A companion to the upcoming book of similar title, this blog gives recipes to make your own homemade and healthy Meals Ready to Eat. Whether you prepare these for survival in emergency situations or to provide healthy meals for work and camping/backpacking, or if you just need portion control for your diet, there are recipes here for nearly everyone! // ALL ingredients are dehydrated or freeze-dried, or shelf-stable, and all recipes are for one serving. // At least ONE new recipe will be added each week.

Dehydrated Fruit

While I do dehydrate a lot of fruit for our snacking, desserts and oatmeal, there are certain things I buy ALWAYS from www.justtomatoes.com.  Have for many years!  Order soon, and use my discount code “BACK-TO-SCHOOL” for 15% off. And if you order over $100 worth of product (after the discount), then you get free shipping (ground).

So, yesterday, I made a bunch of oatmeal breakfasts for my husband. Enough for at least 3 ½ weeks for him. That’s when I noticed that I was running super-low on fruit powders. Today, I ordered some more, including a couple of fruits that I have trouble dehydrating.

Mango, whole
Raspberry, whole

Banana, powder
Blueberry, powder
Mango, powder
Peach, powder
Pineapple, powder
Raspberry, powder
Strawberry, powder
I didn’t order whole blackberries or blueberries because we still had plenty of those. I also usually order peas but when I was going through my storage, I found some.  I sometimes order tomato slices but I still have plenty from what I dehydrated last year.

They used to do mushrooms, scallions and others (I think they still do garlic) but they discontinued some things several years ago because of lack of interest. Join me in asking them for more vegetables. That survival and prepping for emergency people really need a good source of HEALTHY (no additives) vegetables, fruits and other ingredients. I just called and put in my request. Do the same! (800) 537-1985

What do I use all of the fruit for? My son needs more fruit in his diet, so he (almost daily) gets mango, blueberries and blackberries, and usually munches on peas as a snack. I munch on their “fruit salad” and raspberries , blue/blackberries, and mango, and, of course, what I dehydrate (plum, nectarine, peach, apple, banana, pineapple and grapes).
I also make delicious crumbles and other desserts.

As far as the powder, we use that to flavor oatmeal. We particularly love tropical oatmeal (powders – banana, mango, pineapple, plus coconut flakes), raspberry and cocoa (so yum), peach, and PB&J (peanut butter powder with raspberry, peach or strawberry powder).

Give some of these a try. Trust me, they make DELICIOUS foods. And so healthy.

p.s. I do not get any compensation of any kind from Just Tomatoes.

MIJ Diet: Lentil and Rice Soup

As my last post mentioned, I decided to help my weight loss along by using Meals In Jars (MIJ), aka Homemade Healthy MREs.

My "diet"  requirements:
  • gluten-free
  • tasty
  • filling
  • healthy
  • dairy-free (as much as possible)
  • low-sugar (pre-diabetic .. although I would rather use raw sugar and honey than asparatame!)
  • low-sodium (I have high blood pressure)
So, the other day, I made my go-to dinner for the family: lentil and rice soup. This time, I made it from mostly dehydrated or shelf-stable ingredients.
  • Lentils (pre-cooked and dehydrated)
  • Rice, Brown (instant)
  • Mixed Soup Veggies (I get these at the local Vitamin Cottage)
  • Garlic powder (NOT salt)
  • Chicken bouillon powder (low sodium)
Because I made this at home, I also added a dollop of bacon grease! I know, not the healthiest choice, but bacon makes otherwise bland meals quite delicious!

To make this yourself, use the same amount for rice as you do with lentils. Add a couple of tablespoons of mixed dried veggies, and season to taste.

VEGAN: eliminate the bacon grease!

Nutrition label for recipes

So many people have asked if I plan to calculate nutrition (calories, calcium, iron, carbs, etc) for my recipes, that I decided to do so!

While I won't be showing the nutrition for recipes here on this blog or in my facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/Mealsinjars/), I **WILL** be adding them to the books I'm writing.

Meanwhile, here's a link I found where you can, for free, calculate nutrition too.


MIJ Diet: Homemade MREs for Dieting

As some of you might know, I have a LOT of health problems. I can barely walk.  In November, I have a right knee replacement surgery scheduled.  A few months after, the left knee.

I have migraines, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, pre-diabetic, high blood pressure, low potassium and magnesium, insomnia and other symptoms. PLUS, recently I was told the rheumatoid arthritis in my spine is so severe, that I will probably be in a wheelchair within the next 5-10 years.

That means no more farming. (We just have our tiny 2 acres but already we've sold our goat herd, with only chickens and turkeys remaining.). We will need to find a smaller place, closer to the city (Denver) for doctor appointments, therapies, and so my special needs son can get a job within walking or biking distance.

My only hope is to lose weight.  A LOT of weight! Like... another person-worth! When I weighed two weeks ago, I was down to 252 pounds (my highest was 299).

So, even tho I am changing the way I eat foods (more produce from our garden and more eggs, chicken and turkey from our farm), I decided to have more of my dehydrated / homemade and healthy MREs to my food plan. For the purposes of this posting, I'm calling it the "MIJ Diet" (Meals In Jars).  Gluten-free and low-sodium. 

Hubby needs to eat lunches with less sodium anyway, so he too will be eating more MIJ..

Son's epilepsy meds often cause his weight to jump around, so we need to more stabilize his weight, and get as much nutrition in him as possible, even tho he is a picky eater!

Help us be more healthy!

And maybe you too can be more healthy.

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About this Blog

Hi! I am writing a book of how to make your own homemade and healthy MREs ... Meals Ready to Eat. This blog is a companion to the book.

Benefits to making your own MREs? YOU control how much sodium you include in each recipe, how many veggies or fruits, how healthy or how decadent.

  • All recipes are single-serve (one serving per recipe).
  • All recipes use ingredients that are shelf-stable, like dehydrated, freeze-dried, bouillon cubes, powdered milk, tiny pasta, etc.
  • Amounts of water needed to reconstitute the recipe may vary according to the moisture content in your dehydrated / freeze-dried ingredients.
  • To make a pasta dish gluten-free, just use your pre-cooked-and-dehydrated gluten-free pasta instead of other pasta.
  • To make a dish dairy-free when a milk, butter, cheese or sour cream is called for, please substitute rice milk in place of milk or sour cream. There is no rich dairy-free dehydrated substitute for butter or cheese. Not that **I** know of. If you know of a source, please please let me know!


p.s. ... do you have any suggestions for recipes you'd like to see?

MRE RECIPE: Asian Beef with Broccoli

As you know, we love Asian food! This is a recipe that is a bit more complicated but it's worth it.  I use three separate bags for cooking this (you could use jars) so that the broccoli doesn't become mush and keeps its individual flavor. Same with the rice.  If you prefer, use white rice. And you could make your own beef broth/powdered bouillon instead of using a store-bought cube.

Remember, all of the recipes I am writing for my book are single serve, and use freeze-dried / dehydrated ingredients.

Bag/Jar 1:
1/2 cup precooked roast beef pieces
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp ginger powder
1 beef bouillon cube
1 tbsp brown sugar
(To reconstitute to thick, add 3/4 to 1 cup of boiling water, seal tightly, shake until well reconstituted, and set aside until ready to combine with the others.)

Bag/Jar 2:
1/2 cup broccoli
2 tbsp scallions
(To reconstitute, add 1/4 boiling water, seal tightly, and shake periodically.)

Bag/Jar 3:
1/2 cup instant brown rice
(Add 1/2 cup boiling water ... more or less to taste.)

Combine, or serve/eat separately. As always, salt and pepper to taste. Add liquid soy sauce if desired.

  • Dairy-Free: naturally
  • Gluten-Free: naturally, but check on your rice, bouillon, etc just to make sure.
  • Low-Carb: Eat this without the rice, and it'll be low-carb!
  • Low-Sugar: there really isn't a whole lot of brown sugar in this. If it's too much, feel free to take it out, or reduce.
  • Nightshade-free: naturally