Survival Food

After the hurricane season of 2004 (when Francis knocked out our power for almost a week and then Jeanne hit three weeks later to knock it out again), I vowed to prepare for hurricane season every year. We bought a generator, yet it limits us to how much gasoline we can store to run it. Recently, one of my favorite cookbook authors and travel writers, Janet Groene, released a comprehensive book that covers preparedness for emergencies titled THE SURVIVAL FOOD HANDBOOK –Provisioning at the Supermarket for Your Boat, Camper, Vacation Cabin, and Home Emergencies. (Visit her amazon.com page to see her available books.)

51bz6phagwl-_uy250_

We’re RVers, and I originally discovered Janet Groene through Family Motor Coaching magazine. How delighted I was when she moved to my area of Florida and we finally met in person! She writes weekly articles for her blogs, including SoloWomanRV.blogspot.com and CampandRVCook.blogspot.com. You can read all about Janet’s credentials here.

Janet and I recently lunched at Dixie Grill, one of our favorite local diners, and I asked about the new book.

Me: Survival Food reminds me of Doomsday.

Janet:  Prepping isn’t just for doomsday. It’s for anyone who journeys by boat or camper, who has a vacation home, or who wants to be able to put on a meal for unexpected company. Power outages and other emergencies happen but there are also the good times, when extra food allows you to linger longer in a great campsite or secluded harbor.

Me: Are you talking about MRE foods? Those are expensive.

Janet: MREs are expensive, which is why I write about preparing your own with inexpensive food purchased from your local supermarket.

Me: Now you have my attention! Tell me more about this book.

Janet: The book is a guide to shopping the supermarket for shelf foods to make familiar dishes. No pricey survival supplies are needed. Chapters cover how to shop, plan and stow. Every recipe in the book is made with shelf-stable ingredients to aid in any provisioning plan.  Also in the book are tips on baking without an oven, what to do when the power is off for a long period and clean-up after a food or fire.

Me: Sounds like a book everyone can use! May I share an excerpt?

Janet: Absolutely!

RECIPE

Chickenacho Casserole

Serves 4–6

Use drained canned chicken or reconstituted chicken bites. Tortillas can be homemade, from the supermarket shelf, or long-life tortillas from specialty suppliers.

  • 3 to 4 cups cooked, bite-size chicken pieces
  • 2 to 3 cups torn corn tortillas
  • 1 can condensed cream of onion soup
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes (mild, medium, or hot)
  • 10-ounce jar cheese spread such as Cheeze-Whiz

Spray a large, nonstick skillet. Scatter chicken bits in the bottom and top with torn tortillas. Spoon by spoon, distribute soup, tomatoes, and cheese evenly over the top. Cover tightly and cook over low flame until everything is heated t

I won’t wait until an emergency to make this dish. This one certainly fits the category of a Hasty Tasty Meal. Thank you, Janet Groene, for sharing.

2 Comments

Filed under Healthful Eating

Solar Power! Make sun tea.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Florida isn’t called the Sunshine State for nothing. We have plenty of sunshine, and in the summer it can be relentless. But my daddy raised me to find the silver lining in every cloud (or cloudless sky), and here’s how I capitalize on all that bright, sunny weather. Sun tea!

I’ve had sun tea that tasted, well, … nasty. I didn’t think I liked sun tea, tea snob that I am. Turns out, the stuff I’d sampled had been brewed too long. Sun tea is safe and easy if you do it right. One hour is all you need. Well…one hour and bright sunshine. ☼

I prefer my tea medium strength so I use three family-size teabags per gallon tea. You may want to use four. (If you like sweet tea, boil equal parts sugar and water in a pan for a simple syrup to stir in after you brew your tea.)

Sun Tea

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart cold water + 3 quarts cold water*
  • 3-4 family size teabags

Directions:

  1. In a glass container (I use quart canning jars), add the teabags to 1 quart cold water.
  2. Close the lid and place jar in full sun.
  3. Set timer for one hour.(Too long and the tea turns bitter.)
  4. Pour 3 quarts cold water into a 1 gallon pitcher. Add the sun tea and stir (at this point, you may add your simple syrup to make sweet tea).
  5. Pour over ice and enjoy with a slice of lemon or lime.

*Use filtered water if you have chemicals or minerals in your drinking water. I use a Brita® pitcher.

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Healthful Eating

Tilapia

Tilapia is a wonder food. Mild, adaptable, and plentiful, it cooks quickly and can be prepared in a variety of ways. My favorite method (and it’s the quickest) is to steam over low heat in a covered skillet. No oil, no batter, no breading…just a few seasonings like lemon pepper and/or garlic salt. Even frozen, it’s done within 10-15 minutes. Fresh cooks faster. When preparing a meal, I typically cook my tilapia last. I don’t want to risk overcooking it, and I certainly don’t want to serve it cold.

When you shop for tilapia, keep in mind the recommendations of the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. Buy farmed-in-USA if available. Aquaculture is suited to the tilapia, making it a sustainable fish. If USA isn’t available, buy from Costa Rica, Equador, Honduras, or Brazil farms. Do not buy tilapia farmed in China or Taiwan! (For more information, consult the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Watch List.)

Tilapia is not a new fish. It’s most plentiful in Africa and the Middle East and is believed to be the fish Saint Peter caught. In the miracle of the loaves and fishes (Matthew 14:15-21) Jesus served the crowd of 5,000 from two tilapia and five loaves of bread. Bible scholars also believe tilapia was abundant in the Sea of Galilee (Lake of Tiberius) and would’ve been the fish Jesus served his disciples when He revealed Himself after the resurrection. That’s why some refer to tilapia as either Jesus’ fish or Saint Peter’s fish. 

All I know is it’s delicious and nutritious, perfect for a Hasty Tasty Meal!

100_1387

1 Comment

Filed under Fish, Healthful Eating, tilapia

Summer Pasta and Chickpea Salad

Just to reduce our consumption of red meat and for a change of pace, we observe Meat-free Mondays. I’m looking for creative dishes for my Monday menu. Here’s one that I modified from a Lidia Bastianich recipe featured in a recent issue of AARP The Magazine. I changed the dressing and added garbanzo beans (chickpeas) for more protein and fiber. 

So with apologies to Lidia, here is my recipe:

Summer Pasta and Chickpea Salad

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cooked farfalle (Bow tie) pasta
  • 2 pounds grape tomatoes, halved
  • 12 ounces prepared fat-free Italian dressing
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 2 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 6-8 leaves fresh basil, cut into small ribbons

Directions:

  1. In the bottom of a large bowl, combine the garlic and Italian dressing. 
  2. Toss pasta in the dressing.
  3. Add tomatoes, basil leaves, and chickpeas. Fold gently into pasta.
  4. Cover and marinate at room temperature one hour (or in refrigerator overnight).
  5. Serve garnished with the mozzarella.



1 Comment

Filed under Healthful Eating

More on Brussels Sprouts

BS

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Washed & Ready to eat

In my previous post, I sang the praises of shaved Brussels Sprouts. This week I picked up a free recipe card at the grocery store and tried it. It paired Brussels Sprouts with carrots, adding a sweetness to balance the sulfur-like taste of veggies in the cabbage family. Yum! So with apologies to Publix for a couple of modifications, here it is. 

RECIPE

Brussels Sprouts and Carrots

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 package shaved Brussels sprouts
  • 5 oz. carrots cut into matchsticks
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • ¼ tsp. Kosher or pink Himalayan salt
  • ¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Spray skillet with cooking spray and preheat on medium 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add Brussels sprouts and carrot matchsticks, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 5 minutes or until sprouts and carrots are tender but not overcooked.
  3. Remove skillet from heat. Add butter, salt, and pepper and toss.
  4. Serve immediately.

Note: This dish also works in the microwave oven. Use a microwave-safe dish, rinse sprouts and carrots, and then cover with a wet paper towel. Microwave on High 2-3 minutes, stir, and add butter. Cover and let stand for five minutes. Season, toss, and serve.

2 Comments

Filed under cooking, Healthful Eating, Vegetables

Sprouting Out

Brussels Sprouts. Love ’em or hate ’em? If you avoid cooking Brussels sprouts, perhaps you need to try a new approach. Boil them whole until your kitchen stinks? No, thank you. But the Hasty Tasty Meals version isn’t your grandmother’s Brussels sprouts. Let’s revisit these nutritional wonders.

First, don’t cook the Brussels sprouts whole. Try slicing them in halves, drizzling them with olive oil. Season with a dash of garlic and herbes de Provence, and roast them in the oven or on the grill. Delicious. Or slice them and add to a stir fry instead of Bok Choy or other cabbage. For summer, my favorite Brussels sprouts dish is best served cold: Brussels sprouts salad or Brussels Sprouts slaw.

Whether it’s a fourth of July cookout or a covered dish dinner, your slaw will be a hit (and you needn’t reveal its secret ingredient!) To make the slaw a Hasty Tasty Meal, buy the Brussels sprouts already sliced or shaved.

BS

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Washed & Ready to eat

RECIPE

Brussels Sprouts Slaw

Serves 6

Ingredients:

    1. 1 bag shaved Brussels sprouts (or approximately 2 cups)
    2. 1 cup shredded carrots
    3. 1 sweet onion, diced
    4. 1 cup diced celery
    5. ¼ cup mayonnaise
    6. ¼ cup sour cream
    7. 1 Tbsp. brown mustard
    8. 1 tsp. Kosher salt
    9. freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Make dressing in the bottom of a large bowl by combining sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper.
  • Add all other ingredients and toss well in the dressing.
    Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour (up to 24 hours).
  • Serve!

 

RECIPE

Brussels Sprouts Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  1. 1 bag shaved Brussels sprouts (Approx. 2 cups)
  2. ½ cup thinly sliced sweet onions or green onions
  3.  ¼ cup white wine or rice vinegar
  4.  2 Tbsp. honey
  5. ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  6. ¼ cup nuts, any kind (but I like pecans) toasted
  7. ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  8. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Whisk together the oil, honey, and vinegar.
  • Toss mixture with the Brussels sprouts and onions.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Serve topped with nuts and Parmesan cheese.
  • (Optional) Season if necessary, but the nuts and cheese may have enough saltiness.

1 Comment

Filed under Healthful Eating

Bean Soup under Pressure

Who says you have to presoak beans and then slow cook them half a day to have delicious bean soup? That’s not the hasty tasty meals way. You can have bean soup in about an hour if you use your pressure cooker. Also, if you use a small bean (navy, Anasazi, pink, etc) there’s no need to soak first.

Here’s my recipe, inspired by my friend Beverly Summitt who first introduced me to navy bean soup years ago, for bean soup in a pressure cooker.

RECIPE

100_1376Bean Soup Under Pressure

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound navy beans, rinsed
  • ¼ pound smoked pork or ham
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 carrot, shredded or thinly sliced
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 Tbsp. salt (I use pink Himalayan)
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (or more if you like a little heat)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • nonstick cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Spray bottom of pressure cooker pot with nonstick cooking spray and place over burner set to medium heat.
  2. Saute onions, celery, carrot, and potato.
  3. Stir in garlic and pork.
  4. Add beans, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and water. Close lid.
  5. Bring to pressure. (It takes a while to bring ½ gallon of water to a boil, so be patient)
  6. Once indicator jiggles, time for 40 minutes for a 10 psi cooker or 35 minutes for a 15 psi cooker.*
  7. When time is up, remove pot from the burner and allow the pressure to drop on its own. This can take about 15 minutes.
  8. Carefully open pressure cooker, remove bay leave, and serve. For extra thick soup, blend or mash two cups of the soup mixture and stir it back in.

*Check your manufacturer’s information for pressure rating. Most cookers are 15 psi.

2 Comments

Filed under beans, cooking, Healthful Eating