Oct 092015

5 Can Bean Soup

This recipe is so easy and so good. You can make it with canned tomatoes, which are cheap and easy to find. Or if you feel very fancy you can add 1 or 2 cans of zucchini and tomatoes. Cut the zucchini into bite-sized pieces before adding if desired. However you go, this is a delicious soup.

Be sure to look no-salt-added vegetables when possible. It does a great job of reducing the sodium content of this soup. If you use all low-sodium vegetables then you may add 2 or 3 bouillon cubes for salt and flavor. Additionally, if you must add meat–beef, SPAM, vienna sausages and ham would all be good choices. I leave quantities to your discretion. I prefer it to be vegetarian, as written. Fred likes SPAM in his.

Vegetarian 5-Can Bean Soup


  • 15 ounce can kidney beans
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas OR black beans
  • 15 ounce can white beans
  • 15 ounce can green beans
  • 15 ounce can tomatoes, OR, better yet, 1 or 2-cans of zucchini and tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons dry onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • Salt & Black Pepper to taste


Get out a nice big pot. Open up all of your cans. Do not drain them. Add their contents to the pot. Stir in the dry onion, garlic, and basil. Heat over medium heat until the mixture simmers. Simmer for about 20 minutes and serve. Add water if the soup seems to thick. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to your liking. I also like to add a dash of red pepper flakes, not enough for heat, but enough for a little extra flavor. Makes about 6 big servings. Serve with hoecakes or cornbread on the side. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast before serving for a cheesy flavor boost. Or if you eat dairy then you can sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese.

Oct 092015

Szechuan SPAM Bowl

The first time I made this dish I got the greatest compliment from my youngest son. He said, “Oh. It tastes like real Chinese food.”

If you’ve done much cooking with stored food, you know that food storage meals can be hit and miss sometimes. I’m the first to admit it. Some of the stuff I try turns out absolutely terrible. Every now and then though, I get a big hit. This is one of the biggest. SPAM in this recipe doesn’t taste like SPAM, it tastes like Chinese pork. It’s perfect for this complex blend of spicy hot, smokey, savory, sour and sweet flavors. Put the bomb in your bomb shelter with Szechuan SPAM.

This recipe takes less than 30-minutes to prepare. Less than 20-minutes if you’ve made it before. Before you start it though, put on a pot of rice to cook. I use 2-cups of white rice cooked in 4-cups of water to accompany it. If you want pudding for dessert, prepare it before starting the rice. Canned peaches can be opened up just before serving dinner.

For a gluten-free, dairy-free meal be sure to use gluten-free soy sauce. If you’re serving pudding for dessert prepare conventional cooked cornstarch pudding, using soymilk instead of dairy milk.

Szechuan SPAM


  • 2 or 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 (12-ounce) can SPAM, cut into small strips
  • 1 large onion, chopped OR 2 to 3 tablespoons dry onions
  • 1 (8-ounce) can mushrooms
  • 1 (15-ounce) can French style green beans OR cut green beans
  • 1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts
  • 1 (15-ounce) can baby corn
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers OR 8 ounces of pimento
  • 1/4 to 1/2-teaspoon red pepper flakes OR ground red pepper
  • 1/2-teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional)


Before you start cooking do all of your prep-work first. Pour the oil into a large or deep skillet or pot. Set it aside.

Slice the SPAM into thin slices. Stack the slices and cut them into strips.

If you have a fresh onion peel it. Cut it in half and then slice into half-moons. Use your fingers to break it into many pieces. If you’re using dried onion then measure it and set it aside.

Drain the mushrooms and green beans, saving the liquid in a measuring cup. Add enough water to equal 1-1/2 cups.

Drain the water chestnuts, baby corn and red peppers. Rinse well if possible. Cut the red peppers into thin strips. Set the vegetables aside.

Measure the red pepper flakes, garlic powder and sugar into a small dish or cup. Set aside.

In a small bowl or cup combine the vinegar, soy sauce and cornstarch. Stir until the cornstarch dissolves in the liquid. Set aside.

Get out the sesame oil if you’re using.

Now it’s time to do the cooking. Heat the oil in the large skillet or pot over medium-high or high heat. Add the SPAM. Stir-fry for about 5-minutes, or until it’s somewhat browned. Add fresh onion if you’re using is. If you’re using dry onion, then wait to add it with the sugar, garlic and hot pepper.

Fry the onion and SPAM for 3-minutes or until the onion is hot and beginning to become tender. Add the mushrooms. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes, or until it dries out a little bit. This improves the texture of mushroom in the finished dish.

Next add the remaining vegetables and the sugar, garlic, hot pepper and dry onion (if you’re using it). Pour in the water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the cornstarch mixture. Simmer for 1-minute, or until thick. Measure the sesame oil if you have any. Add it to the skillet and stir it all until evenly mixed. Serve over rice.

To make a meal serve something cooling such as peaches or fruit cocktail. I like a simple vanilla pudding as dessert to cleanse the palate after the spice of this dish.

Szechuan SPAM

Oct 072015


I have prepared these kabobs on an outdoor grill and in the oven, under the broiler setting. They taste good either way. This recipe only makes 3-servings. If you need to serve more people, it is easily doubled. If you do double the recipe then use a large can of pineapple and serve any extra in a tropical fruit salad.

If you prefer to use Turkey SPAM, it’s tasty in this recipe too.


SPAM Kabobs


  • 12 ounce can SPAM
  • 8 ounce can pineapple chunks
  • 7 or 8 ounce jar whole button mushrooms
  • 12 or 16-ounce jar roasted red peppers
  • 6 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
  • Vegetable oil, optional
  • Honey Mustard, optional


Open the luncheon meat and drain off any juices. Cut the meat into 4 thick rectangles and then cut each rectangle into 6 squares (in half long-ways and then in thirds short-ways).

Open and drain the pineapple. Save the juice for basting if you like or drink it straight from the can. Count the pineapple chunks. You want 18 of them.

Open and drain the mushrooms. Count the mushrooms. You want 18 of them.

Open the red peppers and drain off the juice. Lay the peppers on your cutting board. Cut them into 18 roughly even sized pieces. You may have leftovers. Chop them up and add to your potato salad or to a hot green vegetable to make it pretty.

Build the kabobs. Thread a chunk of meat first, then a mushroom, then a red pepper piece, then a pineapple chunk. Continue until you’ve used 3-meat chunks, 3-mushrooms, 3-red pepper pieces and 3-pineapple chunks. Finally top with a 4th meat chunk. Set the skewer aside and build the next one. Continue until all the skewers are built.

Grill the kabobs over medium-hot coals, turning as necessary, until evenly browned. If desired the kabobs can be brushed with oil or honey mustard or pineapple juice while grilling. We prefer ours brushed with oil because it makes the mushrooms especially good. Continue until the kabobs are nicely browned with a few charred spots. Serve hot with honey mustard.

If you prefer to broil the kabobs then arrange them on a cookie sheet on the top rack of your oven. Broil for about 5-minutes per side, watching them carefully. Turn the kabobs over and broil again until nicely browned with a few charred spots. You may need more or less time in the broiler, depending on how moist your vegetables are and how hot your broiler is. Brush with vegetable oil before broiling if desired.

Makes 6 kabobs or 3-servings, 2 kabobs each.

To make a meal add a fruit salad, hot rice and pudding for dessert.


Oct 072015

Canned Pineapple

Since SPAM is spicy and smokey, it combines well with tangy pineapple and sweet baked beans. The recipe below calls for an 8-ounce can of pineapple. If you prefer to use a 20-ounce can just use 4 of the pineapple slices with the SPAM and serve the others as a side dish with the meal. Remember to save the juice from the pineapple and add it to whaterver beverage you’re having with the meal. It’s good with kool-aid, lemonade, and iced tea.

SPAM, Pineapple & Bean Bake


  • 28 ounce can baked beans
  • 12 ounce can SPAM
  • 8 ounce can pineapple rings (4 rings)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar


Open the baked beans and pour them into an 8-inch baking pan. Open the SPAM and cut it into 4-square shaped slices. Arrange these slices over the beans. Drain the juice from the pineapple into a cup and give it to the children to drink. Place a pineapple ring over each slice of SPAM. Sprinkle the brown sugar over all. Bake at 400° for about 25-minutes, or until the sugar is caramelized and the beans are bubbly. Serve hot. Makes 4 portions. Serve with biscuits or muffins, plus hot buttered collard greens on the side and butterscotch pudding for dessert.


Oct 072015

Bean Pot

For reasons I will never understand, commercially canned chili beans all have added wheat. Mind boggling, I know. So we don’t ever eat canned chili beans in my house. I used to make this recipe simply by combining SPAM a little ketchup, dry onion and canned chili beans. Now I make it according to this recipe. It tastes about the same and, of course, is gluten free. I have it on good authority that cub scouts, brownies, cowgirls and cowboys all appreciate this dish, especially when you call it Campfire Beans.

If you prefer to use home cooked beans then start off with 1-1/2 to 2-cups of dried beans. Soak them overnight in plenty of water. Boil them the next day until tender, about 2-hours. Proceed as directed in the recipe.

SPAM and Chili Beans


  • 12 oz can SPAM
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, or a large 40-ounce can
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons dry onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes


Open the SPAM and cut it up into small dice. Open up the beans and dump them into a 3-quart saucepan. Add the SPAM and all of the other ingredients. Mix well. Heat over a medium flame until hot and bubbly. Serve over hot cooked rice and a hot pan of cornbread or cornmeal pancakes or hoe cakes. Add a side of hot canned yellow squash and maybe some peaches to make it extra good. Makes 6-servings.


Oct 072015


A quick skillet dish that can be prepared on a propane stove, this meal gives sweet potatoes their traditional American topping–marshmallows. It’s a good way to use up marshmallows that you brought along on your camping trip to toast over the fire. I usually prepare this dish canned ham, but canned SPAM works equally well.

Ham & Yams


  • 1 pound canned ham, OR 12 ounce can of luncheon meat, sliced
  • 29 ounce can of sweet potatoes
  • Ground Cloves
  • Marshmallows (optional)


Open up the ham or SPAM, and the sweet potatoes. Pour the sweet potatoes, with all of their liquid, into a deep skillet. You may cut the potatoes into smaller chunks if desired. Arrange the sliced ham or SPAM over the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle a little bit of cloves over top of the meat. Cover the pot and simmer it over medium heat for about 15-minutes. This will heat the meat and sweet potatoes all the way through, and mingle the flavors a bit. If desired, you may arrange a few marshmallows over the sweet potatoes at this point. Cover the pot again and let it heat for a couple of minutes to melt the marshmallows.

With or without the marshmallows, this is a good hearty dish. I like to serve it with canned fried apples, and mixed greens. This makes a very nice blend of flavors. Great for Sunday Supper.

Oct 072015


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


  • 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


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


  • 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


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


  • 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


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


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


  • 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)


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


  • 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


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.


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