If you are just joining me for my series on homemade convenience meals you will want to read the Introduction to the 52 Method It's a very fun way of preparing meals ahead of time for emergencies or everyday use. It's a basic menu planning method for food storage based on meals that your family will eat, having all the ingredients in one-quart size jar. ONE jar...easy to find. Easy to plan. I think it's an idea that's been a long time coming and this is yet another recipe. You will be using a method called "dry vacuum pack canning". No liquid or pressure canning is necessary. If you opt to use the freeze dried meat in the recipes, please note: NOTE: The repacking of Freeze Dried Meat must be done within 24-48 hours of opening the can and must be done in a dry environment. Once repacked you must use an oxygen absorber to make sure there is a vacuum oxygen free environment. Mylar bags can also be used instead of jars, but it is not recommended to use Ziploc bags as the sole source of storage if you are including meat.
This week's recipe is one that I converted from one of my favorite freezer meal recipes Chicken in Peanut Sauce . It's been a long-time favorite at our house. So, if you want to make the recipe without dehydrated and freeze-dried ingredients, go here. If you want to make that recipe using fresh ingredients and try it out...I promise it will be a hit. My biggest challenge with this one was waiting for peanut butter and soy sauce in powdered forms. When that finally happened...I started to get excited about adding this to our food storage!
The question I get asked most often is," Will there really be enough food for the whole family in that jar?" The meals are usually good for our family of 6. We have 2 regular adults (me and my husband), 2 oldster adults (Ace's lighter eating parents), 1 pre-teen boy (who eats like a teenage boy) and 1 9 yr old boy. This jar makes about 9 cups of food. I usually plan on a side salad and bread to go with the meal. In an emergency, we'd be happy with just the meal. If you have a larger family you may need to plan on two of these meals or doubling the recipe using a half gallon jar instead of a quart. Usually, there are about 9 cups of prepared food from one-quart size jar (give or take) depending on the recipe. The soup recipes make 10 cups of hearty filling soup (12 cups if you add more water). The skillet meals make about 5 cups. They're smaller. Try them for your family and plan accordingly. These recipes are ones that work for us and ones that I hope will help you in your efforts to be a little more prepared for daily life or emergencies. They are only suggestions. I'm working on the nutritional and calorie count breakdowns, but in all honesty, that will be a while.
This is the jar for today's meal. Case in point. It made 5 cups of cooked rice and 4 cups of rice topping.5 cups of rice. 4 cups of Thai Chicken in Spicy Peanut Sauce. Yes. That is a full size dinner plate there in the picture with one serving removed from the bowls and the rest ready for the rest of the family. Granny and Mr. Putt Putt don't eat as much as my pre-teen boys so this is about right for our family.
Chef Tess Thai Chicken in Spicy Peanut Sauce with Rice
1 1/2 cup Freeze Dried Chicken (3 oz) or chicken TVP
1/2 cup Soy Sauce Powder (1.5 oz)
2T Lemonade Powder
1T dehydrated garlic slices (store purchased or make your own)
1/3 cup powdered peanut butter
1 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less depending on how hot you like your meals)
1/3 cup Dehydrated Onion
2/3 Dehydrated Carrot
1T dry cilantro
1T Ultra Gel or cornstarch
1 1/2 cup Long grain rice
You will also need:
One oxygen absorber per jar.
One sandwich bag for rice if you use the bag and cook the rice separate from the sauce.
Oh...I used dehydrated sliced garlic here. This recipe has a really awesome garlic punch. If you don't like garlic so much...use a tsp of garlic powder.
Plus...they sent some discounts over. I'm loving this!
To make this meal in a jar put the Freeze Dried Chicken (3 oz), Soy Sauce Powder, Lemonade Powder, dehydrated garlic slices, powdered peanut butter, red pepper flakes, Dehydrated Onion, Dehydrated Carrot, dry cilantro, and 1T Ultra Gel or cornstarch in the jar. If you put the dry ingredients on top of the meat and vegetables, you will need to shake the jar so that the powder fills the spaces. This will give you enough space for the full amount of rice.
See the picture? The powder must be done right or the jar won't fit all the food correctly.
In 2 quart pot with lid, combine the rice bag contents with 3 cups hot water. Cover tightly and simmer very low heat 20 minutes. While the rice is cooking, combine the topping contents with 3 cups water and simmer low heat 15-20 minutes until vegetables and meat are hydrated and sauce thickens slightly.
You can skip the bag step altogether and just put the rice in the jar. In this version, you would cook the rice and top together and just eat them together like a casserole or skillet meal.
To prepare: Combine jar contents with 6 cups water. Simmer over low heat 20 minutes covered, stir only once or twice during cooking. After twenty minutes, leave the lid on and let it sit 5 minutes more.
This is how it looks when done that way.
This can also be done as a Thai Chicken and Noodle in Peanut Sauce meal. It will have fewer servings, as it only will make 6 cups of prepared food with the noodles vs. the rice. However, I really like the noodle jars too. For this, use 1 1/2 cups (4 oz) broken linguine noodles instead of rice in the jar.
There you go. Have fun with this one. It's a keeper around here!
Please feel free to share the recipes with friends.
Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess