Thursday, January 23, 2014

Recipe Flash Back: Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

In the past week I've had two friends ask for this recipe.  It is an old one but one of our families favorites.  I hope you like it.

I love to go out to eat.  There I said it. I really do.  I especially love the Olive Garden.  I was talking about my love of the Olive Garden with my friend Amy and she told me that her husband refuses to eat there.  And I quote “I can eat pasta at home for a quarter of the price”  Well he is right.  Most of the fabulous things made at the Olive Garden and other great restaurants can be made with minimal effort at home using your food storage. 

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
Printable Recipe

1 cup THRIVE Freeze Dried Sausage
1/2 T red pepper flakes
½ cup THRIVE Freeze Dried Onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 T crumbled bacon pieces (I used Hormel precooked bacon)
8 C chicken broth
2 C water
1 C half and half
1 ½ cups THRIVE dehydrate Potato chunks (or freeze dried potatoes)
3 C Kale, chopped
salt and pepper
In a large soup pot add sausage, red pepper, potatoes, onions, garlic, and bacon.  Heat for 1 minute over high heat.  This helps release the flavors.  Be careful you don’t want to burn it.  Cook until it smells great and then remove from heat.
Add the broth and water to the soup pot. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the potatoes cook. Should only take about 10 minutes.
 While your taters are cooking wash up your Kale. Roughly chop up your Kale into small pieces.
 Once your potatoes have cooked through, add the half and half, Cook the soup just until it is heated through.
 Add your Kale, remove from the heat and serve.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Meals in a Jar: Breakfast Taquitos

Breakfast is a tricky meal to plan in your food storage.  Most people I know eat a variety of not storage friendly foods for breakfast, like cold cereal or fresh fruit smoothies.  My family really likes to eat eggs in the morning which is great for my food storage because I can absolutely store eggs.   We really love the scrambled egg mix (or the Ova egg crystals).

The recipe based on a fresh recipe from Our Best Bites, and it translates beautifully into a meal in a jar recipe.  You will need fresh tortillas to make it.  Tortillas can easily be made from scratch.

Breakfast Taquitos

·         9 T Scrambled Egg Mix
·         1/4 C Sour Cream powder
·         1/4 tsp kosher salt
·         1/8 tsp black pepper
·         1/4 tsp garlic powder
·         3/4 C Monterrey Jack cheese FD
·         2 T mixed bell peppers (dehydrated)
·         2 T onions FD
·         2 T Thrive chopped cilantro (optional)

 Needed for making
·         1 ½ cups cold water
·         8 6″ flour tortillas
·         cooking spray or olive oil

·         To create a meal in a jar mix; layer ingredients in a quart sized mason jar.  Add an oxygen absorber and seal. 

When ready to make the meal
·         Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
·         Mix scrambled egg powder, sour cream powder, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and COLD water, let mixture sit to rehydrate about 10 minutes.
·         When skillet is hot, add egg mixture to pan. Using a rubber spatula, gently scrape bottom of pan and fold eggs over to scramble. Remove from heat when slightly undercooked.
·         Warm tortillas in microwave to ease rolling process or heat in skillet with butter or oil. Working with a few  tortillas at a time, place a scant 1/4 C egg mixture into the center of each one and roll up into a cylinder.
·         Place rolled tortillas on prepared baking sheet, seam-side down, so they are not touching each other. When all tortillas are rolled and filled, lightly spray tops with cooking spray, or lightly brush with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown and crisp.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Favorites

On Friday’s I like to spotlight some of my favorite food storage and emergency preparedness links from the week.  You can join in the fun by linking up your favorite posts from the week below.   

The Prudent Homemaker wrote an excellent piece about "Food Inflation and What I Plan to Do About it".   This post lead me to an older post that is well worth a read.  "How to Eat Beans Every Night"  If you have ever wondered how you are going to eat all of those beans in your food storage this is a great article.  I especially love that she shares recipes and ideas for bean recipes that do no include any meat or cheese, both tricky items to store.

King Arthur Flour did an in depth over view of Cocoa, called "The A-B-C's of Cocoa:  Making the Best Choice for every recipe"  This is one of the best comparisons I've seen.  And since I need chocolate and I definitely need it in my food storage this was eye opening.

Now it is your turn.  What have you been doing this week?  Share your prepardness and food storage blog posts as a part of our link party.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Almost Instant and Totally Healthy Cup of Soup

You might remember a while back I posted about making soup in a mug with my freeze dired food.  When my family makes it we just wing it, throwing a little of this and a little of that in. It always turns out great but when we find something we love it is pretty hard to duplicate it.  . 
Kay from Kay’s Kaleidoscope is here today to talk about using your freeze dried food storage to create Almost Instant Healthy Cup of Soup.  

Take it away Kay...
Having cooked with Thrive myself for over a year and working with others, it seems that the biggest fear is that cooking with Freeze Dried food is a little different so people tend to fall back into familiar habits that usually take longer, are not as nutritious, and in a lot of cases cost you more money.

So my friend Judi Stull, came over and we were "Thrivin' It Up" all afternoon.  We wanted to create some basic cup of soup recipes feature freeze dried ingredients. 

Almost Instant and Totally Healthy Cup of Soup--The Basic Recipe
printable recipe
2 T Freeze Dried Meat
1 ½ T. Thrive Sauce Mix
1 t each basic veggies (freeze dried onions, FD celery, dehydrated carrots)
¼ t. Thrive Chef Choice Blend
1/8 t Thrive Peppercorn blend
1 T. Instant Rice, Instant Beans, Freeze Dried Potato Dices or Egg Noodles, choose one.
1 T each of 3-5 freeze dried veggies to total ½ of a cup
6 oz. boiling water.

Layer ingredients in an 8 oz. cup.  Add about 6 oz. boiling water and stir well.  Put lid on the cup and “steep” for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy. 

Thrive is so forgiving - if it is a little thick, add a little water - a little thin, add a little more sauce mix. Most ingredients will rehydrate in 10-15 minutes.  Bigger & thicker pieces, obviously, will take a little longer. 

Here are the recipe for two of our favorites

Almost Instant and Totally Healthy Cup of Soup : Chicken Rice Veggie Soup

2 T freeze dried chicken slices, broken
1 ½ t. Thrive Veloute Sauce
1 t. Freeze dried onion
1 t Thrive freeze dried celery
1 t Thrive carrots
1 t Thrive mixed bell peppers
1 T Thrive freeze dried asparagus
1 T Thrive freeze dried mushrooms
1 T Thrive freeze dried spinach
1 T. Thrive Instant Rice
¼ t. Thrive Chef Choice Seasoning Blend
1/8 t Thrive peppercorn seasoning blend.

Put ingredient in an 8 oz. cup.  Add 6 oz boiling water and stir well. Coer and “steep” about 15 minutes.  Enjoy!

Almost Instant and Totally Healthy Cup of Soup:  Shepard Pie Soup
printable recipe 
2 T Thrive Freeze Dried Ground Beef
1 ½ T. Thrive B├ęchamel Sauce mix
1 t 1 t Thrive freeze dried onions
1 t Thrive freeze dried celery
1 t Thrive dehydrated carrots
2 t Thrive freeze dried potato dices
1 T. Thrive freeze dried peas
¼ t. Thrive Chef Choice Seasoning Blend
1/8 t Thrive peppercorn seasoning blend.
6 oz boiling water

1 T Thrive Potato beads plus a little more boiling water.

Put all of the ingredient except the topping into an 8 oz cup.  Stir well. Put potato Beads on top and add boiling water a little at a time smoothing to make the mashed potato topping.  Cover and steep 10-15 minutes. Enjoy. 

Kay Curtiss Guest Contributor: 
Kay Curtiss worked in the LDS Book Industry for over 20 years. During that time she was a Regional Manager of 4 Independent LDS Bookstores in Washington, DC; Houston, TX; Atlanta, GA & Chicago, IL. She served on the LDS Booksellers Board of Directors for over 7 years. Most recently She managed the LDS Books & Things Catalog/Magazine used by Independent LDS Bookstores. She originally got involved with Thrive Life to see how it could help these independent bookstores. Last summer She retired from the LDS Book Industry and is enjoying "retirement" doing genealogy, spending more time with my family and starting to build my own Thrive business so I can enjoy a more Thrivin' Life.
You can check out all of Kay’s printable Recipes including the soups from this post here - or click on the Soup names above for a link to the individual recipes.  You can also shop from Kay’s Thrive Life store.  

Friday, January 3, 2014

Friday Favorites--Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness Link Party

On Friday’s I like to spotlight some of my favorite food storage and emergency preparedness links from the week.  You can join in the fun by linking up your favorite posts from the week below.   

Have you tried TVP? From Our Thrive Life
Seriously this looks DELICIOUS.  Her tip about how to cook TVP is a great idea. 

Our Best Bites Power Smoothie from 100% food storage from Your Own Home Store
On of our families positive changes this year it to eat more fruits and veggies, our plan is to eat more smoothies, so I'm super excited to try out the 100% food storage recipe. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Pizza Sauce and How to Use Tomato Powder

Tomato Powder can be used to replace tomato sauce, paste, or juice in recipes.  It is a super useful item to have in the kitchen.   Tomato powder has a strong clear tomato taste.  When used straight it reminds me a little of sun dried tomatoes.   
When cooking with tomato powder  you need to remember that it is very acidic, which makes sense when you read the label and see that the only ingredient in tomato powder is tomato.

 I find that when I am using tomato powder in recipes I often like it much better if I add a little baking soda and a little sugar to the tomato powder.  Adding the sugar and baking soda is totally optional but give it and try.  It makes it taste more like the products you buy in the grocery store.  I think you’ll like it. 
Remember that there is no salt in the tomato powder but in most prepared tomato products there is a lot, so make sure to taste and adjust your recipe accordingly.

If you need: 
Use this much tomato powder
Sugar and Baking Soda
And this much water
Tomato sauce
½ cup
2 Tablespoons plus ¾ Teaspoon baking soda
1 cup
Tomato  paste
½ cup tomato powder
2 Tablespoons plus ¾ Teaspoon baking soda
½ cup water
Tomato Juice
½ cup tomato powder
2 Tablespoons plus ¾ Teaspoon baking soda
5 cups water

My favorite ways to use tomato powder
  • Tomato Soup.  YUM.   
  • Sprinkle this over hot pasta with butter for a quick sauce
  • Add it to focaccia bread and sprinkle some on top
  • Add it to homemade salad dressings
  • Mix it with mayonnaise for a great tomato mayo dip
  • Thicken sauces, stews and gumbos with it.  This is my absolute favorite thing about tomato powder.   I hate opening a can of tomato paste to just use a tablespoon to thicken a soup. 

And then there is pizza.  We really love pizza.  And this is our favorite pizza sauce. 

Pizza Sauce from Tomato Powder

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup tomato powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Italian Blend
pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and stir with a whisk to combine.  
Add water and olive oil to saucepan and bring to a boil.  
Reduce heat to low and slowly whisk in the dry ingredients.  
Use for pizza sauce or to dip bread sticks in. 

  • If you included the baking soda, it will foam up; just keep stirring until the foam dissipates.  
  • Recipe inspired by this one.