Hello my darlings! Chef Tess is here!
Spring is here. Yikes. Kids are getting ready to get out of school for summer. Yikes. Some are gearing up to graduate and leave home. Yikes. I don’t want to even think about my sons being old enough to leave me yet. However, with all of this going on with kids and all the adventures ahead, I’m coming to California for a few classes! We’ve got a lot to do to get ready for the weeks and months ahead! Are you with me?
One class that we’ll be doing is on Friday. We’ll be makings kid-friendly meals in a jar! I have loved the journey of raising kids. It’s a grand adventure. It is full of sleepless nights and magic markers on the wall. It is full of first-steps and precious moments. I know a lot of parents who want their kids to be prepared for anything they will face in this world. In the past I’ve talked a lot about tips for picky eaters in survival situations
. Part of being successful is starting right now to use what you have in your food storage. I make meals that they know and love. It keeps it really fun. It empowers them to make their own dishes and I have literally replaced myself in the kitchen for most of the work. I’m a big fan of giving my kids power to become functioning members of society. Cooking is not optional. It is a life skill.
Usually when we plan our dinner meals it is around a menu. Chefs tend to do that. Purchasing ingredients for the restaurant based on what is on the menu just makes sense. At home, this of course requires something girly and cute like a menu board, or something practical like a sheet of notebook paper with an hand scratching of the upcoming items we’ll be eating. Sometimes I’m organized. Sometimes it is every man for himself. I keep a list of all the meals that my family likes and, yes, if you have the Honeyville Gourmet Food Storage Handbook
, all the recipes are in the book on this board. They are family favorites.
As for meals for younger kids, one thing I learned early on was that some of the food I ate as an adult could be too spicy or strong for my kids when they were small. Little mouths are sensitive. Sometimes it wasn’t a matter of them being “picky” so much as it was a matter of finding what wasn’t as spicy. These recipes are slightly under seasoned for that reason. My kids have a few favorites that we call the “grab-n-go” meals. They are the ones that they can pop in the microwave or stove top and make pretty quickly for one person. They are teenage boys now.
If you have smaller kids, you’ll obviously have to be a little more hands-on when they cook the meals to be sure they don’t get burned. Now that mine are older, they tend to add hot sauce and a lot of bold spices that they didn’t use when they were small. Yes, adjust as needed for your family. Make them personal to your likes and dislikes. In all honesty, we tend to use the recipes now for 5 Personal Sized Meals in a Jar
as they tend to be spicier and full of more “grown up” flavor. I use Healthy Lean Protein Soup Base
most often for me when I’m trying to be healthy and traveling. Those are great options for kids going away to college soon! Those still around can use these here…
Today’s Kids’ Recipes:
- There are very few ingredients in the recipes, cutting cost immensely.
- Kids or adults can make them because they are simple to measure and make. Win!
- What about protein? Because we don’t use any of the freeze dried meat in these meals, you don’t even have to use an oxygen absorber if you’ll be using the meals in the next year or so. I use the vegetable TVP that adds fiber and makes these meals extra flavorful for kids. Let’s face it, kids usually need more fiber. So do adults. In the chili I use our magical Honeyville Quick Cook Red Beans because they’re not only fast, they’re still very nutritious.
- The meal recipes can be put in half-pint jars, mylar bags, or resealable sandwich bags. I like to put my sandwich bags in a gallon sized PET container for single-serve every day use.
- All are “just add water” convenient and will cook in just a few minutes.
- I’ve included microwave instructions as well as stove-top instructions.
- You control the ingredients. If you have to go gluten-free, you can use gluten free alternatives without a problem.
- I’ve tried to list how many servings each #10 can will make with each specific recipe. This is approximate, but I’m going with the labels on the cans.
4 Personal Meals for Kids:
In a half pint jar combine ingredients.
Stove Top: To make chili, combine ingredients with 1 cup water and cook over low heat 10 minutes. Turn off heat cover. Let sit 10 minutes.
Microwave:Combine jar ingredients in a quart sized microwave safe bowl. Add 1 cup water. Cook on 50% power 10 minutes. Sit in microwave 5 minutes.
¾ cup instant white rice (like minute-rice)
In pint jar combine ingredients.
To Prepare: Pour 1 ½ cup boiling water into jar. Cover and allow to sit 5-7 minutes until rice is tender. Top with sour cream, shredded cheese and corn ships as desired.
1/2 cup broken spaghetti or other noodles*
¼ tsp Chef Tess Romantic Italian Seasoning
Bring 1 ¼ cups water to a rolling boil. Pour contents of jar into boiling water and stir. Boil 8-10 minutes until noodles are tender. Serve hot.
Microwave: Put 1 1/2 cup water and ingredients in a quart sized microwave safe bowl. Cook 5 minutes high. Stir. Cook 3 minutes more and allow to sit in microwave 3 minutes to thicken.
* If you use 3 minute cooking noodles, simply top with 1 ¼ cup boiling water and cook 3 minutes.
My Chicky-Noodle Soup
2T Honeyville Dehydrated Carrots (optional) (each can will make approx 70 meals)
1T Honeyville Dehydrated Onion (each can will make approx 164 meals)
1T Honeyville Freeze Dried Celery (each can will make approx 168 meals)
1/2 cup Honeyville Egg Noodles( each can will make approx 10 meals)
2T Honeyville Chicken Flavored TVP (each can will make approx 98 meals)
1 tsp chicken bouillon (optional)
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning or Chef Tess French Provencal Seasoning
To prepare stove-top : Combine with 2 cups water and simmer 10-12 minutes until all ingredients are tender.
Microwave: Combine with 2 cups water in a 4 cup microwave safe container. Cook on High 5 minutes. Stir carefully. Cook another 3 minutes. Allow to sit 3-5 minutes.
There you go! 4 new ideas to use for kids’ grab and go meals.
If you have more questions on how to make shelf-stable meals, visit the safety stuff:
Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess