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Honduran Baleadas: Flour Tortillas

18 Jan IMG_7563

Maria, who I introduced you to last week, invited me over this week to join her as she was making one of Honduras’s most popular foods, baleadas!  I’d never tried them before so for me this was a treat!  A thick flour tortilla folded in half and filled (traditionally) with mashed fried beans fresh crumbled cheese and crema (both of which she remembers making herself growing up).  The heart of the meal — it’s flour tortilla — is a meal mainstay which, once learned, can be used in making enchiladas, quesadillas and many other favorites to be added to a preparedness plan.

Once again, I decided to use a few videos to better capture the techniques she uses and once again (in addition to a recipe) I came away learning some great “other” ideas in self sufficiency.  For example…do you know how to keep a pot of beans fresh for days on end even without refrigeration, meaning that you don’t have to throw anything away or waste your resources cooking new beans every day?  Maria knows this trick and shares it with us today. 

I love the simplified solutions in cooking she’s been taught (as well as some she’s come up with on her own) — these ideas fit perfectly with the self reliant “do it with less” mindset we’re looking to learn from and I’m so glad she’s been willing to share. Continue reading

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

23 May Roasted Red Pepper Pasta (18)

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I saw this recipe pop up recently over at Pioneer Woman.  I decided to try it out a la food storage (which wasn’t too hard to do) and everyone who tried it really liked it!  Speaking for myself, I personally LOVE anything having to do with roasted red peppers.  Making a red pepper sauce to toss with pasta seemed like a great idea!     Continue reading

Simple Sesame Noodles

27 Apr Simple Sesame Noodles (2)

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A yummy way to serve up a bowl of noodles!  Don’t let this recipe’s simplicity deceive you — both kids and adults alike love these noodles whether served on their own or as a side. Compliments of Ree Drummond (aka Pioneer Woman).

serves 4-6 

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Baked Shells Casserole

7 Mar Baked Shells Casserole (29)

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Today’s recipe is my food storage version of a popular Rachel Ray dish of the same name.  It turned out to be her #1 most downloaded recipe of 2010 in fact.  It does take some extra time to make but (food storage or not) it’s a guaranteed winner!

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Quinoa Cakes

6 Feb Quinoa Cakes (10)

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Today’s recipe was adapted from this Quinoa Burger recipe.  To my son and husband the name “burger” equates to something containing meat so we’re re-naming them “Quinoa Cakes” to make them happy.  Whatever they’re called, I’ll tell you what, I could eat these all day!   I’m thinking {now that they’re all gone and it’s almost lunch time} that next time I’ll double the recipe and freeze a few uncooked to pull out for later.   My kids liked them, dipping them into either ketchup or fry sauce (that drive-in ketchup/mayo sauce).  The original recipe also suggested finishing them off with tzatziki sauce  — I didn’t try that but it sounds good!

You’ll see that these cakes follow the same idea as the Quinoa Pizza Bites we loved, except that they use a different cheese and seasoning combo.  Additionally they’re fried (*on low, so they don’t burn) rather than baked.  Again chia powder takes the place of eggs as their binder which I love for the extra nutritional boost! Continue reading

Savory Seitan Roulade with Wild Rice and Dried Cranberry Stuffing

17 Jan Savory Seitan Roulade (13)

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savory seitan roulade

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I’ve been intrigued with the idea of trying out a seitan (aka wheat meat) styled “roast” ever since my wheat meat post last spring.  So when I saw this recipe from Susan Voisen, which looked so amazingly good, I knew I had to try it!  Her seitan recipe (using powdered vital wheat gluten) is so much simpler to make than my last go at it, and the results are remarkably delicious.  I can easily imagine ordering this “un-meat” at a vegan restaurant and loving it, even including the food storage substitutions!  My mother in law enjoys eating at those kind of places so I’m definitely going to have to make this dish for her at some point, I think she’ll really like it.

I did change up the stuffing recipe, I liked the idea of using wild rice rather than bread, but you can fiddle with the stuffing and make it the way you prefer. Continue reading

Guilt-Free Macaroni & Cheese

8 Dec Clean Macaroni & Cheese (11)

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If I’m going to go to the work of chasing down bulk amounts of ingredients, spend a lot of hard saved money and then find places in my home to store all these ingredients, you’d better believe I have a priority list of criteria my storable recipes have to meet. The recipes that make it into my plan have to meet at least two of the following four requirements:

  •  better than average nutritionally
  • quick and convenient to make
  • pass the family’s taste test (required always — this food will be used)
  • a favorite/familiar comfort food (overriding sometimes my strictness on the nutrition /quick & easy rule)

This recipe is one of the rare exceptions that hit all four of my goals.

Many thanks to Susan Voisin for the base recipe I adapted this from.  My version isn’t vegan (as Susan’s is) since I did include powdered milk (anyone know of a suitable lactose-free powdered milk substitute for those who can’t have milk?) but thanks to the talented vegan cook parentage it originated from it’s got it going on in the nutrition and taste department.  The star of the show is cheesy flavored nutritional yeast with 14 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber in it’s small one ounce appearance.  The tahini adds in another 6 grams of protein.  And of course, this “clean” version has no strange chemicals or colors that the box at the store contains.

Across the board, all my kids — even with their “we love cheese, we can tell if it’s not real cheese so just try us” taste buds– fell for this cheese-less mac and cheese!  I find myself agreeing with many of the comments from the original recipe, that it’s got an addictive flavor.  And…happy day…it’s absolutely no-fat/no-guilt!  To top everything off, it’s extremely fast to make.  I suggest making it even easier for yourself by pre-measuring the dry ingredients ahead of time and packing it as a pantry meal.

I think you’re really going to enjoy this recipe! Continue reading

Pigs in a Blanket

27 Nov Pigs in a Blanket (1)

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Here’s another idea using the Hot Ham Roll’s biscuit mix.  My five year old loves that he makes this dinner 90% “by himself”.   It’s a perfect kid helper meal;  the kids have fun making pig families of all sizes and wrapping them up in their doughy blankets.   So easy!

As an aside, I have to admit I’m not one who personally “gets along” with hot dogs {we’ve never really been friends} so for me I like the fact that I can sneak a package of vegetarian hot dogs in and my kids (and my husband) for whatever reason never suspect.  It’s funny to me that they never ask questions but they don’t.  They think they’re getting hotdogs for dinner and I sleep better at night knowing they didn’t.  Everyone’s happy :)

This meal works as a short term (3 month) meal for me by my keeping a couple packages of (faux) hotdogs in the freezer.  Alternately, vienna sausage “pigs” work as a longer storable option if you want to include it in your long term plan. Continue reading

Papas Rellenas: Stuffed Potatoes

6 Nov Papas Rellenas (16)

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For those not following me on facebook, one of my kids fell and broke his arm last week and did such a great job of it (he’s an over achiever ;)) that he needed surgery to fix it.  So life got shuffled around for a week but he’s doing better now, thank goodness.  Fingers crossed that we have a less exciting week this week!

Okay, so today’s recipe is a food storage version of Peru’s delicious Papas Rellenas.  Papa… what??  If you haven’t had these before, let me fill you in.   Unsure what to order at a Peruvian restaurant, these were suggested to me by a waiter once and I’ve loved and ordered them ever since — so you know, I’m like an expert and all.  In a nut shell, we’re talking about mashed potatoes stuffed with a ground beef empanada- type filling, formed into fun little “faux potatoes”, breaded and (usually) fried to crisp.  Yummy.  Except at home I opt to bake rather than fry them.  They’re healthier this way, but really I bake them mostly because I don’t want to store the extra oil.  And one of these days (though not today, thank you storm clouds) I’m going to see if they’ll work in my sun oven.  I think they will if I have a good hot day.

Kids love these!  They’re great for dipping, so if you’ve got a kid who likes to dip — and what kid doesn’t — they’ll probably like them.  Also, there are lots of recipes to be found online for vegetarian fillings using various grains and beans rather than meat if you want to go that route.  Thank you, Peru (and I’m sure other countries too), for pappas rellenas!

serves 6

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Homemade Pasta: 4 favorite varieties

25 Oct Homemade Pasta (19)

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Easy peesie lemon squeezie!!  (as my five year old would say)  That’s how easy it is to make homemade pasta!  If you can make pie crust and knead bread dough then you can make homemade pasta.  While we usually have store bought pasta, I’ve found making it from scratch is another way to add variety and fun to my food storage plan!

I’ve learned to really appreciate this particular skill because  even though it’s made with the most basic of  ingredients it serves like something special, giving me a lot of bang for my ingredients/effort buck!  Even before it’s made,  the “ooh’s and ahh’s” start up when my kids hear what’s for dinner.  (Yes, it still happens!)  Every time I just laugh to myself because while it sounds fancy to them isn’t too hard on my end to make.   Today I’m sharing four varieties to get you started.  Give it a try!  You’ll impress your family and be surprised yourself of how easy it is to do.

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Quinoa Pizza Bites

18 Oct Quinoa Pizza Bites (7)

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Just WAIT until you try these! If you’ve ever caught anyone saying they don’t like quinoa then this is the recipe to convince them they like it.   Your family is going to devour these quinoa bites, they really will!  And you yourself don’t have to feel guilty eating them…according to the original post (linked in the next paragraph) their calorie count is just 35 calories per bite!

I found them over at So Very Blessed and thank Becky over there for sharing them.  Becky says they’re “hands down” the best thing she’s ever cooked.

As far as making them with food storage ingredients, they cooperate just perfectly!  I used ground chia instead of eggs, freeze dried cheese and veggies in exchange for fresh.  I’ve tried out two different variations so far… both of which have been great!   They’re so easy to change up based on what you like or what you can eat (even vegetarian) I’m convinced anyone can work these yummy bites into their plan!

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Gnocchi

4 Oct Gnocchi (16)

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Gnocchi, or German potato dumplings, are about the easiest and fastest dish to make.  There’s nothing to it!  We like ours topped with warm spaghetti sauce and sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

serves 4-6

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Pantry-Made Falafels

7 Aug Platter with falafel, hummus, roti and yogurt dip

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Although the name sounds exotic and quirky, falafels are simply fried balls or patties of mashed chickpeas/garbanzo beans. They are common in the Mediterranean and Middle East, either served as appetizers with hummus, tzatziki, and flatbread or stuffed into pita pockets with lettuce and tomato. Falafel patties also make excellent veggie-burgers!

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Homemade Hummus

3 Aug Bowl of prepared hummus sprinkled with paprika

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Hummus is a tasty and healthy Mediterranean spread made from chickpeas/garbanzo beans. While these commercial Hummus Snack Packs are convenient, hummus is quite easy to make at home (and LOTS cheaper!). Basic hummus is an excellent addition to your FoodStorageCookbook because it is simple to make, requires no fresh ingredients and leftovers can be frozen or canned.

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Chapati & Roti (Flatbread)

31 Jul Stack of prepared Roti

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Chapati and Roti are super-simple flatbreads perfect for the stovetop, grill or campfire. Chapati and Roti are very similar and often used interchangeably. Depending on who you ask, the major differences appear to be that Chapati are larger and thinner, and cooked on a dry griddle; whereas Roti are smaller and thicker, and are cooked on a lightly oiled griddle. Whatever you call them, they are delicious and a wonderful addition to your FoodStorageCookbook. This recipe makes 6-8 flatbreads, roughly 6″ in diameter.

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Ultimate Veggie Burgers

22 Jun Ultimate Veggie Burgers (1)

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My #1 son (the one allergic to peanuts, beans, etc.) is away at scout camp this week so it seemed a perfect time to try out a Cook’s Illustrated recipe for veggie burgers that I normally wouldn’t make for the family with him here.  They turned out great!

For those unfamiliar with Cook’s Illustrated magazine, it’s essentially a “test kitchen” publication with recipes being tested every which way in order to come up with what these “experts” consider the best all around recipe for whatever it is.   I love it!  So (from their July 2005’s issue) for them to name this recipe the “ultimate” veggie burger — caught my attention.  I love a good veggie burger and have been wanting to try out for myself what they’d come up with and so boldly named.

The staple ingredients creating the texture are brown lentils and bulgur wheat while for the “meaty” taste they used mushrooms and cashews.  The result:  the burgers’ texture is fantastic (not gummy like some I’ve tried), they form into a patties just beautifully and the flavor is great.  Overall, this veggie burger is really REALLY good, much better than what’s available store bought and not too much work to make.    Plus, it’s easy to “sub” in storable ingredients, as I’ve done here, making it a possibility for your food storage plan!  If you’re a veggie burger fan I can promise you’re going to love this recipe!

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Wheat Meat: Meatless Spaghetti and Meatballs

10 May Wheat Meat (19)

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We’re moving into radical food storage territory today!  As a disclaimer, I have to say, if it hadn’t been for my friend Sherida trying this herself first (and having her kids loving it) I probably wouldn’t have believed this would have worked.  So hopefully if this seems like a super crazy idea I can be the same type of guinea pig for you to find the courage to try it.  If you do, you’ll have an added option from your food storage that not only uses up the wheat you’re storing but also saves money at the grocery store and creates healthy “fake your family out” meatless meals.  Wheat meat looks and tastes like meat, it’s the same consistency of meat;  I think you’ll be as surprised as I was!

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Rice Salad with Oranges, Olives and Almonds

31 Mar Rice Salad (12)

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This light rice salad is a great one for when the weather starts heating up.  I really like the flavors and textures this salad includes; it’s something different for a potluck that everyone will enjoy!

To get the rice to remain light and fluffy (instead of heavy and clumped)  for use in a salad like this you’ll want to try out this {unusual} technique for cooking rice.  It’s great for when you’re wanting rice to taste like it was “just cooked” even after being cooled for a while.  The trick here is to begin by toasting the rice and then boil it in a full pot of water (like you would with pasta), drain it and then spread it out on a baking sheet to cool and dry off.  It works!  No more clumpy rice 10 minutes after cooking time.

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Italiano Marinara

21 Jan Italiano Marinara (11)

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Today’s recipe is a simple family favorite that easily cooperated for me as a food storage recipe.  I like this spaghetti bake because it’s so easy to throw together and everyone at our house enjoys it!

Prep time:  10 minutes

Serves: 8 Continue reading

Tex Mex Millet

4 Jan Tex Mex Millet (13)

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Millet is a great grain to store!  It can be popped, or as in this recipe, treated like rice and cooked. Gluten free and high in amino acids, it’s has the highest iron content of all grains besides amaranth and quinoa.  It’s very mild and easy to digest and recommended by doctors for people with ulcers or other digestive problems.  Good stuff for sure!

This recipe using millet is one that I’ve made and shared at food storage tasting tables before and has always gotten a lot of praise.  I originally found it posted online, adjusting it a little to be a food storage recipe, and discovered it was a keeper.  Later, I found out that the recipe I’d found had come from the cookbook “Veginomicon“, a popular vegan cookbook I’d recommend checking out. Continue reading

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