Grams Image

Grams Image

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Stretching the foods we have......

I just finished watching a youtube video by SurvivalEngineering,  he made some simple but great points about stretching foods to make your more expensive foods like meats, canned meals, soups etc stretch at least twice as far.  He is so right and it is something I have done many times and I would like to give some examples here for those that read my blog. 

Start off by making a big pot of dried kidney beans or black beans or pinto beans and serve over rice which you should make extra of as well.  Season your beans the way you like them and add some fat like salt pork, bacon or canned ham to them if possible.  Then for your second main meal you make a fried rice with some of the beans and the meat picked out of the beans and rice.  Third meal will be Spaghetti marinara and the fourth meal will be chili with the left over spaghetti sauce and beans serve this with a big pan of corn bread.  The fifth meal will be minestrone or fagioli soup made with most of the leftovers of the week.  Serve cornbread croutons with this soup.  Any leftover cornbread can be dried and put with bread ends to make stuffing for the following week. 
The next week you will make a stuffing and canned chicken casserole and with any leftovers from this you can add cream of mushroom soup and make a creamy casserole instead of the dry one and add rice to the meal and it will be filling and delicious.  Try taking a head of cabbage, shred half of the head up and make a coleslaw with half of the shredded cabbage to serve with red beans and rice.  Second night you make a stir fry with the other half of the shredded cabbage and the beans and some canned chicken, or eggs, or nuts.  Carrots are always great added to stir fry's if you have them fresh or dried.  Third night stew the other half of the head of cabbage  up with onion and carrots and potatoes serve like a New England boiled dinner add meat if you have any to it.
Fourth night you make a big pot of soup with the leftovers and serve with Cornbread or just bread and peanut butter. Fifth night make a rice casserole with any leftovers of soup or cabbage and of course with a pot of rice, you can add soup mixes or canned soup to the casserole to make it more hearty if you are low on leftovers.

Potatoes are also a filling starch that can stretch a meal.  Instant dry potatoes can be made into potato pancakes to be served with applesauce and some scrambled eggs. Potato salad can be the main course of a meal with boiled eggs in it or with some canned shrimp added to it.  Save the juice from the canned seafoods and meat that you open to add to casseroles and soups for later in the week.
A big mound of mashed potatoes can carry a gravy made from a little bit of meat served with a can of vegetables will make a satisfying meal.  A 1/4 lb. of ground beef or sausage or chopped pork can stretch to feed four people in a white gravy. 

One 5 ounce can of tuna can be added to a can of cream of mushroom soup and thinned with reconstituted milk to be an ala king dish to serve over biscuits or bread or toast. This can feed up to four as well. Make sure there is enough biscuits or bread this is really good with the addition of a can of peas.

If you want to make breakfasts with food storage don't forget pancakes are a great source that is filling and satisfying.  You don't even have to have syrup.  You can use the juice from a can of fruit to make a delicious syrup by adding some sugar and boiling it until it is dissolved and thicken with a little cornstarch slurry.  Then the fruit can be used for dessert that night or with yogurt or cottage cheese made from your dry milk for lunch. Another hearty breakfast is oatmeal which you can add fruit, dried fruit or just brown sugar and instant dry milk.  A favorite breakfast of mine since I lived in Scotland for 2 years was  to heat a can of pork and beans and serve over toast. This is tasty and can be made with leftover white beans from bean soup by just adding tomato sauce or ketchup and a little sugar.

There are a thousand ideas that could be used to stretch food but the most important ideas are those that use your foods to make different things in creative ways and never to waste food.  If you have no power then use a rocket stove or a solar oven to cook your foods and then when you have finished eating cool the foods to room temperature and keep in a cooler outside in the winter or in an unheated space.  A solar oven can be used as a cooler in the summer if you point it toward the darkest part of the sky with no trees over it.  Also you can use an evaporation cooler which is a clay pot inside of a clay pot with wet sand in between the pots and keep them in the coolest place you can find with a wet cloth over the top.

Don't forget that appetite fatigue can become a real problem.  You don't want to become totally disinterested in food after a short time because you are having nothing but plain rice and cooked dried beans.  There are many ways to fix these things that will make them seem like they are not the ordinary beans over rice.  There are also many different kinds of beans that will be a different look and flavor that will help.  I have black eyed peas, lentils of various colors, black beans, navy beans, pinto beans, split peas of yellow and green varieties, kidney beans, lima or butter beans and garbanzo beans.  There are other types but they are a little harder to find and more expensive.   Rice can be made into casseroles, fried chinese style, flavored with soups or gravies, put into soups, mixed with TVP or lentils to make burgers, or made into a hot cereal which you would serve with milk and sugar.  You can add seasonings and make it yellow rice or spanish rice.  You can serve it under soups or creole, you can add seafood and make a gumbo.  Look in your various cookbooks for rice recipes, I think you will be surprised.  There is also rice pudding you can make with food storage. 

Don't get discouraged about not having a huge amount of money to buy the expensive freeze dried or dehydrated foods in the number 10 cans.  You can do much with rice, beans, corn I have popcorn in 50 lb. bags, flour and/or wheat and the staples like canned meats (such as ham, tuna, chicken, spam, treet, roast beef, shrimp, clams, etc.)  canned vegetables and fruits and dried milk, oats, powdered eggs, sugar, salt, herbs and spices. You will need oils and fats in your diet so stock up on olive oil or vegetable oil and shortening.  The only other thing it will take to complete your diet will be leavenings such as Baking Soda, Baking Powder, and yeast.  Try to make sure you have vinegar and or lemon juice in your pantry as well.  You can make your own breads (corn bread, yeast breads, biscuits, pie crusts and pancakes with flour, cornmeal and leavenings).

The thing you will need is a grain mill if you have wheat and corn stored for making breads.  I have a Country Living Grain Mill but there are other brands but make sure you get a corn and bean auger with your mill or buy a seperate one to mill the corn into meal or flour and you can stretch your wheat by grinding beans and rice as well to add to your flour.

The only things I suggest you get for your food storage from the internet or a LDS cannery is the wheat, powdered eggs, oatmeal, and dry milk.  Most everything else you can get from your local stores, watch for the sales and markdowns, and from the warehouse stores for the flour, rice, sugar, salt and seasonings.  They also have decent prices on canned chicken, noodles, and grits. I am from the south so we like grits which is really cheap and filling to serve for breakfast or with dinner.  They are good with butter buds, cheese powder, gravy or with sugar and milk.  You can also slice up the grits after they get cold and fry them after dipping them in beaten eggs to serve as a main course of breakfast. 

I hope I have given you some ideas and some hope for stretching your food storage as far as you can and with creativity and love your family will adapt easily as long as you don't serve the same thing made the same way over and over again.  I pray we will all survive with as little strain and hassle as possible.  God Bless.

No comments:

Post a Comment