Honduran Baleadas: Flour Tortillas

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. Read more

Quinoa Cakes

Print the recipe page!  quinoa cakes

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! Read more

Savory Seitan Roulade with Wild Rice and Dried Cranberry Stuffing

Print the recipe pages!

savory seitan roulade

savory seitan roulade pg 2

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. Read more

Guilt-Free Macaroni & Cheese

Print the recipe page!  guilt-free macaroni and cheese

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! Read more

Pigs in a Blanket

Print the recipe card!     pigs in a blanket

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. Read more

Papas Rellenas: Stuffed Potatoes

Print the recipe page!  papas rellanas

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

Read more

Homemade Pasta: 4 favorite varieties

Print the recipe page!  homemade pasta four varieties

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.

Read more