Homemade Healthy MRE Recipe - Cajun Gumbo

Here is another recipe to make from your dehydrated or freeze-dried ingredients.

Cajun Gumbo

Many years ago, I had the pleasure of driving through Louisiana. I made a point to stop in the French Quarter, and tasted my first gumbo. So very yummy.

This recipe is so delicious and super-easy to make. Add freeze-dried cooked shrimp if you'd like. Spice it up or tone it down. Your choice.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup instant rice (brown or white)
2 Tbs dried diced sausage
2 Tbs dried diced chicken
1 Tbs diced onion
1 Tbs diced bell pepper
1 Tbs diced celery
1 tsp powdered chicken broth (or 1 chicken bouillon cube)
1 tsp Creole seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Combine all and store in water-proof air-tight container/bag. When ready to eat, add 1-2 cups of boiling or very hot water. (Amount will depend if you want it soupy or quite thick.) Stir. Cover. Let sit approx 20 minutes, or until all ingredients have reconstituted.  Stir and enjoy!

Note:
If you can't find a freeze-dried or dehydrated version of your favorite sausage, do it yourself! Just thinly slice, cook, then drain/pat away every bit of fat, and dehydrate at a high temp. Check regularly to see if any more fat is accumulating, and if it is, pat it off.  When the sausage is super crispy and dry (not greasy), it should be ready.

Another Note:
Lots of people put okra in their gumbo. Finding dehydrated okra is impossible (if you know a source, please please let it in the comments below!). So, here's a tip about dehydrating okra: freeze it. That way, it won't get all oooey goooey. So... freeze till almost solid, slice thinly, place on dehydrator sheets, and dehydrate at around 115 degrees F till crispy.  See:  frozen to dehydrated, with a brief stop in between.

RAIN IN COLORADO

Colorado is WET!!  Flooding in towns, major cities like Denver, and the burn scars from wildfires are causing ash and mud slides. 

It seems like this is the first wet summer in many years. Last year...dry and hot. The year before...dry and hot.

My plants initially loved the rain, but after days of continuous downpours, I can practically hear them saying ... "no more!"

Not sure how much I will harvest this year. Honestly, not much. Between the rain and our very late start, not much is growing.

And our chickens and turkeys are dropping like flies.

We will have about 10 turkeys and 10 chickens to process and dehydrate/can. I am buying tomatoes and other veggies/fruit from farmers markets to dehydrate and can.

Tells me what I need to do to give us more of a secure supply of food.

Is anyone else struggling with growing food this year?


Note: I have several survival and prepping books that will be released soon.
-Survival and Prepping for Emergency Situations
-Preparing Homemade MREs from Dehydrated Ingredients
-Windowsill Meals
-Survival Cooking

p.s. I have been asked to consider public speaking. If anyone wants me to speak about prepping and survival for your prepping group, please contact me. 

Prepping book

My survival and prepping for emergencies book was done, then I realized I had forgotten to add sections on prepping for...
...health care crises
...man made disasters
...personal disasters
...accidents
...financial problems
...political / military disasters
and
...culture disasters

Now, please bear in mind that I am certainly no expert. Just a simple woman with a tiny farm and a special needs son, who wants to help people through her writing.

I am researching the above, and will write as much as I can about the subjects (although the topics I know the least about may only have a paragraph or two of info).  Then I will edit, polish, then publish.

Suggestions?

Homemade Healthy MRE Recipe - Asian Beef with Snow Peas

Here is the next recipe for a homemade and healthy MRE:

Asian Beef with Snow Peas

We love oriental food, and I don't think I would be happy in a long term survival situation (heck, even short term!) without Asian food. I have devised quite a few recipes that satisfy our taste buds. Hope you like this one!

Ingredients:
1/4 cup instant rice OR 1/2 cup dehydrated cooked noodles
1/2 cup ground beef bits OR 1 cup beef chunks / dices
1/4 cup snow pea strips
1 beef bouillon cube
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp brown sugar

Directions:
Combine all and store in water-proof air-tight container/bag. When ready to eat, add 1-2 cups of boiling or very hot water. (Amount will depend if you want it soupy or quite thick.) Stir. Cover. Let sit approx 20 minutes, or until all ingredients have reconstituted.  Stir and enjoy!

NOTES:
-Noodles: rice, whole wheat, kamut, quinoa...your choice
-Add more veggies if you'd like...water chestnuts, strips of red bell peppers, mushrooms, etc.
-I couldn't find freeze-dried or dehydrated snow peas, water chestnuts or gluten-free noodles, so I dehydrated them myself. So can you.
-I avoid soy whenever possible. Feel free to add soy sauce if you would like.

Homemade Healthy MRE Recipe - Apple Pie Oatmeal

Since I am writing a book of creative and healthy recipes for making MREs using dehydrated and freeze-dried foods, I thought I would start posting some of the recipes here for your experimentation and comments.

All recipes in the book are single servings.

First up...

Apple Pie Oatmeal

Ingredients:
1/2 cup quick oats
3 tsp apple dices
pinch ground cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
1 tsp raw sugar (our preference ... use what you want)

(If desired, add 1 tsp cheddar cheese powder)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients and seal in a small air-tight/watertight bag (I use jars or seal-a-meal or mylar).  When ready to make, rehydrate with 1 cup of very hot water, stir, let sit covered 10 minutes, stir and enjoy.

I make this and other quick oatmeal breakfasts in large batches!  Very yummy.  For a burst of protein, add your favorite nuts, flax seeds or chia seeds. 

Prepping for Emergency Situations

I was nearly finished revising this book (I took it down from Amazon while I did so) then the wonderful ladies at a FB group for Family Preparedness mentioned, oh, 15-20 more scenarios I really need to address!

Love the cover! Do you?

Hoping to release it by the end of July. Shortly thereafter, I will have the audio book released on Audible.com and iTunes.

While I do that book, I am still working on my Healthy Meals from Dehydrated Foods book. (No cover yet). I have approximately 150 recipes but requests are still coming in. I love writing the recipes but it takes time to test all of them!

Stay tuned!

Impending Book Release

I am re-working my Survival in Emergency Situations book, and will be publishing that in the next week or so. Here's the cover!

It includes prepping for:
-fires
-tornadoes
-floods
-long term confinement / when the SHTF
-and more!

...and info about bug-out-bags (BOBs / 72-hour evacuation kits).

Just working on the last edit or two, then I will be uploading the file for Kindle downloads. Once I am happy with it, I will publish hard copies.

I hope you bookmark this blog! I am working to provide lots of detailed information in this book.


Meanwhile...


The vampire short story series begins!

FATHER:

Driven by a need for human blood and a love for modern technology, Jovan and Ivana opened a diner. Humans enjoy made-to-order fast foods in a funky atmosphere with free wi-fi and complimentary drink refills, with techno music lightly drifting from the jukebox. And after Jovan clinically draws blood from the healthiest of the humans, the vampires drift in for their feast. Who will they choose next? The solitary man gnawing on a turkey burger, or the arguing father and son?

LINK: THE VAMPIRE DINER: FATHER

Download it to your KINDLE or KINDLE APP today!

Yellowstone

A few weeks ago, the impending eruption of the super-volcano at YELLOWSTONE was forfront on most people's minds. Yes, even us. We live in Colorado, where we would be in the fall-out zone.

But it got us thinking. And thrusting even more into preparing to survive should the volcano actually erupt.

We always assumed that no matter what, we'd stay at our little farm. Here, in on the eastern plains of Colorado, we could weather almost any kind of natural disaster.

But the Yellowstone story changed our thinking.

Should the volcano erupt, we would HAVE to move. Er, bug out.  I mean, we couldn't stay underground for 10-15-20 years, now could we? Because it would take that along for the ash to settle and wash away, bringing back first plant life, then animals.

What have YOU done differently since you got the news that Yellowstone could go ka-blooey?

Vitamin D

We all hear about Vitamin D. We need it to be happy, to help calcium work in our bones, to move muscles and most important, to help our immune system work properly.  It is IMPERATIVE that we get enough Vit D, whether we are in normal situations, or living off of stored foods.

How Much Vitamin D do you need?
The amount of vitamin D you need each day depends on your age. Average daily recommended amounts from the Food and Nutrition Board (a national group of experts) for different ages are listed below in International Units (IU):

Life StageRecommended Amount
Birth to 12 months400 IU
Children 1–13 years600 IU
Teens 14–18 years600 IU
Adults 19–70 years600 IU
Adults 71 years and older800 IU
Pregnant and breastfeeding women600 IU


How Do You Get Vitamin D From Foods?

Vitamin D is only in a few foods and often in very small amounts. Foods that provide vitamin D include:
  • Fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon
  • Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals
  • Beef liver (a little)
  • Cheese (a little)
  • Egg yolks (a little)
  • Mushrooms provide some vitamin D. In some mushrooms that are newly available in stores, the vitamin D content is being boosted by exposing these mushrooms to ultraviolet light.
  • Almost all of the U.S. milk supply is fortified with 400 IU of vitamin D per quart. (Except milk you get from the farm, like our raw goat milk!) But foods made from milk, like cheese and ice cream, are usually not fortified.Vitamin D is added to many breakfast cereals and to some brands of orange juice, yogurt, margarine, and soy beverages; check the labels.
 Getting enough vitamin D from your diet isn't easy. Studies show that typically only about 20% of our vitamin D comes from the foods we eat.
 
Get Enough Sunlight
  
Your body can make vitamin D on its own. When you walk out into the sunlight with exposed skin, your body naturally produces vitamin D. Just 10-15 minutes a day, like a nice walk around your property, should be enough. Please don't overdue it; you don't want skin cancer. If you will be outside more than a few minutes, wear a long sleeved shirt and sunscreen with an SPF of more than 8.

Dark skin, cloudy days, shade, and sunshine indoors through a window will not produce Vit D in your body.

Special Cases

My son is autistic with epilepsy. Because of his health problems, his epilepsy doctor (epileptologist) recommended he take 1,000 IUs of Vit D each day. This helps to bump up his immune system.

Since I have an autoimmune disease, I also increased my Vit D to 1,000 IUs.

We take a little liquid gell supplement to make sure we get at least 1,000. Then 10-15 minutes outside doing farm chores gets more Vit D into us.

Does it help? With our immune system?

Well, neither one of us have had the flu this year.  WITHOUT the flu shot, which we avoid like the plague.

Your call. 

Calcium: Lactose-Intolerance Living on Stored Foods

My husband is lactose-intolerant. He can take pills like "dairy digest" and it helps a little with cooked milk products, and can handle goat and sheep milk, but for the most part, he can't handle dairy. Believe me! He can NOT handle dairy!

Brings to thought, if we were to get rid of the goats and just ate stored food, how would he get enough calcium? Not just calcium, but Vitamin D also. (Vit D is in the next post.)

Why do we need calcium?

We need to consume a certain amount of calcium to build and maintain strong bones and healthy communication between the brain and various parts of the body.

Calcium strengthens the bones of humans until they reach the age of 20-25 years. After then, calcium helps bone maintenance and helps slow down bone density loss. It also regulates muscle contractions (including the heart, which is a muscle), helps normal blood coagulation (clotting), and with blood movement throughout our bodies. Calcium also helps with hormones and enzymes, and adequate levels early in life could protect against obesity later on.

Almost all of our calcium is stored in our teeth and bones, where it supports their hardness and structure.

How much calcium do you need?

I've seen these guidelines:
  • Young children 1-3 years old should get 700 milligrams (mg) per day.
  • Children 4-8 years old should get 1,000 mg per day.
  • Children 9-18 years old should get 1,300 mg of calcium a day.
  • Women younger than 51 and men up to age 70 should get 1,000 mg per day.
  • Women 51 to 70 should get 1,200 mg/day.
  • Women and men 71 and over should get 1,200 mg per day.

How does this translate into your daily diet?

A 45-year-old could easily get her recommended daily 1,000 mg of calcium by eating:
  • 1 packet of fortified oatmeal (100 mg)
  • 1 cup of skim milk (305 mg)
  • 8 ounces of non-fat yogurt (452 mg)
  • ½ cup of spinach (146 mg)
Hubby can't have milk (unless it's goat or sheep, or raw cow), but he can have yogurt. Something in the processing and enzymes.

But still.


Here are some foods that are high in calcium:
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Okra
  • Collards
  • Soy beans
  • White beans
  • Some fish, like sardines, salmon, perch, and rainbow trout
  • Foods that are calcium fortified, such as some orange juice, oatmeal, and breakfast cereal
We dehydrate as much spinach and other greens as we can. Plus we like okra (gumbo...yum!), white beans of all kinds, and we have several #10 cans of freeze-dried salmond. We do also have powdered goat milk and "better than milk" powdered rice milk, both of which have calcium.

Coconut milk doesn't have calcium. Not that I have seen.

Unless you raise the soy beans yourself from non-gmo seeds, I wouldn't recommend them as a source. Do your best to not only provide alternatives, but make sure those alternatives are as healthy as possible.

Of course, you could always store calcium tablets!