Oct 072015
 

Beach

This is an old recipe from the 1950’s when meat and potatoes were king. I suspect it is one of the original fall-out shelter meals. You could stock the ingredients in your bomb-shelter kitchen and cook it in your Coleman oven over an alcohol stove.

It still tastes good today and is an easy family meal to make with pantry-friendly canned goods, plus it’s gluten-free and dairy-free. I don’t know where it got its name. I assume that because of the pineapple and sweet potatoes this dish was considered somewhat exotic back in the fifties. At least if you ever stock your own bomb-shelter, you’ll have a period-appropriate meal to serve to the kiddies.

To make a complete meal, serve with Italian green beans or canned spinach and a hot bread.

South Seas Supper

Ingredients

  • 29 ounce can sweet potatoes, well-drained
  • 20 ounce can pineapple rings or crushed pineapple, well-drained, reserve juice
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter or alternative of your choice
  • 12 ounce can SPAM OR 16 ounce canned ham
  • Mustard

Directions

Lightly oil an 8-inch square or round pan. Drain the pineapple juice and reserve it. Place the drained sweet potatoes in the pan and mash them with a fork. Arrange the drained pineapple attractively over the sweet potatoes, lapping as necessary. In a small saucepan combine 2 or 3 tablespoons of reserved pineapple juice, the butter and brown sugar. Heat over a low flame until bubbly. Pour this over the pineapple and sweet potatoes.

Cut the SPAM or ham into 8-thin slices. Spread a little mustard on each slice. Arrange the meat attractively over the sweet potatoes and pineapple. Bake in a hot oven, about 450° for 20 to 25 minutes. The juice should be bubbly and the meat lightly browned. Serve hot. Makes 3 to 4-servings. This one is a real family pleaser.

Note that any leftover pineapple juice may be drunk or mixed with kool-aid, lemonade or iced tea and served as your beverage with the meal.

Oct 072015
 

Bean Soup

I usually make this stew with lima beans or butter beans. If you’re not overly fond of limas then try any type of white bean such as great northern, navy beans or cannelini beans. They all work in this basic recipe.

If you’re using dried beans then start off with 1-1/2 to 2-cups of dried beans. Soak them in water to cover overnight. In the morning simmer the beans until tender–about 2-hours. Use them in place of the canned beans in the recipe. Boiling beans requires quite a bit of fuel. If you’re using your kitchen stove, a wood fire or a wood-burning stove then that’s probably not a problem. If you’re using propane then it’s more economical to use canned beans.

SPAM & Bean Stew

Ingredients

  • 3 (15-ounce) cans of beans
  • 1 cup fresh water
  • 15 ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons dry onions
  • 12 ounce can of SPAM, cubed
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup reconstituted milk or soymilk
  • 1/4 cup fresh water
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

Directions

In a 4-quart saucepan combine all of the ingredients except the milk and cornstarch. Mix the stew gently and heat over a medium flame. Simmer the stew for about 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile combine 1/4-cup water and the cornstarch. Stir until the cornstarch dissolves completely. Pour the milk into the stew and then add the cornstarch mixture. Simmer for a few minutes to thicken. Serve with a hot bread and cool salad. Easy and Good!

Oct 072015
 

Spam & Beans

How do you turn a 12-ounce can of SPAM into enough good food to serve 6-hungry hikers? You use it to make beanie-weenies, that’s what you do. SPAM and beans is a classic dish that scouts and campers have been eating for many decades. They’re easy, filling and good for you too. I use a high ratio of beans to ham because this is how my family likes them. If you prefer to use more SPAM, this recipe can be prepared with 2-cans instead of 1.

SPAM & Beans

Ingredients

  • 2 (28 ounce) cans of baked beans, or one 50 ounce can
  • 1 (12-ounce) can of SPAM
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dry onion
  • Pinch red pepper flakes or ground red peppers

Directions

This is a pretty easy recipe. Open up the beans and pour them into a pot. Pour a little water into the can(s) (about 1/4 cup) and swirl it around to get anything stuck to the bottom. Dump this into the pot too. Cut the SPAM into cubes and add to the beans. Measure in the ketchup, mustard, dry onion and red pepper. Mix well. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the flame and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until heated through. Serve right away over bowls of rice. Butter bread is another good accompaniment. If you need veggies then add turnip greens on the side. They heat up quickly, and taste good with the smoky-sweetness of the beans. Makes 6 servings.

 

Oct 072015
 

Stir-Fry

Teriyaki SPAM is made with canned stir-fry vegetables and homemade teriyaki sauce. While the recipe calls for fresh onion, if you have it, it can also be prepared with dry onion. Instructions are included in the recipe. Another option is to omit both the fresh and dry onion. Replace them with a jar of whole baby onions that has been well-drained. Add the onion along with the other vegetables. Jarred onions tend to darken as they age. They are still good to eat, but their color changes as the ascorbic acid loses its power to keep the onions bright white. This is a great recipe for darkening onions because the teriyaki sauce makes the onions brown anyway.

My recipe for easy teriyaki sauce can be found at the bottom of the page. If you just want to teriyaki the meat, then see my recipe for Teriyaki Glazed SPAM, which uses the same homemade teriyaki sauce.

Teriyaki SPAM Stir-fry

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large fresh onion, cut in half and then sliced (optional)
  • 12 ounce can SPAM, cut into strips
  • 29 ounce can Asian stir-fry vegetables, drained and rinsed
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons dry onion (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup Teriyaki Sauce (see recipe below)

Directions

If you have a fresh onion, use it and omit the dry onion. If you don’t have a fresh onion then add the dry onion along with the Teriyaki Sauce.

Remove the SPAM from the can and slice it thin. Stack the slices and cut it into strips. Open the canned vegetables and drain them well. If possible, thoroughly rinse the vegetables in clean water. Drain again.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the fresh slices of onion and fry for 2 or 3 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Add the SPAM. Sauté until the strips of SPAM are lightly browned. Add the canned vegetables. Stir and cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar and Teriyaki sauce. Simmer for a few minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened. Serve over plain cooked rice. Makes 3 or 4 servings. Easy and delicious. Turkey SPAM can also be prepared this way.


 

Super Easy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup OR agave
  • 1 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions

Combine all of the ingredients in a clean jar. Screw on the lid and shake vigorously. Use anywhere you would normally use store-bought Teriyaki sauce. Store leftovers in the fridge for a few months or in the pantry for a few weeks. Makes about 1-cup.

 

Oct 072015
 

servingsupper

Teriyaki sauce is easy to make yourself. You’ll find my recipe at the bottom of the page. SPAM is perfect for teriyaki because it already has a salty, pork flavor. If you have SPAM haters in your household then this recipe might be able to tempt them to the side of good. It doesn’t taste like SPAM. It just tastes like Teriyaki. Turkey SPAM is also good prepared this way.

Teriyaki Glazed Luncheon Meat

Ingredients

  • 12 ounce can of SPAM, cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Teriyaki Sauce (see easy recipe below)

Directions

Cut the SPAM into thin slices, then stack the slices and cut into strips. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the SPAM and sauté until it is lightly browned. Sprinkle the sugar over the SPAM and allow it to caramelize briefly. Add the Teriyaki sauce. Stir until the sauce evaporated and coats the SPAM with a thick, golden brown glaze. Remove from the heat. Serve over plain cooked rice. Makes 2 to 4-servings, depending upon appetite. Mandarin Oranges or Pineapple Rings or Mixed Tropical Fruits all make excellent accompaniments along with a plain vegetable like kale, collard greens or canned cabbage. This recipe is easy, exotic and absolutely delicious.


 

Super Easy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup or agave
  • 1 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions

Combine all of the ingredients in a clean jar. Screw on the lid and shake vigorously. Use anywhere you would normally use store-bought Teriyaki sauce. Store leftovers in the fridge for a few months or on the pantry shelf for a few weeks. Makes about 1-cup.

 

Oct 072015
 

Spam Couple

SPAM is cut into pretty julienne strips and then fried and glazed with brown sugar. It is A-May-Zing! You have no idea how good this is. Don’t think about it. Just make it and eat it and then make it again because you’ll start craving it. Mana from heaven!

Sugar Fried SPAM

Ingredients

  • 12 ounce can of SPAM, cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

Directions

Remove the SPAM from the can and place it on a plate. Cut it into 8-thin slices. Stack the slices together and cut them into small strips.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the SPAM strips and sauté until they are lightly browned. Sprinkle the sugar over the SPAM. Sauté gently until the strips are coated with the sugar. Continue cooking until the sugar caramelizes. Remove from heat before the sugar burns. Serve over cooked rice with a side of french cut green beans. Makes 2 to 4-servings, depending on appetite.

 

Oct 072015
 

Better Lunch

This recipe uses about 1/2 of an 8-ounce jar of mayonnaise. If you don’t have refrigeration, then keep the remaining mayonnaise in a cool spot and use on sandwiches the next day. These are especially good on homemade wheat bread.

To make the sandwich filling gluten-free be sure to use gluten-free chunk ham such as Hormel. SPAM is also gluten free. Serve open-face, on rice cakes. To make the sandwiches dairy-free replace the Velveeta with 1-cup of shredded Daiya cheddar flavored dairy-free cheese. Daiya keeps well in the freezer if you happen upon a sale, or need a way to keep it for an extended period of time.

Ham & Cheese Sandwiches

  • 2 (5-ounce) cans chunk ham, or 12 ounce can SPAM, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces of minced Velveeta-type cheese (mash with a fork) or 1-cup shredded cheese
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • Sliced Bread

Flake or chop the meat you are using. SPAM can be shredded on a cheese shredder if it’s well chilled. Sometimes that’s easier than chopping it. Chunk ham is easily flaked with a fork. Next mince the cheese. I cut off a 4-ounce piece of Velveeta and mash it in a bowl with a fork. I find it too tedious to chop.

Get out a medium-sized bowl. In it combine the meat, cheese, mustard and mayonnaise. Stir it up, making a nice moist filling. Spread the filling onto slices of bread. It goes on thickly. Lay the open face sandwiches on a large cookie sheet and bake them for about 15 minutes at 450°, or until the cheese melts. They cook fast so watch them closely. Top each sandwich with another slice of bread or toast and serve. This recipe makes 8 sandwiches, depending on how thickly you spread the filling. Serve with green bean salad and oatmeal cookies.

These sandwiches are good for lunch boxes too, in which case you don’t have to broil them, just pack and eat them like a normal sandwich. If you don’t have access to a broiler then you can fry the sandwiches in a skillet or on a griddle like grilled cheese sandwiches.

Oct 072015
 

spaghetti_carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara is a traditional Italian dish made with Pancetta bacon. It’s very good. This is not Carbonara, it’s Carburetor, or more commonly spelled Carberator, and is the plebeian alternative to Carbonara. My husband Fred, coined the title many years ago, and it has stuck ever since.

To make this recipe gluten-free use GF spaghetti. Hormel brand chunk ham is gluten-free according to their website, and I can attest to the quality.

I have not been successful in making this dish dairy-free. To my taste buds, dairy-free parmesan alternative just doesn’t cut it with Carburetor. Still, you may feel differently, so feel free to sub it in if you want to give it a try.

Spaghetti Carburetor

Ingredients

  • 8 to 12 ounces dry spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup butter or alternative of your choice
  • 5 ounce can chunk ham
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 fresh egg OR 2 tablespoons Ova Easy egg crystals combined with 3-tablespoons of water
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese, or more to taste

Directions

First prepare the spaghetti according to package direction. While it’s cooking make the sauce.

In a small saucepan melt the butter or alternative over medium heat. Flake the ham into small bits and add it to the butter along with any liquid from the can. Also add the garlic powder. Simmer the ham until it absorbs most of the butter.

Meanwhile crack the egg into a small cup and beat it well. Or combine the powdered egg and water in a small cup. Stir until smooth and set aside. Measure the cheese and set it aside too.

When the spaghetti is tender drain it well and return it to the pot. Add the ham and butter, cheese and finally the egg. Toss well with a fork until the spaghetti is evenly coated with the sauce. Add a few sprinkles of black pepper and a little dried parsley if desired. Toss again and serve at once.

Technically speaking, this recipe is supposed to feed 4-people of moderate appetites, as part of a meal. In reality I have seen a hungry mountain man, who had hiked all day in the snow, eat the entire thing in one sitting and then have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dessert. In my experience, when prepared with 12-ounces of pasta, this recipe makes enough for 2-very hungry people, as part of a meal, or 3-people of more moderate appetites. If you are serving a hungry family of 5 or 6 you will have to double it. If you are playing in the snow all day, or doing lots of outside work, it will serve 2 as part of a meal.

Make it a meal by serving garlic bread, canned spinach, pears and chocolate pudding. In this case you might get as many as 4-servings out of the whole meal.

Oct 072015
 

Fried Sandwich

Soup and sandwiches used to be my go-to lunch when we still ate wheat and dairy. The family always felt like they were getting a complete meal and I felt like I was doing my job by providing it for them. These sandwiches make a good meal when served with canned or homemade vegetable soup. Provide applesauce on the side to hit all of your nutritional bases.

If you are making these with pantry-friendly homemade bread, be sure not to slice the bread too thinly. Fried cheese sandwiches need the bread to be at least 1/2-inch thick so the cheese doesn’t ooze from the bread while it fries.

Grilled Ham or SPAM & Cheese Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 16 ounce canned ham or 12 ounce can of SPAM
  • 4 ounces Velveeta-type cheese or canned cheese
  • 12 slices bread (approximately)
  • Mustard
  • Butter or alternative of your choice
  • Skillet or Griddle

Directions

Cut the ham or luncheon meat into thin slices. Do the same for the cheese. Spread each slice of bread lightly with yellow mustard. You may also spread the bread with a thin layer of mayonnaise if you like. Lay a slice of ham or luncheon meat and a slice of cheese on half of the slices of bread. Patch together the ham and cheese as needed to cover the entire slice of bread. Top the ham and cheese with a second slice of bread.

Heat the butter or alternative in skillet or griddle over a low flame. Butter flavored shortening is actually very good for this. Lay on the sandwiches and fry until golden brown on the underside. Flip and brown the remaining side, adding more fat as needed. Continue until all of the sandwiches have been fried a toasty, golden brown. Cut into triangles and serve. The cheese will be gooey; the ham will be hot and fragrant; the whole sandwich will be delicious.

If desired serve with vegetable or tomato soup. Yummy! Makes at least 6-sandwiches, more if you manage to slice the ham thinly.

Oct 072015
 

Soup and Sandwich

I buy 5-ounce cans of Hormel chunk ham in 12-pack cases from Amazon. They are cheaper there than they are at my local stores. Be sure to compare prices though. They tend to change quickly. Hormel chunk ham is gluten free, which is important to me. As far as canned ham products go, I think Hormel Chunk Ham tastes the best, hands down. I prefer the flavor and texture to that of DAK hams, but not everyone agrees with me on that point. Either type makes pretty good ham salad. Hormel chunk ham can be mashed with a fork. DAK ham is better chopped with a knife. This recipe makes a lot of ham salad, so it takes 3-cans of Hormel or an entire can of DAK for the recipe. It also requires an 8-ounce jar of mayonnaise or 3/4 to 1-cup of mayonnaise from your jar in the fridge.

Ham Salad

Ingredient

  • 3 (5-ounce) cans of chopped ham OR 1 (16-ounce) canned ham such as DAK
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons prepared mustard, to taste
  • 1 (8-ounce) jar mayonnaise OR 3/4 to 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet pickles or relish
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder

Directions

Open up the ham and drain off the juice. If necessary chop it into small pieces or flake it with a fork. Combine the ham and the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well. Spread on rice cakes or crackers or bread. Makes about 8 sandwiches, depending on thickly you spread it. A handful of fresh sprouts makes ham salad sandwiches especially yummy.

Serve with vegetable soup for a satisfying and nutritious lunch.

If you have fresh onion, omit the onion powder and add 1/4 to 1/2-cup finely minced fresh onion instead.

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