Chicken Fiesta Rice: Freeze Dried Ingredients

Chicken fiesta Final CopyDid you forget to lay that meat our for dinner aaaagain? No worries. I have a recipe that will save you and taste like you spent  quite a while making it, but in reality, it only takes 10-15 minutes to make and you do not even have to use a skillet. Interested yet? 🙂

I am going to show you how to make a Chicken Fiesta Rice bowl  that can be stored on your shelf for months without going bad if it is stored properly. (Please read all directions on how to store at bottom of article.) To prepare it, all you have to do is add 1 1/2 cups of boiling water to it and you’re done. Yup,that’s it!

I have put together a short video to guide you in preparation and a list of the ingredients are listed below it. This meal is created using NuHarvest Freeze Dried Foods and I have to admit, once it is re-hydrated you really can’t tell that is what it is. It tastes so fresh and good. My husband and kids couldn’t tell and my husband even let some of the guys at work try it and it was a hit.

Ingredients: 

Makes 2 full cups of Chicken Fiesta Rice. You can double up the ingredients or even triple them if you have a large family. I can feed four people (2 adults, 2 teenage girls) when I double it up.

Freeze Dried Ingredients:

Spices:

  • 1 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/8 to 1/4  tsp salt, optional
  • 2 tsp Chicken Bouillon or Granules
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Freeze Dried Cilantro OR 1/8 tsp regular dried Cilantro

Optional Ingredients:

To Prepare:

  • Mix everything together in a bowl that will hold at least 2 cups of water.
  • Boil 1 1/2 cups of water
  • Pour water into bowl and stir so that all ingredients get wet and spices are blended well
  • Cover and let sit for 10 minutes

It is that easy. The only thing to wash are the bowls and spoons. 🙂

Storing Meal in Mason Jars:

If you are going to store a few of these already prepared meals in jars on the shelf it is imperative that you use an Oxygen absorber to seal the jar or a vacuum sealer (Jar Sealer Attachment) so the meat does not go rancid and make you sick. Eat within 3 months.

If you are making some up in baggies then you will need to store them in the refrigerator and use within 3 weeks. If you store them in the pantry they should be used with in 10 days.

 

Sloppy Joe In A Jar

sloppy-joeOne meal that most people can agree on is Sloppy Joes! They are a household favorite across the world. So naturally, doing what I do, I wanted to come up with a way to add it to my food storage as a meal in a jar recipe. Below is what I have come up with.

(I make my meals 12 quarts at a time since that is how many jars come on one box. Each jar typically feeds four people, depending on the recipe.

3 meals a day x 31 days a month = 93 meals a month. 93 / 12 (the amount of jars per box) = 7.75 I round up to 8. So 8 cases of jars is one months worth of meals for a family of four. They also stack nicely in the corner of the closet. I love this because now I don’t have box after box of #10 cans all over the house.)

Ingredients Per Quart Jar:

Directions:

  1. Layer ingredients in jar with Seasoning Packet and cheese on top. Place the cheese in a sandwich baggy on top as well.
  2. Shake ingredients down as you go so everything fits nicely.
  3. Seal Jar with vacuum sealer or Oxygen absorbers.
  4. Label Jar with cooking directions.

Cooking Directions:

  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, remove from heat.
  2. Add ground beef to the water and let rehydrate for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Turn heat back onto medium and add the rest of the ingredients. (You may want to add a half a cup more water at this time. It will depend on how much water is left over from re-hydrating the meat. Use your judgement here.)
  4. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until done.
  5. If you decided to add cheese rehydrate cheese according to directions.
  6. Add mix to buns or homemade bread, top with cheese and jalapeño’s and enjoy.

 

Fettuccine Alfredo – Meal In A Jar

IMG_20130824_101817Fettuccine Alfredo is a classic Italian dish made up of Parmesan cheese, butter and fettuccine noodles. Although Alfredo is widely known in Italy, the term Fettuccine is not, it is simply known as pasta with butter and cheese.  In the US people often add things such as broccoli, parsley, garlic, cream, shrimp or chicken.

This dish is a favorite of many, many people, including our family. So when thinking of meals I wanted for food storage this came to mind. I realize there are other meal in jar recipes for this dish, however, I am bringing my own to the table on this one. As with any other meal you create, you can add or remove any items you like to meet your families likes and dislike.

Recipe Yields 4 meals that will feed a family of four adults. One thing I love about making these meals is that often times I will already have most of the ingredients on hand from other meals I have created. Leaving me to purchase whatever I am missing, usually the meat.

alfredo 4Tools needed:

Ingredients: (per jar)

alfredo 2Directions:

  1. In your quart size jar, add about half the bag of noodles and shake down so they are packed as well as you can.
  2. In a baggy, add 1 cup of Alfredo mix and 1/2 cup powdered milk. Seal with as little air as possible. Place baggy on top of noodles and seal jar. If you do not want chicken or any other ingredients in your pasta then you are done. 🙂 However, if you do want to add chicken, onions, mushrooms or any other ingredients then you will need your pint size jars as well.

In a pint size jar layer FD food as followed:

  1. 1 cup of FD Chicken
  2. 1/4 cup FD onions
  3. 1-2 tablespoons garlic and herb mix
  4. Shake down mix to pack tight.
  5. Add 1/2 cup FD mushrooms to finish filling jar, shake down
  6. Add lids and seal with Vacuum sealer or add Oxygen absorber and screw on lids.
alfredo 3Cooking directions for label:
  1. Boil 2 cups of water, remove from heat and add contents of pint jar. Stir Once. Let sit for 15 minutes to rehydrate. Drain off excess water after food is re-hydrated.
  2. Mix Alfredo/milk mix with 4 cups of hot water, whisk well, set aside.
  3. Bring 8-10 cups of water to a rolling boil in large pot and cook noodles AL Dente, drain. (Almost done, but still firm.)
  4. Pour Alfredo/ Milk mixture into large pot and turn on medium high heat, whisking periodically as it heats.
  5. Once mix starts to boil slowly, add pasta and meat into pot, bring to a full rolling boil. (It will seem watery at first, it will thicken as it cooks.)
  6. Boil for approx 5 min stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is of desired consistency.
  7. Remove from heat and serve with garlic bread and/or salad.

Baked Ziti In a Jar

baked ziti in a jarOne of my families favorite meals is Baked Ziti so I set out on a hunt for a basic recipe for my food storage, with a twist of course to my families specific needs. I like to stress that you can play with any Meal in a Jar recipe and make it your own. Have fun with it!! 🙂

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Start with all your powdered ingredients on the bottom of the jar. This will insure you do not suck any of the powder into your vacuum sealer. (Attachment for sealing jars.)You can also opt to use an O2 absorber if you do not have or want to buy a vacuum sealer. I have found that in the long run, purchasing a sealer is cheaper than continually buying O2 absorbers.
  2. Next add, in this order, onions, meat, noodles, and mushrooms. You might have to press the ingredients down some for it to all fit.
  3. Last, top it off with your cheese in a sandwich baggy.
  4. Seal jar with vacuum sealer or O2 absorber.
  5. Attach cooking instructions to outside of jar along with the date you made it. Sealed properly, this should last many years in your pantry as all ingredients are freeze-dried or dehydrated.

Cooking Instructions for the label:

  1. Add five cups water to all ingredients, bring to a boil on med/high heat.
  2. Reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes or until noodles are done and it is semi thick.
  3. Re-hydrate cheese while this is cooking by spraying cheese with a little bit of water using a mister or spray bottle.
  4. Serve with cheese on top and enjoy!!!

(Note: The base recipe I used for this was created by Chef Tess and altered to fit my families likes.)