Chicken-Lentil Soup

We love soups for lunch and on chilly fall evenings. They’re easy to make out of just a few ingredients and are tasty next to a sandwich. I’ve also noticed that with soup on the side, we tend to eat fewer chips and crackers, as well. Although this soup has a dark color (from the lentils), its flavor is more like chicken noodle. If you’d like the color to match the flavor, just cook your lentils separately, and add them to your soup after draining off the cooking liquid. –Mellyn  Continue reading

Vegetable “Stone” Soup

From Teresa J.

My friend, Teresa, first introduced me to this version of stone soup. She hosted a kids’ activity at her home where we read the book Stone Soup and then made our own soup using a combination of fresh and canned veggies the kids brought to share. Since then, my kids have enjoyed making stone soup on a regular basis. We simply chop up whatever veggies we have in the fridge and supplement with tomatoes and whatever else looks good from the pantry. I’ve adapted it below specifically for shelf-stable food storage, but it’s much tastier with fresh, in my opinion.  –Mellyn

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Best-Ever Minestrone Soup

–From Melinda E.

Melinda shared this delicious soup with our family, and we’ve been making it ever since! It really is the BEST Minestrone Soup ever. Filled with delicious fresh ingredients when you can get your hands on them**, it also cooks up beautifully with shelf-stable ingredients. Melinda said it’s very forgiving –if you’re missing an ingredient, no worries. It still tastes great! Since she served it to us with scones and honey on the side, we always do the same. –Mellyn

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Morning Muffins

It took me a long time to think of a name for these babies. I love them because they add carrots (and Vitamin A) into my food storage. The kids helped me with finding a name. We went from “Two Fuits and a Veggie,” to “Can I just have another?” Okay, the latter was not really a name suggestion, but an uninterested child. We finally picked one and decided as long as the muffin is good, who cares what the name is? Continue reading

Hearty Veggie Lasagna

When I open a can of freeze dried vegetables I like to use them within about 3-6 months — just because they look best and taste best in this time frame.  This recipe is an awesome way to make dinner and help use whatever is left of the freeze dried veggies in the house. Talk about win-win! Continue reading

Ugly Beef Stew

I won’t lie to you –this beef stew is pretty ugly. Ugly enough that I sized the picture down, hoping I wouldn’t scare you away with it! But looks can be deceiving! It’s actually quite tasty, and if you have folks in your house who won’t touch a pinto bean, they may just go for this!  –Mellyn  P.S. 2 family reviews follow the recipe below!

Yield: About 8 cups

  • ½ cup pinto bean flour (if you’d like to use kidney beans, click here first and look for my entry dated November 1, 2011!)
  • 4 cups water
  •  1 Tbsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • 4 tsp beef bouillon
  • ½ cup dehydrated carrots
  • 1/3 cup rice, uncooked**
  • 1 can green beans
  • 3 cups additional water
  • 1 or 2 13-ounce cans beef (optional…I didn’t use it)
  1.  Whisk bean flour into water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2.  Add onion, thyme, bouillon, carrots, rice, green beans, beef (if desired) and additional water.
  3.  Return to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until rice and carrots are soft.

**If you want to add rice that’s already cooked, add about 1 cup at the end. You could also leave out the rice and add cooked wheat berries, lentils, barley, quinoa or any other quick-cooking grain.

Anne said, “Nobody suspected it was a bean base. I added an extra can of pinto beans that were blended up to thicken it, and a tablespoon of wheat flour for the same reason. We like ours really thick. I also added extra bouillon, about a tablespoon, but that’s probably because I added extra beans. DH complained about the rice instead of our usual potatoes, but our 3-year old had two bowls full; everybody else ate one bowl without complaining. So I would definitely add it to my list of dinners to make, switch it out for my old beef stew and make it with potatoes instead.”

Amy said, “The texture was normal with the ground beans, it didn’t bother us at all. We still thought it was a little beef brothy but that is something we can play around with ourselves. It wasn’t our favorite (made us think, yes this is a food storage meal), but it would be a good option when you needed to eat food storage meals.”









Chicken Pot Pie

A Betty Crocker version of this recipe was the first “real” food I learned to cook, and it’s still a family favorite. (Heck, I even forked out the cash for freeze-dried peas! No mooshy green peas in my pot pie!) Anyway, I keep about 25 pounds of butter in my freezer and planned to use part of it for chicken pot pie filling. But now that I’ve made the bean “discovery,” I can save my butter for places I won’t be trying beans — like spread on my toast at breakfast! –Mellyn

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