and today is not an exception. It's part of who I am and how I hope to empower people to become self-reliant.
I will be teaching a FREE class at Preparing Wisely on Thursday night at 6:30 in Mesa and at the Honeyville Farms store in Chandler on Tuesday the 19th on these Convenience Meals in a Jar. Directions and more class information is on this link: here. This class is always well attended and in high demand, especially in light of recent emergency events that have happened around the world and the demand people have for good quality homemade meals. People prepare for family emergencies in different ways. Some prepare for an earthquake, fire or natural disaster. Some prepare for financially difficult times and unemployment. Some just prepare meals in advance so that mom or dad are not too entirely stressed out at the end of a hard work day. Whatever your reason for preparing convenience meals, this is a simple method of keeping track of what you have on hand and keeping it an organized location. This method is one anybody can use. I don't claim the method of planning a menu this way to be mine, I do however claim these recipes as ones I have developed through personal trial and error. We've heard it called a "year's supply" of food. Insuring that should anything catastrophic happen, your family will be fed.
In a quart Jar fit with a funnel:
1 3/4 cups wide egg noodles
1/2 cup freeze dried peas
1/4 cup freeze dried mushroom slices
2 T dehydrated onions
1 tsp of my Romantic Italian Seasoning
1/3 cup powdered milk
1/3 cup powdered sour cream
¼ cup dehydrated butter
For long-term 8-10 year storage, combine all ingredients in a sealed mason jar with an oxygen absorber packet. These will cause a vacuum seal. Note...it is important if you are doing these jars to open the freeze-dried meat and bottle it again within a few hours. If you're worried about it or want a vegetarian alternative, you may use 1 1/2 cup Freeze Dried Zucchini instead of the chicken. You'll need to add 1 tsp no msg chicken bullion to the mix as well.
The chicken is really cool.
In a casserole, combine the entire contents of the jar with 4 cups hot water. Let sit 5 minutes. Cover and bake in a solar oven at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. OR microwave in covered deep dish casserole for 15 minutes.
While the casserole is baking, I make bread crumb topping. This is optional but adds a lot of texture and flavor. I prefer, when cooking with the solar oven to do the topping on a separate burner or if microwaving...cooking the topping on the stove to crisp it. This saves a lot of time and with the solar cooker, gets a crispy topping I can't normally get. I'm using homemade 9 grain ciabatta (if you missed that post it was freakin' fun!). Put a few pieces in a food processor or finely grind in a hand-powered processor.
Add 2 T olive oil 1/2 cup of the crumbs and 1/2 tsp of my Romantic Italian Seasoning.
Mmm. Now that's a crumby job right there.
Put the crumbs in a hot skillet and stir until toasted. How easy is that?! Were you expecting rocket science?!
Remove casserole from the oven or microwave (especially important with microwave to let the casserole sit 10 minutes so it get's thick). Top with 4-5 slices of cheese. I use homemade mozzarella cheese or you can also use freeze dried mozzarella from your food storage. Top with crumbs.
Spread out the crumbs. Cover until cheese is melted.
Usually while the cheese is melting I saute some fresh green beans to go on the side...
Season them well and drizzle with olive oil...and waaahlaaaa! The casserole is now ready. Brace yourself for the reveal...
The casserole is now ready. Brace yourself for the reveal...
Creamy delicious...not too glue-like and thick...
Are you hungry yet?
There you go. Make some veggie casserole!
Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess