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

African Chicken Peanut Soup

–Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe shared with us by Debbie C.

I’m just amazed at how versatile basic ingredients can be! By changing a few of the spices, basic beans and rice become something reminiscent of African cuisine?! I wasn’t sure how the kiddos would react to this one. Surprisingly, both Picky Boy and Little Girl ate it without complaining! 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.”









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.




Simple Red Beans and Rice

This recipe comes from sweet Megan. She was born and raised a true Southern. This classic is so good we just had to have the recipe. We think of her each time we make it. Megan’s recipe called for 1 lb. of smoke sausage. I only simplified it to make it is easier on food storage, but when I have sausage available I surely throw it in, though the flavor here is still good and desirable without.

  • 2 cups Dry Navy Beans
  • 2 cups Dry Kidney Beans
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons Tony’s Charcheres Seasoning**
  • 2 Tablespoons Dehydrated Onion, or 1/2 large onion chopped
  • 3 cups Rice
  • 6 cups Boiling Water
Mix beans, 8 cups water, seasoning, and onion in large crockpot and cook on High for 8-10 hours.* Before serving, mash some of the beans with spoon to thicken the liquid (add water if it’s too thick). Cook rice with boiling water according to package directions.
serve over rice.
*If you soak the beans overnight in the crockpot with the 8 cups of water, you can add the rest of the ingredients in the morning and cook on high for 4-5 hours.
**I found this seasoning at Walmart.  It comes in a green canister and is about the size and style of a small grated parmesan cheese container.


When it comes to storing Rice, choose White. Although Brown Rice is better for us nutritionally, its natural oils make it unsuitable for long term storage. I must admit I have personally placed brown rice in sealed #10 cans with oxygen absorbers and have had it stay good for up to 2 years, BUT I worried the whole time about it. So now I just store white rice and use brown rice on a short term daily basis. Many things can be prepared with or served over rice, but I think my favorite way to eat it will always be in my breakfast bowl. Cooked and hot with brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins sprinkled on top!

Yellow Rice and Peas

A few years ago someone brought us dinner when a baby was born. She had made the most flavorful rice! It added to the meal so much. I asked her for her recipe. “Oh, I added this and that,” she stated. When people say that I am not sure if they are hiding their recipes from others to keep them secret or if they are really just so talented they can add this and that. I decided to give it a try. I added this and that to many rice dishes (of course I took notes!) and came up with a few combinations that our family loves. This is one that is super easy, yet it looks like I used a lot of effort to get a colorful and flavorful side dish. Continue reading