Samantha Biggers of Backdoor Survival has an article up addressing how to stretch your food supplies, whether it be during a quarantine or a long emergency.
Something that a lot of us don’t always pay the most attention to is getting the most out of meals and supplies. Sometimes it doesn’t seem worth our time and from a financial perspective, there are times when this actually has a ring of truth to it.
With the current state of affairs, a lot of us may need to start thinking of ways to be more frugal and less wasteful with the supplies we have on hand, especially when it comes down to food.
Although we have tried to develop good habits over the years, Matt and I have found ourselves being even more careful about using up leftovers and being creative with cooking.
We have chickens, cats, and dogs so even if something drops to the floor or there is a small amount of waste, we usually can use it to supplement the diet of our animals. In the case of chickens, they can recycle that potentially wasted food and parts that you don’t typically eat such as carrot tops and fruit cores, into delicious eggs, and hopefully in the spring, baby chicks.
Getting The Most Out Of Your Food Supply During Quarantine and Other Long Emergencies
- 1 Cook something delicious and basic and use the leftovers for other meals.
- 2 Twice Baked Potatoes
- 3 Put out smaller portions on plates. People can always go back for more. If you serve dinner in a serve-yourself manner, then have a discussion with everyone about this and encourage good habits.
- 4 Think about utilizing your spice rack more than usual.
- 5 Be honest about your caloric intake and what you really need.
- 6 Evaluate what you have that needs to be used first. This means taking a peek in the fridge and cupboards every few days at least and planing out some meals based on what you have.
- 7 Use this time to create new recipes.
- 8 Learn to bake your own bread, crackers, pastries, etc.
- 9 When my Dad and I discovered our inability to digest most wheat, we had to build up our preps again. Also when you get into your preps you may find food that is past its prime.
- 10 Hardtack
- 11 Don’t forget to store your food to avoid loss due to insects, water damage, etc.
- 12 A Note on Bottled Water Hoarding
Cook something delicious and basic and use the leftovers for other meals.
Some people really don’t like leftovers. Part of the reason for this is that some foods truly are better if they are eaten right after cooking. The key is to plan out meals so that you don’t have to experience this as much.
One example I can think of is soups and stews that have noodles in them. How many of us have cooked a big pot of minestrone soup or similar and went back and reheated it the next day to find that the noodles had disintegrated or at least became very mushy?
- Take your leftover plain rice and add your favorite dairy or nut milk to it. A handful of raisins and some sugar or honey added to the mix will make a wonderful hot cereal when heated.
- A whole chicken roasted in the oven can be turned into a week’s worth of delicious meals. Check out The Organic Prepper article “How To Make a Whole Week Of Dinners From One Chicken”.
- Leftover baked potatoes can be refrigerated and then shredded or cubed to make hashbrowns or home fries.
Twice Baked Potatoes
(Note: At the end of the recipe I have a casserole version of this recipe that uses boxed mashed potato flakes in case that is what you have on hand or you run out of potatoes from your pantry.)
This is a recipe that is inexpensive and delicious at the same time. My husband learned this recipe from his Mom and he cooked it for me and still does so regularly. It is also a great way to make use of leftover baked potatoes. Sometimes we will just cook a whole baking tray full of potatoes to use for many different dishes throughout the week. It saves on cooking fuel and makes it easy to cook a lot of wonderful meals.
To make twice baked potatoes you need the following:
Medium To Large Potatoes
The ingredients below can be added in any combination, depending on what you have on hand. If you have some leftover meat from another meal, then this is an excellent dish to make use of that!
Meat (Optional but adding it makes this dish a meal in itself)
Onions (This can be dried onions like chives or dehydrated onions or you can fry them up with meat)
A little milk, yogurt, or broth to cream some potato filling
To bake the potatoes, first, wash them well and place them on a baking sheet. Spritz or rub with oil. I like to use grapeseed oil for this. Salt the outside. Poke a few holes in the top of each with a knife or fork. Bake in a preheated oven at 325 F for 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the potato. Stick a toothpick, fork or similar into them to make sure they are soft in the middle.
Allow to cool enough to handle. Scoop out the inside as much as possible and put it in a stockpot or other small cooking pot. You want enough room to mix in any of the additional ingredients listed in the recipe above. You can also use a mixer if desired. That may be the way to go if you are doing these for a crowd.
Mash the scooped out potatoes or use a mixer to whip them with enough milk, yogurt, or broth to get them a consistency that you can scoop into potato skins. Add in any meat, cheese, veggies, etc. We usually shred cheese. You can also use powdered cheeses if that is what you have on hand.
Spoon your filling into the potato skins. Top with cheese if desired. Parmesan works well but you can also use any other type you would like.
Bake in a 350 F oven until the cheese starts to brown. Serve with sour cream, green onions, bacon, salsa or any other additional toppings you desire.
This is a very versatile recipe as you can see. There are countless combinations you can use for fillings and toppings. Think about what leftover veggies or meats you have and use them first.
Baked Potato Casserole Alternative If You Don’t Have Baking Potatoes
Make mashed potatoes from the dry boxed variety. Mix in any of the ingredients just as you would for the baked potato method above. Butter or oil a pan and spread mixture into it. Top with shredded cheese or dry Parmesan. You can sprinkle bacon crumbles on top too if you have them. Bake until cheese is as golden as you like it.
Put out smaller portions on plates. People can always go back for more. If you serve dinner in a serve-yourself manner, then have a discussion with everyone about this and encourage good habits.
Putting too much food on each person’s plate can result in waste. After all, no one is going to want to put what is left off of everyone’s plate back into the pot. If someone has a lot of leftovers on their plate then perhaps using a Tupperware and labeling it with their name so they can eat it for lunch the next day is a good idea? Just a few thoughts to prevent the age-old problem of too much on the plate sometimes… (continues)