Beans and Rice

I tried off and on for years to make something we considered edible in the beans and rice category, and failed miserably every time. But when our family lived in Florida, a friend from the Dominican Republic came over and taught me to make her black beans and rice, along with a delicious chicken. Slowly, her recipe morphed into one that is totally shelf stable and our family loves it!  –Mellyn Continue reading

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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Sweet Potato Salad

Potato salad is one of my favorites (especially with baked beans!). I had some cooked lentils on hand when I was making this and decided to experiment. The result was great! And lentils are so good for you — they have the 3rd highest protein content of any legume or nut and are also high in iron, folate, fiber and Vitamin B1. In addition, they store well and cook fast compared to other legumes. Go lentils! –Mellyn

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Grandmommie’s Mexican Squash

I remember my great grandmother making this squash recipe at a large family gathering. I think it was the first time I tasted zucchini and liked it! Since then, I’ve developed quite an appetite for this prolific vegetable, and it’s on our table year round! We don’t use a lot of Velveeta at our house, but it stores reasonably well (for about 6 months at a time) and provides some variety when my kids get tired of the same veggies. –Mellyn  Continue reading

Twirly Italian Chicken Soup

The flour in this soup gives it a creamy texture without the additional calories of cream, and the oregano and basil give it an Italian flavor that my family finds irresistible! The Hobbit (our curly-haired youngest with the appetite of a hobbit!) eats 2 or 3 bowls of this every time I serve it! –Mellyn Continue reading