Saturday, October 3, 2009

Interchangeable Pantry~ Week 3

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 Have you noticed that a lot of items in your menus are interchangeable? When I made my ingredient list for my 3 month supply menu I noticed quite a few of the same ingredients were used for different recipes. I love being able to stock up on one item and use it for 3 different meals. It makes buying and rotating your food supply much easier.


Beans are very versatile in your food storage. Think of tortilla soup, chili, taco salad, bean enchiladas, black bean flautas, red beans and rice, bean dips, three-bean salad, etc. Beans can also be used as a meat extender and you can used mashed beans to replace the fat in baked goods. I use mashed black beans instead of oil in my brownies (1 C of bean puree= 1 C oil, ) I buy cases of canned beans and love knowing I will use them for multiple meals. You will need 60lbs per person person per year.



Creamed Soups are a casserole staple. I love a warm casserole on a cold winter night. I also love the ease of casseroles, just throw all the ingredients in a baking dish, bake and dinner is done. Many casseroles can be interchangeable and be so different at the same time. Think of all the recipes that you like to make that have creamed soups and stock up.



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Pasta is probably loved by everyone. It is easy to store and can be used in so many different ways. Along with pasta are the sauces. The same pasta can be totally different when a red sauce or white sauce is used. From spaghetti to stroganoff to stuffed shells, the ideas are endless. You will need 40lbs per person per year of pastas.


Baking supplies are a must for your 3 month supply. You will need yeast (2lbs per person per year), baking soda (1 lb pp per year), baking powder (2lbs pp per year), flour (75lbs pp per year), and salt (8lbs pp per year). These supplies allow you to make bread, but then also you can make tortillas, English muffins, pita bread, pizza dough, biscuits, muffins, pretty much any bread. Watch November and December for excellent sales on baking supplies. I will let you know for sure when they are stock up prices.
I have often been baking and realized that I was out of an ingredient. I found some substitutions that work great.

Baking Substitutions (I've included the yearly amounts needed per person)
Baking powder (2lbs pp per year) 1 t= 1/2 t cream of tartar and 1/4 t baking soda
Buttermilk 1 C=1 T lemon juice or vinegar to 1 C milk and let sit
Chocolate sweet baking 4 oz=1/4 C cocoa powder+1/3 C white sugar+ 3 T shortening (cocoa powder has an indefinite shelf life)
Cornstarch 1 T (as a thickener)=2 T all purpose flour
Egg 1= 1 T powdered egg+2 T water OR 1 t unflavored gelatin+ 3 T cold water to dissolve and add 2 T hot water
Evaporated milk 140z can (3 cans pp per year)= 1 C water + 2/3 C powdered milk (powdered milk 12lbs pp per year)
Powdered Sugar(3 bags pp per year) 1 C= 1 C white sugar blended for 3 min. in a blender+add 1 T cornstarch (35lbs white sugar pp per year)

Spices: Don't forget to store spices. I don't know what I would do without garlic powder and cinnamon (not together, just in general) Here are 2 recipes using spices that act just like the manufactured counterpart.

Taco Seasoning (makes one package)
  • 4-6 t instant mined onion
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 t cornstarch
  • 1/2 t cayenne
  • 1/8 t garlic powder
  • 1/4 t oregano
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/8 t black pepper
Mix all and store in tightly in ziploc bag. Make several at a time to keep on hand.

Onion Soup Mix (5 T of mix=1 11 1/4 oz package)
  • 3/4 instant minced onion
  • 1/3 C. beef bullion powder
  • 4 t onion powder
  • 1/4 t crushed celery seed
  • 1/4 t sugar
Combine all ingredients in an airtight container. Use 5 T of mix to = 1 onion soup mix package.


I hope you have all made your 3 month menu plan and have an ingredient list. Getting to know your ingredients will make shopping and storing so much easier. Take is slowly and make sure you are cooking at least once a week from your 3 month supply menu. (I use every meal as my food storage meal. We eat what we store.)  

Your challenge this week is to cook at least one meal from your pantry, and to have your menu ingredient list written out. Shopping for your 3 month supply will be difficult if you don't know what you need :)

Remember to keep adding water to your storage. Everyone needs 14 gallons per person. Make sure your 72-hour kits have a first aid kit and a sewing kit. One per person is recommended but it depends on the size of your sewing and first aid kits. (If anyone needs backpacks, check out DI. I found some brand new and gently used heavy duty rolling backpacks for $2!)

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