Van Store Cupboard Essentials

When we left the UK our van kitchen consisted of three open shelves, a spice rack, a fridge, a large drawer for fresh produce and one cupboard above our hob for everything else.

After traveling for a year we found it a bit restrictive having to keep travelling to a shop or market every couple of days so added an extra drawer under our bed accessed from the back doors. We fill it to the brim with long life consumables such as pastas of pasatta, rice, vinegar and oil when we find what we need on a good deal.

This way if we happen accross a beautiful spot and want to stay for a few days longer we can cook pasta or dhal from the store cupboard.

  • Salt. Bulk buy a bag of Himalayan pink salt or coarse sea salt.
  • Pepper. Peppercorns for the mill.
  • Garlic. A plaited collection of fresh bulbs for adding to everything!
  • Olive Oil. Dressing for salads.
  • Cooking Oil. Coconut Oil is our favourite, depending on what country we are in sometimes we have to substitute.
  • Balsamic Vinegar. Dressing for salads.
  • Pasta.
  • Pesto. Pasta and pesto is so easy.
  • Red Lentils. Easy Dhal or Curry.
  • Noodles. Clear soup with greens and noodles perfect antidote to any rainy, sick or generally crap day for any other reason.
  • Rice. We live off of risottos. Basmati for curries.
  • Stock. Marigold boullion powder.
  • Flour. Pancakes or herby flatbreads.
  • Rice Cakes. Easy snack or simple lunch for small people.
  • Spices. Chilli flakes, Tumeric, Mustard seeds, Cumin, Paprika, Cinnamon, Nutmeg.
  • Tomatoes. Tinned or cartons of pasatta for pasta, soups or stews.
  • Coconut Milk. Long life cartons or tins. Tricky to find in some countries, so stock up when you find some. Comforting Hot chocolate, rice pudding or curries for rainy days.
  • Sardines. Tinned on toast.
  • Beans. Not always the super healthy variety, but a tin of baked beans on toast makes an easy back up lunch for us or the kids.
  • Sauerkraut. Delicious as a side salad instead of coleslaw.
  • Porridge Oats. Overnight oats or porridge for brekkie.
  • Pumpkin & Sunflower Seeds. Batch Roast or gently fry with salt and paprika to store in a large jar. Snacking or salad topper.
  • Raisins. Sweet tooth snack, our kids love them. Add to salads, curries or porridge.
  • Jam. Cheap and easy. Sometimes knowing that you can indulge in a tea and toast situation mid afternoon is just life affirming.
  • Herbal Tea. Dried nettles leaves, free and nurturing.
  • Coffee. The other half still needs the occasional coffee in the morning after a night on the port.
  • Dark Chocolate. Because sometimes it just makes everything ok.
  • Wine. A cheap carton or bottle depending what local wines are good and cheap wherever we are.