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By Kellene Bishop

Morning Moo's Cans photo c/o everyday_something

Morning Moo's Cans photo c/o everyday_something

If you’re in Las Vegas, NV; Henderson, NV; Gilbert, AZ; Southeast Gilbert, AZ; or Mesa, AZ you should feel pretty darn special cause you’re getting a product that isn’t available anywhere else. Costco now has 2 special 6-packs of the Morning Moo’s/Blue Chip foods that they are selling.  In one 6 pack they have “breakfast items” and in another 6-pack they have “dinner items.”  The 6-packs contain 6 #10 cans. Some of these items are SO dang good I can’t believe they are freeze dried! 

In the Breakfast Pack they have the whole Freeze-Dried Strawberries (scrumptious!), Creamy Wheat, Buttermilk Pancakes (amazing!), Scrambled Egg Mix (I use these all the time), Imitation Bacon Bits (only 1g of fat!) and the Potatoe Shreds. There’s over 200 servings in these 6 packs, and they have up to a 25 year shelf life. 

I like to add a bit of cinnamon to the pancake mix and let the batter rest a moment. I served some of these to a girlfriend who has 9 people in her family and she says that she’ll never make homemade again.  Also, if you recall, I’ve shared with you how great the strawberries are. They are WHOLE, not flakes. You can eat them right out of the can or make syrup or pie filling or jam with them. The creamy wheat is really hearty. I enjoy it! (See my fried creamy wheat recipe below.) I have served the potatoe shreds and folks can’t believe they are freeze-dried. I use them in casseroles as well. And I use the scrambled egg mix to make quiches, all kinds of scrambled eggs, and even French Toast. (Dang, do I sound like a “foodie” or what?)

In the Dinner Pack they have the Creamy Potato Soup (yum), Imitation Beef Bits (TVP), Potato Gems (I eat them RAW–they are THAT good), Honey White Bread and Roll Mix (Divine and idiot proof), Freeze-dried Sweet Corn (great right out of the can!) and the Vegetable Stew Blend. 

I use the corn, potato soup and bacon bits all in the same soup for a chowder like soup. The vegetable stew is just plain vegetables like cabbage, tomato, red and green bell peppers, celery, potato dices, and onion. So it’s REALLY versatile!  The Potato Gems are already flavored with butter and salt. So I LOVE eating them raw, in their freeze-dried state right out of the can!  And when I want to make them I just have to add a little warm tap water. So dang easy.

These foods are just “food storage” to me folks. I use them everyday. But even I don’t get them in this Costco priced 6-pack. Only you folks in NV and AZ will get them. Stop in to one of these stores this week and get some samples. If I remember correctly, Blue Chip demonstrators will be there all the ding dong day for 3 days, so call your store to see which days this week.

In addition to the 6 packs they will also be offering the oats and the Morning Moo’s milk at these same stores as well. (The oatmeal is a great deal and has an awesome shelf-life!)

If you’re not in AZ or NV, you can still purchase the products in Utah Macey’s stores and most of Utah’s Central and Southern Wal-Marts. The good news is that I that I have an inside track as to when they’ll be coming to other parts of the country. I do know that there are plans in the works, folks, so just be patient. I also just spoke last week with a new internet store that will be selling the less common Blue Chip products nationwide at low prices, so I’ll let you know what that comes on line too.

As you know, Preparedness Pro doesn’t sell anything, and we never will sell any products. But I am in LOVE with these products. I’ve compared them to several others and I’m just happiest with these. As a result, Blue Chip found out what a fan I am and asked me to develop some recipes for them. So I did and I’m sharing some of the recipes with you.  Enjoy!  PS- just got an update on the pricing for you folks.  The breakfast pack is only $53.99 and the dinner pack is only $48.99!  Considering it has 200 servings in each pack, that’s only 25-27 cents per serving!!!  Crud, just the strawberries alone retail in my area for about $25!  Go get em’ AZ and NV!

Corned Beef and Veggie Stew

½ cup of Morning Moo’s Vegetable Stew Mix

6 cups of Water

1 teaspoon of salt

½ teaspoon of pepper

½ teaspoon of caraway seeds

1 can of corned beef (broken into bite sized pieces)

Bring all ingredients to a boil for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, in a small skillet add 3 Tablespoons of flour to 2 tablespoons of butter. On medium-high heat, stir constantly until small bits of golden brown mixture are cooked. Add to the soup mixture and still until thickened.

Morning Moo’s White Chili

1 cup of Morning Moo’s Creamy Potato Soup

4 cups of chicken broth

2 cups of cooked, boneless chicken cut into small cubes

1 can chopped green chilis

1 can (19 oz.) white kidney beans (cannelloni), undrained

2 green onions, sliced

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of ground red pepper

½ teaspoon of oregano leaves

1 teaspoon of cilantro leaves as a garnish, optional

Shredded Monterey Jack cheese as a garnish, optional

In a medium saucepan whisk together the soup and the chicken broth. Bring to a simmer on medium-high heat. Add all ingredients except for garnishes and beans and simmer for 15 minutes. Add beans and cook for another 5 minutes.

Serve topped with cheese and cilantro.

Morning Moo’s Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder photo c/o Never Trust a Skinny Cook

Corn Chowder photo c/o Never Trust a Skinny Cook

1 Tablespoon of butter

1 cup of Morning Moo’s Creamy Potato Soup

1 cup of Morning Moo’s freeze-dried Sweet Corn

2 cups of Morning Moo’s milk (in powdered form)

4 cups of chicken broth

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

2 Tablespoons of Morning Moo’s Bacon Flavored TVP

½ teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves

¼ cup of diced of red or green bell peppers

½ teaspoon of sea salt

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the butter, soup, milk and chicken broth. Add all other ingredients and simmer for approximately 20 minutes on medium heat.

Melt in Your Mouth Bread Sticks

3 cups of Morning Moo’s Honey White Bread and Roll Mix

2 Tablespoons of instant dry yeast

1 cup and 1 Tablespoon of warm water

½ cup of oil

3 Tablespoons of lecithin granules

Salad Supreme Seasoning

4 Tablespoons of melted butter

Dissolve yeast in water. Add the bread mix and mix well. Add the oil and lecithin granules and then knead for about 7 to 10 minutes. Dough should be elastic and soft. If dough is too stiff, add a little bit more water in 1 tablespoon increments.

Spray a large piece of plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray and cover the dough in a bowl with the non-stick spray side down. Allow dough to sit in the bowl for about 30 minutes at room temperature, until dough has doubled in size. Gently pinch off 2 tablespoon pieces and with your hands roll into small bread stick shapes. Dip in the melted butter, and then place on a large cookie sheet. Continue until you’ve used all of the dough. Allow the dough to rest on the baking sheets at room temperature for 15 more minutes. Generously sprinkle the dough with Salad Supreme. Bake rolls in the oven at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Red Carpet French Toast

French Toast with Whip Cream and Strawberries photo c/o ehow.com

French Toast with Whip Cream and Strawberries photo c/o ehow.com

1 cup of Morning Moo’s Scrambled Egg mix

3/4 cup of warm water

1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1 cup of prepared whipped cream

½  cup of Morning Moo’s freeze-dried Whole Strawberries

Whisk together the egg mix and the warm water until all lumps are removed. Add spices and whisk to incorporate. Dip thick slices of bread into the egg mixture, covering completely and then place on a hot skillet. (About 325 degrees)  Let cook about 1 ½ minutes on either side. Top with whipped cream and strawberries and serve.

Fried Creamy Wheat

Prepare Morning Moo’s Creamy Wheat according to directions on the package, but omit about ¼ of the water. When finished cooking mixture should be cooked nicely but very thick. Place prepared creamy wheat in a non-stick bread pan. Allow to cool at room temperature and then place in refrigerator overnight. In the morning, release the loaf of creamy wheat and slice into ½ inch slices. Place on a hot skillet greased with butter and fry on each side about 2 minutes. Top with your favorite syrup and butter.

Divine Scrambled Eggs

 1 cup of Morning Moo’s Scrambled Egg Mix

1 ½ cup of warm water

1 Tablespoon of Morning Moo’s Imitation Bacon Bits

1 teaspoon of Johnny’s Garlic Bread Seasoning

Salt and pepper

¼ – ½ cup of shredded cheese

Whisk together the egg mix and water until no lumps are visible. Add TVP and seasoning. Place mixture into a hot skillet and let cook on one side for about 30 seconds. Then scramble and flip to other side of the egg mixture. Allow to cook about 30 seconds then add the cheese. Continue cooking until the eggs are at the desired texture then serve.

Breakfast Casserole

2 cups of Morning Moo’s Potato Shreds

2 cups of water

2 cups of Morning Moo’s Scrambled Egg Mix

3 ½ cups of warm water

1 teaspoon of black pepper

½ teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of Tabasco Sauce

¼ cup of Morning Moo’s Imitation Bacon Bits

1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Combine the potato shreds and 2 cups of water and boil for approximately 20 minutes in a small saucepan. When finished, drain the potatoes and place them flat on the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish sprayed with non-stick spray.

Whisk together the egg mix and the 3 ½ cups of warm water until all lumps are dissolved.

Add seasonings and mix well. Pour over the potato shreds.

Top with bacon bits and shredded cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

Freeze Dried Blueberries. Photo c/o thereadystore.com

Freeze Dried Blueberries. Photo c/o thereadystore.com

While I am able to obtain produce periodically, I have to say the majority of the fruits and vegetables in my food storage are of the freeze-dried variety? Why? Cost and convenience.

Consider this. I can purchase a flat of fresh blueberries for $30-$35 at a farmers market. Undoubtedly there will be some waste, bruising, and I may or may not be able to use them all before they spoil. I will also need to wash them and dry them off prior to using (depending on what I’m making with them). However, if I purchase a #10 can of freeze-dried blueberries, I still get 90-95% of the ORIGINAL fresh produce nutrition, without any bruising or waste. Plus there’s no need to wash and dry them, or to sort through them and clean off any stems. The freeze-dried produce is picked at their prime and I get them without any pesticides or any other “yucky” ingredients. In addition, the shelf life of the brand I prefer (I haven’t checked on ALL of the brands) is 20 years. Not only that, but the Blue Chip brand (a.k.a. Morning Moos) also guarantees that AFTER you’ve opened that big #10 can, it’s guaranteed for its taste, texture, and nutrition for a full 18 months! So there’s no need to be overwhelmed at the thought of opening the can.

My husband and I munch on the freeze-dried fruits as snacks quite frequently during the day. And when I watch for the sales, I’m paying LESS than I would have had to pay for fresh produce.

Photo c/o freeze-dried-food.com

Photo c/o freeze-dried-food.com

The benefits of freeze-dried foods deserve restating:

Last 20 years on the shelf
Last 18 months after opening
No yucky ingredients
Taste great
Easy to use
AND COST LESS

Sometimes the “costs less” component of freeze-dried foods is hard to wrap our minds around. We think in terms of paying $1.29 for a small pint of berries, for example. But then when we see the price tag for a #10 can of freeze-dried produce at $25-$30, we choke. Keep in mind you’re getting a LOT of produce that can easily replace a flat of produce you would purchase elsewhere.

As opposed to dehydrated foods, freeze-dried foods reconstitute with much less water and time. In fact, in many instances, I don’t even bother reconstituting a lot of what I use by relying on the moisture in the dish I’m making or the heat from cooking to do the work for me. That way I get a much fresher, powerful burst of flavor. Even better, with freeze-dried products I don’t have to waste freezer space on the items which may or may not taste mushy or get freezer burn.

Even more important, these foods are really nutritious FOODS as opposed to somethings I bring home from the processed foods aisles. Can words ending in “oxins” “ose” “itrates” or ithin” really be considered “food?”

Freeze-dried foods also look prettier and more appetizing in my meals. I recently purchased a muffin mix with “real blueberries” in it. The “blueberries” were just shredded little bits. So the next time I had a hankering for blueberry muffins, I simply put some of my whole freeze-dried fruit in them. My volunteer munchers scarfed them down.

The other day I made jam in a jiffy just by using a little bit of sugar, the freeze-dried raspberries (or strawberries or blueberries) and some water. No cooking or refrigeration was required. And just as important it didn’t require an entire day of canning. I just made up exactly how much I needed/wanted to go with my homemade bread.

Toast and Jam photo c/o Dinner with Julie

Toast and Jam photo c/o Dinner with Julie

Ultra MaxiGel Jam/Syrup

1 cup Morning Moos (Blue Chip) freeze-dried raspberries, strawberries or blueberries
1/3 cup sugar
2 T. UltraMaxigel
Water (about 1 cup+)

Blend all ingredients well with a high speed mixer or blender. Add enough water to create the consistency you prefer. You may add more water for a syrup consistency as well.

That brings me to another point of using freeze-dried fare everyday. It’s so simple. The recipe I just gave you is easy enough that a 4-year-old could make it. For example, when I’m making meatloaf, I just throw in a handful of freeze-dried spinach flakes and some freeze-dried red and green peppers that are already diced up. Cooking with freeze-dried foods simply couldn’t be easier.

As you may be able to tell, this food isn’t “just” for food storage. In fact, I kind of think of the two words “food storage” as a bit of a nasty connotation in my home given that I use these kinds of ingredients every day. While these types of products may be great FOR food storage, these everyday items are vital ones of convenience in my home. So keep your eyes open for freeze-dried products in your area. And if you have any doubts as to the taste, write to the company and ask for some samples to be sent to you before you spend the money on them. I’m a true convert to this kind of product—especially when it comes to my produce.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

Is there a better way to store fruits and vegetables? Are there better kinds or times to purchase them? Is there one preservation process that’s more nutritious than others? The answers to these questions all depends on what you are ultimately more concerned about. Taste, texture, freshness, appearance (familiarity) or nutrition. What I’m going to provide you with today is simply a rule of thumb as to the hierarchy of the condition of the fruits and vegetables to obtain in terms of nutrition and cost. Then you’ll need to decide, as always, which type really fits your family.

Fresh Produce photo c/o Wiedmaier

Fresh Produce photo c/o Wiedmaier

The first choice for most people when obtaining fruits and vegetables is to get them fresh–either they grow their own or they purchase them from the store. However, you should be aware that the nutritional content does vary dramatically dependent on what types of pesticides and other chemicals are used and WHEN the fruits and vegetables are harvested. Obviously, harvesting them at their peak time in an organic setting will be the most enjoyable and nutritious for your family. The downside to fresh produce is that you don’t know if they were harvested at the ideal time. And even if they were, how long did they travel before they got to your store? How much will you end up having to toss as a result of spoilage? These types of mostly unanswerable questions make the top dollar you pay for fresh produce a bit of a gamble. I wonder if fresh really does belong at the top of the produce hierarchy?

Having said that tough, I’m all for making my own FRESH produce by growing my own sprouts. Sprouts have significantly more nutrition in them than just about any produce you can purchase anywhere. Not only that, but they are economical and they contain no nasty chemicals. Remember, you can easily sprout any whole grain, nut, legume, or seed. (Stay away from the flowers on tomatoes and potato sprouts. They are toxic.) I can’t believe I’m saying this, but my husband actually got me hooked on having sprouts on my sandwiches instead of lettuce. In fact, at the end of this article I’ve got a GREAT Orange Marmalade Sprout Salad recipe for you. Yum!

Blue Chip Freeze Dried Products photo c/o utahdealdiva.com

Blue Chip Freeze Dried Products photo c/o utahdealdiva.com

So, if not fresh, then what’s next on the hierarchy? Freeze-dried. Not to be confused with dehydrated. Freeze-dried produce typically contains 90-95 percent of the same nutrition as picked-in-their-prime fresh produce. And there are no contaminants with freeze-dried produce. I’ve not kept it a secret that I’m in love with all of the freeze-dried fruits and vegetables that Blue Chip Foods manufacturers. They truly are my favorite. I can do just about anything with freeze-dried produce as I can with fresh. They take very little, if any, time to reconstitute. The taste packs a punch of REALISM that you wouldn’t expect. The fruit doesn’t taste soggy like frozen, defrosted fruit does and I’ve also discovered that it’s actually quite economical. I don’t end up throwing away ANY freeze-dried produce despite the fact that my hubby isn’t a veggie fan. I find myself eating the strawberries, raspberries, bananas, and peas right out of the #10 cans. Dollar for dollar, the purchase price is the SAME between fresh and freeze-dried when you get the cans at regular price—even better when they go on sale. That’s right. I can pay $35 for about the same amount of raspberries at a farmer’s market right now as I would get freeze-dried in a #10 can. Yet there will inevitably be some waste with the fresh produce. That’s just how Mother Nature works. Whereas the freeze dried product I purchase is guaranteed to maintain its nutrition, taste, and texture for a full 18 months AFTER I’ve opened the can, and for years and years when prior to opening. This is why I use the freeze-dried versions as much as possible, everyday. I use the peas in my tuna casserole, the apple slices in my apple crisp, the strawberries in an easy jam made with clear gelatin and water, etc. etc. etc. I love how I never have to cry over cutting an onion. I just open the can, scoop up the amount I need, sauté it, and I’ve got carmelized onions or whatever the recipe calls for. I never have to slice or dice peppers, spinach, mushrooms, broccoli—well, you get the point. (I AM a bit zealous when it comes to my freeze-dried produce, aren’t I? I sometimes even get goosebumps just telling people about it in my classes. Too bad you aren’t close enough to get a sample of these yummy raspberries right now.) 🙂

Dehydrated fruits and vegetables photo c/o yes-green.com

Dehydrated fruits and vegetables photo c/o yes-green.com

Next in the hierarchy are dehydrated fruits and veggies. This level of nutrition is at approximately 70-75 percent of the same nutrition as fresh produce—even when you dehydrate your own.  You can enjoy dehydrated produce easily as a snack and they make easy additions to slow cooking dishes. Otherwise you need to reconstitute them and that may take a while and a bit of water. (You can also dehydrate meat successfully, but that’s another article.) When you dehydrate produce you don’t have to use your oven to do so. You can simply use the good old sunshine by itself or make use of a great solar oven. Dehydration is quite simple to do yourself, however, most dehydrated foods sold commercially are about the same cost as freeze-dried. If you have the choice, pick the freeze-dried version. Here’s a tip. When you’re rehydrating your foods, instead of using water to do so, use broth, juice, milk, or the water from the cans of other ingredients—whatever is already a part of your recipe. It will give your dish a much greater flavor. When I reconstitute apple chips, I use this yummy “Apple Delight” drink I get from Blue Chip. When reconstituting vegetables, I’ve also been known to use the water from the cans of other veggies I may be using in order to no throw any more nutrients and flavor out than necessary. I’ve also used the pasta water, potato water, etc.

Next, and definitely last in the hierarchy is canned. Canned produce keeps about 40-45 percent of the same nutrition as fresh right off the bat. Even when you do it yourself, you’re not likely to obtain more than 50 percent of the nutritional value as you would a fresh piece of produce. Obviously, the longer you store it, the more of its nutrition you lose. I personally do not can my own fruits and vegetables. Why? Because I can purchase the canned goods for a much better price than what my time and energy are worth—especially with coupons! And considering what all I get in return, in terms of nutrition, I just don’t think it’s worth the money. I’d rather pay more for the other options.

One point I do want to make. When you purchase fresh produce, such as the oversized bags of spinach at Costco, don’t hesitate to freeze it. The frozen produce is great and you don’t need to do anything special with it. Just seal it and throw it in your freezer. (The frozen spinach makes for great healthy smoothies or a lightly blanched spinach salad.) Of course you know that tomatoes, lettuce, and other high water content produce don’t freeze so well. So use your best judgment on that.

Hopefully you’ve learned a thing or two about what produce to select for your family for long and short term storage. While it may be more important that your family see something familiar at mealtime as opposed to something freeze dried, at least you can now make an educated decision.

Orange Marmalade Sprout Salad

Orange marmalade photo c/o notecook.com

Orange marmalade photo c/o notecook.com

Dressing:

Combine the following ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk

2 T. Orange Marmalade

4 T. Olive Oil

1 T. Balsamic Vinegar

1 pinch of red pepper flakes

 Drizzle the dressing over about 4 to 6 cups of fresh sprouts of your choosing. I also like to lightly toast some nuts and put these on the salad as well. This is yummy and something you can easily make with food storage ingredients.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

By Kellene Bishop

Don't pour your gluten water down the drain! Photo c/o godsdirectcontact.org

Don't pour your gluten water down the drain! Photo c/o godsdirectcontact.org

As the last article in our wheat meat series, I wanted to share with you some ideas about how to use the milky water you get when making wheat meat. This watery substance, known as gluten water, has a great deal of vitamins and minerals in it. So any time you can use it in a dish, you’re dramatically improving the nutrition of that dish. This water will only keep for about 24- 48 hours. (I recommend refrigerating it if you’re not going to use it right away.) After that it begins to ferment, much like a yeast starter for bread.

After making my wheat meat, I like to pour the gluten water in a jar and let it settle for about 2 hours. What settles to the very bottom is bran. This bran is a great source of trace minerals and vitamins such as potassium and phosphorous. It’s great roughage for your digestive system as well. You can use this bran as a cereal or in your favorite batters. I even have used it successfully in my fruit smoothies. The bran portion will keep for about 4 to 6 days in the refrigerator. But you can freeze it. (Sorry, I don’t know of any other way to preserve it, so it won’t do you much good in an emergency unless you’re using it the same day that you make it.)

To make a bran cereal, simply add a pinch of salt, a pinch of honey powder, a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of cinnamon, and enough water to thin the bran substance so that it is pourable onto an oiled cookie sheet. I bake mine in the solar oven for about 2 hours. But you can bake it at 300 degrees F for only 20-25 minutes. Yup. You’ll have HOMEMADE bran cereal! Also, here’s a GREAT recipe for bran muffins that you can make with the raw bran as well!

 

 

2 C. of raw bran
1 C. shortening
2 1/2 C. sugar
4 eggs
1 quart buttermilk
5 C. flour
5 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. salt
3 C. crushed bran flakes

Bran Muffins photo c/o meals.com

Bran Muffins photo c/o meals.com

Big B Bran Muffins

 

 

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and milk. Add bran. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix in bran flakes. (Yes,  you can use a pre-made cereal for your flakes)
Bake in greased muffin pans.  375 degrees for 20 minutes.
Put in air tight container and store in fridge for up to one week.

Above the bran layer, you will see a distinct color difference of a milky substance. This layer settles between the water and the bran. This is your gluten starch aka gluten water. To extract this for use in sauces, casseroles, stews, etc, simply pour off the water slowly.  Then pour off the gluten water into a separate container. I like to use this instead of cornstarch to thicken sauces, gravies, and stews. I also like to put this in my smoothies as well since it’s so nutritious. To make a gravy, I just add 4-5 tablespoons of the gluten water to 2 cups of whatever liquid I’m using. 6-7 tablespoons will thicken a family-sized stew. You can also use this successfully when making ice cream from scratch. 

the-amazing-wheat-bookLeArta Moulton’s book, “The Amazing Wheat Book” is essentially my Bible when it comes to working with the bran and the gluten water. I love her pizza dough and cracker recipes!

Pizza Dough—by LeArta Moulton

2 cups starch/gluten water
2 cups flour (whole wheat, of course)
4 t. cream of tartar
1 t. soda
1 t. salt
5 T. oil
Mix all ingredients, adding oil last.

Spread dough with hands or rolling pin on pizza or baking sheet. Makes four 12-inch crusts. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes or until the dough is set but not browned. Garnish with your favorite toppings. Bake until heated through. (Be sure not to make the crust too thick, otherwise it will be tough.)

To make crackers, you can take the exact same recipe as above, but spread the dough thinly on a large cookie sheet, about ¼ inch thick or less. Instead of putting the salt in the dough, I like to sprinkle it on top. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and then score with the tines of a fork. Bake for an additional 10 minutes then turn over the cracker and bake and additional 5 minutes. I love topping these with parmesan cheese and garlic salt!

Wheat Meat Series

  • Part I: Discovering Wheat Meat
  • Part II: Preparing Wheat Meat
  • Part III: Great Wheat Meat Recipes
  • Part IV: Working with Gluten Water
  • Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

    Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

    This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

    By Kellene Bishop

    Italian "Wheat Meat" Dish by notonlypizza.com

    Italian "Wheat Meat" Dish by notonlypizza.com

    Wheat Gluten, commonly called “wheat meat” or Seitan, is a great staple to your food storage. As I addressed some of the whys and wherefores of “wheat meat” yesterday, today I’m going to share with you HOW to create your own wheat gluten. Just to get your imagination going here, you can make countless WONDERFUL dishes with “wheat meat” in place of your traditional fare. “Meatballs,” “ground chicken or beef,” “steak slices,” “ham,” “sausage”, etc., can all be deliciously created from your wheat storage. 

    12 cups of whole wheat flour will yield about four cups of raw gluten, varying slightly based on the quality of your wheat and its protein content. Hard red wheat or wheat from cold climates will produce the most amount of gluten. Four cups of raw gluten will then bake into about nine cups of ground gluten which is equivalent to about three lbs. of cooked hamburger, 150 “meatballs”, or 20 “steak slices.”

    For my meat loving readers, a good way to introduce “wheat meat” into your diet is to add it to your ground beef/chicken dishes at present. Start with half meat and half gluten. (This works well to indoctrinate not only into the meal, but also into the digestive system if you’re not already eating wheat.) Being married to a major meat eater, I’m confident that you’ll easily be able to go to a ¼ meat to ¾ gluten ratio in no time, with little or no resistance. And then of course move on to full fledged meals with the “wheat meat” as your only source. The nice part about “wheat meat” is that it doesn’t have a definitive taste or color. It readily takes on the appearance and flavors of what you cook with it.

    Keep in mind that I’m not writing about using commercial wheat gluten.  You prepare commercial wheat gluten differently than when you use your own whole wheat/flour. The last thing I want to do is put one more thing on your list to store, such as commercial gluten. Good news is that storing commercial gluten is not necessary if you’ve got a good supply of wheat. Your flour contains raw gluten. All you have to do is extract it from the flour. Fortunately, that takes very little effort on your part. 

    Photo c/o Herbi Ditl

    Photo c/o Herbi Ditl

    To begin preparing your “wheat meat”, simply mix 12 cups of whole wheat flour (you can use white flour as well, but you won’t get as much gluten) with 7 cups of water. You can do this in a mixer, or you can do it by hand. If you use a mixer, this process will only take you about 5 to 10 minutes. The consistency you want to end up with is flexible. It’s going to look a lot like your bread dough does before being completely kneaded. You don’t want dry, or watery. You want it to look a bit rubbery. You can adjust the amounts of flour or water after your initial mixing in order to get the consistency you need. When you’re finished mixing this together, set it aside and cover the surface with plastic wrap or a towel to ensure that it doesn’t dry out. Let it rest for about 20-30 minutes. If you have to ignore it longer than that, then I would refrigerate it.

    Now, place your dough in a colander/strainer over an empty bowl in the sink. I prefer a metal colander. For about 5 to 7 minutes, run lukewarm water over your dough. You want a slow flow on your water and you want to be sure that you have a bowl underneath your strainer to collect the water. (There are a whole lot of uses for this precious mineral/vitamin rich water. So don’t throw it out.) As the water is running you want to continue squeezing the dough and working with it in order to squeeze out all of the starch. You will know that you’re done squeezing the dough when the water coming through the strainer is no longer coming out a milky color. Rather it will be clear. As you’re working with the dough, you will begin to create a rubbery ball. Continue to work the gluten into a ball as the starch separates from the gluten. Your final ball won’t look very beautiful. It won’t look like a ball of bread dough because it doesn’t have any air in it. It will simply be a dense, rubbery ball of gluten mass. (Sound appetizing yet? Don’t worry. It gets better, I promise!) Here’s one thing I do want to share that I had to learn the hard way. Just before your dough is the right ball consistency when you’re rinsing it, it gets a bit stringy. It’s easy to think that you’ve messed up. But actually this is just the “storm before the rainbow.” Once the stringy-ness occurs, you’ll know you’re close to being finished with perfect gluten! Once you’ve got your ball of gluten, you’ve done the “hard work.”

    Cutting your wheat glutten into pieces. Photo c/o toptrailchef.com

    Cutting your wheat glutten into pieces. Photo c/o toptrailchef.com

    What you want to do at this point is to cook the gluten prior to adding it into your preferred dish. There are two ways to cook your gluten at this point—steaming it and simmering/boiling it. 

    The steam method is ideal for shaping your gluten into familiar shapes and textures. You simply form it into the shape that you want by hand, or wrap it in cheesecloth, and then place it in a vegetable oil-sprayed steamer. (Just like the instrument you would use to steam your vegetables in.) You can cook the entire ball of “meat” this way, or you can shape it into smaller portions. Place the steamer in a pot of boiling water and steam your gluten for about 30 minutes.

    You can boil wheat meat. Photo c/o toptrailchef.com

    Boiling "Wheat Meat". Photo c/o toptrailchef.com

    The boiling method is also easy and it adds extra flavor to your “meat.” In this instance I prefer to cut my gluten into smaller pieces so as to season them well.  Simply drop your strips or pieces of gluten into a pot of boiling, flavored broth. Simmer for about 30 minutes. It will just about double in size in this method. You can simply use a broth made with bouillon cubes, or you can create your own. Here’s my favorite broth to start out with.

    • 10 cups of water
    • About a cup of soy sauce or Braggs Amino Liquids
    • 2 bay leaves
    • A t. of garlic powder
    • A t. of onion powder

    Slice your gluten into small pieces, about the size of chicken nuggets. Place them in the hot water and continue to simmer for about 30 minutes.

    "Wheat Meat" Stir Fly photo c/o when-mia-cooks.blogspot.com

    "Wheat Meat" Stir Fly photo c/o when-mia-cooks.blogspot.com

    From this point you’ll discover the fun of creating “meat” out of “wheat”. You can now chop, grind, slice, steam, marinade, sauté, smoke, BBQ, or fry your “wheat meat”. The “trick” is all in how you prepare it visually and how you season it. It’s that simple—REALLY! (You can store your “wheat meat” in the fridge for the same amount of time that you would “regular” meat.) You’re now ready to cook the gluten as you would any of your other protein sources. I like to fry it in a bit of oil or butter until it’s golden brown on both sides, and then add a bit of BBQ sauce and let it simmer for a few minutes. It tastes like tender chicken or beef. I also like to grind up my steamed “meat” and use it instead of ground beef or chicken in my meatloaf, soup, burger, casserole, or chili recipes. I especially like how the “ground sausage” turns out.

    I also like to bread it with Panko bread crumbs, salt and pepper, and then serve a yummy, brown gravy over my “wheat meat”, just like chicken fried steak.

    I also enjoy sprinkling slices of Monterey Steak Seasoning on it and then grilling it. It’s even better after I let the “wheat meat” marinade in a steak marinade first. 

    Dang. I’m getting hungry. I’m going to sign off for now and go make some “wheat meat” for myself. I’ll share some detailed recipes for “wheat meat” with you on Monday, and I’ll also share some great ways to use the left over starch water with you next week as well! In the meantime, give this a try by making your own “wheat meat” this weekend. 

    Wheat Meat Series

  • Part I: Discovering Wheat Meat
  • Part II: Preparing Wheat Meat
  • Part III: Great Wheat Meat Recipes
  • Part IV: Working with Gluten Water
  • Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

    Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

    This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

    By Kellene Bishop

    I'm a Daring Cook!

    I'm a Daring Cook!

    My confession is not that I’m a good cook. The confession is that I’m a bit daring in my cooking, in that I’m not afraid to try new things and new recipes. I can usually read through a recipe and determine whether or not it will be good, and even what to add or subtract from it prior to making it. In the past I’ve even ventured to cook things on the fly, even when it was for a large gathering. I started this somewhat dangerous habit on the menu of a girlfriend’s wedding reception over 12 years ago. I still remember how amazingly well the Swiss cheese fondue turned out by my combining a few recipes. All was well. The food was great. I felt I could trust my culinary instincts and I’ve done so ever since. Until yesterday…

    This is where the confession comes in. Yesterday I taught a solar oven cooking class for a kitchen store. To be honest, I was kind of bored with the same old recipes I’d been using. I had recently received a new cookbook in the mail from Amazon that was supposed to be specifically for solar oven cooking. It was the only book I saw on Amazon dedicated specifically to solar oven cooking recipes. I saw a couple things they did a bit differently than I would, but I figured that the recipes were safe. To my horror, I was soooo wrong. And what’s worse is that I used these sweet ladies in the class as guinea pigs! The bread I made was tender, thanks to the solar oven, but just downright uneventful, and perhaps even painful to eat as a result. The enchilada recipe could not have been more bland. While I usually play my group recipes down on the less-spicy side of things in order to not offend a sensitive palate, I have to say that the taste of this recipe was just plain torture. Boy howdy, was I embarrassed!

    solar-powered-ovenI decided that I didn’t like getting my butt kicked by some amateurish cook/author. So, considering I have another solar oven class to teach tonight, I decided to try the recipes again, this time letting my instincts kick in and make them worthy of the Preparedness Pro name. I’m happy to say that I managed to do that today. In light of the fact that some of you are taking the Preparedness Pro food challenge this month and some are also taking the Solar Oven Challenge of cooking for 2 days in their solar oven alone, I decided to share my redeemed recipes with you. Not only do I hope you enjoy them, but at least this time I can be assured that you won’t hate them. 🙂 Enjoy! Oh, and for those of you who attended the class yesterday, I’m SO sorry that the food was less than stellar. If you come tonight at Macey’s in Orem, at 7 p.m., I’m sure I’ll make it up to you. 🙂

    Our Ms. Divine Chicken Enchilada Recipe - photo c/o Preparedness Pro

    Our Ms. Divine Chicken Enchilada Recipe - photo c/o Preparedness Pro

    Divine Ms. Chicken Casserole

    2 T. butter

    ¼ C. white flour

    1 ½ C. chicken broth

    ½ C. plain yogurt

    1 (3 oz.) block of cream cheese, cut into about 5 pieces

    1 t. of cumin

    1 t. black pepper

    ½ t. garlic powder

    1 C. of green enchilada sauce

    1 small can of diced green chilies—heat of chilies is dependent on your taste buds

    8 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1 inch strips

    3 C. of cooked and shredded chicken

    1 small can of sliced olives

    1 ½ C. of grated Monterey Jack cheese

    2 scallions, thinly sliced, greens only

    Slices of fresh avocado for garnish

    Melt the butter on the stove over medium heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly until bubbly. Add the broth and increase heat to high. Add the cream cheese, cumin, pepper, yogurt. Stir with a whisk until hot, but not boiling. Add the enchilada sauce and green chilies, continuing to whisk.

    Cover the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan or small round Graniteware pan with about a third of the sauce. Sprinkle half of the tortilla strips over the sauce, then layer with the chicken, olives, and all but ½ C of the cheese. Then add another third of the sauce. Top with the remaining tortilla strips, sauce, and then cheese.

    Cover with the pan lid or a dark, moist towel and bake at about 300 to 350 F degrees for 1 to 2 hours in the solar oven, until the cheese has melted. Serve with sprinkled scallions and sliced avocado. Yum! Yields 6 servings.

    Easy Onion Dill Cheese Bread - photo c/o Preparedness Pro

    Easy Onion Dill Cheese Bread - photo c/o Preparedness Pro

    Easy Onion Dill Cheese Bread

    1 large onion, finely diced

    3 C. Bisquick

    1 egg

    1 ¼ C. buttermilk

    1 T. dried dill

    2 C. shredded cheddar cheese

    Scant dash of salt

    In a large bowl, beat the egg and buttermilk until well blended. Stir in the baking mix and mix until completely moistened. Stir in the dill, onions, and 2/3  of the cheese.

    Lightly oil a dark 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

    Cover and cook in the solar oven (about 300 degrees) about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

    (Note: This is a dense bread, not light and fluffy. It also makes for great muffins. Just cook a little bit less time.)

    Chocolate Chocolate Molten Chocolate Cake

    Since we have previously published the delectable Chocolate Chocolate Molten Chocolate Cake, click here for the recipe!

    Chocolate Chocolate Molten Chocolate Cake - photo c/o Preparedness Pro

    Chocolate Chocolate Molten Chocolate Cake - photo c/o Preparedness Pro

    Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

    Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

    This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

    By Kellene Bishop

    (Please note: This article is not for those who are repulsed by the use of puns. 🙂

    Incorporate dairy into your food storage. Photo c/o cookmyfoodstorage.blogspot.com

    Incorporate dairy into your food storage. Photo c/o cookmyfoodstorage.blogspot.com

    When it comes to long-term food storage, many feel that getting enough dairy is a significant challenge.  Well today, I’m going to show you how you can milk the most from your powdered milk to provide your family with the dairy products you love.

    For starters, I cannot state emphatically enough how good powdered milk is today. When I teach my “UNDERwhelmed in Food Storage” class, I insist that those who attend at least try the powdered milk samples I’ve got. You should see some of the faces I get when I make this announcement. You can tell that some of these folks have some serious nightmares from their childhood when it comes to powdered milk.  But inevitably, ALL courageous tasters admit that it tastes VERY different than when they were growing up. While I still have some folks who feel that it doesn’t take “just like ‘real’ milk” they will at least concede that they could live with it if they needed to. Personally, I find it delightful. I LOVE the independence I feel when running out of milk doesn’t mean a trip to the store. And when I purchase it in the big 50 pound bags at the wholesale stores, it breaks down to only about $1.27 per gallon—a great deal in this economy. Today, the only time I actually buy milk is when I’ve got double coupons and can get it for less than 50 cents a gallon. (I just got a gallon and half the other day for only 17 cents!)  In fact, the taste of powdered milk has come so far, that my otherwise persnickety husband actually grumbles a bit now when we have to drink the “real” stuff now.

    So, what can you do with powdered milk? You can make some downright heavenly items that you usually pay a small fortune for. So let’s see how we can milk the most from your food storage.

    Homemade Condensed Milk photo c/o examiner.com

    Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk photo c/o examiner.com

    One of the pleasant surprises I discovered is how easy it is to make sweetened condensed milk. I make it in a blender presently, but I have practiced a couple of times and can easily make it with a non-electric blender. All you have to do is combine a ½ C of hot water, 1 C of non-instant powdered milk, 1 C sugar and 1 T of butter. (Yes, butter. You know, the stuff that you’re now canning for a rainy day?) Just mix it all in a blender and presto! You’ve got your very affordable, sweetened condensed milk to use in any great recipe!

    Making evaporated milk is just as easy. To make 12 ounces of evaporated milk, simply mix 1½ C of water with a generous ½ C of non-instant powdered milk.  You may not be aware of this, but you can use evaporated milk successfully as a substitute for cream, half-and-half, or even whole milk in any recipe. Pretty darn simple, eh? I LOVE to mix 12 ounces of this in a sauce pan along with ½ C of butter and  about 1 C of strawberry puree to make humdrum pancakes taste a bit more gourmet! Also, The Food Network showed me that adding some evaporated milk to your meatloaf is the key to keeping it moist and yummy!

    Add some powdered milk to some flour and butter and you’ve got the makings for some GREAT white sauces to go on pasta, vegetables, and even as a soup base. YUM!

    And last, but not least is using powdered milk to make buttermilk. Just take 1 C of  your milk (made from powdered, of course) and add 1 T of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let it stand for 5 minutes and then proceed to use it in your recipe that calls for buttermilk. Some of my favorite treats are made from buttermilk and I’m not about to do without them. So, just because I love my readers, I’m going to share my two most favorite buttermilk treats. You’ll LOVE them!

    Celestial Syrup

    Pancakes, anyone? Photo c/o unabashedlyvegan.blogspot.com

    Pancakes, anyone? Photo c/o unabashedlyvegan.blogspot.com

    Combine the following in a small sauce pan:

    ¾ C sugar
    ½ C buttermilk
    ¼ C butter

    • Boil for one minute.
    • Remove from heat and add ½ t. baking soda and 1 t. vanilla.
    • The puree of any fruit can be added, but is not necessary. It’s heavenly without it.
    • Serve over pancakes, waffles, or your favorite ice cream.

    Chocolate Buttermilk Pudding

    2 small boxes of instant vanilla pudding
    2 C of cold buttermilk (If you don’t have refrigeration, this will still taste just fine.)

    • Whisk together until well blended.
    • Fold in 1 16 oz tub of Cool Whip. (You can make whipped topping from powdered milk as well, of course.)
      Fold in 2 small drained cans of mandarin oranges. (I like to cut the oranges in half to create more “perfect bites.”)
    • Then fold in the entire package of Keebler Fudge Striped cookies, crushed. (I just got a bunch of them for only 50 cents each and then sealed them in a large Mason jar for maximum shelf life.)
    • Chill for about 30 minutes or more. (Again, refrigeration isn’t necessary to serve this dish–only if you’re going to store it. I like to fold in the cookies just before serving, but this is a still yummy even a couple of days out!)

    There’s more to discover to your powdered milk. Just keep exploring and “milking it” for all it’s worth. We haven’t addressed yet everything that’s possible to make out of powdered milk, but it’s a worthwhile start. Enjoy!

    Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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