Shrimp Avocado Wraps

Shrimp-Avocado-Wrap1

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup bell pepper (red or green), chopped
  • 1 tbsp red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, cubed (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, chopped (about 10 small shrimps)
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 large whole meal pita bread
  • 3/4 cup baby spinach
  • (toothpicks)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients, except pita and spinach. Mix well.
  2. Arrange half the spinach in the center of pita bread. Spread shrimp and avocado mixture, add remaining spinach on top and wrap pita bread tightly. Secure with toothpicks, cut in half with a sharp knife and serve immediately.

Yield: Makes 1 wrap (large portion)

Cal: 393 – Protein: 16.3 – Fat: 17.15g – Carbs: 49.8g – Fiber: 13g – Sugars: 3.72g

(Source: notenoughcinnamon.com)

Dehydrating Hot Sauce

Until recently it had never dawned on me to dehydrate my sauces in our food storage. I saw several videos on you tube on how to do this and thus my adventure begins.

This particular article is about dehydrating Louisiana Hot sauce. Our family loves this on chicken and fajitas. (Well, mostly me. 🙂 )

I started with a 64 fl oz container of sauce I bought at Sam’s Wholesale for just under $4.00.

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I then lined my Excalibur trays with Non Stick Dehydrator Sheets. I have heard of people using wax paper, but I prefer to use these because they are thicker and when doing sauces or fruit leather it peels off very nicely and wipes clean. (My opinion is that it is more cost effective to purchase something I can use multiple times verses throwing something away and re buying more of it.)

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Next I measured a cup and a half of sauce per tray. Surprisingly, the entire 64 oz bottle of hot sauce fit on all five trays doing it this way. However, when I do it again I may only use one cup so it dries faster.

IMG_20131026_161629I set the dehydrator on 145° which is the setting used for fruit leather. I started this at 3:00 pm and let it run for about 8 hours at which point I had to go to bed. It was not dry in the center. I turned it down to 125° for the night because I was scared of over drying it. (silly, I know) In hindsight, it probably would of been alright to leave it at 145°, but being my first time I was leery.

When I awoke the next morning it still was not dry in the center so I cranked it back up to 145° and let it dry for another 9 hours for a total of 17 hours.

IMG_20131028_103736The key is that you do not want it to have the consistency of fruit leather. (fruit roll-ups) You want it to crack like a potato chip so when you blend it it forms a powder.

IMG_20131028_103728-1Now its time to pull out the chopper/blender. It is better to use a smaller one for these sorts of projects. Begin breaking off pieces of the hot sauce and packing it into the chopper.

IMG_20131028_103719I used my rival brand chopper and it did ok. However, I have been told by several people to purchase a Bella Rocket Blender to use when I want to do projects like this.  So now mine is on the way!! 🙂 Because of its reviews by preppers I have since added it to my *Amazing Gifts For Preppers* article.

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So what was the final outcome? A 64 fl oz container of hot sauce turned into a 2 cup, pint size jar of dehydrated hot sauce. Talk about saving space in your food storage pantry!! I was amazed.

Lousiana Hot SauceTo rehydrate the sauce, simply add a 1 to 3 ratio. One part powder to three parts (more or less to taste) hot water. It turned back into its original form in a matter of minutes and you would never know the difference.

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Pickled Three Bean Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 cups slice 1 1/2″ green beans
  • 4 1/2 cups slice 1 1/2″ yellow wax beans
  • 1 lb lima beans or garbanzos (I substituted a combination of kidney & garbanzo weighing a total of 1 lb.)
  • 2 cups sliced celery (3/4 inch)
  • 1 2/3 cups sliced onion (1/4 inch)
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper (omitted)
  • Boiling water
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 T. mustard seeds
  • 1 t. celery seeds
  • 4 t. kosher, pickling or canning salt
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups water

Directions:

  1. Prepare jars and lids.
  2. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine green and yellow beans, lima beans, celery, onions and red peppers. Add boiling water to cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  3. Reduce and heat and boil gently for 5 minutes until vegetables are heated through.
  4. Drain hot vegetable immediately and pack into hot jars leaving 1/2″ head space.
  5. Meanwhile, In a separate stainless steel saucepan, combine sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, salt, vinegar, and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes until spices have infused the liquid.
  6. Ladle hot pickling liquid into jars to cover vegetables, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles and fill with liquid to adjust. Wipe rim and add hot lids and rings. Process in water bath for 15 minutes at a full boil.

Source: Canning Homemade

Chicken & Broccoli Stir Fry in a Jar

stir fryI came across this recipe some time ago online and have altered it a little to our families liking. I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does 🙂 If you are making these meals for food storage then it is a good idea to buy two cans of meat so you have enough to go with the other ingredients. We have a family of four so you will have to prep according to your family size. Every meal in a jar is different so ingredient cost may differ as well.

Ingredients:

Directions:

Layer all ingredients in the order listed above in a one-quart jar.

After adding the stir fry mix, shake it down so it mixes with the chicken. This will give you more in the jar.

Place an Oxygen absorber on top or vacuum seal the jar. (Don’t forget your vacuum sealer attachments for jars. Wide mouth or regular.)

Below are ingredients on how to prepare the meal for your family. I print/write the directions on paper or labels and secure them to the jar along with the date it was made. If properly sealed these meals will last as long as if the meal was sitting on your shelf in its number ten can, but take up way less space! 🙂 For one months worth of meals (3 meals a day) we only use 8 canning boxes that all stack very nicely.

To Prepare Meal:

Add 4 cups of water to a skillet and let boil. Add entire jar contents to the skillet, mix and then turn off the heat. Let the food sit for about ten minutes to re-hydrate and then simmer for 20-25 minutes uncovered. Stir occasionally.

Chicken Stir Fry Mix

  • 1/4 cup chicken bouillon, 35 ounce jar
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dehydrated onion
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

To make the sauce:

For more sauce in your meal: Add 1/3 cup dry mix to 1 1/4 cup of water.  In a small sauce pan, mix together and let simmer until sauce starts to thicken.

Note: We like extra sauce in ours so we make up a large jar of the Chicken stir fry dry mix for that purpose.  You can also do this with Taco Seasoning, Cheese sauce for Mac and Cheese and Basic Sauce Mix Recipes.

Source of original recipe: Rainy Day Food Storage

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Wide Mouth Jar Attachment

vac sealer

Vacuum Sealer

Mom’s Jalapeño Jelly

156576_2790708986112_1201776411_nThe girls and I made this delicious Jalapeno Jelly this weekend and it turned out fabulous.  I love making this because it is so easy to make and it’s my favorite color.  Green!!!  If you know people who enjoy a little bit of spice, this also makes wonderful Christmas presents.  Take a piece of holiday fabric and cut a square out of it, then place it between the seal and the ring. Take a piece of ribbon and tie it around the ring, perhaps with a little note card, with its uses on it or the recipe.  Our absolute favorite way to use this jelly is on a cracker of our choice with some cream cheese on top, then top it off with a small spoon of jelly.  Delicious!!  You could also mix some in with some cream cheese and make a wonderful dip for chips or crackers. We have also put some in a bowl and smashed it with a spoon and used it as a marinade for chicken and for chicken fajitas. It can really be used for anything!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped (always wear gloves handling jalapenos or you will regret it!)  If you want to holiday it up you can use one green and one red pepper.
  • 3 medium green peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 and ½ cups white vinegar
  • 6 ½ cups sugar
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 pouches (3 oz each) liquid fruit pectin (made by sure-jell, it comes 2 packages in one box, you will use both)
  • About 6 drops green food coloring (optional, but great for looks especially around Christmas, add some red fabric under the ring and voila, Christmas presents!)

Steps:

  • Step 1: In a blender or food processor, put your jalapenos and half of the bell peppers with ½ a cup white vinegar.  Process until its pureed, then put into a heavy saucepan with a lid.
  • Step 2:  Repeat with the remaining peppers and add another ½ cup of vinegar with them.  Put it in the pot with the other mixture and add cayenne, sugar and remaining vinegar.  Stir it all together and bring to a rolling boil stirring constantly.  Quickly stir in pectin and bring to a boil stirring constantly for 1 minute.  It’s going to look gross at this time but it won’t look like that when you finished, I promise.
  • Step 3: Remove from heat and skim off the foam on top.  Add food coloring if ya want to. ( I always do)  Carefully ladle hot mixture into half pint jars, leaving ¼ inch head space from the top. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims and attach seals.

538567_2882482400390_267384687_nI get about 7 half pint jars when I make this, but you can always double it up!!  I forgot to add this in my article on preserving jalapenos last time and I promised I would get this out to our readers so here it is and I hope you enjoy!!

Keepin it Spicy,

Jalapeño Gal

Chili

Photo: Taste of Home

Photo: Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground beef or venison (I prefer the deer meat :))
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-15 oz. can pinto beans (or two if you like beans)
  • 2-11.5 oz. cans Ro-Tel (It’s canned diced tomatoes and green chiles. If you don’t have Ro-Tel, you can use 2 cans diced tomatoes and add another can of diced green chiles.)
  • 1-6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 cup beer (Dark Amber Beer, the alcohol cooks off.)
  • 2 tsp chili powder, more/less to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Chop the onion and mince the garlic.
  2. Brown the ground beef/venison with the onion and the garlic until no pink remains.
  3. Put browned meat with other ingredients into crock pot or slow cooker, give it a good stir, and leave to cook on low for 8-9 hours or high for 4-6. (I think it’s better when it’s cooked on low, and even better if you eat it the next day).
  4. Serve to your family, friends or missionaries topped with an option of sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, diced onions and crumbled tortilla chips and watch it disappear.

Grilled Vegetables

906336_4008710275383_1297910779_oThere is nothing tastier, in my opinion then perfectly grilled vegetables! Even the kids can’t resist these beautifully colored and tasteful veggie’s! Yes they are that good.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 zuchinni
  • 2-3 yellow squash
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • medium, whole, portabella mushrooms, washed (Optional)
  • red, yellow, and orange Baby Bell Peppers
  • Asparagus tops
  • Newman’s Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing or Newmans Italian Dressing
  • McCormick’s Garlic and Herb seasoning
  • Pinch of fresh herbs such as thyme or oregano
  • 2 freezer size Ziploc bags

Directions:

Preparing the vegetables:

Wash all vegetables.

Cut off the ends of the zucchini and squash, then cut in half lengthwise and cut them into slices about 1-2 inched thick. It is important to cut them as close to the same size as possible so they cook evenly.

Peel onion, cut off the ends, cut in half.  Then lay the flat side down, cut into four sections and then cut each section in half again. This should give you pieces of onion that are close to the same size.

Cut green bell pepper in half, cut out seeds and stems and cut into pieces the same size as your onion and zucchini.

Put the vegetables in 1-2 freezer Ziploc bags or a container with a tight fitting lid. We always have to much to fit into one bag. Pour in enough dressing to coat all the vegetables. Usually about half a jar of dressing.

Add dried herbs, garlic and herb seasoning and marinate 4-6 hours or overnight.

With the Baby Bell Peppers you can be the judge of how many you use. Cut off the ends, de-seed if there are any. Then cut in half lengthwise and cut equal size pieces. I usually use 4-5 of each color because my husband really likes sweet bell peppers. Plus it adds awesome color to the mix. 😉

As with the Baby Bells, it is up to you how many mushrooms you want to add to the mix. I usually add them whole or cut them in half if they are extremely large.

If you want to add a little heat to the vegetables cut up a jalapeno and add it to the mix!!

Cut off the tops of the asparagus and add to y our mix. The amount is up to you. We will usually add about a cup and then cook the rest in a little butter in the oven for 15 minutes at 300F.

Grilling Your Mix:

Preheat your grill and your grill pan/basket to a medium-high heat. Place a colander in the sink and pour the vegetables in it to allow excess dressing to drain off. This is super important to avoid flare ups on the grill from the oil.

When grill and pan are hot, add the vegetables to the pan making sure to spread them out evenly. Close the grill lid and let them cook. Stir them about every 5-10 minutes to get that grill affect on all the vegetables. Cook about 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are still slightly crisp and starting to grill on the edges.

Serve hot with salt and pepper on the side.

Keeping it Spicy,

Jalapeño Gal