I’m sorry to repeat myself but I am really feeling an urge to be better prepared physically for any hardships that may come our way as a family. Not all hard times come in the form of a natural disaster. There is more of a possibility of job loss or illness, heaven forbid. I believe that whatever our situation is we can always find ways to gather and prepare. Don’t you think that the better prepared we are during a stressful situation the less fear we will feel.
In this post I want to talk about food. There are so many ideas and recommendations out there on what we should store. Some feel you should only store what your family will eat. Some feel you should store products that will last a long time. I say do both. Of course, most of what your family will eat won’t have a very long shelf life so you would need to rotate quite often. There are also now food storage companies offering prepackaged meals that you just add water to that are quite delicious and store for 25 years, but can be expensive. I have gathered both store bought food and these prepackaged meals but I feel strongly that you should store the good, old-fashioned type of food storage (wheat, rice, beans, etc.).
I recently gave a class on using wheat, pasta, beans, rice, powdered milk, and oats and how easy and delicious these products can be. I know many worry that their families won’t eat these items but if they are used in a recipe like those below they can be made to be delicious. Plus a huge bonus is that they can last indefinitely and are very inexpensive.
I recommend buying things on sale or using a bit of your food budget on items for your storage. When I first started I would spend $5.00 a week for food storage. Now, I am far from being where I want to be but any little bit I add brings more peace to my mind.
One word of advice….if your body is not used to eating a lot of wheat, for instance, and then you all of a sudden add it to your diet can cause stomach issues. I would recommend adding wheat as a regular part of your diet so that if and when you need to rely on your food storage your body will be used to it.
Here are the recipes I made for my class (I don’t have photos of all recipes.):
2 cups lentil sprouts
1/2 cup seeded, diced cucumber
1/2 cup seeded, chopped tomato
1/3 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
For lentil sprouts soak your lentils in water over night in a glass bowl or jar. In the morning drain and rinse the lentils. Drain and rinse every 12 hours until they have sprouted (approximately 2 days).
1. In a medium bowl, combine the lentil sprouts, cucumber, tomato, green onions, cilantro and radishes. Toss lightly.
2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, oregano, garlic powder, curry powder, mustard, salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, and toss lightly to coat. Chill for 20 to 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend before serving.
Lentil Cakes (Patties)
1 cup dry brown lentils
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup milk
1 cup wheat and barley nugget cereal (e.g. Grape-Nuts™)
1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. Place lentils and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the cooked lentils, milk, wheat and barley cereal, eggs and walnuts. Season with onion soup mix and poultry seasoning. Mix well using your hands, as the mixture will be very thick. Let stand for 30 minutes, or refrigerate overnight.
3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Use an ice cream scoop to portion out balls of the lentil mixture. Drop the scoops into bread crumbs, and coat while flattening into patties. Fry burgers in the hot skillet until nicely browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the patties.
Mock Pecan Pie
1 1/2 C. cooked, drained PINTO beans (you can also use white beans if you don’t have pinto)
1 1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. butter
3 eggs, beaten (3 T. dry egg powder + 1/3 C. water)
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. sea salt if desired
1/2-3/4 C. finely chopped pecans (I used more pecans…enough to generously cover the top of the pie)
Cream sugar, butter, eggs, and beans. (If you are using powdered eggs you don’t need to mix the dry egg powder with water first-just put the dry egg powder in with creaming and add the water with the vanilla, which is the next step). Add vanilla and salt. Pour into 9 inch unbaked pie shell. Sprinkle the chopped pecans over mixture. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for about 20 minutes more. Pie is done when knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve with whipped topping or ice cream.
Wheat Berry Pudding (Photo Above)
Wheat, walnuts and sugar. The ratio is 1 to 1 to 1 by weight… so for example 1 lb wheat…1 lb walnuts….1 lb sugar
Cook the wheat. I like to presoak the wheat overnight in twice as much water as wheat berries. The next day boil until cracked. Drain wheat and transfer into a food processor immediately, some liquid is OK. Pulse a few times. This is really up to you how far you want to chop up the berries. Use a cheese grinder and grind up the walnuts. Add sugar and walnuts to the wheat and stir.
This dessert is eaten chilled. Add whip cream, if desired.
I make this in my pressure cooker – it is easy, fast and yummy.
1 T. butter
1/4 cup long grain rice *
2 cups milk *
1 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg *
1/4 cup evaporated milk *
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Melt the butter, add rice and stir to coat with butter. Stir in your water (3 cups) and dry milk (6 T. for non instant, 2/3 cup for instant) add sugar and salt. Close lid and bring to pressure, cook 12 minutes at pressure. Remove from heat and allow pressure to come down on its own.
In a small bowl, mix together your egg (you can use your powdered eggs) and the evaporated milk and vanilla. Stir a little of the hot liquid from you cooker into the egg mix (tempering the eggs), then add to the rice mixture.
Cook uncovered, over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the rice pudding begins to bubble. Remove immediately from heat. Cool 10 min. stirring occasionally. Transfer to individual dessert bowls, continue cooling, then refrigerate. Serve sprinkled with cinnamon or with fruit.
1 ½ cups brown sugar
½ cup water
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
8 cups rolled oats
¾ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
¾ cup almonds, coarsely chopped
½ cup sunflower seeds, unsalted
½ cup shredded coconut
dried fruits, if desired (tropical fruit is good, raisins, blueberries, cranberries, cherries are all great.)
Heat oven to 275 degrees.
Combine brown sugar and water in a microwave proof bowl. Microwave on high 5 minutes, or until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from microwave and stir in vanilla and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, mix oats and nuts. Add the brown sugar mixture. Mix thoroughly. Spread onto 2 cookie sheets and bake for a total of 45 minutes or until golden brown. After 25 minutes, stir and put back in the oven for the rest of the time. When granola has cooked completely, add dried fruits.
Peanut Butter Granola
Mix and heat in a glass bowl for 4 minutes on HIGH:
1-1/2 c white sugar
1-1/3 c margarine
1/2 t vanilla extract
2/3 c peanut butter
1/2 t salt
1 c water
Mix in large bowl:
12 c rolled oats
1 t cinnamon
Pour wet ingredients over dry and mix quickly and well. Put onto two small greased cookie sheets. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes. Exchange cookie sheets in oven, cook 10 minutes. Turn oven off and let granola dry for several hours.
Macaroni and Cheese
1 cup Idaho® Spuds™ Classic Flakes
1/2 cup Water
2 cups Dry Elbow macaroni noodles
1 1/4 cup Low fat milk (or milk substitute)
1/4 tsp Garlic powder
1/8 tsp Mustard powder (or 1/2 tsp mustard)
Pinch Salt and black pepper (or to taste)
3/4 cup Grated reduced fat sharp cheddar
2 tbs Grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 cup Low fat cottage cheese (or 1 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese)
Toppings: 1/4 cup whole wheat or panko bread crumbs mixed with 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until just tender (about 6-8 minutes). Drain pasta and set aside.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl whisk together the potato spuds, 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup water. Microwave for 3 minutes and stir until creamy.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, 3/4 cup milk, mustard powder, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. In the pot used to cook the noodles pour the egg mixture and cheeses in. Cook cheese and egg mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the cheese melts and the sauce begins to thicken, (about 2-3 minutes). Turn off the heat.
Add the mashed potato mixture to the cheese sauce in the pot and stir until smooth. Add an additional 1/2 cup milk and stir. Add the pasta to the sauce and stir once more. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
Pour mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle the bread crumbs and parmesan evenly over each dish, if desired.
Bake macaroni for 15-20 minutes, or until bread crumbs and parmesan becomes golden brown.