Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pantry Meals

In my search for ways to use food storage, plan easy meals and make this easy to plan ahead, I have found some lovely websites, starting with which is the wonderful lady who lived off her food storage for 6 months. She has a friend who suggested a great system of organization to make sure the variety of food was wide and pleasing to her family without taking her an entire day to cook it all.  Pantry meals was her brainchild and that's putting all the dry ingredients in a bag and labeling it for use during the month.
I decided to start this a little backwards since many of her recipes contained food storage items I don't have available, sour cream powder, butter powder, etc., and featured things my family won't eat. So I went to my ancient, just obtained from a yard sale Make a Mix Cookbooks and came up with one.  I modified a side dish to be a main dish because I'm just lazy that way.  Chicken Continental with Rice turned out great.  Basically, seasoned rice and canned chicken (I used up some leftover chicken for my first experiment).  I measured out the rice, spices, and did this three times so two of them went in a zip-lock bag (marked with directions).  The recipe said stove top cooking was 25 minutes which is still fast for dinner, but I decided to make it even easier with the crock pot. When I get my wonder oven I will try that!  SO I threw in my "mix" and my chicken and 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of butter (I doubled the recipe which said it would feed 2, my girls are hungry) and turned it on low for 4 hours.  The rice was good and both girls said it was a keeper recipe.  SO I put the other two ziplocks in a paper bag with a can of chicken and labeled it with today's date, a yellow star (chicken) and a yellow dot (solar cooking ok) and that was waaay too easy not to do again. 
Do you have any shelf-stable easy recipes? By this I mean assembly (ahead of time) and a few ingredients.  I also made the make-a-mix snack cake for the girls. I followed the directions exactly and they were not crazy about the cake, even though it was chocolate with chips.  Good to know. This will be trial and error for a long time but hopefully I can accumulate a dossier of fantastic easy recipes!!
Projects in the next few months include building a solar oven too. Can't wait to cook with no electricity.  Here in the summer it should be easy!! Between that and my wonder oven I will be practically green! And canning means less freezing so that's green too.  Looking for a food co-op now to augment my canning possibilities.  I found out there is a book, Dinner is in the Jar.  May have to buy it, our library here is like a tiny mini library while there are renovations to the main building.  Boo.

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