Food Storage Recipe: Southwestern Egg Rolls

Thursday, May 31, 2012
We had these for dinner this week, and I thought they turned out great, considering that I had to modify them to be dairy-free.  I was able to use quite a few ingredients from food storage, so that is always a good thing!

Southwestern Egg Rolls

2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced (I used one jar of canned chicken)
1/2 red bell pepper, diced (I used 1/2 cup of dehydrated red/green bell pepper mix, reconstituted)
2 Tbsp green onions, chopped fine
1/4 c onion, minced fine (I used dehydrated)
1 can corn
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 c spinach, sliced thin
1 small can diced green chiles
1/2 Tbsp fresh parsley (I used 1 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 c Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese, shredded (I used Daiya non-dairy shreds)
tortillas (I used the uncooked kind from Costco)

Mix together all ingredients except chicken and cheese.  Transfer to saute pan and heat until warm.  Add cheese and chicken back in, and mix well.  Spoon 1/2 c of mixture into warmed tortillas.  Fold in both sides, then roll from one end.  Place rolls in saute pan and weigh down with second pan (or heat-safe plate under large can of food) to flatten until browned. 

I served these with a dairy-free ranch dressing - YUMMY!!!

Canning lettuce...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012
...Okay, so it's not really "canning" lettuce.  But I piqued your interest, right?  ;)

Welcome to my new best friend for lunch, the vacuum-sealed "salad in a jar".  This is lettuce that I have washed, spun dry, chopped and then sealed in pint jars using my Food Saver and the mason jar attachment.  I store it in my fridge, and it lasts for quite awhile (up to 2 weeks).  The edges don't go brown, and the lettuce actually stays very crisp!

So when lunchtime comes around, all I have to do is pull out a jar, open the lid and dump it in a bowl.  Then I can add whatever other items I want, and I'm good to go!  It saves me a lot of time on days when things are crazier than the normal chaos that usually reigns around here.

Another time saver for my salads?  Using home-canned chicken!  Just open the jar and add to lettuce - its already cooked. 

With my dairy-restricted diet, I've had to make a few modifications to my normal salads.  I've found a fabulous recipe for a dairy-free, egg-free ranch dressing.  And I occasionally add a dairy-free "cheese" subsitute.  But my newest love is perhaps my favorite - using a little Grape Nuts cereal (its dairy-free) in place of croutons (which  are not dairy-free)!  I have really missed that little bit of "crunch" to my salad that came from croutons, but now Grape Nuts cereal has saved the day!

For more info on vacuum-sealing lettuce or the "Salad in a Jar" method, check out this great blog: and her post, "How to Make Salad in a Jar"

Food Storage Recipe: Chewy Granola Bars

Friday, May 25, 2012
While I had all the granola ingredients out the other night, I decided to try my hand at granola bars.  We've hit a snag with the store-bought kinds - they all include milk products!  Argh!!!  So I needed to find a homemade recipe that I could modify for our dairy allergy.

I have to say, at first I wasn't too sure about these.  I tasted them when they were still a tad bit warm, and it wasn't quite what I was expecting (but I'm not a big fan of honey, and you can definitely taste the honey in these).  But I finished letting them cool, then cut them and wrapped them in plastic wrap figuring I would use them in my son's lunches.  Turns out, he didn't like them, but that's okay because I ended up eating them - and the taste actually grew on me! 

I'm still on the search for a really great granola bar recipe, but I'll keep this one as a backup.

Basic Chewy Granola Bars

3 c oats (I used the quick cook variety)
1/2 c oat bran (I ended up using wheat bran since I didn't have oat bran)
1/2 c wheat germ
2/3 c brown sugar
1/2 c honey
4 Tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

Combine first three ingredients together on a sheet pan and toast in 350F degree oven for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.  While oats are toasting, combine the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Remove from heat and pour over toasted oat mixture.  Mix well. 

Spread onto greased cookie sheet.  Top with sheet of wax paper and press down to desired height.  Let cool (30 minutes or more) then cut to desired sizes.  Wrap or store in airtight container.

My modifications:
I only had to substitute one thing on this one to make it dairy-free, and that was to use dairy-free margarine in place of the butter.

Food Storage Recipe: Granola Cereal

Thursday, May 24, 2012
I've always liked granola, but I've never made it myself.  I keep meaning to do it, but just never get around to it.  Until now.  I found a great recipe that is super easy to make, can be modified for my son's (and my) dairy allergy, and works great as a snack or as a breakfast cereal!  And it's a great way to rotate through the oats in my food storage!  It is tasty plain, or you can make it "fancy" and add nuts, raisins, craisins or other freeze-dried/dehydrated fruits.  Eat it plain, or add milk, or even layer it in a dish with some yogurt and jam for a fancy parfait.

Watch out sugary store-bought breakfast cereals - your days are numbered at our house now!!!  :)

Granola Cereal

1/2 c margarine
1/2 c peanut butter
1 c brown sugar
6 Tbsp honey
1/2 c milk
2 Tbsp cinnamon
4 c regular oats
1 c 6-grain cereal (or 7-, 8- or 10- grain cereal mix - I used the Bob's Red Mill variety)
2 tsp vanilla

Combine first five ingredients in sauce pan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and let boil for one minute while stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add cinnamon, oats, 6-grain cereal and vanilla.  Mix well.

Spread granola mixture onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until it begins to brown.  Let cool and then break up the big clumps.

My modifications:

For dairy-free, we used a dairy-free margarine and So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk.

The 2 tablespoons of cinnamon was a bit much for me - it was okay for the cereal just plain, but was too overpowering for trying to add dried fruits.  So, next batch I will try no cinnamon at all, or maybe just 1 tablespoon, so that we can add dried fruits to it for breakfast. 

I also picked up some caramel flavoring at Orson Gygi's this week, and will experiment with using the caramel flavoring (just a bit) in place of the cinnamon.  We have a can of freeze-dried banana dices that I think would go great with a caramel-flavored granola for cereal in the morning!

Chocolate Chip Cookies (dairy-free, egg-free)

Sunday, May 20, 2012
We have diary allergies in my family.  I inherited it from my dad, and then passed it along to all of my kids.  For the most part, it hasn't been bad - in fact, I made it all the way to 16 before I was officially diagnosed.  My kids have had symptoms to various degrees, although one has now outgrown it and does fine with dairy.  And for most of my life, I have just lived with it and not worried about following a special or strict diet.  It's hard to give up cheese and ice cream!  :)

But the newest addition to the family is very sensitive to milk protein (casein) and so I have had to eliminate all dairy, eggs and beef products from my diet while I am nursing her.  This has been QUITE a change for me! 

I found some premade dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free cookie dough two weeks ago at Whole Foods, and picked it up to try.  It made some of the best cookies I have ever tasted - EVER!!!  Even my husband (who is not dairy-allergic) loved them!  But at $5 a tub, which only made about 20 small cookies, and with the store being 45 minutes away from my house, these just aren't a very practical solution for me.  So I've been scouring lots of recipe books and blog sites looking for dairy-free, egg-free cookies that I can make myself, at home. 

Here is my first attempt, and I have to say, it was a definite winner!!!  These are fabulous!  Big, thick, chewy - just like you get at a bakery!

Dairy-free, Egg-free Chocolate Chip Cookies
(as far as I know these qualify as vegan, as long as you use vegan chocolate chips)

1/2 c dairy-free margarine (I used Nucoa in this particular recipe)
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c brown sugar, packed*
2 Tbsp whole flax seeds**
3 Tbsp plain milk alternative (I used So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk, no hint of coconut flavor in the cookies)
2 Tbsp plain dairy-free yogurt (I used Silk soy yogurt)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 c bread flour***
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips from Whole Foods Market)

Preheat over to 375F.  In large mixing bowl, cream together margarine and both sugars.  Grind the flax seeds into a fine powder in a coffee or spice grinder (I used already-ground flaxseed meal, the Bob's Red Mill stuff).  Pour the flax seed mixture into the margarine and sugars, along with the yogurt, vanilla and vinegar - beat to combine.  Sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and mix thoroughly.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Scoop out dough using 1/4 cup measure, roll into ball and then flatten slightly on prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are set and just beginning to turn golden brown.  Cool for 15 minutes on sheet before moving them to wire rack to cool completely.

My modifications:

*Original recipe called for dark brown sugar, but I didn't have any, so I used regular brown sugar and think they turned out just fine.  Of course, I do have molasses and could have made my light brown sugar into dark brown sugar myself, but that's just too much work!  ;)

**I used already-ground flaxseed meal (Bob's Red Mill brand).  It worked fine, just left little tiny dark flecks in the dough that didn't affect the taste at all.

***If you don't have bread flour around (I do not), you can use plain all-purpose flour just fine.  The bread flour has a higher protein (gluten) content and will help the cookies be a little chewier than with the AP flour, but either works just fine in the recipe.  If you are a bread-maker and have vital wheat gluten, you can convert your AP flour into bread flour by adding 2 tsp vital wheat gluten for each cup of flour used in the recipe, which is what I did last night and I really loved the texture it produced!

I modified this recipe from one in the book Go Dairy Free by Alisa Marie Fleming, who in turn got the recipe from Hannah Kaminsky, author of My Sweet Vegan.

No More Radon!!! (We hope)

Friday, May 18, 2012
We finally had our radon mitigation system installed this week!  Hopefully our levels will now drop significantly.  (The company we used guarantees a result of 2.7 pCi/L or less - if we are still above that next week when we test again, they will come back and adjust as needed until we can get the level below that number.)

Here's a shot of the install in our garage.  The pipe goes down into the basement, through the concrete floor slab, up through the garage (seen here), and then up through a closet on the second floor, into the attic and out through the roof.  The suction fan is up in the attic, so you can't hear it unless you are in the upstairs closet right next to the tube.

So glad to finally have it done!  If you haven't tested your home for radon, don't wait any longer - do it now!

What I'm Up To...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Things have been beyond crazy the last few weeks.  I promise I am still working on food storage and emergency preparedness stuff, and I've even taken pictures.  But I'm having a hard time finding time to write up the posts.  I will get to it - soon.  In the meantime, here's what I've been doing:

Putting together a first aid kit

Finding flashlights at IKEA (they are even more awesome than I expected!!!)

Grabbing groceries at Harmons

Finding some great little additions for our food storage, to help with the taste of powdered milk (if I can keep my kids and husband out of them, which so far has been nearly impossible)

And finding some great reasons why you want plenty of baking soda in your year's supply (it's not just for baking)

And I finally think I've got all the stuff I need for the baby's 72-hour kit.  I just need to get it all in one place, get it photographed and then packed in a bag.  So stay tuned for lots more details!!!

Help Needed at Murray Cannery

Tuesday, May 15, 2012
We are in need of volunteers to help
with our  Welfare Assignment
Wednesday May 23rd, Thursday May 24th
Wednesday May 30th, Thursday May 31st
Tuesday June 5th, Wednesday June 6th
The shifts are 2 ½  hours
·        7:00am-9:30am, 9:00am-11:30am, 11:00am-1:30pm, 1:00pm-3:30pm
Please only sign up for one day
Signups will start Tuesday
morning May 15th starting @ 8:00am
For those who come and volunteer you will be able to purchase
While supplies last:
3 cases per person…
·       Chili                                                  $24.00 per case 2 case max
·       Cream of mushroom soup             $24.00 per case 2 case max
·       Cream of chicken soup                   $24.00 per case 2 case max
·       Tomato soup                                   $18.00 per case 2 case max

To sign up click on a link below to see the signup
sheet and to schedule a shift


Traci Johnson BUTTERFLY CLIP.png
Murray Cannery
4373 So Main Street
Murray, Utah 84107

Free eBook: Basic Soap Making

Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Amazon has a great ebook for free today that might be a useful tool in your long-term preparedness arsenal:

Basic Soap Making:  All the Skills and Tools You Need to Get Started

You'll need to have a Kindle or Kindle-capable device, or download the Kindle app for your computer.

Basic Soap Making eBook

Rose Canyon 4th Ward - Food Storage Purchases for May 2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012
For those in the Rose Canyon 4th Ward, here are the food storage purchase options for May 2012.  Sign-up sheets are passed around on Sundays in Sunday School and also in Relief Society.  For those who are not in those classes, feel free to contact me directly with your order or leave a comment below.  We will do payments the same way as Debby had them set up - please use a donation slip, make checks payable to "Rose Canyon 4th Ward", put "Food Storage" in the Other box on the slip, and turn in your money to a member of the bishopric.

Payments need to be in by Sunday, May 20.  (I cannot place your order until your payment has been turned in.)

May 2012 Food Storage Purchases:

Tote-able Toilet Seat & Lid
Fits on a standard 5-gallon bucket (but bucket not included)

Price:  $6.00
(We need to have a minimum of 10 orders to get it for this price.)

Freeze Dried Peach Chunks, 17oz
Comes in a #10 can

Price:  $15.00

Freeze Dried Banana Dices, 16oz
Comes in a #10 can

Price:  $14.00

What I'm Buying - Reams 5/1

Thursday, May 3, 2012
Reams has some pretty nice produce deals this week:

(6) WF frozen vegetables, on sale .79
(3) Las Palmas enchilada sauce, on sale 1.99 (.99 after coupon)
(2) 2lb baby carrots, on sale 1.88
(4) cilantro, on sale .25
(2) romaina lettuce, on sale .69
(10) limes, on sale .13
(6) green onions, on sale .25
LOTS of roma tomatoes, on sale .39/lb

I used (2) 1.00/1 printable coupons for the enchilada sauce.

Total:  $20.44

The cilantro, green onions, some limes and most of the roma tomatoes are for making pico de gallo!  I love that you can store it in the freezer.  :)

I'm also planning on making some Cilantro-Lime Rice to go with Cafe Rio-Style Pork Salads.  Yummy! I'm going to try using my canned pork for the salads, and green salsa for the tomatillo dressing, so lots of the meal will come directly from food storage!

From someone who has been there and done that...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
I stumbled onto this great blog a few days ago - it is written by a woman who made a goal to feed her family off of nothing but her food storage for one full year. Not because they had to, but because she wanted to as a learning experience. She has some wonderful insights and I'm so glad that she was willing to post some of her experiences and some of the things she learned. Check out her story at She began her year of food storage in 2010, so make sure you go back to the posts at the end of 2009 and then go forward through 2010 if you want to follow her journey.