We are so lucky to be able to work with Share the Harvest each year! This year we received roasts and ground meat.
Missouri's Share the Harvest program helps deer hunters donate surplus venison to the needy. This program is administered by the Conservation Federation of Missouri and the Missouri Department of Conservation. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, more than 4,500 deer hunters donated more than a quarter-million pounds of venison from last season’s deer harvest. Since the program was started in 1992, Share the Harvest has provided more than 3.5 million pounds of venison.
Below is one simple recipe for using the roasts. If you need more inspiration, the internet is full of great recipes; here are some from the Department of Conservation: Recipes
2-3 T oil
1-2 t salt
1/2 - 1 t pepper
1/2 - 1 t rosemary
1/2 - 1 t granulated garlic
Preheat oven to 450*.
Rub roast with oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary.
Cut apple and onion into cubes and put under roast.
Put 1 cup water into pan.
Bake 10 minutes at 450*.
Cover with foil.
Turn oven to 325*.
Bake 20 minutes per pound (ex: 3 pound roast for 1 hour).
(If you have a meat thermometer, your goal temperature is 145*)
Let rest 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
Alternate Slow Cooker/Crock Pot Method:
Rub roast with oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary.
Cut apple and onion into cubes and put under and on roast.
Put 1 cup water into slow cooker.
Cook on low for 7-9 hours *or* high for 3 hours and then low for 1 hour
1 can tuna, drained
2t sweet or dill pickle relish
1 hard boiled egg, diced, optional
Serve one of these ways:
-with fresh vegetables to dip (carrots, celery, cucumbers, bell peppers)
-on crackers or bread
-on a bed of lettuce tossed with olive oil and salt and pepper
You can use cooked pinto beans that you have mashed or pureed to your favorite consistency or canned refried beans. Just add about half as much salsa as you have beans then mix together, microwave to heat and serve with chips or tortillas. You can make this as fancy as you want by adding any of the following things, but it's delicious just as is!
Wash baking potatoes
Prick with fork several times
Microwave for about 5 minutes per potato or 350* oven for 1 hour
This is a super quick meal if you do some prep ahead of time. I have talked a lot of times about cooking a whole chicken, dividing the cooked meat into meal size bags and then using the bones and skin to make stock and this is a perfect use for that! Also, I will sometimes buy a 12 oz jar of premade alfredo sauce, then divide it into three smaller containers and freeze them to use later, like for this. Of course, you could also make this totally from scratch if you haven't done prep ahead of time. At my house, this is one of our go to meals when we are really pressed for time. I even do it with rice in the pressure cooker sometimes which makes it go from freezer to table in less than 10 minutes.
These things I pull from the freezer and thaw in the microwave:
1 quart of chicken stock
1 bag cooked, diced or shredded chicken
4 oz alfredo sauce
8 oz frozen peas, optional (these don't need to be thawed, they will warm up very quickly when they get added to the pan)
1 pound pasta or 2 cups rice or about 4 diced potatoes
Italian herbs, seasoned salt, garlic, or salt and pepper to taste
Use the chicken stock to cook the potatpes, rice, or pasta (adding more water to it if necessary). When it is almost cooked properly add the chicken, peas, and sauce to warm through. If you are using full fat chicken stock it will likely be creamy enough with just that small amount of sauce, but you can also add a spoon of sour cream or splash of milk if desired. Topping it with some parmesan cheese would be delicious also.
Another variation would also be to substitute beans for the chicken!
I love rice and beans! When I started on my healthy and inexpensive mission, I only made red beans and rice with Mexican seasonings. That was the only way I had eaten them and it didn't occur to me to change it... until I got bored with it... That is when the magic happened! You can season rice and beans with literally anything! They accept and enhance many, many flavors! Today it is rosemary and seasoning salt with avocado.
I had some leftover rice that was made with rosemary and seasoning salt (Jane's Krazy Salt is my favorite.) I soaked a pound of red beans in cold water overnight. Then in the morning, I put them in the crock pot 3/4 full of fresh water on low. Ideally, they would be in there for 4-6 hours, but I didn't get home until 8 hours later and they were still perfect! I added a little more seasoning salt and rosemary and cubed some fresh avocado. That's it, super easy!! I think some tomato would also be a good addition, but I didn't have any on hand.
1-2 lb chicken
16 oz frozen mixed vegetables
2 C water
1 pot pie seasoning packet
1 ½ t Jane’s Krazy Salt
1T poultry seasoning
2 T cornstarch
1 ½ t chicken bouillon
1 bag of biscuit mix
2 C flour
1 T baking powder
½ t salt
½ C shortening
1c milk (or water)
Preheat oven to 375°.
Cook chicken and remove bones and skin (if applicable), then dice or shred meat.
Combine all ingredients except Crust ingredients.
Microwave on high or cook on stove until it reaches a boil (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally. Boil 3 minutes.
Pour into 9x13 pan.
Combine biscuit mix and milk (it will be sticky). Let sit 10 minutes and vigorously stir if it is too wet. Press out on floured surface into a roughly 9 inch square, cut into 12 pieces and place on top of chicken mixture (or spoon on top). Bake 20-25 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.
I talk often about the Thrifty Meal Plans and here they are. I'm working on getting all of the recipes in one place and this is that place.
Chicken and dumplings
Chicken pot pie (9x13 pan)
Tomato and bean pasta
Chicken alfredo pasta
Potato salsa chicken
Diced potato with chk alfredo
Baked potato with chili
Scrambled eggs and pancakes
Vegetable bean pasta
Chicken and veg pasta
White bean chili (with or without chicken)
Beans and Rice
White bean curry
By Deanna Collins-Ellyson
When I began diving into learning more about The Pantry, I recall Kolbi making the statement of a possible problem that could arise with The Pantry meals; boredom. Hearing this actually brought some relief. I’m not entirely sure why; maybe the whole idea behind The Pantry just seemed too good to be true. All I knew was the her concern was legit. It was something I never thought of, and I appreciated her honesty. However- I tucked it into the back of my mind with no intention of directly attacking this issue.
That was until, of course, the good Lord knew it was time to remind me.
I made the red beans and rice meal after deciding I was going to dedicate to being part of the change however I could. Something had come up for the next two days, so I knew I had to do something with the red beans and rice so it didn’t go to waste; FREEZE IT! But how? A giant bowl of red beans and rice didn't seem like the right answer.
Then a simple solution came to me; that light bulb moment...or again, the good Lord! So off to the store for some tortillas and cilantro and I was ready to whip up some HEALTHY frozen burritos!
What I love most about these is that they were hand made and WAY healthier (and lets not forget CHEAPER) than any store bought. I had no idea what would become of this, but I knew I had something exciting to share with someone. So, I started snapping photos and making some mental notes. As I was whipping these bad boys up, I was thinking about the other benefits this simple meal provided, not just food for our bellies. Something I never thought a “pantry” would gift me with.
(1) The desire to please the Lord by offering a solution to one concern.
(2) I often don’t get the opportunity to eat a healthy meal or two; mommyhood right? But being able to turn a simple meal into an easy, quick, AND healthy option that JUST so happens to be a top favorite food of mine, actually eased some anxiety for me. The entire feeling of relief was more than I can really put into words, and I don’t struggle as much as many others do when it comes to getting food on the table, so I could just imagine a sense of relief for someone not as well off as myself. I was eager, in that moment, to tell someone else!
(3) FAMILY! When the ideas were flowing, I was thinking about things my family would want to add to these burritos. That led me to thinking about the other meals The Pantry offers and how my family could have an input in revamping them for our family so we didn’t get bored. THIS provided some communication that wouldn’t have been had between us. Bonding that wouldn’t have been had. Love. Growth. Opinions were mattering, confidence was building, imaginations were rolling (yeah if you have young ones, watch out for what they want to put in it haha).
These things you would never really be at the forefront of you mind when simply receiving food from any pantry.
If numbers are your thing, here is an average cost breakdown (plus some other optional ingredient costs):
3 cups of rice $0.80
1 pound of beans $1.00
TOTAL - $10.90 or $0.36 per burrito!
Even if you go crazy and add all of these things:
Tomatoes (2) $1.00
Avocado (3) $3.00
Cheese (8 oz) $2.50
You will have still only spent $18.90 or $0.63 per burrito!
Please comment to let us know if you have changed up any Pantry recipes or if you try this one!
Big batch cooking is a tremendous time saver. I usually make enough food for at least half of the week at once plus extra to put in the freezer all at once so everyone can eat when they are home and hungry by just microwaving single servings. I wish we were all together every meal time, but that just isn't practical with our crazy schedules.
Today I made white bean chicken chili (10-12 servings), pot pie (6-8 servings), chicken stock (about 100 ounces divided into 6 jars), cooked chicken for freezer (3 meal portions), biscuits (one pan/8 biscuits).
Recipes for the chili, pot pie, biscuits, and seasoning mixes can be found here: Menu and Recipes
I use the chicken stock to cook pasta or rice in, start soup with, or use for pot pie.
Normally, I would chop carrots, onions, celery, and peppers during the process and put them in meal size bags in the freezer to use in rice or pasta dishes or soup, but I did that earlier this week. It would only add, maybe 15 minutes since I do it while things are cooking and don't need attention. You should employ a helper to wash dishes while you do this cooking, otherwise you end up with a sinkful.
This is what a my cooking day looked like today. Note that it is only about two hours of work!
Last night I covered two pounds of dry beans with water in a large pot to soak. Then I put a whole chicken in the crockpot with some celery and onion ends (I have a jar in the freezer that I put celery, carrot, and onion scraps in for this purpose) two chicken bouillon cubes, and some poultry seasoning. I covered it with water, turned it to low, and went to bed.
Have you ever wondered what is in our seasoning blend packets? Here are all the recipes as individual recipes and also if you would like to make them in bulk.
This is an easy and inexpensive dish. It takes a little longer than most of my dishes (my goal is 15 minutes and this takes 30), but you can shave some time off if you cut the potatoes extra, super thin. I also use a bag of precooked, diced chicken from my freezer. This is the biggest time saving tip I have. Cook a whole chicken or a family size package of chicken leg quarters and then pull the meat off the bones and divide it into zip top bags (I usually put just under a pound in each bag), then use the bones for making stock.
Potato Salsa Chicken
2-3 T oil
4 potatoes, washed but not peeled, thinly sliced1 small onion, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup salsa
3/4 - 1 lb cooked chicken
1 cup water
sour cream, optional
Put oil in skillet (cast iron works best) over medium to medium-high heat. Add potatoes, onions, and salt and pepper. Let cook about 5 minutes, scrape potatoes from bottom and stir. Cook another 5 minutes. Add salsa, chicken, and water. Cover and cook about another 10 minutes, stirring once or twice. Uncover and cook another 2-3 minutes until most of the water is absorbed or evaporated. Serve with sour cream, cheese, and chives if desired. Makes 4-6 servings.
potatoes - 5 lb bag (about 12 potatoes) $2.30, so 4 potatoes = $.77
onions - 2 pound bag (about 10 onions) $1.00 so 1 onion = $.10
salsa - 16 oz jar $2.79 so 1 cup = $1.60
chicken - whole 5-6 pound chicken (precooked weight) $5.00 (I divide it into 4 ziplock bags, like shown) so $1.25
TOTAL COST - $3.72 or about $.74 per serving