I taught a class at the emergency preparedness store called Preparing Wisely on Thursday night. It was well attended and we covered this topic. In light of recent emergency events that have happened around the world, it seemed well needed. People prepare for family emergencies in different ways. Some prepare for an earthquake, fire or natural disaster. Some prepare for financially difficult times and unemployment. Some just prepare meals in advance so that mom or dad are not too entirely stressed out at the end of a hard work day. Whatever your reason for preparing convenience meals, this is a simple method of keeping track of what you have on hand and keeping it an organized location. This method is one anybody can use. I don't claim the method of planning a menu this way to be mine, I do however claim these recipes as ones I have developed through personal trial and error. We've heard it called a "year's supply" of food. Insuring that should anything catastrophic happen, your family will be fed.
Recently someone asked me to write down a few of my recipes for long term storage and what I recommended. I have a method that I like to recommended to those starting out on food storage use that isn't new, but it was a little bit exciting when I heard it. One plans 7 meals, one for each night of the week and then figured getting 52 of each meal. My method of containing each meal entirely in ONE jar is different than others who have planned the meal in a 52 week method, but didn't keep it this simple or concise. I wanted it all in one spot. In this way one would easily be able to have a year's supply of food that a family of four would eat should they need it. One wouldn't have to search through things to find the corresponding can of meat or sauce to go with the starch. It sounds "simple stupid"...but sometimes that's how I roll. It's a good simple way to calculate a family's needs. It's also a good way to get back to the basics of what a normal family will eat. Without getting into a lot of canning details and crazy stuff here, I do want to say that I don't want anyone to have to worry about canning meat or rotating cans of beans and vegetables. This gets into methods of pressure canning that some may not be prepared to practice proper rotation or sanitation while home canning. No they are not safe on the shelf longer than one year. PERIOD. (Please see Home Canning Safety 101 for specific details in this matter)
For me, even though I pressure can, I've found that buying freeze dried vegetables and meats has been a much better approach for our family. The new technology available has even made it possible for beans to be "instant" cook! If you use the freeze dried meat, you will need to use the oxygen packets and prepare the jars the same day you open the freeze dried meat so it is safe to repack if it is done within 2 days of opening the can. That being said, here are 7 of my favorite quart size jar recipes that are easily used for everyday or for long term emergency food storage. Enjoy. Share these recipes with your friend! Get the word out that they are here! PLEASE...make sure my name stays with the recipes. Thanks.
This is a great meal made completely out of food storage. It's amazing for camping or dinner any night of the week. It's perfect for giving to a sick neighbor or to someone you actually...like. I think my family likes it because the folks I cook for are down-home-raised-on-the-farm kind of people. They don't like a lot of green herbs and junk in their food (ironic isn't it?). Now and then I get "froofie" chef on them and roast some garlic or chop some tarragon, but for the most part it's "regular people" food. As for this meal, the crazy cool part is that it fits in a convenient size quart jar for easy food storage space and planning!
Chef Tess Country Style
yield 12 one cup servings
in a quart jar:
1 cup THRIVE instant red beans
1 cup Honeyville freeze dried mixed vegetables
1 cup Honeyville freeze dried hamburger (or TVP beef)
1 Cup Honeyville dehydrated diced potatoes
¼ cup Honeyville dehydrated onions
Seasonings I shake down into the jar: ½ cup tomato powder,
1 tsp thyme, 1 tsp garlic, ¼ cup flour, and 1 T beef bullion.
It will fit if you shake it really well.
To prepare Country Style Hamburger Stew:
In a gallon pot, combine stew mix with 6 cups water and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer 20-30 minutes.
Works great in a solar oven. Bake one hour.
Chef Tess Taco Soup
This is a recipe I made from an old classic for Taco soup. It's adapted using instant beans. Instead of taking hours to cook in a crock pot, it takes just about 20 minutes! I'm super excited about it! Can you tell?! It can fit conveniently in a quart size jar so it's perfect for food storage! Put a funnel on the mouth of a quart jar and measure as follows into the jar:
Chef Tess Taco Soup Mix
2 cups THRIVE instant Red Beans
1 cup Taco TVP
1/2 cup Dehydrated Onion
1/3 cup Freeze Dried Mixed Peppers
3/4 cup Freeze Dried Corn
1/2 cup Tomato Powder
1T homemade taco seasoning
When you get to the tomato powder, just shake the jar so it works its way into the cracks.
Add an oxygen packet. Seal. Good on the shelf in a cool place up to 5-7 years.
To prepare,Taco Soup: place contents of jar in a gallon pot in a solar oven or on the stove. Add 2 quarts of water and simmer 20-30 minutes until veggies are tender. Serve with nacho chips, sour cream and salsa if desired.
Chef Tess' Cheeseburger Skillet Meal In A Jar Mix
Tess' Double Cheeseburger Sauce Mix Hamburger
yield: 10, 1 oz sauce mixes
2 1/2 cups Honeyville cheese sauce powder
1 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1T granulated onion
2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Bag Mix Directions:
Combine all ingredients well. Use 1 oz (1/4 cup mix) to 3 oz of macaroni noodles (about 2 cups).
I put the dry powder with the noodles in quart size storage bags with the label "cheeseburger helper".
Conventional Bag Mix preparation Directions: Brown one pound of hamburger in a large skillet. When hamburger is browned, I add 1 cup hot water and 1 1/2 cup milk or soy milk. Bring to a boil and cover. Simmer 8-10 minutes until noodles are tender. Sauce will thicken a little more as it cools.
In a quart jar:
2 cups elbow macaroni (7 oz)
¼ cup mix
(in a separate baggie in the jar)
1 ½ cups freeze dried hamburger or Beef TVP
Jar directions To prepare Cheeseburger Skillet Meal: Rehydrate meat with 1 ½ cups hot water, drain. Place in hot skillet. When hamburger is browned, I add 1 cup hot water and 1 1/2 cup milk or soy milk. Bring to a boil and cover. Simmer 8-10 minutes until noodles are tender. Sauce will thicken a little more as it cools.
Chef Tess Stroganoff Skillet Meal
Chef Tess' Stroganoff Skillet Meal Gravy Mix
yield 7 mixes (with 1/3 cup gravy/seasoning mix)
1/2 cup powdered buttermilk
½ cup powdered sour cream
1 cup flour
1/2 cup dry minced onions
1T onion powder 1 T granulated garlic (or garlic powder) 1T dry parsley 1 tsp dry thyme 2 tsp black pepper 2T salt 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Combine all dry ingredients well.
2 cups egg noodles
1/3 cup gravy mix
1/2 cup freeze dried mushrooms
In a separate bag in the jar,
1 ½ cup freeze dried Honeyville hamburger or beef TVP
To prepare Beef Stroganoff Skillet Meal:
1 cup water
2 cups milk (powdered is okay if you reconstitute it)
salt and pepper to taste
In a bowl Rehydrate hamburger in 1 ½ cup hot water. Drain. Place in a skillet. Cook over high, and add gravy mix, noodles, water and milk. Simmer 8-10 minutes, stirring once or twice, but covering each time. When noodles are tender season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
Chef Tess' Cheese Turkey Noodle Casserole
In a quart jar place 2 cups radiator noodles.
In a separate bag in the top of the jar put:
¼ cup freeze dried broccoli
½ cup freeze dried mixed vegetable mix
1 cup THRIVE freeze dried turkey
½ cup Honeyville cheese sauce powder
¼ cup freeze dried diced celery
1T freeze dried onion and 1 ½ tsp Chef Tess All Purpose seasoning
Put an oxygen packet in jar and seal.
Directions for Turkey Noodle Casserole: Carefully remove bag. Put contents of bag in a 2 quart sauce pan and bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes. Cover and turn off heat. While sauce is cooking bring a gallon of water to a boil, cook pasta 10-12 minutes. When tender, drain. Stir into sauce mixture. Pour into casserole dish and top with additional cheese if desired.
Chef Tess Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole in a Jar
In a Quart Jar fitted with a funnel:
2 cups long grain rice, ¼ cup dehydrated butter, 1 tsp salt (stir)
In a separate bag on top of rice:
¼ cup freeze dried celery
¼ cup freeze dried onion
1 cup freeze dried broccoli
1 tsp Chef Tess All Purpose Seasonings
½ cup Honeyville Cheese Sauce Powder
¼ cup dehydrated butter powder
Seal bag. Top with an oxygen absorber packet. Good for 10?12 years shelf life.
To Prepare Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole:
Remove oxygen packet and discard. Open bag, carefully ease contents into a quart sauce pan and add 2 cups water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer 5-6 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit 5-6 minutes. While sauce is cooking, place rice in a quart size pot with a tight fitting lid. Add 4 cups boiling water or chicken stock. Cook on lowest heat 17-20 minutes covered until rice is tender. Spoon broccoli cheese sauce over rice and enjoy.
Chef Tess Turkey Noodle Skillet Meal
In a quart Jar fit with a funnel:
2 cups egg noodles
½ cup Honeyville freeze dried vegetable mix
1/3 cup cheese sauce powder
1/3 cup powdered milk
¼ cup dehydrated butter
1 cup freeze dried Turkey chunks
½ cup freeze dried mushroom slices
1 T dehydrated onions
1 tsp Chef Tess Romantic Italian Seasonings
To Prepare Turkey Noodle Skillet Meal:
In a large skillet, combine contents of jar with 3 ½ cups hot water over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10-12 minutes stir every few minutes. Turn off heat and let sit 3-5 minutes.
Would you like the online printable pdf version of this class? Go Here, or for the black and white no picture version Go Here.