Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Survival Meals - a few I have figured out so far

I have been working on my food options for a long time, but last month and this month, I am working on posting about my discoveries... on all my blog topics.

I went shopping again last Sunday, so I have been eating too much.  I bought a LOT of fruit and veggies.  The big challenge is not to waste it. 

The long-term goal is to figure out how much I need to get through one week.  I want to go shopping once a week to take advantage of any sales they might have at the time.  

I haven't found that to be a reasonable goal since the VIRUS CRISIS has changed our lives. My normal saving patterns have been ruined.  Getting to the main discount store I always shop first wasn't possible this month.  The replacements have prices that are much higher.  When you add up all the increased prices, it is a lot of food that I can't buy. 

Buying potatoes and onions in the bagged quantities is usually a savings option.  Because they are less expensive, I am trying to buy them and make sure they get stored to last as long as possible.  I have been using some of the fabric shelf cubes from the Dollar Tree as my produce storage.  One for potatoes, one for onions.  Recently I started putting the cubes on separate shelves to see if that makes a difference of any kind. 

I am use to buying a few of several different kinds of potatoes.  When I have one kind because of the bagged produce, meals change.  Potatoes mean micro-baked, boiled into potato salad, toaster oven baked into fries, added to soups, and whatever else I can think of.  I haven't done mashed potatoes yet... I usually have instant potatoes as a back-up and make them when I need to.  I want to try making chips again one of these days.  If I go shopping once a week, I will gladly go back to getting a variety of potatoes and onions.

My potato salad today was three small cooked potatoes, diced, with some slivered onions I cut up earlier, some radishes I had that I cut in half and sliced thin, some black beans I cooked myself and was trying to use up, diced onions, sliced tops of green onions, most of the dill relish I needed to use up, most of the mayo I had to use up, and spices that I like.  I think I put chia seeds in it, too.  It worked out very good.  I ate two thirds of it right away, and saved the last third for later.

I would have used all the dill relish and mayo but I needed enough for one sandwich.  That will get used up tomorrow most likely.

I have discovered how a small and inexpensive can of tomato paste can become tomato soup and pasta sauce.  I used up some more of my onions with the pasta sauce, and the chunks of bell pepper I had cut up and ready to use.  I also sliced up some fresh mushrooms for the sauce.  Italian blend and garlic bits and a little salt were the spices, but I have been adding about a tablespoon of sugar to my tomato dishes recently.  I like how it makes the flavor better.

Now I am on a quest to find other ways to use it.  I don't know if diluting it into tomato juice is an option, but that isn't too far away from tomato soup.  I remember reading about people in the Depression using ketchup with hot water at food counters as their only food for the day.  

It's hard to even think of times that bad, but I recently watched several videos on the Great Depression and the Stock Market Crash that happened right before it.  I put one of the video links in a post at my Facebook Prayers page... you can watch that one from here.  The video I posted is the testimonies of people who lived through that hard time, and what they remember most.  They were children then... so they remember what kids would remember.

I have used ketchup for tomato flavor in our family goulash recipe.  I like Heinz ketchup so the flavor was very nice.  It made the familiar goulash into a new dish.

I have discovered that freezing kale that is ready to use makes it softer when it thaws.  I am still trying the different varieties to see what happens, but I think I like the Italian Kale the best.  I use it for greens in all kinds of meals, including tacos.  I slice it really thin, and it works just right for me.

Finding ways to stretch the food dollar is critical to surviving hard times.  I am trying to become more whole food plant based in my eating, but it is hard.  I am slowly reducing my intake of meat and dairy and eggs... and oils.  It really changes a lot of things in your life when you eat mostly fresh produce and whole grains.  Shopping once a week will help me succeed in that goal.

Now that I am collecting ideas for my blogging, I hope these posts will get more interesting and offer readers better ideas about each topic.  It's all about getting organized and collecting the reference materials to share with you.  I am working on that!

Until next time,
In Christ,
Deborah Martin
and more...