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  • Transform Your Food Storage Staples Into Gourmet Goodness (Plus Recipes)

    Whipped topping from beans. Tortillas and egg roll wrappers from flour. Yogurt and “Hamburger Helping Mix” from powdered milk.

    I love to stock food storage staples this time of year. Thanks to the holidays, and holiday bakers, stores everywhere have sales on beans, flour, milk and other baking staples.

    These staples are incredibly versatile, and they’ve saved me hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the years. The internet is awash in do-it-yourself recipes to turn these basic ingredients into other pantry items, meals, and mixes. Some of my favorite sites are allrecipes.com, food.com, budget101.com and the Utah State University extension service.


    black-beans-large-can Food Storage StaplesBeans

    Beans are undergoing a renaissance in the food substitution world. They add protein and fiber, and replace some of the fat. I’ve found recipes for black beans in brownies, and I recently ran across this recipe for making whipped topping out of bean liquid. Seriously.

    To grow some quick veggies, try sprouting dry beans.

    I’ve enjoyed this recipe for black bean veggie burgers that uses food storage ingredients, adapted from a recipe at allrecipes.com.


    Homemade Black Bean Veggie Burgers


    1 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained, rinsed and dried

    1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 2-inch pieces, or equivalent dried green bell peppers

    1 1/2 tablespoons dried minced onion

    ¾ teaspoon garlic powder

    1 egg

    1 tablespoon chili powder

    1 tablespoon cumin

    1 teaspoon hot sauce

    ¾ cup rolled oats


    If grilling, preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and spray cooking spray on a sheet of aluminum foil. If baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), put aluminum foil on a cookie sheet, and spray foil with cooking spray. Put waxed paper on a cookie sheet and spray it with cooking spray.

    In a food processor, mix together bell peppers, dried minced onion and garlic powder. Add rolled oats and process.

    In a small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin, and chili sauce. Add to mix in food processor and process.  Add black beans and puree. The mixture should be sticky and hold together.

    Divide mixture into four to five patties on the waxed paper cookie sheet. Freeze for at least a half hour.

    Put the frozen patties on foil if grilling, and grill about 8 minutes on each side. If baking, place patties on foil-lined baking sheet, and bake about 10 minutes on each side.



    wheat-grinder-and-wheat Food Storage StaplesFlour’s not just for bread and desserts. (Though, offhand, I can’t think of a better use for it.)

    I’ve made homemade biscuit mix for biscuits, pancakes, waffles and anything else that calls for store-bought biscuit mix. I don’t buy boxes of brownie mix. My favorite homemade brownie mix recipe is in the Make-A-Mix cookbook, but many others are online.

    For healthier recipes, substitute whole wheat flour for part of the white flour. You can even grind your own.

    I’ve made noodles, egg roll wrappers, and my favorite, tortillas.

    You know the frozen rolls that you thaw and cook? They’re surprisingly easy to make.


    Homemade Frozen Rolls


    Ingredients for any bread or roll recipe


    Spray a large baking dish and enough plastic wrap to cover it with cooking spray.

    Follow the directions for your bread or roll recipe through the first rising. Make sure you don’t let it over-rise. Punch down the dough, then divide it into balls – larger for larger rolls, small for smaller ones.

    Put the balls into the baking dish, cover with greased plastic wrap and freeze. When they’re frozen, remove and store in a plastic bag in the freezer.

    To use, thaw on a baking dish covered with greased plastic wrap or on the defrost setting in the microwave, then bake or cook them just like frozen rolls. I use them for rolls, pizzas, flatbread, calzones, etc.


    Powdered milk

    fortified-dry-milk-superpail Food Storage StaplesI grew up drinking powdered milk. I loathe the stuff with an unmitigated passion. However, I keep it around because it’s quite useful in cooking. The Utah State University extension service has a pamphlet that teaches, among other things, how to substitute dry milk for regular milk in recipes.

    I also use it to make evaporated milk, and even crock pot yogurt.

    It’s useful in mixes, too. I make and keep a jar of this “Hamburger Helping Mix” for quick meals.

    The main disadvantage to storing and using pantry staples is time: making food from scratch takes longer.  If you can find the time to make mixes beforehand, though, and get kids involved, it doesn’t take that much longer. And the versatility and cost savings of the staples make them well worth buying.



    Freeze-Dried Food Image Food Storage Staples

    Freeze-Dried Vegetable Chef Combo Giveaway

  • Spice Up Your Celebrations: Cajun Chicken and Pasta

    Cajun Chicken and Pasta

    Trying to impress your friends and family with your extraordinary cooking skills? Well, we have a recipe that will blow them away—and the best thing is you can make it anytime, even in an emergency, just using your food storage supplies. (And you don’t have to be a great cook!)

    A few of us here at the office decided to see if we could impress our co-workers with our cooking skills using this Cajun Chicken and Pasta recipe—because really, sometimes yummy food is just the best way to celebrate on an uneventful Tuesday.

    Cajun Chicken and Pasta (4 servings)

    2 cups Provident Pantry Freeze Dried White Chicken, reconstituted

    1 cup Provident Pantry Freeze Dried Red Bell Pepper, reconstituted

    ½ cup Provident Pantry Freeze Dried Celery, reconstituted

    2 TBS MyChoice Freeze Dried Green Onions, reconstituted

    ½ cup MyChoice Freeze Dried Mushroom Slices, reconstituted

    1 cup reconstituted MyChoice Instant Nonfat Dry Milk

    1 TBS Provident Pantry White Flour

    1 tsp Cajun seasoning, divided* (or add more to taste)

    2 TBS Clarified Butter or Red Feather Canned Butter

    ½ tsp MyChoice Basil

    ½ tsp Provident Pantry Iodized Salt

    3 cups cooked Provident Pantry Egg Noodle Pasta

    Parmesan cheese (optional)

    *You can make your own Cajun seasoning by blending ¼ tsp MyChoice Onion Powder, ¼ tsp MyChoice Garlic Powder, ¼ tsp paprika, ½ tsp Provident Pantry Iodized Salt, and ½ tsp cayenne pepper.

    1. Reconstitute first six ingredients. Drain and reserve excess water
    2. Boil water and cook pasta according to package directions.
    3. In skillet, sauté vegetables in butter and sprinkle with 1/3 of the Cajun seasoning.
    4. In a separate bowl, sprinkle chicken with a little of the Cajun seasoning as well. Add chicken into skillet with vegetables and toss to coat with butter and seasonings.
    5. Mix in basil.
    6. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir.
    7. Add milk and stir well until thickened. If there is any Cajun seasoning left, add it to the chicken mixture. Taste for seasoning; if it’s not spicy enough for you, add more Cajun seasoning to taste.
    8. If the sauce in the chicken mixture becomes too thick, thin it with a little of the reserved water.
    9. Fold chicken mixture into the cooked noodles.
    10. Add about ½ tsp of salt and mix well.
    11. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve hot.


    Here’s What the Emergency Essential’s Team Had to Say

    We tried to impress our co-workers with this savory meal and…it worked! After everyone had a taste, check out what they had to say:

    “This has just the right amount of spice. I never would’ve guessed in a million years that this was from food storage!”    --Scotty

    “Extremely flavorful with a slight kick. I would definitely eat this…”    --David

    “This is a great meal that’s easy and fast to make! It gives you an exotic food storage meal that’s different from the traditional food storage meals.”    --Angela

    “Delicious! It had just a little bit of a kick, but not too spicy. It was just enough to say ‘Mmmm!’ I never thought this would’ve come from food storage.”    --Becca

    “It was good—a little spicy for me—but good.”    --Sairey

    “I love the flavor and the spicy factor wasn’t too high so even though I’m a wuss, I could still handle it—Delicious!”    --Sarah

    Try out this delicious recipe with your food storage to make an impression at any celebration, or just for a flavorful meal at home. Come back and let us know what you think!

    Also check out these other delicious recipes that will have people coming back for more:

    Oriental Chicken Salad
    Food Storage Super Bowl Recipe Roundup
    Spicy Chicken
    Chicken A La King
    Linguini Chicken with Vegetables

  • 4 Sweet Treats to Make from Food Storage for Valentine's Day

    Getting tired of eating the same chocolate chip cookies all the time? Are you looking for new desserts to try?

    If you're looking for a way to spice up your dessert menu, you’ve come to the right place. You can make tasty bakery-style treats any time of year using food storage supplies.

    Check out these 4 Sweet Treats to make with (or for) your loved just using ingredients you have stored at home.

    Peanut Butter Blossoms

    If you’re headed to a work or school party, these Peanut Butter Blossoms are sure to please a crowd. This recipe makes 48 cookies using our delicious Emergency Essentials Peanut Butter Powder. Click on the picture to get the recipe.

    Peanut Butter Blossoms made from Food Storage

    Strawberry-Banana-Peach Cobbler

    Planning a romantic dinner at home? Whip up this Strawberry Banana Peach Cobbler for dessert and your significant other will be so impressed with your baking skills they’ll love you forever. To make it even simpler, but no less elegant, you can use our Fruit Crisp and Cereal Combo to make your crisp topping quickly and easily. Click on the picture below to get the recipe.

    Valentine's Strawberry-Banana-Peach Cobbler

    Banana Oat Crumb Cake

    If you're looking for a dessert that's healthy... our Banana Oat Crumb Cake is a pretty good choice to help you meet your goals (I mean, it’s got bananas and oats in it, right?). This delicious crumb cake had our employees asking for more and will have your loved ones doing the same.  Click on the picture below to get the recipe.

    Valentine's Banana Oat Crumb Cake

    Food Storage Muddy Buddies

    Any time of year is perfect for a chocolate gorge fest (well, at least that’s what it is for me . . .) Take a seat on the couch, pop in a movie, and treat yourself to a great night with our food storage Muddy Buddies. Click on the picture to get the recipe.

     Valentine's Muddy Buddies

    Bonus Treat!—Pick up a can of our Provident Pantry Brownie Mix and bake two “cakes”: one in a square pan and the other in a circle shaped pan. After baked, cut the circle cake in half. Turn the square cake to look more like a diamond, and place the two circle halves on the two top edges, and voila! A heart-shaped brownie treat you can frost, sprinkle with powdered sugar, or devour straight from the pan.


    Do you have a special treat you make from food storage? We would love to hear about it!

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