Oct 112015

Rice 4

In this recipe, corned beef replaces ground beef, to make rice into a Louisiana style skillet-meal. It’s a tasty way to use up your vast quantities of stored rice too.

Corned Beef Dirty Rice


  • 1 or 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or other fat
  • 12 ounce can corned beef
  • 10 ounce can tomatoes and green chiles (Rotel)
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons dry onion
  • 15-ounce can mixed vegetables OR green beans OR corn, undrained
  • 1-1/2 cups long grain white rice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or ground red pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce


Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the corned beef and fry it up, breaking it into small bits as it fries. When the corned beef is crusty add the remaining ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the flame to very low. Use a heat-diffuser or flame-tamer if you have one, or if your stove doesn’t have a low setting. Cover the pot with a good lid. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes. Serve hot with canned peaches on the side. Makes a good one-dish skillet meal.

If you store dried celery then add 2 to 4-tablespoons plus an extra 1/4-cup of water.

Oct 112015

Colonial Corned Beef

Colonial Corned Beef is prepared in a deep skillet, on top of the stove. It uses canned potatoes, carrots and cabbage to turn canned corned beef into an amazing, family-pleasing meal. To make it extra special serve with stewed dried apples or applesauce an a hot bread like muffins, plain pancakes or biscuits.

I use a square can of corned beef, the kind that you open with a metal “key,” for this dish. If you use round cans of corned beef, such as Great Value brand, then you will probably need 2 of them. The meat can be sliced, or cut into pie-shaped wedges.

Colonial Corned Beef


  • 1 or 2 (12-ounce) cans corned beef
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans whole baby potatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole baby carrots OR sliced carrots
  • 1 (15-ounce) jar whole baby onions, optional
  • 2 (15-ounce) can cabbage
  • Black pepper & Red Pepper to taste


Open up all of the cans. Drain off the liquid from all of the vegetables except the cabbage. If possible, try to rinse the potatoes and carrots. Or put them into a bowl and cover with water. Allow them to soak for a few minutes before draining again.

Pour the cabbage into the bottom of a deep skillet. Slice the corned beef and place it in over the cabbage. Arrange the potatoes, carrots and onions (if you’re using them) around the corned beef. Sprinkle the top lightly with black pepper and a bit of ground red pepper or red pepper flakes. Don’t overdo it. Place the lid on the skillet. Heat over a low flame for about 15 to 20 minutes. The vegetables and corned beef should be heated throughout. Scoop into bowls and serve. Makes about 6 servings.

If you are serving 8-hungry people then use 3-cans of cabbage and 2-cans of corned beef. I always serve cold pickled beets as a side-dish.

Oct 112015

Potato Salad

Quick and easy, this classic potato salad is yummy enough for any occasion. I add water chestnuts for crunch and texture. They have very little flavor on their own, so no one is ever quite sure what they are. They just make the salad extra tasty. My family gives this recipe 2-thumbs up. Or 4-paws up, if you ask the pets, who don’t actually eat it, but for whom Fred often speaks as their union representative when it comes to meal-requests.

Classic Potato Salad



  • 8 ounce jar mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons dry onion flakes
  • 1/2 cup pickle relish


  • 3 (15-ounce) cans diced potatoes, well-drained
  • 1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, well-drained
  • 1 (4-ounce) jar pimento, optional (for looks)


First drain potatoes and water chestnuts. If possible, rinse them or place them in a bowl, cover with water and allow them to stand for a few minutes to rinse off the salt and the flavor from the can. The pimento, if you use it, doesn’t need to be drained, but you can try to do it if you like.

While the vegetables are soaking in the water prepare the dressing. In a medium-sized bowl, big enough to mix the salad in, combine all of the dressing ingredients. Mix well with a fork. Add the drained potatoes. Gather up the drained water chestnuts and chop them into small pieces. Add them to the bowl with the dressing and potatoes. Also add the pimento if you are using it. Stir well. If possible, allow the salad to sit for about 30-minutes before serving, for the flavors to blend. Serve cold. Makes 8 to 10-servings, or enough for a hungry family of 6 as a large part of the meal. Great for potlucks and picnics.

NOTE: If you have eggs, you can add a couple of chopped, hard-boiled eggs to the salad. If you have fresh onion, omit the dry onion and add 1/2-cup of chopped onion along with the potatoes.

To make a meal, serve with SPAM burgers or SPAM kabobs and pickled beets.

Oct 092015

3 Bean Salad

Look for beans canned without added sodium if possible. If you can’t find yellow or wax beans you can use a can of carrots instead. This makes the salad very pretty. If you know your family will never eat this much 3-bean salad, then look for canned 3-bean salad in the vegetable section of your supermarket. Each can holds about 3 to 4 servings, and there’s no prep-work involved.

Classic Three Bean Salad


  • 15 ounce can green beans
  • 15 ounce can yellow or wax beans
  • 15 ounce can kidney beans
  • 1 fresh onion, coarsely chopped OR 2 tablespoons dry onion flakes
  • 3/4 cup vinegar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Black pepper to taste


First drain and rinse all of the canned beans. I do this by dumping them all into a colander and running cold water over them. After draining off the rinse water, transfer the beans to a large bowl. Add the thinly sliced onions or onion flakes. Meanwhile, in a quart-sized saucepan combine the vinegar, sugar and oil. Bring it to a boil on the stove. Remove it immediately, and pour it over the beans and onions. Add a bit of black pepper if you like. Chill and serve. This recipe makes about 8 servings. It keeps for several weeks in the fridge, so serve it once a week for a month if desired. It’s also great for picnics because it won’t go bad in the heat.

To make a Vegetarian Main Dish Salad, you can replace the yellow wax beans with canned Chickpeas or Black Beans. In this case it serves 6 as an entrée.

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 092015

Canned Tomatoes

Stewed Tomatoes are one of the simple things in life that no one prepares anymore but that everyone loves once they try them. Canned tomatoes are seasoned and simmered and then served to happy eaters. The only drawback is that they are drippy and tend to ooze all over your plate. Kids especially hate this. I combat the situation by serving the tomatoes in custard cups or dessert bowls. The kids eat their tomatoes and no one complains about them taking over their dinner plate.

If you’re using stored foods to prepare this recipe then 1-tablespoon of butter flavored shortening or 1-tablespoon of homemade margarine will both work well in place of the butter. If you are dairy-free then dairy-free margarine or butter flavored shortening will either work just fine.

Stewed Tomatoes


  • 15 ounce can of tomatoes (no-salt-added if possible)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted tomatoes)
  • Pinch black pepper
  • Dash red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dry onions
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons butter or the alternative of your choice


Combine all of the ingredients in a 1-quart saucepan. Place the lid on the pan. Place the pan over the heat and simmer for at least 5-minutes, longer if desired. Serve hot.


Oct 092015


I almost never supply recipes with this many convenience foods. This menu/recipe is the exception that proves the rule. Before we gave up gluten and dairy, this meal was a sure bet, family favorite. It’s not to hard on the cook and it produces a meal that the family is always happy to see, whether it’s the holidays or not. It can all be prepared on a 2-burner camp stove. After preparing it, the cook deserves the day off, and the rest of the family can manage clean-up.

If you prefer to use canned chicken for this meal, replace the Turkey SPAM and pepared turkey gravy with Creamed Chicken, either From Scratch or Quick & Easy.

Thanksgiving Dinner


  • 2 (12-ounce) cans Turkey SPAM, sliced into 6 or 8 slices each
  • 2 packets of turkey gravy mix (to make 2 cups gravy)
  • 1 (6-ounce) box of chicken or turkey stuffing mix
  • 6 to 8 servings of prepared instant mashed potatoes
  • 1 (29-ounce) can of green beans
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of whole berry cranberry sauce


For this recipe you have to read the directions on the boxes and prepare things as directed.

Begin with the turkey and gravy. Open the turkey and drain any liquid into a measuring cup. Add enough fresh water to make 2 cups of liquid. Use this to prepare the gravy mix according to the package directions. Use a large skillet that’s big enough to hold the turkey too. Slice the turkey into thin cutlets. Place them in the prepared gravy. Bring the turkey and gravy to a good boil. Cover with a lid and place in a nest of old towels, or blankets, or best yet . . . a comforter, to keep warm.

Prepare the stuffing mix according to package directions. If you don’t have butter or margarine then use butter flavored shortening to prepare the stuffing mix. When you cover it and let it sit, place it in the towel and blanket nest alongside the turkey and gravy.

Prepare the instant mashed potatoes according to the package directions. If necessary use butter flavored shortening instead of the butter or margarine called for on the box. Evaporated milk makes the potatoes extra creamy. When it’s done, place a lid on it and place it in the towel and blanket nest to keep warm.

The green beans should be seasoned with a pinch of sugar and a goodly amount of pepper. Add a little butter or alternative of your choice (1 tablespoon) and allow them to boil hard for a few minutes. Place the lid on the pot and put them in the towel nest to keep warm.

The cranberry sauce should be opened up and set aside.

To serve the meal, place a big scoop of potatoes and a big scoop of stuffing on a plate. Place 2 or 3 slices of turkey alongside and spoon gravy over the potatoes and stuffing. Add a generous serving of green beans and a small scoop of cranberry sauce. Serve with hot chocolate or prepared packets of instant hot apple cider. You can add some canned fried apples, or stewed dried apples to make it extra fancy if you like.

This is a great storage meal. It tastes good, serves a hungry family and has a festive air about it that makes everyone feel happy and well blessed.

Using 2-cans of turkey SPAM it makes a hearty meal for 6. Using 1-can of turkey SPAM it makes a hearty meal for 4.


Oct 092015


This recipe is from the 1970’s when canned soup was in every cupboard and sour cream was the height of gourmet. I remember eating it as a child and thinking it was quite elegant.

Easy Tuna Stroganoff


  • 2 – 5 ounce cans tuna, well drained
  • 10 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
  • 4 ounce can of mushrooms, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon dry onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry parsley
  • 2 tablespoons dry wine, vermouth or sherry, optional
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt


Open up all the cans. Drain the tuna. In a large skillet or pot combine everything but the last 2 ingredients. Stir it up and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer the mixture for about 5 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Stir in the wine or sherry and the yogurt or sour cream. Stir and stir until it’s all creamy and well combined. Serve over cooked noodles, or rice, or even bread or biscuits. Easy and delicious. Try a green beans salad on the side.

NOTE: Homemade yogurt is cheap to make and handy to have around during lean times. It’s what I use in this dish most often. When I’m camping I use canned Nestle Table Cream. To sour it simply stir a little lemon juice (1 or 2-tablespoons) into the opened can. I use a chopstick to stir it in because that makes less mess. Allow the cream to sit for a few minutes to thicken and sour completely. Leftover sour cream is easily used. Stir in a little brown sugar and spoon it over canned fruit.

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


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.

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