of different fruits for garnish and flavour. Pimm’s was first produced by James Pimm in 1823. Since then it has become an iconic British tipple, not to mention the signature drink of huge events like Wimbledon, the Henley Regatta and Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Usually mixed with freshly chopped ingredients like cucumber, apples, oranges, lemons, strawberries and mint, the drink is finished off with ice and lemonade to make it a more refreshing cocktail.

Kendal Mint Cake:

Originally from Cumbria, the Kendal Mint Cake is a popular source of energy for climbers and mountaineers. Peppermint-flavoured and entirely made of sugar, the mint cake is refreshing but very much a rare treat. Of course, holidays are made for rare treats which is why this traditional British confection is perfect for holidaymakers, especially those on caravan holidays in Worcestershire, where walking and hiking are popular activities with the Malvern Hills and Cotswolds so close by.

Strawberries and Cream

Try putting this British classic in a little pot to make the perfect portable dessert. You can mix it all up, put the strawberries in pots and take cream separately or use homemade whipped cream or clotted cream and make a layered strawberry and cream trifle.

Summer Fruit Scones

Fruit scones, whipped cream, strawberry jam and fresh strawberries are the perfect combination for a summer afternoon. You can have the scones “open” with the toppings layered on each half, or if you need an easy, portable treat you can try making summer fruit scone sandwiches.

Traditional Summer Pudding

An abundance of berries in the summer months means that you can get creative and use all sorts of berry-dependent dessert recipes. One popular berry-based dish is the traditional Summer Pudding which combines everything from strawberries and raspberries to blackcurrants and blackberries. Made with fruit and bread, this dessert is incredibly simple and utterly delicious, though it does require some prep the day before as per this Summer Pudding recipe. If you leave yourself enough time, once you have the hang of it you will find that this pudding is an easy and effective summer dessert.

Lemon Posset

Berry desserts are hugely popular and relatively straightforward to make in the summer, but you may decide that you’d prefer a tangy, refreshing dessert to cleanse the palette. That’s where a simple Lemon Posset comes in. Made with nothing but fruit, cream and sugar and topped with fresh summer berries like raspberries and strawberries, this Lemon Posset will be a fantastic treat to enjoy on a hot day; it’s just the right size and is light and airy.

Winter Caravan Meals

Sometimes, a winter break is just what you need to get in the holiday spirit. Here at Allens Caravans, many of our holiday parks are open throughout December which makes getting away all the easier.

Surrounded by beautiful British countryside with plenty of facilities for all the family, no matter what their age, you can rest assured that a festive break will ensure plenty of memories are made.

While cooking a Christmas feast might not be your idea of fun on a winter getaway, there are plenty of restaurants, hotels and even pubs that will be serving festive food – meaning you get to sit back and relax for a change. However, without those leftovers dominating your menu for the foreseeable future, it’s important to be prepared to do a little cooking!

Hot breakfasts are the ideal way to begin a winter’s day as they provide a way of instantly warming you through. It’s also a good way to ensure that you are properly taking care of yourself and your body, by spending a little extra time looking after yourself.

We have put together a few quick ideas for some tasty hot breakfasts, perfect for cooking up a storm in your residential park homes!

Classic Full English

On a chilly winter morning, you simply can’t beat a classic Full English cooked breakfast. Whether you just go for the basics or you take the opportunity to serve up every possible cooked breakfast food you can think to include, this staple breakfast dish still remains a firm favourite.

For a vegetarian option, simply substitute the classic sausage and bacon for vegetarian sausage, and bulk out the meal with extra delicious vegetables – mushrooms, tomatoes and beans are great choices, but you can also add fried onions, hash browns, or fried potatoes, too.

Breakfast Pancakes

One that the grandchildren are sure to love, breakfast pancakes are super quick to make. For a more filling meal, go for thicker pancakes topped with bacon and maple syrup.

Cheesy Bacon and Egg Hash

This tasty recipe can be used for a filling lunch or quick dinner as well as a breakfast, so it is an incredibly versatile dish that you’re sure to enjoy. It’s also really simple to make – even better!

Simply fry or bake smallish cubes of chopped potato until they’re lovely and crispy. Add in bacon and shallots, then finish off with plenty of mozzarella cheese and wait until it’s all melted into the dish. If you fancy it, you can also include a couple of fried eggs to bulk out the meal.

French Toast

Another breakfast classic, French toast can be enjoyed in numerous ways. For a simple breakfast, serve your French toast hot with butter, or get creative by adding fresh fruit or maple syrup.

Bacon and Egg Muffins

If you really want to get creative in the kitchen of your residential park home, why not try your hand at bacon and egg muffins? Place circles of bread in the base of a muffin tray, then line the sides of the tin with partially-cooked bacon to form a cup shape within the muffin tray. Then, place either sliced tomatoes or sautéed mushrooms into the cup, on top of the bread circle. Finish the cups off with an egg and a sprinkle of herbs, then simply bake the muffins for 15-20 minutes or until the bacon has crisped up.

The weather demands comfort food, that is quick and easy to cook but also involved a good healthy dose of vegetables! We’ve put together three of our favourite dinner time caravan comfort food ideas for you right here.

Staple Italian

One of the most popular meals here in the UK is also one that is wonderfully warm, filling and packed full of nutrients! Spaghetti bolognese is a staple Italian dish that is beloved around the world, and when cooked from scratch it makes a wonderful winter warmer for the family.

With lean minced beef and freshly sautéed veggies in a rich, red wine ragu, creating a bolognese from scratch is much easier than you might think. Just remember to season and let your sauce develop a rich flavour.

Top with parmesan shavings or a generous sprinkle of cheese, and serve with garlic bread and salad.

Slow-Cooked Stew and Dumplings

Is there anything more comforting after a brisk walk in the countryside than coming home to a slow-cooked stew, packed full of tender beef or lamb and a selection of your favourite vegetables? And those dumplings are the icing on the cake, for a real nostalgia trip!

Prepare your meat and veg before adding to your slow cooker with a stock and gravy and let it do its thing while you make the most of your getaway; hiring a caravan really opens up the options for you!

Add some dumplings and some cabbage and serve with freshly warmed bread and a glass of wine for a perfect stew and dumpling dinner.

Add Some Heat!

What better way to warm up your winter than with a Mexican feast! While not traditional festive fare, there’s a true comfort factor to be found with burritos, fajitas and chilli!

Kick-off your feast with nachos and dip – guacamole and sour cream with cheese and jalapenos makes for a fab flavour sensation. Finish up with a do-it-yourself dinner station – wraps, spiced chicken, pork or chilli, rice, fried beans and salad – and plenty of sour cream, cheese and cooling salsa to finish it off. Not only is this easy to prepare, but it tastes great and leaves you feeling thoroughly warmed!

Healthier Alternatives

A nutritious diet is so important to a healthy lifestyle. While making the switch can be difficult, rest assured that there are plenty of delicious recipes out there which can make a healthier diet fun and enjoyable, especially on UK holidays in the caravan. Here are some recipes you can try for breakfast, lunch and dinner, to kick-start your healthy lifestyle.

Breakfast

Commonly cited as the most important meal of the day, breakfast is a time to enjoy a delicious, healthy meal that will also give you sufficient energy for the day ahead. Things like fruit salads and a mixture of berries and porridge are great choices. A few examples of the former to try include:

If, however, you don’t fancy fruit salad, smoothies are a wonderful way to start the day. Below we have compiled a couple of smoothies to try for nutrition month:

Lunch

After breakfast, we can look forward to a healthy lunch to keep us going. It can be enjoyed at home, with red lentil and carrot soup, or on the go with a green club sandwich. It’s always great to put together a packed lunch to give you energy during walks and activities. If, however, you don’t fancy the recipes mentioned above, you can always try your own using healthy foods.

Dinner

For family dinners or romantic evening meals, healthy options are the best! Not only is it motivating to share a nutritious diet with others, but it is fantastic for your overall health, enabling you to lead a healthier lifestyle. For dinner ideas, take a look at Chinese poached chicken and rice and pasta with chilli tomatoes and spinach.
Together with bringing your own food on a family holiday, it is worth researching the local area and seeing where there are suitably low-cost cafes and eateries. Some local restaurants and pubs will also have children’s menus and offers when there are adults dining, too. This can provide you with an alternative to having to stay at the static caravan for all three meals of the day. Visit our homepage to discover more about our stunning static holiday homes and how to get a quotation.

It is wise to avoid fast food restaurants on family holidays because the level of sugar and chemical additives will cause blood sugars to spike, and then drop very suddenly. This will potentially result in moody, tired and hungry children (or adults!).

Some regions in the UK have areas where you can pick your own seasonal fruit; for example, apples, strawberries or blackberries. This can encourage children, in particular, to participate in healthier eating habits and also offer some education in the origins of natural fruit.

Even on a budget, family holidays in the UK can be thoroughly enjoyable, no matter how many generations are participating. Planning ahead and budgeting for things like food simply helps to ensure a stress-free and enjoyable holiday, where expenses are covered, and you don’t have to worry about any nasty surprises!

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