Cooking in Your Van with The Small Kitchen Cook

Allison Watt — 11 November 2022
In her book, Ashleigh Butler shows how to cook delicious, seasonal and nourishing food in a van's tiny kitchen.

Let’s face it – we’ve all been tempted to take our favourite kitchen appliances with us when we head off on a caravanning holiday. Coffee machine, Thermomix, slow cooker, electric frypan, thermal/eco/dream pot thingy – we think we can’t live without them, but the reality is that, for most of us, there simply isn’t space. 

The Small Kitchen Cook is the first collection of 65 thoughtful recipes for tiny kitchens by Ashleigh Butler. Ash and her partner Jared spent half a decade living in campervans travelling across Australia, New Zealand and North America. Along the way they shared their passion for thoughtful, responsible, and sustainable food with the campervan community. Although small, their camper kitchen was the centre of communal meals and every place they visited inspired new tastes, flavours, and culinary exploits.

All recipes in the book are simple to prepare and centre on seasonal foods that are easy to source from grocers, farmers’ markets, butchers, and fishmongers. Some of the winter recipes (lamb shanks, kangaroo curry) include meat and there are some seafood options (fish tacos, kingfish ceviche) but for the most part, the recipes are vego friendly.

The book includes a chapter from Jared about designing a tiny kitchen, as well as sections on essential tiny kitchen equipment, pantry staples, and tips on saving space and reducing waste.

Ash has also included some recipes for home-made body essentials such as all-natural deodorant, lip balm, toothpaste, and mosquito repellent.

The take-away from The Small Kitchen Cook is that even though you have a small kitchen, you don’t have to compromise on the quality of what you can cook and consume.

The book is beautifully presented with stunning photos. For every book purchased, 25kg of CO2 emissions will be removed from the atmosphere by helping plant native biodiverse forest in Australia.

The Small Kitchen Cook will make a great Christmas present for caravanning friends and family and it is available online.

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