Saturday, March 31, 2012

3 Skillet Meals in a Jar. Revised, Revisited, and More Natural.









My  Meals in a jar has been  the theme all week!  This post has 3 new recipes that I've revisited and updated for your flavor enjoyment. In the original post for these skillet meals, I had you mix a batch of cheese sauce and then use that for each jar. In this version, I've made it easier to just use each ingredients per jar and not have to pre-mix a sauce. 
 If you are new to the meals in a jar, go here and get some details on how the meals are done as well as the basic safety guidelines. If your scroll through the rest of the  posts, there are a lot more recipes, ideas, and helpful tips when making the meals. I answer a lot of questions in the comment sections as well. If I had to re-cap each detail in each  new post, it would take a lot of time and space. So. That being said there are a few things I will always re-cap in each post.




1. You will be using a method  some have called "dry pack canning" but it's actually called Vacuum packing. No liquid or pressure canning is necessary. If you opt to use the freeze dried meat in the recipes  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. I recommend using a 300 cc oxygen absorber for each jar. This will make the vacuum packing effective. You can use a food Saver with a jar attachment for this in place of the oxygen absorber, but will need to make sure your machine is designed to be used with the jar attachment. Some of the food Savers are called "meal savers" and are actually not designed to use with the attachment. I called the FoodSaver company myself to be sure that the attachment I had was right for the machine I was using
2. You can also pack in mylar bags (the ones that are silver-colored), but again need to use the oxygen absorber. This size I use is designed to absorb a gallon size amount of air, but I'd rather err on the side of over-vacuum than not enough. No. You can't use the foodSaver clear plastic bags for long term storage. They are not designed for that purpose. When I say "long term" I'm talking 3-5 years. 

I've had a few request that I revisit the Skillet meal 
in a jar recipes and and suggest some more natural "clean label" alternatives for making them at home. I think this is always a good idea! As always, you can use the organic versions of these ingredients. If you use dehydrated vegetables, they will take more liquid to hydrate and take longer to cook depending on the size of the pieces. If you dry your own veggies, use a small dice and dehydrate them on a mesh. Make sure they are "brittle" dried.  It will take a lot less of the dehydrated ingredients, and a lot more liquid. Keep that in mind. On the dehydrated vegetables, you will have to calculate the water for your own recipes. I can't control how thick your items are cut, therefore, I cannot offer an accurate liquid amount. If you are just adding your own fresh cooked beef or meats to the meals at the time you prepare the meals, and want to omit the freeze dried version, you will need to decrease the water in the cooking directions by about 1/2 cup. These also use a lot less of the freeze dried meats. You can use the vegetable TVP in it's place or, as always, use freeze dried zucchini or additional vegetables in it's place. 



Double Cheeseburger Hamburger Skillet meal
1/2 cup Instant Non-fat Dry Milk
1/4 cup  Freeze Dried Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup blue cheese powder
1 tsp Haco Beef Base(No MSG low sodium)
3T cornstrach
1 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 cup Dehydrated Onion 
¼ tsp CT all purpose seasoning
2 cups elbow macaroni 
½ cup Freeze Dried Ground Beef 
1/4 tsp tumeric (for color)
Jar directions To prepare Cheeseburger Skillet Meal: Put contents of mix in a 12 inch skillet (with a lid) Add 6 cup hot water. Bring to a boil and cover. Simmer 12-15 minutes until noodles are tender. Sauce will thicken a little more as it cools. Yield 6 cups prepared. 4 servings. 1 1/2 cup each. 365 calories. 6 grams fat.





Chef Tess' Stroganoff Macaroni  Skillet 
1/2 cup sour cream  powder 
3T cornstarch
1 1/2  tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp  (No MSG lower sodium)
1/4 cup Dehydrated Onion 
1 tsp Chef Tess all purpose seasoning 
2 cups small shell macaroni
1T Golden Balsamic Vinegar Powder
1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

To prepare Beef Stroganoff Skillet Meal:
 In a 12 inch skillet, combine stroganoff dinner mix with 5 1/2 cups hot water. Bring to a boil. Simmer 8-10 minutes, stirring once or twice, but covering each time. When noodles are tender season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Yield 6 cups prepared. 




Cheesy Turkey Noodle and Vegetable Skillet Meal
3T  cornstarch
1  tsp granulated garlic
2T Freeze Dried onion
2 tsp Haco chicken base (no MSG with great flavor)
2 cups elbow macaroni noodles 
1 tsp Chef Tess Romantic Italian Seasonings


To make jar: Put all ingredients in a wide mouth quart size mason jar, shaking the powder ingredients into the jar. Top with an oxygen absorber. 


To Prepare Turkey Noodle Skillet Meal:
In a large skillet, combine contents of jar with 5 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 for meat and veggies to finish steaming. Yield 6 1/2 cups prepared. 

Printable version is available Here
 Enjoy. Share these recipes with your friend! Get the word out that they are here!  PLEASE...make sure my name stays with the recipes.  Try to think how it would feel if you had worked on the recipes yourself. You'd want not only the credit, but also a way for people to contact you if they had questions. I ask you to please be mindful of that. Plus, they are my copy-written work and that is just the law. Thanks. 


Always My Very Best,


Your Friend Chef Tess

18 comments:

Kris Watson said...

I am so enjoying your creativity ! I found you maybe a month ago, and already have a dozen meals ready! It's a great idea, and one I hope to pass along.

Chef Tess said...

Thank you soooo much Kris!

sweetjeanette said...

Hey there Tess!
I found you this weekend and not only am a new GFC follower, but I'm subscribed to your email list too! Can't get enough of you. I haven't delved into this yet, but am very interested in stocking up for my family. It's all so overwhelming...what and where would you suggest a total newbie start?
Thanks!

Chef Tess said...

Sweetjeanette, Oh thank you!! I love it when new friend find me! I'd suggest starting with the meals your family would normally eat. For us it has been the stew, taco soup, and chili and then the skillet meals. Try to pair "like" recipes with similar ingredients. The best way to start is to just start. Even if it's just one recipe, a few jars at a time. You'll be surprised how fast they come together and how fun it can be. Go back to all the posts on the jars and read through them along with the comments. That's helpful as well. Xoxo! So excited you found me my dear!!

Vicky said...

Hi Tess,
I was just checking out the new format, and I noticed that in the Stroganoff recipe, the ingredients list says, 1 tsp. (no MSG or low sodium) but doesn't actually say the ingredient, is it Beef bullion?

Chef Tess said...

Yes! Great catch. It is beef bullion. I missed that.

Sarah Pearl said...

Chef Tess,
Absolutely loving this sight, you are a wealth of knowledge! I just found you last night and I could hardly sleep I was so excited. Seriously.

I fell in love with Thrive about a year ago, but it turned out I liked the "idea" of it more than actually "using" it and it sits unopened in my pantry (hijacking all the space, to boot!) with me wondering what to do with it!

NOW I KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT! (along with all my canning jars in the attic!)

I only have a few questions:
1. Do you have to use new seals or can you recycle and use the old ones (I store mine with the old ones to keep out dust)?

2. I was thinking I'd like to use Mylar bags for our 72 hour kits since they're packed in backpacks, but I didn't know where you got those or if you needed special equipment to seal them.

3. Why "Chef Tess??!" With a name like Stephanie, you could have been Chef Steph--you are completely adorable!!! (not that there's anything wrong with Tess, I was just curious! ha ha)

Thanks again for sharing this with everyone--I can't wait to read some more! My next adventure will definitely be SOLAR OVENS! (my husband saw me reading about them at midnight and thought I was crazy, but then I guess we have a lot in common, right?!) :)

Sarah Pearl said...

OK, and one other question:

I was wanting to make my own quick cook beans, but don't have a dehydrator or mondo-awesome solar oven...:( Can I just do the first steps and then let them roast on a cookie sheet in a low temp oven?

Chef Tess said...

Sarah! Sweet hallelujah you found me! So cool to have a new friend. Let me see...

1. Do you have to use new seals or can you recycle and use the old ones (I store mine with the old ones to keep out dust)?

A:
If you are vacuum sealing you need to use new lids (they can't be recycled ones that were used once for wet-canning) but you can use them over again if they have ONLY been used for vacuum sealing and you don't heat the lids.


2. I was thinking I'd like to use Mylar bags for our 72 hour kits since they're packed in backpacks, but I didn't know where you got those or if you needed special equipment to seal them.

A: Mylar is great. Still use an oxygen absorber and seal with a hot iron on the cotton setting. I've be I just need to do a tutorial for that one.

3. Why "Chef Tess??!" With a name like Stephanie, you could have been Chef Steph--you are completely adorable!!! (not that there's anything wrong with Tess, I was just curious! ha ha)
A:
When I went to start my company and do a TM, I found that Chef Steph was already taken by a gal in upstate NY. Tess is a nickname my mom gave me as a kid and she continued to call me it whenever we would cook or bake together. That stuck and it always meant it was time to create with someone I loved. So Tess it is.



"I was wanting to make my own quick cook beans, but don't have a dehydrator or mondo-awesome solar oven...:( Can I just do the first steps and then let them roast on a cookie sheet in a low temp oven?:
A: I haven't tried the oven method, but I don't see why it wouldn't work as long as it was on warm. I'll try it out.

Sarah Pearl said...

Chef Tess,
Thank you so much for the info, I am so excited to get this started and am getting my shopping list put together and starting a binder for all the recipes I've printed out! :) :)

And I LOVE the story about your name! So sweet!

Have a WONDERFUL DAY and know that someone in Idaho thinks you're amazing!!

Karissa said...

My mom sent me a link to your blog a few weeks ago and I have been enjoying reading about the world of meals in a jar. This summer I am hoping to learn to pressure can, and I figure I should also learn this vaccum packing technique as well. Your blog will be my go-to resource.

Chef Tess said...

Thank you Karissa! You're so sweet to let me know and I look forward to helping in any way that I can. Xoxo!

Melissa Loughney said...

Chef Tess,
I'd heard of you before and am so grateful to stumble across this site via pinterest. i had a question about the FD meats. You said they had to be repacked within 24 hrs in a DRY environment - does that mean us Southerners are out of luck with because of our humidity?

Chef Tess said...

Just do it on a dry day in an AC environment if you can. Air conditioners remove moisture from the air. I wouldn't suggest doing so in a swamp-cooled home.

Anonymous said...

can TVP be used in the above-mentioned ground beef meals? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Your awesome you help me out a lot but I do have a quick question. I would like to convert the qtside into pints for individual servings how would I do that?

Chef Tess said...

Divide the recipe ingredient by 4. They will be half pint jars instead.

Chef Tess said...

Divide the recipe ingredient by 4. They will be half pint jars instead.