Oct 092015
 

Chicken In A Can

This is an easy food storage recipe for creamed chicken made from canned chicken or turkey. The canning liquid is used in the sauce to give it extra flavor. To make this dish gluten free and dairy free simply use rice flour instead of all purpose flour and soymilk instead of reconstituted dairy milk.

Chicken or Turkey in Gravy, From Scratch

Ingredients

  • 12 ounce can of chicken or turkey, undrained
  • 1/4 cup butter or alternative of your choice
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour OR rice flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon chicken broth powder or 1 bouillon cube
  • 1/2 cup reconstituted milk OR soymilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • Good dash black pepper

Directions

In a medium-sized saucepan melt the butter or alternative over a low flame. Stir in the flour until it absorbs the fat. Gradually add the water. Whisk the mixture until it’s completely smooth. Add the undrained chicken, broth powder, milk and seasonings. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Simmer for 5-minutes or so, to thicken the sauce and blend the flavors. Serve over mashed potatoes. Makes 4-servings. Add hot bread, peas and carrots, and canned peaches for a complete meal.

VARIATION

Fred always adds a can of mushrooms to this dish. Use the liquid drained from the mushrooms as part of the 1-cup water called for in making the sauce.

Oct 092015
 

Canned Soup

Some people use lots of canned soup in their food storage. Other people think it’s the devil. If you do use canned soup then this easy method for making creamed chicken will appeal to you. If you don’t stock canned soup, then you can try my recipe for Creamed Chicken or Turkey, From Scratch instead.

Ultra Easy Creamed Chicken or Turkey

Ingredients

  • 10 ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 12 ounce can of chicken or turkey, undrained
  • 1/2 cup instant nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • Dash Black Pepper

Directions

Open up the soup and scrape it into a 2-quart saucepan. Open the chicken or turkey and drain the juice into the pan of soup. Add the powdered milk. Stir until smooth. A whisk helps you accomplish this quickly. Heat the sauce over a medium flame. Using your fingers or a fork pull the chicken into small bits. Add this to the sauce. Simmer for a few minutes to heat thoroughly. Stir often to prevent sticking. Serve over mashed potatoes.

If desired you may add a well drained can of mushrooms or a small can of drained peas or peas and carrots. Makes 4-large servings.

VARIATION

Easy Turkey Spam in Gravy: Replace the chicken or turkey in the above recipe with a 12-ounce can of Turkey SPAM. Slice the meat thinly then stack the slices and cut them into thin slivers. Add 1/2-cup water to the soup to thin it into gravy. Then add the chopped SPAM and remaining ingredients (dry milk and seasonings). Simmer as directed and spoon over potatoes.

Oct 062015
 

chicken-chop-suey

According to Wikipedia, Chop Suey has been around in America since at least the 1890’s. It translates to odds and ends or bits and pieces. The following recipe is based upon the one created by La Choy foods back in the 1920’s. La Choy continued to share this recipe with consumers until at least the 1970’s. It was many Americans only exposure to Chinese food in the early 20th Century. Nowadays, it seems plebian and perhaps, uninspired. Back then though, it was the height of haute cuisine. Times change. Tastes change. Chop Suey is still a tasty and budget-friendly family dish, easily prepared from panty staples.

thrifty_chop_sueyI’ve adapted La Choy’s original recipe to use canned chicken and I’ve spiced it up a bit to make it more appealing to modern appetites. This is my family’s favorite recipe for Pantry Friendly Chop Suey. I’ve been making it since the late 1980’s so you know it’s well-tested.

Chop Suey, prepared according to this method, is very much an American dish. It has some Asian elements but it’s not Chinese food. It’s American food that has put on a pretty chinese dress and shown up at the church potluck with chop sticks in its hair, smiling brightly and claiming all the compliments for such novel and delicious “foreign food.”

By the way, to turn Chop Suey into Chow Mein, simply serve it over crunchy chow mein noodles, instead of rice. Also, if you dont’ want to use chicken, you can use canned salmon, SPAM or canned tuna instead. After chicken, SPAM Chop Suey is my family’s favorite.

The recipe below does use fresh celery or cabbage and fresh onion, all of which are economical. If you don’t have access to these, see the note following the recipe for pantry-friendly alternatives.

As for cost, as of Fall 2015, this recipe (with fresh onion and celery) costs me about $1.25 per serving, including long grain white rice–not including the canned fruit, which would add about 40¢, making a complete gluten-free, dairy-free meal for well under $2 per serving.

Pantry Friendly Chop Suey

Ingredients 

  • 2 or 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, cut in half and sliced
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped OR 2-cups sliced cabbage
  • 1 (12-ounce) can chicken
  • 1 (28-ounce) can stir-fry vegetables, drained and rinsed
  • 1-1/2 to 2-cups water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/8-teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4-teaspoon EACH garlic powder, dry ginger and ground red pepper or pepper flakes
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water

Directions

Begin by peeling the onion. Chop it in half (from root to tip) then cut into thin slices. Separate the pieces with your fingers so you have many thin pieces. Wash the celery or cabbage and chop it too.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the celery or cabbage and onion. Stir-fry for about 5-minutes, or until the vegetables are tender-crisp.

While the vegetables are cooking open the canned vegetables and drain them in a colander. Thoroughly rinse in clean water then drain again.

Open up the canned chicken. Drain the canning liquid into a glass measuring cup. Add enough water to equal 1-1/2 cups liquid.

In a small bowl or coffee cup combine the soy sauce, cornstarch and 2-tablespoons water. Stir until the cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside.

When the vegetables in the skillet are tender-crisp add the canned chicken, canned stir-fry vegetables, 1-1/2 cups water, sugar, pepper, garlic, ginger, red pepper and bouillon cube. Bring to a boil. Stir in the cornstarch  mixture. Simmer and stir for a couple of minutes, or until the sauce is thickened. If desired you may add up to 1/2-cup more water if you want the sauce to be thinner. You may or may not need it.

Serve over hot rice. I use 1-1/2 cups of rice cooked in 3-cups of water. Start the rice first, before you begin the chop suey. This will allow for both to be done at the same time.

If desired garnish with a few peanuts scattered over top, or chow mein noodles if you prefer. I use peanuts because they are gluten-free. The extra crunch of peanuts or chow mein noodles makes the dish more appealing in my opinion.

Serve with canned mandarin oranges or a combination of mandarin oranges and pineapple.

Makes 4-hearty servings.

Notes: If you don’t have access to fresh foods then you can omit the onion and celery. Begin the recipe by combining the water and canned goods. Add the oil along with the chicken. Then proceed as directed. To make up for the onion and celery, try one of the following alternatives.

  1. 15-ounce jar of baby onions, well-drained.
  2. 15-ounce can french style green beans and 4-ounce can mushrooms, both well-drained and 2 tablespoons dry onion flakes.
  3. 1/4 cup EACH dry celery and dry onions, added along with the water. Allow them to simmer for a few minutes to reconstitute before adding the canned goods.
  4. 2 to 3-cups sprouted lentils or other homegrown sprouts. These should be started several days before they are needed. Also add 2-tablespoons of dehydrated onion flakes for flavor. The sprouts do not need to be fried in the oil unless you really want to. They are tender enough to simply add along with the canned vegetables and chicken.

If you are gluten-free then be sure to use gluten-free versions of your ingredients, especially the soy sauce. Do not use chow mein noodles, wich are full of wheat flour.

chop_suey_chicken

Feb 222015
 

 

~MENU~

Chicken Cacciatore

Hot Fluffy Rice

Italian Green Beans

Pears & Mandarin Oranges

Iced Tea, Lemonade or Fruit Drink

 

italian_foodThe term cacciatore literally translates to hunter in Italian. It refers to game meat prepared hunter-style. Originally it was made from rabbit which was hunted down by Dad or Grandpa (or Mom or Grandma, I suppose). The fresh kill was then eviscerated, skinned, cut into pieces, browned in olive oil and simmered in a tomato wine sauce. Tomato and wine both tenderize coarse, stringy game, so they were the perfect way to turn cheap peasant fare into a dish fit for royalty. Nowadays cacciatore is most often prepared with chicken instead of fresh hunted rabbit. I’ve used canned chicken in a tomato wine sauce and it’s surprisingly good.

Cacciatore can be served over rice, gluten-free spaghetti or polenta (cornmeal mush). I’ve paired it with rice here, because that is the way my family likes it. Feel free to use another starch if your family prefers it that way.

Pollo Alla Cacciatora

I’ve used red wine in this recipe, but if you don’t use alcohol, the replace the wine with some of the broth drained from the chicken. If desired add a tablespoon of apple cider or balsamic vinegar for flavor.

Canned Goods
  • 2 (12-ounce) can chicken, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomatoes with green peppers, undrained
  • 1 (8-ounce) can mushrooms, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) jar or can pizza sauce
Bag 1
  • 1 tablespoon dry minced onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 dash red pepper flakes or ground red pepper
Pantry
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine, optional
To Storecasseroledish

Gather the cans and place them in your meal box. Measure the items for Bag 1 and combine them in a small zipper bag or other resealable container. Place a copy of the recipe and meal plan in the meal box.

To Prepare

Open up all the cans. Drain the chicken. If you don’t consume alcohol, then measure 1/3-cup of the chicken broth from the canned chicken to replace the wine and discard the rest. Drain the mushrooms and discard the liquid. In a 3-quart saucepan combine the chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms, pizza sauce and olive or vegetable oil. Measure the red wine. Pour the wine into the empty pizza sauce jar. Screw on the lid and shake the jar to dissolve all of the residue in the wine. Pour the wine into the pot with the chicken. Add the contents of Bag 1. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes so the seasonings have a chance to blend nicely. Serve over rice.

Notes

I usually prepare the rice first and then set it aside. Next I prepare the Chicken Cacciatore. While it’s cooking I make the green beans. This method usually allows everything to be hot and ready at the same time.

I almost always prepare this with the red wine because I think it adds so much to the flavor. I keep box-o-wine in my storage pantry because it tends to keep very well. If you don’t use wine then a little broth from the canned chicken makes a fine substitute.


Hot Fluffy Rice

Bag 1
  • 4 cups instant white rice
Water
  • 32-ounces (4 cups) water
To Store

Measure the rice and place it in a zipper bag or plastic container with a good lid. Place it in the meal box along with the bottled water.

To Prepare

In a 2-quart saucepan with a good lid, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Stir in the rice. Return the water to a boil. Cover the pot. Turn off the flame. If possible wrap the hot pot in a towel or blanket. Allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes (or longer if necessary). Use as desired. Makes about 8-cups of cooked rice.


Country Style Italian Green Beans

Italian, or flat green beans are wider and flatter than conventional green beans. I usually use Allen’s brand, which are gluten-free. If you don’t want to use Italian green beans then regular cut green beans work just as well in this recipe.

Canned Goods
  • 1 (29-ounce) can Italian Green beans or 2 (15-ounce) cans cut green beans, no-added-salt
Bag 1
  • 1 teaspoon brown or white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (only if the green beans are low-sodium)
Pantry
  • 1 tablespoon butter flavored shortening or dairy-free margarine
To Store

Place the green beans in the meal box along with the other canned goods. Combine the items for Bag 1 in a small zipper bag or other small resealable container.

To Prepare

Open the beans and place them in a 2-quart saucepan. Add the contents of Bag 1 and the shortening or margarine. Bring the beans to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat slightly and boil hard for an additional 5-minutes. This gives the beans their traditional country flavor and texture.


Pears & Mandarin Oranges

Pears and Tangerines are both native to Italy. They are combined here to make a tasty fruit salad.

Canned Goods
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pears, packed in fruit juice
  • 1 (11 or 15-ounce) can mandarin oranges in light syrup
To Store & Prepare

Stash the cans in the meal box along with the other canned goods.

To serve, drain both fruits. Add the juice to the iced tea or fruit drink that you’re serving with the meal (see below). Cut the pears into bite-sized pieces. Toss them with the mandarin oranges in a serving bowl. To make more servings use a 29-ounce can of pears.


Beverage

  • 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.

If you store wine-in-a-box, then consider serving wine to the adults with this meal.

Dec 072014
 
brunswick_stew

Brunswick Stew prepared with green beans instead of the more traditional butter beans.

 

~MENU~

Brunswick Chicken Stew

Hot Fluffy Rice

Peaches

Iced Tea, Lemonade or Fruit Drink

 

Canned Goods
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans chicken
  • 1 (15-ounce) can corn, no-salt-added
  • 1 (15-ounce) can lima beans or butter beans or green beans (no-salt-added, if possible)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomatoes with celery, green pepper and onion
  • 1 (28-ounce) can peaches
Bag 1
  • 2 tablespoons dry minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Bag 2
  • 4 cups instant white rice
Pantry
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Instant Iced Tea, Lemonade or Fruit Drink Mix, if desired
Water
  • 4 cups (32-ounces) water for rice
  • 2 quarts or 2 liters water for drinking with the meal
To Store

Gather the cans and water in a box or paper bag. Measure all of the ingredients for Bag 1 into a plastic zipper bag or a small jar or resealable plastic container. Seal and place in with the canned goods. Measure the rice into a separate bag or container. Seal and place in with the canned goods. Label the box (or bag) and make sure a copy of the recipe instructions is included.

To Prepare

Begin by opening up all of the cans except the peaches. Pour the contents of all of the cans into a 3 or 4-quart saucepan or pot. Stir gently. Add the contents of Bag 1 along with the Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, barbecue sauce and vegetable oil. Place the chicken onto your stove and light the flame. Cook over a medium flame for about 10 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

While the chicken is heating, prepare the rice. In a 2-quart saucepan with a good lid, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Stir in the rice. Return the water to a boil. Cover the pot. Turn off the flame. If possible wrap the hot pot in a towel or blanket. Allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes (or longer if necessary). Use as desired.

Open the peaches. Drain the liquid and add it to the lemonade or iced tea that you’re serving with the meal. If desired, cut the peaches into bite-sized pieces. Place them in a serving bowl.

Prepare 2-quarts of your preferred beverage, adding the liquid from the canned fruit for extra flavor and nutrition.

Serve the stew in a bowlover a large pile of rice with peaches on the side.

Notes

This is a traditional Brunswick stew. It’s spicy sweet, and the barbecue sauce gives it a flavor reminiscent of summer barbecues on the patio. If you prefer a smokier flavor you may add a spoonful of liquid smoke. I like this best with Louisiana Hot Sauce but any type of hot sauce can be used. Texas Pete would be my second choice. If you prefer a more pork-like flavor then add a spoonful of peanut butter. It will thicken the stew a little bit and give it a meatier flavor.

Traditionally Brunswick stew is made with dried butter beans. If you can’t find butter beans at your market, then canned lima beans are just as good. If your family is hostile towards lima beans, then green beans make a fine substitute.

Dec 072014
 

 

~MENU~

Guisado de Pollo Cubano

(Cuban Chicken Stew)

Hot Fluffy Rice

Pears and Mandarin Oranges

Iced Tea, Lemonade or Fruit Drink

 

MariachiGuisado de Pollo Cubano or Cuban Chicken Stew

The tangy juice of sour oranges is one of the ingredients that gives Cuban Chicken Stew its signature flavor. This is not something that many of us make a part of our emergency pantry. I’ve used a combination of citrus flavors—including orange, lemon and lime—to replicate the flavor. True Lemon, True Lime and True Orange crystals are available in small packets in many supermarkets. I usually find them next to the artificial sweeteners, although sometimes they’re with the instant iced tea. You can also order them online. If you don’t have any of these convenient packets available to you then simply leave them out of the recipe and replace them with 3 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice and a teaspoon of sugar.

This recipe makes enough for a hungry family of 4 or 6 moderate servings. It’s gluten free and dairy free. In this menu I explain how to cook regular white rice in the most fuel-efficient manner. If you prefer to use instant rice, then you’ll want 4-cups of instant rice and 4-cups of water.

Canned Goods
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans chicken
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce (no-salt added)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can peas (no-salt added)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced potatoes
  • 1 (4-ounce) can green chile peppers
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pears (packed in fruit juice)
  • 1 (11 or 15-ounce) can mandarin oranges
Water
  • 24-ounces (3-cups) water for the rice
  • 2 quarts or 2 liters water to drink with the meal
Bag 1
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons dry minced onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 packets True Orange, optional
  • 1 packet True Lemon, optional
  • 1 packet True Lime, optional
Bag 2
  • 1-1/2 cups dry white rice or converted (parboiled) rice
Pantry
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • Instant Iced Tea, Lemonade or Fruit Drink Mix, if desired
To Store

Gather the cans and water in a box or paper bag. Measure all of the ingredients for Bag 1 into a plastic zipper bag or a small jar or resealable plastic container. Seal and place in with the canned goods. Measure the rice into a separate bag or container. Seal and place in with the canned goods. Label the box (or bag) and make sure a copy of the recipe instructions is included.

To Prepare

First prepare the rice. Bring 3-cups, or 24-ounces, of water to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Add the rice from Bag 2. Return the rice to a boil, then place a good lid on the pot and cook it over the lowest flame for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and wrap the pot in a couple of towels or a blanket. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes to finish cooking.

Open all of the canned goods except the pears and mandarin oranges. Do not drain the chicken or green chile peppers. Do drain the peas, saving the canning liquid in case you need it later. Drain the potatoes, discarding the liquid. Rinse the potatoes in fresh water if possible. If not, don’t worry about it.

Pour the chicken, along with the canning liquid, into a 3 or 4-quart saucepan. Add the tomato sauce, drained peas, drained potatoes and green chile peppers.

Add the contents of Bag 1. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil for flavor and texture. If you’re using bottled lemon juice add it now too. Bring the stew to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the stew to simmer for about 10 minutes. If the stew seems dry then add a little of the canning liquid from the peas until it reaches the consistency your prefer. Discard any leftover canning liquid.

Open up both cans of fruit. Drain the liquid from the fruit. Add it to the iced tea or fruit drink or water that you’re serving with the meal. Cut the pears into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Combine both pears and mandarin oranges in a serving bowl.

Prepare 2-quarts of your preferred beverage, adding the liquid from the canned fruit for extra flavor and nutrition.

Serve the stew over a pile of rice with pears and oranges on the side.

Notes

I keep True Lemon on hand in my Emergency Pantry and find it very useful as a replacement for bottled or fresh lemon juice. It’s all natural, convenient and stores well. I can find it at several of my local supermarkets. About a year ago I found boxes of True Lime and True Orange and have been looking for ways to use them up ever since. This recipe uses them to advantage. If you don’t keep True Orange and True Lime on hand, then simply leave them out and replace them with 3-tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 3 packets of True Lemon and then add a teaspoon of sugar. I once tried adding the juice from the canned mandarin oranges, thinking that it would make a good replacement for the sour orange juice called for in the original recipe. This was not a good choice. It was too sweet in my opinion, although you may feel differently. Feel free to experiment and give the dish your own touch.

Jun 222014
 

~MENU~

Jamaican Chicken Stew

Hot Fluffy Rice

Tropical Mixed Fruits

Iced Tea, Lemonade or Fruit Drink

 

ThymeThis menu makes enough to feed 4 starving lumberjacks, or a hungry family of 6. It’s pretty spicy and for sure does not taste like your mother’s food storage meals! Thyme, Allspice and Hot Peppers give it an exotic flavor similar to Jamaican Jerk.

The main recipe is adapted from one that appeared in Cooking Light Magazine in the year 2000.

In this menu I use easy to cook Instant Rice because it makes better use of fuel and time, which are at a premium when camping or when the electricity goes out. If you prefer to use regular white rice, or brown rice, then feel free to do so.

This meal is gluten-free and casein-free. It can be made from dry goods available in most supermarkets.

Jamaican Chicken Stew

Canned Goods

  • 2 (12-ounce) cans chicken, undrained
  • 1 (10-ounce) can tomatoes with cilantro and lime, undrained (Rotel Brand)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas or black beans, drained

Bag 1

  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or ground red pepper, optional (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dry minced onion

Pantry

  • 1 or 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

To Store

Gather together the canned goods and stash in your meal box. Combine all of the ingredients for Bag 1 in a small zipper bag or other small resealable container. Place it in with the cans.

To Prepare

Open all of the cans. Drain the black-eyed peas or black beans. Rinse them if possible. Don’t worry about it if you can’t. In a 3-quart saucepan combine all of the canned ingredients. Add the contents of Bag 1 and the vegetable oil. Stir briefly. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer the stew for about 10 minutes, to bring out all of the flavors. Serve over bowls of rice.

Notes

This stew uses many of the flavors found in traditional Jamaican Jerk. It’s pretty spicy, especially if you’re unfamiliar with Jamaican food. This recipe is less spicy than genuine Jamaican Chicken stew, but is still plenty hot.

Traditionally Jamaicans use scotch bonnet peppers for this dish. These are somewhat difficult to find in American supermarkets, so I have substituted red pepper flakes instead. If you want something a little more authentic, then omit the red pepper flakes. When you prepare the stew add 1-teaspoon of habanero style hot pepper sauce. This is easy to find in the Latino section of many supermarkets. Habanero peppers have approximately the same level of heat as scotch bonnet peppers and a similar flavor. At my house we always make it with the habanero sauce instead of the red pepper flakes. Hot pepper sauces keep well without refrigeration.

If you are serving this meal to children, you may want to completely omit all hot peppers or pepper sauce. The canned tomatoes used in this recipe have a little bit of heat in them already, so you’ll still get a bit of pepper flavor without the heat which could burn their tongues.

Thyme and allspice are traditional Jamaican seasonings. They make this dish into something really good. Make sure your allspice is fresh. Old allspice can give the stew a somewhat moldy flavor that does not taste good. If you’re leery about using allspice in this way, try using only 1/4 teaspoon to start with. You can increase it if you find you like the flavor.

I almost always use black-eyed peas for this dish because I come from the South and we like black-eyed peas, which are also a traditional Jamaican food. If you don’t like black-eyed peas, then feel free to use black beans instead. Their deep color looks quite pretty with the chicken and tomatoes in the stew.

If you can’t find chili lime tomatoes, then tomatoes canned with green chili peppers make a fine substitute.


Hot Fluffy Rice

Bag 1

  • 4 cups instant white rice

Water

  • 32-ounces (4 cups) water

To Store

Measure the rice and place it in a zipper bag or plastic tub with a good lid. Place it in the meal box along with the bottled water.

To Prepare

In a 2-quart saucepan with a good lid, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Stir in the rice. Return the water to a boil. Cover the pot. Turn off the flame. If possible wrap the hot pot in a towel or blanket. Allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes (or longer if necessary). Use as desired.


Tropical Fruit

Canned Goods

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans tropical mixed fruit, packed in light syrup
  • Optional: 1/4 cup dry coconut, sweetened or not, as desired

To Store & Prepare

Place the cans of fruit in the meal box along with the other canned goods. If you want to use the coconut then simply measure it out and place it in a small zipper bag or other resealable container.

When you’re ready to serve the fruit you can simply spoon it from the can. If you want something a little fancier then drain the juice from the cans and add it to your iced tea or fruit drink that you’re serving with the meal. Pour the fruit into a pretty serving bowl and sprinkle the coconut on top. This is quite good, and helps to alleviate the heat from the stew.


Beverage

  • 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.

%d bloggers like this: