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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Fried Green Beans



Reminiscent of the fried green bean appetizer at T.G.I.Fridays, this recipe gives a glimpse of a non-traditional way you can use those canned green beans in your food storage! –Mellyn


  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 15-ounce can green beans — drained
  • 2/3 cup oil
  1. Put flour in a bowl and add green beans.
  2. Stir gently until beans are coated (you could also do this in a ziplock bag!)
  3. Heat oil over high heat until very hot.
  4. Dump spoonfuls of green beans into oil. (I actually cooked the whole can at once in a medium-sized skillet)
  5. Turn beans occasionally, cooking until they turn golden brown (about 5 minutes).
  6. Serve with ranch-flavored sour cream or dip in ranch dressing.

NOTES : Most recipes that call for breading recommend dipping the dip-ee (be it chicken, okra or whatever) in egg before coating in flour. Out of curiosity, I skipped the egg and just doused my drained green beans in flour. A lot of the flour came off when I fried them, but enough remained that they were crispy and good…we liked them well enough that I’ll probably just skip the messy egg step next time, too.


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.”









Green Beans with “Meatballs” and Gravy

Canned green beans are a staple in my food storage pantry. They heat up quickly on the stove top or in the microwave and add some fiber, Vitamin A and variety to my storage. Our family chooses to use fresh veggies most of the time, but canned green beans are still easy to rotate. I just add a bowl to the table to be eaten alongside our steamed carrots or salad. I also really like them cold –straight from the can.

In my opinion, these tasty “meatballs” are nothing short of miraculous! I was astonished at the taste and actually prefer them to real meatballs. We tried them in several different sauces that we’ll share over the next few months, but this easy white “gravy” was an immediate hit! Picky Boy, who has texture issues, didn’t love them, but the rest of the kids gobbled them up! Give them a try on your family and let me know how it goes! –Mellyn Yield: 44 meatballs

  • 3 cups cooked pinto beans
  • 3 cups cooked white rice
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 5 teaspoons beef bouillon
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 10.5-ounce can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 15-ounce cans green beans (to serve on the side!)
  1. Mash pinto beans using a fork or potato masher.
  2. Add cooked rice, onion powder and beef bouillon.
  3. Mix well and shape into meatballs. I use a medium cookie scoop.
  4. Heat oil and add meatballs. Turn until all sides are golden brown.
  5. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel to soak up any excess.
  6. Combine cream of mushroom soup and milk, and bring to a simmer.
  7. Add meatballs, and let them simmer in the gravy for 5-10 minutes.
  8. Serve with green beans on the side.