Read to the end of this post for a delicious sample recipe from The Buslife Kitchen.
The Buslife Kitchen cookbook is definitely NOT your grandmother’s camping cookbook. It also bears no resemblance to the usual convenience-food-laden “camping recipes” we often see in print. Nope, there’s not a single can of cream of mushroom soup to be had.
Instead, this book will help you make gourmet food from your rig, no matter how small your kitchen is. In fact, author A.J. Forget developed, tested, and photographed the entire book in his short bus Skoolie conversion on a 2-burner stove. Yep, every recipe in the book can be prepared using just this small appliance.
The recipes use real whole foods, meaning nutritious whole ingredients, not processed convenience foods.
A.J. Forget calls it “cuisine for the modern nomad.” The 100+ globe-spanning recipes are equally nomadic and feature foods from 14 ethnic cuisines. The huge variety in the recipes is truly impressive, making this a good single book to have along in the rig.
Recipes range from simple and easy every night fare to exotic feasts for special celebrations. A hunger-inducing full-color photo accompanies each of the recipes.
Buslife Kitchen chapters include:
- Italian recipes
- Mexican recipes
- Tex-Mex recipes
- Chinese recipes
- Vegan recipes
- French recipes
- Thai recipes
- Vietnamese recipes
- Hawaiian recipes
- Japanese recipes
- Stovetop baking
- Baking recipes
- Brunch recipes
- Forget family recipes (classic family recipes updated for small-space cooking)
- Miscellaneous other recipes
In between recipe chapters are snippets of what the author’s full-time buslife is like.
A.J. says that cooking in a small space will make you a better cook and a more mindful cook. There’s no room for error and no big pantry of extra ingredients to save you if you make a mistake, and not a lot of extra prep space if you forgot a step.
I am not sure how good a cook he was before, but this inspired recipe collection speaks volumes about his current culinary skills. A.J. can invite me to dinner anytime!
Sample recipe from The Buslife Kitchen: Chicken Piccata by A.J. Forget
Piccata is a classic dish in both Italian and Italian-American cuisine, though the term piccata actually refers to a method of preparation rather than a dish itself.
In the U.S., the most commonly used protein in this dish is chicken. In Italy, it is typically made with veal. But everywhere, the preparation is the same: the protein is pounded thin, dredged in flour, fried in oil, and served with a lemon, caper, and butter sauce.
There are a few steps to it, but after you’ve cooked it once, it is all simple enough to be done without a recipe and is so delicious it will definitely end up on your list of fancy weeknight meals.
- 2 chicken breasts, sliced in half and pounded thin
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup sherry or dry white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup capers, drained
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Cut the chicken breasts in half and pound thin. This can be done between two pieces of plastic wrap to reduce the mess. I typically use my fist for pounding, but a meat mallet or wine bottle will also do (just be careful with glass).
Season the cutlets with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour and fry in 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat until well browned on both sides, a few minutes each. Remove the chicken to a plate to drain and reduce the heat to medium.
Add the garlic and allow it to cook for 30-60 seconds. As soon as it begins to brown, add the capers and wine. Scrape the bottom of the pan to get up any brown bits.
Add the chicken broth and cook for 30 seconds. Add 2 tablespoons butter and whisk as it melts to incorporate it.
Return the chicken to the pan and allow it to cook for around 2 minutes, then remove it to a plate.
Increase heat to medium-high and cook the sauce around one additional minute to allow it to reduce further.
Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and whisk to mix well. Add salt to taste. Serve one cutlet per person with a generous amount of sauce.