Okay, my darlings! It is your crazy Chef Tess here for some fun! It is time for five new meals! I'm excited to share with you the cool-fest I've been having making and taking my personal sized meals with me to random events...like vacations, work trips, work lunches, and hotel rooms. Oh yeah! The party travels with me. Truth be known, sometimes I just want something familiar when I travel and I don't really want it to be the familiar taste of McDonald's cheeseburgers (as gooey-comforting as those may be to my thighs). So, about six months ago I started making my meals in a jar in the personally sized half-pint jars for me and the kids to have on the go. I also started developing some personal sized mylar meals to take with me on the road when I traveled. Initially, it was for lunches during the summer for my boys with the bottomless-pit stomachs. Seriously. What is it with boys and constant eating? Then it turned into a really predictable calorie count on a meal so I could be accountable to myself.
If you want to see how to make the personal mylar pouches, see my How to Make Homemade Mylar Meals Tutorial. It has all the details on the safety of making these meals. Always use an oxygen absorber if you are using the real freeze-dried meat and they will be on the shelf for more than a week. That is not optional!
Note: If you are only going to be gone a few days and just want to make the meals without an oxygen absorber, that's acceptable. Just be sure to label and date them clearly so that if you don't end up using them in less than a week, you can add oxygen absorbers when you get home.
Today I'm going to share recipes. I think that is what makes these so amazing. This is a 5-day menu!
Taco Rice for One:
Taco Rice for One
The first one is adapted from my family meal that is easy that we've used often from this recipe for Fast Taco Rice. It cooks in about 7 minutes and is made by just adding boiling water in this shelf-stable version. It is heavy on tomato and saucy. I love a good saucy rice for scooping with a few baked taco shells. It makes a great quick meal.
3/4 cup instant white rice (like Minute Rice)
1/4 cup Freeze Dried Sausage or Taco TVP
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp Chef Tess Southwest Fajita Seasoning
2 tsp freeze dried green chiles (optional)
1/4 cup Freeze Dried Cheddar Cheese
Place contents in a half pint jar, shaking powder into the jar completely. Or use a pint-sized mylar bag. Always add an oxygen absorber if you are using the real freeze-dried meat and not use the meal within a week.
To prepare the meal: In a quart sized pot, bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add Taco rice mix and return to a rolling boil. Turn off heat and cover pan. Let sit for 5-7 minutes until water is absorbed. You may also use 2 ½ cups boiling hot water from a coffee dispenser in a hotel room.
French Ham and Asparagus soup for One
1/4 Dry Milk Powder
1/2 tsp dry French Herbs de Provence
Place contents in a pint jar, shaking powder into the jar completely. Or use a pint-sized mylar bag. Always add an oxygen absorber if you are using the real freeze-dried meat.
To prepare soup: In a pot, bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add soup mix. Reduce heat and simmer low heat 10-15 minutes until meat and vegetables are tender and soup is slightly thickened. Cover and turn off heat. Allow sitting 5 minutes. Serve hot.
Chef Tess Taco Soup for One:
Chef Tess Taco Soup for One
Yes, this is adapted from the Original Family Size Menu but now in a personal sized recipe. This one includes chicken breast and has only 380 calories with 14 grams of fiber and only 8 grams of fat.
1/4 cup Quick Cook Red Beans
1/4 cup Taco TVP
1/4 cup Freeze Dried Chicken or Freeze Dried Hamburger
1/4 cup Freeze Dried Corn
3/4 tsp McCormick or Homemade taco seasoning
When you get to the tomato powder, just shake the jar so it works its way through the cracks.Always add an oxygen absorber if you are using the real freeze-dried meat. Seal. Good on the shelf in a cool place up to 5-7 years.
To prepare Taco Soup: place contents of jar in a quart sized pot on the stove. Add 2 1/2 cups of water and simmer 10-15 minutes until veggies are tender. Serve with nacho chips, sour cream and salsa if desired.
Country Beef Stew for One:
Country Beef Stew for One
Yes, this is adapted from my Original Family Size Menu but now in a personal sized recipe and including chunks of beef. Use a pint-sized jar or mylar bag with an oxygen absorber.
1/4 cup Instant Refried Bean Flakes
1 /4 cup Freeze Dried Mixed Vegetables (of your choice, like peas, corn, carrot, or celery)
1/4 cup Freeze-dried Diced Potatoes
1 Tbsp. Freeze-dried Onion
2 T tomato powder
1 tsp all-purpose seasoning
1 tsp beef bullion (optional)
Directions: Place contents in a pint jar, shaking powder into the jar completely. Or use a pint-sized mylar bag. Always add an oxygen absorber if you are using the real freeze-dried meat. Always add an oxygen absorber if you are using the real freeze-dried meat.
To prepare Country Style Beef Stew: Add 2 cups boiling water to the stew mixture. Cover and allow to absorb water 5-7 minutes until vegetables and beef are tender.
Classic Chili for One:
Classic Chili for One
Classic Chili Meal in a Jar is still one of our most popular meals. Why? Because it is just freakishly good. Pack in a pint-sized mason jar or a pint-sized mylar bag with an oxygen absorber. Always add an oxygen absorber if you are using the real freeze-dried meat.
1/2 cup Quick Cook/Instant Red Beans
1/4 cup Tomato Powder
3/4 tsp beef bullion (no MSG)
3/4 tsp chili powder (more or less depending on how you like your chili)
3/4 tsp Chef Tess All Purpose Seasoning
Directions: Pack the ingredients as tightly as I can in the jar, shake the seasonings in there too. There is always room for the most vital addition to your jar, the oxygen absorber.
To prepare: Combine the contents of the jar with 2 cups boiling water (depending on how thick you like your chili) and simmer over medium-high heat 10-15 minutes until hydrated and ready to eat. Serve with hydrated freeze dried cheese if desired. Note: You may microwave in a covered container for 3-5 minutes and allow to sit for 10 minutes until beans are hydrated.
There you go! Make some personal sized meals in a jar or mylar.
Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess
You are so amazing! I can't wait until i am able to start with the 52 meals in a jar. such a wonderful idea!
imeoGreat ideas, I would just want more!
My sister started college last month. Shes 19.
Today she posted on FB how much she missed a homecooked meal. I do believe this will do the trick as she doesnt have time or energy to cook.
Thinking shes in dire need of a care package! :)))
Ty so much for this amazing idea!!!!
Hi Chef Tess! Now that our son has moved out on his own, to a more or less remote area,
for Christmas, we bought him jars & ingredients from honeyville to make several of the personal sized meals in jars. He also got a crockpot from his aunt and uncle and I was wondering if you have ever done some of the meals in jars in a crockpot? I would imagine the liquid would be the same, but what do you think about the setting and cooking time?
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