Feb 222015



Fiesta Lime Beef Stew


Garlic Spinach


Iced Tea, Lemonade or Fruit Drink


TEX MEXZesty flavors make this Tex-Mex Meal a family favorite. Fiesta Lime Beef in a spicy sauce is spooned over creamy Polenta. Garlic Spinach and cooling pineapple serve side dish duty. Nutritious, filling and family-friendly, this pantry meal proves that stored food meals can be just as appetizing as any family meal.


Polenta is an upscale name for low-brow cornmeal mush. It’s cheap, filling, and tastes like home.

Bag 1
  • 1-1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 to 1-teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons butter flavored shortening or dairy-free margarine
  • 32-ounces (4 cups)
To Store

Combine the cornmeal and salt in a zipper bag or other resealable container. Stash in the meal box along with the water.

To Prepare

Combine the water and the contents of Bag 1 in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir until the mixture is lump-free. Add the shortening or margarine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible flame. Cook and stir for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the polenta is very thick.

Coat a 9-inch square or round pan with shortening or no-stick spray. Pour the hot polenta into the pan. Set it aside to cool. Cut into 12 squares or wedges and serve topped with Fiesta Lime Beef Stew.


Start the polenta first, before you start the stew. After the polenta is prepared and set aside to cool, fill the pot with water so it will be easier to wash later. Then start the Fiesta Lime Beef Stew. If you try to make the polenta and stew at the same time it gets tricky to manage them both and the polenta will burn when you’re not looking.

It’s important to stir the polenta frequently while it cooks because it has a tendency to stick to the pan, especially towards the end of cooking. Years ago polenta was prepared in the top of a double boiler and allowed to simmer on the back of the stove for several hours, until it was thick and creamy. This cooking method is great if you have a wood burning cookstove, but if you’re making due with a 2-burner propane stove, then long cooking in a double boiler becomes impracticable. I usually make polenta in my heaviest cast iron pot, which seems to be the least likely to scorch if I get called away to investigate a fascinating new bug identified by a wandering child. If you have a good helper, put them to work stirring the polenta while you go on to the Fiesta Lime Beef Stew.

Fiesta Lime Beef Stew

Hot, tangy and bursting with lime, this stew may be a bit too spicy for small children. Teenagers and adults, however, love it! Serve over wedges of polenta made from cornmeal for a traditional presentation.

Canned Goods
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans roast beef in broth, undrained
  • 1 (10-ounce) can tomatoes with cilantro and lime, undrained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can corn, no salt added, well drained
Bag 1
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime flavor
  • 1 tablespoon dry minced onion
Lime WedgeTo Store

Gather the canned goods and place them in your meal box. Measure all of the ingredients for Bag 1 into a small zipper bag or other resealable container. Stash it in the meal box along with the cans.

To Prepare

Open all of the cans. Drain the juice from the roast beef into a 3-quart saucepan. Set the beef aside. Add the contents of Bag 1 and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved. Drain the corn, discarding the liquid. Add the remaining beef, tomatoes with cilantro and lime and the drained corn to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened. Serve over wedges of polenta.


The polenta is cut into squares or wedges and placed in the bottom of each plate or bowl. Scoop the stew over top and serve with a spoon.

Garlic Spinach

Canned GoodsCanned Spinach
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans spinach or other greens
Bag 1
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
To Store

Place both cans in your meal box. Combine the contents of Bag 1 in a small zipper bag. Label and stash in the meal box along with the spinach

To Prepare

Open up both cans of greens and pour into a medium sized saucepan. Add the contents of Bag 1, the olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice and soy sauce. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the temperature and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until quite hot.


Canned Goods
  • 20 ounce can crushed pineapple
To Store & Prepare

Stash the pineapple in your meal box. When ready to serve simply open the can and spoon it out. The pineapple provides a cooling component to the heat of the stew.


  • 2-quarts to 1-gallon of water
  • Your Favorite Instant Drink Mix

Determine if you will need 2-quarts or a full gallon of water to feed your crew. Measure enough Lemonade Mix or Instant Iced Tea or even kool-aid and sugar, to make the amount you need. If you prefer something sugar free like Crystal Light, that’s fine too. Store it in a zipper bag. Label it and place it in your meal box along with everything else. Stored water has a flat flavor, so your meal will be more appealing if you flavor the water you serve.

I like to serve either Tang or Lemonade with this meal, because the citrus complements the rest of the flavors.

  4 Responses to “Menu: Fiesta Lime Beef Stew”

  1. Miss Maggie, this sounds scrumptious! Love Tex-Mex food. It’s so satisfying, and this would be a good emergency meal. I love almost anything made with cornmeal. Guess that tells on my mother’s Alabama roots.

    I would HAVE to leave out the cilantro. It literally gags me. The closest Aldi has canned tomatoes labeled “chili tomatoes”. When we can, we buy a case of some canned vegetables at a time. Tomatoes, corn, french cut green beans, fruit cocktail (also sugar free fruits). Recently Aldi featured canned tart pie cherries for 79 cents per can. We bought 2 cases, and one case of dark sweet cherries (for hubby). We both love cherries and I haven’t been buying canned cherries for quite some time because they were averaging +/- $2.00 per can. A little rich for our grocery budget.

    About the only beverage we have besides hot tea in the morning and water-lots of water-we drink fresh made limeade. Hubby’s has Splenda and a little bit of sugar, and mine has just Splenda. I love it and it compliments about just about any entree’ we eat.

    Cherry cobbler is one of my most favorite desserts, and I can make it whenever I want without fear of breaking the bank. I use your Glad flour baking mix as well as Splenda and fat free half and half in the batter for the topping. Scrumptious.

    Keep the recipes coming, Maggie. We really enjoy them.


    • Hey Frankie. You can just use regular canned tomatoes and the recipe will turn out fine. I LOVE cilantro, but it’s a matter of personal taste. I don’t have an Aldi’s nearby, but there are rumors of one coming to my area in the next year or so. If it ever does I will be there with bells on. Your deal on cherries is AMAZING! That is money in the bank and cherries in your belly. Yum!

  2. Maggie—

    Your recipes are great! They sound scrumptious, are economical. easy to prepare, and easy to store for emergencies. Can’t beat that with a big stick.

    Do you have an Aldi store near you? We have 2 here in town, and one is close enough to walk to if necessary. That is where we buy our canned vegetables and fruit, eggs and produce. And once in a while, sugar-free chocolate freezer pops. A lot cheaper and just as good as Fudgsicles.

    Several months ago we saw that in the next week, they were having a special on canned cherries for 79 cents per can. We bought a case of the dark sweet cherries in syrup, and 2 cases pie cherries in water. At that time canned cherries were costing/- $2.00 per can and I had just stopped buying them. Now I have a good supply for home made cherry sugar free preserves and cherry cobbler.

    Keep up the good work. Love your imagination and resourcefulness.


    • Aww, thanks Frankie. I’m hoping to get up my GLAD flour recipe and the convenience food mixes I made with it soon. I have such big ideas and yet my work ethic is never what I want it to be. ;D. Pray for me to have more self-discipline. Lord knows I can use it.

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