Friday, July 3, 2020

Why You Should Read the Apocrypha

Are the Apocryphal books worthwhile reading for modern Christians? What faith issues do they
Why You Should Read the Apocrypha
Why You Should Read the Apocrypha
address that might apply to us today?

I grew up Protestant. I was taught that there were 66 Books in the Bible - 39 Books in the Old Testament, and 27 Books in the New Testament. I was raised to read the Bible often, and be very familiar with its contents.

When I became a Greek Orthodox Christian, my Bible suddenly had a few more books than it used to have. Over the years, I have learned about these books, and why they're in Orthodox and Catholic Bibles. 

But, more than just learning facts about them, I have come to appreciate why they're really valuable reading for all Christians, right now.

These books have always been important, but at this current moment of history, they're vitally important.

First, a quick overview, then on to the reason you should read these books NOW.

There is a 400 year gap between the books of the Protestant Old Testament, and the Protestant New Testament. The books of the Apocrypha were written during the captivity of the Children of Israel - when they were in exile away from the Holy Land. Most of them were written either at the same time as the last books of the Old Testament (by date of writing), or between the end of the Protestant Old Testament, and the Beginning of the Protestant New Testament.

There is a variety of terms for this part of the Bible - Intertestamental Books, Deuterocanonicals, or Apocrypha. The first two terms are more accurate, but I chose the last for this article, because more people understand it.

But, some people misunderstand it. They think "Apocrypha" refers to spurious (false) books like the so called "Gospel of Judas." Those aren't the books I'm talking about here!

First, did you know that Jesus and the New Testament authors frequently quoted the Apocrphya?

If Jesus gave them honor, why would we discard them?

The New Testament clearly states that Jesus celebrated Hanukkah - a feast that we only learn about in the Apocrypha.

Some teach that the Apocrypha was added to the Bible by Catholics - but this is simply not true. The Bible contained the Apocrypha from Pre-Christian times, and it has always been in the Orthodox and Catholic Bibles (there are a few more books and chapters in the Orthodox Apocrypha than in the Catholic one). St. Jerome. who translated the Bible into the Latin Vulgate in the 4th century, noticed that the books were not part of the Jewish Bible (they were written in Greek, not in Hebrew), so he put them in their own section.

Some modern Protestants argue that the Apocrypha should not be part of the Bible because it has points they disagree with - but shouldn't we conform our lives and thoughts to the Holy Scriptures, not remove things from the Bible that don't conform to our own ideas about God?

Of course, next comes the modern question - "That history stuff is all very interesting - but what does it have to do with ME?"

Or, "But I'm Protestant - these books aren't in MY Bible. And that's a lot of reading! Why should I spend time reading those books?"

Every Christian should read these books, because these are the books that can speak to us in our current situation in a way that other books cannot.  And, if Jesus considered them worth quoting from, that should say something to us about their value.

Also, it is important to realize that while many Protestant denominations do not consider the Apocrypha to be part of the official Bible (Canonical), most DO recommend them as beneficial spiritual reading. These books were in the original King James Version, too! So, even if you're King James Only - they're a good read! : )

Now, on to the point of this post - Why is NOW a great time to read the Apocrphya?

The Apocrypha was written at a time when it was a CRIME to behave as a Believer! These books are from the time of the Prophet Daniel, and Queen Esther, and later - when to be caught praying, or refusing to eat Pork, or simply being a Believer was a criminal offense, punishable by death.

We are now entering a time of very mild persecution - by comparison. But, already Christians have lost businesses, a lost jobs, lost professional licensing, been threatened with the confiscation of a home home, or have even gone to jail for practicing their faith.

People like:

And many others.

But, in the West -so far, no actual torture or physical martyrdom.

While we're told we can "believe" anything we want, we are increasingly punished for acting in accordance with our beliefs. And, let's be honest, if you say you believe something, but your actions don't show it, you're a hypocrite, not a believer. After all, if you believed your house was on fire, you'd leave right now- not say, "I believe it, but I'd like to keep surfing the net, so I'll stay here."

In the Apocrypha, we read stories of those heroes and heroines who lived their Faith - courageously -  even in the face of brutal torture and death.

They can inspire us with courage in these challenging times - just like they did the Martyrs of the first centuries.

When we visited this ancient Catacomb in Cyprus, where early Christians hid from persecution, who did we find was painted on the walls?

St. Solomone, the Mother of the Seven Maccabean Martyrs, who steadfastly encouraged each of her precious, beloved Seven Sons as they were tortured to death for their love of God.

This was a story that the brave early Christians took courage from. And, it can be a story that gives us courage today, as we face persecution of much less magnitude.

This story is found in the Apocrypha - in the Books of Maccabees.

Or, we can read of Tobit, who performed the righteous deed of burying those Martyred by their oppressor - even at risk of his own life. That story is in the book of Tobit.

Knowing how to live well, courageously, and righteously under a system infected with sin is a difficult challenge. But the books of the Apocrypha can help us.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12, KJV)

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Thursday, April 9, 2020

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Stromboli

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Stromboli
This dish is a huge hit at our house. It's one of those things that looks tricky to make, but really is
super easy. And it seems unhealthy, but really it's filled with healthy ingredients.

If, like me, you usually keep no-knead refrigerator bread dough in the refrigerator, then it can be prepared pretty quickly - but looks like it took hours.

If you don't keep your own dough on hand, you can whip one up in about 5 minutes, using a recipe below. Or you can use a pound of dough from the grocery store.

I use one of these two no knead doughs - either one can be made in about 5 minutes. You can stir the dough ingredients together 2 hours before making the rest of the recipe. Or, you can prepare the dough the night before, or even days in advance, and pull it from the fridge when you need it.

My Vegan Brioche Dough

Artisan Bread in Five Basic Dough

I've tried this with both doughs, and they're both delicious. My family has a slight preference for my dough recipe in this dish. (They prefer the other one for some other dishes I serve, so they're not just biased : )

I got the idea for this filling from this Spinach and Artichoke Rolls recipe at Rabbits and Wolves and adapted it slightly. I love their blog, and recommend checking it out for this and other great recipes!
Preparing the filling is easy. These instructions make enough for 2 - 3 Strombolis, made with 1 pound dough per Stromboli. 

These are the ingredients you'll need:
Firm or Extra Firm Tofu (not silken)
Apple Cider Vinegar
White Miso
Fresh Spinach (Frozen can sub, if that's all you have, but it's not quite as wonderful)
Marinated Artichoke Hearts
Spaghetti Sauce (from a jar)

And this is what you do:

In a Colander, place

1 Block Firm or Extra Firm Tofu

Squeeze it firmly with your hands to extract all the liquid you can.
It will fall apart - that's okay.
Place in a food processor:

Tofu (above)
2 Tablespoons Oil
2 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar
1 teaspoon Salt
Pepper to taste
2 teaspoons White Miso

Whir till smooth, scoop into mixing bowl, set aside

Now, in a Saute Pan, heat
Oil (you decide how much )
1 teaspoon Fresh Garlic (I use the kind from a jar)
Then add
1 Quart (2-3 handfuls) Fresh Baby Spinach, Rinsed (not dried) & chopped
Salt & pepper
Saute till just wilted, but still bright green.

Add to mixing bowl with tofu mixture (above)

Finally, Drain & coarsely chop
1 jar Marinated Artichoke Hearts

Add to mixing bowl with Tofu & Spinach mixture (above) and stir

Now, take 1 pound of dough (enough for a loaf of bread) flour it well, and roll it into a large rectangle  on a floured cutting board.

Move Dough Rectangle onto a parchment - lined pan

Dough Rolled into large rectangle, and placed on parchment, next to a roll of Baguette Dough

As you can see, I put a cylinder of dough next to the Stromboli, so we could have a Baguette, too! 

Down the middle of the dough, lenthwise, Drizzle

Pizza Sauce

Drizzle Pizza Sauce Down Middle of Rectangle

Then, down the middle, again lengthwise, Spoon
1/3 to 1/2 of Filling mixture

Spoon Filling on top of Pizza Sauce
Then, with a Pizza Cutter, cut several parallel lines (creating dough strips that are attached to the center dough), perpendicular to filling, down each length of rectangle - like this.

Cut Parallel lines, perpendicular to filling. Use a Pizza Cutter.

Then, cut the lines the same way down the other side of the rectangle.

Now, alternating from one side to the other, fold the strips of dough over the filling. This makes a beautiful braided look, and is very easy to do!

Fold Dough Strips over Center Filling

Alternate Sides, each time pulling over center Filling.

Keep going, folding in from alternate sides the whole way down.

Keep going. Don't worry if it doesn't look perfect!

Keep alternating sides, and folding over the center. See the Braid Developing?

Keep going all the way to the end, folding final strips under the end of the Stromboli.

Now, allow to rest, while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Finally, slide the pan with the Stromboli into the oven, and bake for 30 minutes.

(BTW, this recipe will also work at 350 degrees for 40 minutes : )

Remove from oven. Allow to cool JUST long enough to avoid burnt mouths. Although if you can wait long enough, it's also good warm. We've never had enough left over for me to know how it tastes cold ; )

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Stromboli, Fresh out of the Oven.

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Stromboli

Cut (I use Kitchen Shears) and Serve!

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Stromboli, Ready to Serve.


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Saturday, April 4, 2020

Easy Baked Goods Without Dairy or Eggs

Recipes for Baking with No Milk, No Butter, No Eggs
Right now, because of the Coronavirus, it's a little hard to get everything we need from the store.

I normally do all my baking without milk or eggs, so I thought I'd offer a few ideas that might be helpful to those who don't usually bake that way.  

I've also heard that yeast is unavailable in some stores, so I've divided these recipes into quick breads (no yeast) and yeast breads, so you can see at a glance which ones you'll be able to make with what you can get.

And, of course desserts. All of my desserts are yeast-free : ) And desserts can really help morale at a time like this!

Here is a very good look at why we're having so much trouble getting dairy. It's more complicated than you may have thought. 

If you have no flour, but have a cake mix or some cereal, I even have a couple of ideas for you!

If you need to bake, but don't have milk, butter or eggs available, here are some easy ideas:

Quick Breads:

Banana Bars (no flour needed!)

Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
Banana Bread Waffles
Banana Bars (no flour needed!)
Blueberry Muffins, Quick, Easy, Healthy  
Blueberry Pancakes
Five Muffins from Your Own Mix   

French Toast (without eggs or milk!)

French Toast
Strawberry Pancakes
Cornbread or Corn Muffins
Cornbread, Ten Minute Summer (no oven required!)

Cornbread, Ten Minute Summer (no oven required!) No Dairy, No Eggs

Vegan Banana Muffins
Vegan Cranberry Streusel Muffins
Vegan Pumpkin Mini Muffins
Waffles, Toaster 
Waffles - without Eggs or Milk!
Zucchini Bread Waffles
Zucchini Mini Muffins

Oatmeal Muffins Mix, MYO, 5 Ways

Oatmeal Muffins Mix, MYO, 5 Ways (no Dairy, No Eggs)

Yeast Breads:

Breadsticks, Stove top

Breadsticks, Stove top (no oven required)

Challah, Easy, No Knead Vegan
Cinnamon Roll Crescents, Easy, No Knead 
Cinnamon Rolls, Easy, No Knead, Vegan, No Oil 
Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Walnut Bread 
Crescent Rolls, Easy, No Knead, Vegan

Crescent Rolls, Easy, No Knead, Vegan

Dinner Rolls, Vegan, Soft & Fluffy, No Knead, Refrigerator 
Easter Bread, Greek (Tsoureki) No Knead, Vegan 

Easter Bread, Greek (Tsoureki) No Knead, Vegan 
Easy Yeast Bread in the Slow Cooker 

Easy Yeast Bread in the Slow Cooker 

Homemade Yeast Bread

Homemade Yeast Bread (no knead, no machine, no dairy, no eggs)

Pita Bread, Stove Top (no oven required!) 

Pita Bread, Stove Top (no oven required!)

Easy, No Knead, Greek Olive Crescents (Eliopites) \ 
Stir & Pour Garlic Bread Sticks 
Stir & Pour Cinnamon Sugar Bread Sticks 

A variety of Stir & Pour Breads - no dairy, no eggs.

Stir & Pour Dinner Rolls 
Stir & Pour Toasting & Sandwich Loaf 

Stir & Pour Focaccia

Stir & Pour Focaccia 
Stir & Pour Calzone Casserole 
Stir & Pour Thin Sandwich Buns
Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls, Easy, Soft, No Knead, Oil Free 
Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls, Slow Cooker
Whole Wheat Naan (no oven required)
Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread, Easiest Ever


Brownie Snowball Cookes

Brownie Snowball Cookies (no dairy, no eggs)
Brownies, Delightful Vegan
Cashew Cardamom Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cookies, Vegan Cookies from a Regular Cake Mix  

Cookies, Vegan Cookies from a Regular Cake Mix 
Crispy Rice Treats
Cupcakes, Chocolate & Vanilla

Cupcakes, Chocolate & Vanilla (no dairy, no eggs)
Cutout Cookies  
Gingerbread Crunch Cookies
Make One Mix, Make Ten Different Cookies

Make One Mix, Make Ten Different Cookies

Lemon Snack Cake
Peanut Butter Cookies
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Russian Teacakes ( Vegan Mexican Wedding Cakes )
Slice and Bake Sugar Cookies

Slice and Bake Sugar Cookies (no eggs, no dairy)
Samali (Greek Semolina Dessert)

Samali (Greek Semolina Dessert)

Strawberry Celebration Cupcakes
Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies 
Three Minute, Three Bite Brownie for One
Thumbprint Cookies
White Cake, Easy Vegan
12 Children's Vegan Mixes for Toy Ovens  
3 Minute, 3 Bite Brownie for 1   

No Flour in the house? Try these "cupcakes" 
Crispy Rice Cupcakes

Crispy Rice Cupcakes

We all need to keep praying for God's Mercy in these difficult times. I hope these recipes help you.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Oatmeal Muffin Mix 5 Ways, Egg and Dairy Free

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Muffins from your Own Mix
These muffins are delicious, and I could make them today, when many items aren't available at  my local grocery store.

I usually make my muffins with White Whole Wheat Flour, or Whole Wheat Pastry Flour.

Neither one of these is available in the current Pandemic. Well, I did find one bag that was being price-gouged for $28. online (with shipping) - but that doesn't really count, does it?

It has also occurred to me that eggs, butter, and milk might be in short supply in some places right now - but this recipe doesn't require any of those!

In fact, this recipe doesn't even require oil - and it turns out delicious! So delicious, in fact, that I'll probably keep making them this way when the stores are re-stocked : )

I don't want to make Muffins with strictly All Purpose Flour, because they're neither as tasty nor as healthy as whole grain ones.

I DO, however, have Quick Oats on hand. And I've made muffins from Oat Flour before.

So, I began thinking - could I adapt my current muffin recipe to work with Oats?

Yesterday morning was the test, and it worked great!

I tested it with a Pumpkin variation yesterday morning, and the results were superb. I made full sized muffins instead of the Mini Muffins in this post:

Pumpkin Muffins

This morning, I tested my Blueberry Muffin recipe with this mix - and it was delicious, too!

Blueberry Muffins

I've not tested it with my other regular variations, but I can see that they should all work quite well.

To make Oat Flour at home, simply whir Quick Oats (or Old Fashioned Oats) for a few minutes in a food processor till finely ground. Measure AFTER grinding. The ground oats will not be as fine and powdery as All Purpose Flour - and that's okay. It only takes a minute or two.

Of course, the beauty of making your own mixes is that you can improvise according to your dietary needs & preferences and availability of ingredients.

If you wish to double or half this recipe - no problems.

I like to make my muffins a little short - only filling the cup 1/2 full instead of the normal 3/4. I like more top on my muffin ; )  If you make taller muffins, you'll probably end up with about 8 per batch.

Here's the Recipe:

Stuffedveggies Vegan Oatmeal Muffin Mix 
3 Cups Homemade Oat Flour (see note above)
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Sugar *
2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
2 Tablespoons Tapioca Starch**
1 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon (optional)

Stuffedveggies MYO Vegan Oatmeal Muffin Mix

*Sugar adds tenderness and helps crisp the exterior when baking muffins. You can easily replace Sugar with Turbinado Sugar or Brown Sugar. You can also substitute non-caloric sweetener that measures like sugar, but the texture will change slightly. I like to use 1/2 sugar and 1/2 calorie-free sweetener that measures like Sugar - like Splenda or Apriva. I'm sure a similar Stevia product would also work, though I have not tested it.

**Tapioca Starch may be substituted with Cornstarch or Arrowroot Powder - these all act as an egg substitute in a dry mix.

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Muffins:
(1 Dozen)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and oil muffin tin
Stir Together
2 Cups Mix
1/2 Cup Canned Pumpkin
3/4 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 cup water (or so) - Stir In enough water to make consistency of Fast Food Milkshake.

Spoon into prepared muffin tin
Sprinkle generously with Cinnamon Sugar (optional)
Bake 25 minutes, or until done.

If you like these, try these other variations - designed for my whole wheat mix, but will work with this one:

Blueberry Muffins

Zucchini Muffins  

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Banana Walnut Muffins

Cranberry Streusel Muffins

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Monday, March 23, 2020

MYO Maple Instant Oatmeal Mix, Sugar Free

MYO Maple Instant Oatmeal Mix, Sugar Free
Do you like Maple Instant Oatmeal, but want to control your sugar intake?

Are the Sugar Free Instant Oats on the market too pricey for you?

Do you want to avoid certain ingredients in your Oats?

Making your own Instant Oatmeal is a great way to save money, help the environment by reducing packaging, AND control the ingredients of the food you eat.

It's a win-win-win!

It's also super easy - arguably as easy as finding the right package of the instant stuff on the grocer's shelf.

When I was young, I thought Instant Oatmeal was some sort of magically prepared industrial product that mere mortals couldn't make at home. Then, one day I learned that it's simply the size of the Rolled Oat that governs the time of soaking in hot water. Old Fashioned Oats are largest, and so take longer to cook. Quick Oats are smaller. And Instant Oats are the smallest. It's simply a matter of chopping them into smaller bits, which can be done in a blender or food processor.

For my recipe, I simply use Quick Oats, but if you need them to cook faster, simply run them in your blender for a few spins to chop them smaller (But, not into powder! That would produce Oat Flour)

Of course, if you want to make sugary Oatmeal instead of sugar-free, simply substitute sugar (brown or white) for the calorie-free sweetener. 

This is my recipe:

Sugar Free Maple Instant Oatmeal 
Measure into Canister or Zippered Bag
2 Cups Quick Oats
Sprinkle with
1 Tablespoon Maple Flavoring or Extract
Close container and shake well to thoroughly distribute flavoring

*Pour into shallow microwavable dish, and microwave one minute. Stir and allow too cool about 15 minutes. Repeat. This step dries extra liquid from extract/flavoring, and is not necessary if mixture will be used immediately, or within a short time*

3/4 Cup Non Caloric Sweetener that Measures Like Sugar (Such as Splenda, or a Stevia Product)
3/4 teaspoon Salt
Close Container and shake well to thoroughly mix ingredients

To make one serving:
1/2 Cup Mix
3/4 Cup Boiling Water (more or less, depending how thick you like it)
Wait three minutes.

This can also be measured into individual packets of 1/2 cup each if you prefer.


Instant Oatmeal Cups
Measure individual portions into reusable lidded containers of about 1 1/2 cup capacity, to meal prep grab-and-go for breakfast at the office or on a road trip.

Meal Prep Sugar Free Instant Oatmeal

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Thursday, March 19, 2020

Prepping Tips and Pantry Recipes for Vegans

Vegan Prepper Tips & Pantry Recipes
There are lots of great vegetarian, vegan and Lenten foods that can be used in a crisis situation, but knowing what to stock and how to use it is a little different for vegans than it is for omnivores.

If you're vegetarian, vegan or observing Lent, you probably won't want to live off SPAM and Vienna Sausages!

Every prepping situation is different.

We needed certain supplies last year, when a tornado hit our town and we were without power & potable water for a few days.

This year, our needs are a little different as we face a pandemic.

So, versatility matters!

Vegan diets are typically based on Fruits, Vegetables, Whole Grains, and Legumes. Some Vegans also eat Meat or Dairy Analogs.

I know we usually love our fresh foods, but if you're in a situation in which you need to be aware of germs, then packaged, processed, or peel-able foods may be safer. Other times, you'll have a power outage and a whole refrigerator of produce that needs to be used before it spoils. So, some of these recipes use fresh produce, some use only pantry items.

So, let's look at what to buy, and how to use those ingredients.

Which of these recipes will work for you will depend on your access to condiments, spices, refrigeration, fresh produce, and cooking facilities. Some recipes here will work for each common preparedness scenario.

I'm writing this for the reader who is in an urban or suburban setting and doesn't live self-sufficiently "off the grid." This post is assuming that money and time are an issue, and is full of frugal and quick recipes.

Government websites are very helpful for a general awareness of how to stock for an emergency.

This is a resource from FEMA

And this is one from the CDC

Here are some things to consider when stocking your pantry:

Processed Foods

For a handy list of vegan processed foods, I like this list from PETA.

(Although I strongly disagree with some of their methods and ideology, their info is still helpful)

PETA's List of "Accidentally Vegan" Processed Foods

Don't forget that your Dollar Store can be a great source of all sorts of processed foods that happen to be vegan - everything from cookies & crackers, to breakfast foods and soymilk.


The Government's current recommendation is that every household have enough water to allow for at least three days, and sometimes up to a two week supply at the rate of 1 gallon per person per day. Although that may not be feasible for everyone, it is a good idea to have some water on hand if you can. 

Whole Grains are much more likely to go rancid, spoil, or attract pests than their refined counterparts. For an emergency food supply, a stock of refined grain products might be in order. But, it's your choice. If you choose whole grains, make sure you rotate them through in a timely fashion, and store them at cool temperatures as much as possible.

Also, make sure you store grains in sealed canisters, not in cardboard or paper boxes that they often come in. One package with bugs can infest a whole pantry if they aren't stored properly. And, sometimes mistakes happen in the supply chain, and grains have bugs when you purchase them, so transfer them to a canister right away.

I use screw-top plastic canisters from the dollar tree. Gallon pickle jars with screw-top lids are also popular with some. 

In some crisis situations, you may be without power, and cooking a hot meal that requires long simmering may be difficult or impossible. Several Vegan staples can be prepared by just adding water. Sometimes the water doesn't even have to be hot:

Bulgur Wheat
A whole grain that is pre-cooked. It doesn't have an infinite shelf life, but I find it usually lasts several months in the pantry. You can combine one part Bulgur and one part water, and (ideally) refrigerate for a few hours until water is absorbed. If Hot water is available, then the time to absorb the water is reduced to about 1/2 hour! Then it's ready to eat!

The amount of water needed might vary by preference. Some people prefer one part grain to 2 parts water, then drain and press dry at serving time. But I prefer a 1:1 ratio, just adding dressing to moisten at serving time.

Here are a couple of recipes for Bulgur

A no-cook recipe:

If you have a working stove burner, this one does not require soaking the bulgur in advance, simply follow the directions in the recipe:
Bulgur Pilaf ( Pourgouri )

 Couscous (not the pearl-sized Israeli kind, but the super small Moroccan kind) 
To make Couscous, simply use one part couscous and two parts boiling water (1/3 cup couscous to 2/3 boiling water for a single person). Cover 5 minutes. Fluff with fork. You're ready to add other ingredients to make a meal : )

For a simple instant meal, I sometimes boil a handful of frozen veggies and a handful of canned beans in 2/3 cup water, then add 1/3 cup couscous, remove from heat & cover. 5 minutes later, you can add your favorite seasoning, and a crunchy topping like nuts - and enjoy!

No-cook recipes:
Couscous Fattoush Salad 

Italian Lunchbox Salad 

Southwestern Lunchbox Salad   

Couscous can be substituted for Quinoa in many Quinoa Salad recipes, like this one:

Quinoa and Lime Salad

Quick Oats
Quick Oats can be combined with cool liquid and covered for about 15 minutes before eating. Or, with boiling water can be ready in about 3 minutes.

Oats can be used for Overnight Oats when cooking is not possible
Oats, Easy, Cool & Creamy Summer 

or, if you can boil water, make your own Instant Oatmeal!

MYO Maple Instant Oatmeal

Minute Rice
I know it's not as good as the "real" stuff - but in a pinch, it works. Just follow the directions on the box. 

Lentil & Rice Salad (Use canned Lentils if electricity is not available)

Mix & Match Italian Rice Salad

Of course, Crackers can be eaten right out of the box, or with a little peanut butter or hummus : )

Remember, smaller shapes tend to have shorter cooking times. Whole grain pastas, while wholesome, have shorter shelf life and longer cooking times. And, you may be able to reduce cooking time using this method 

Italian Pasta Salad with Fat Free Vinaigrette

Vacation Soup    (this is very versatile, and can be made with whatever veggies you have - or none at all : )

I usually stock All Purpose Flour & White Whole Wheat Flour. Remember that the whole grain has a shorter shelf life, and requires a longer baking time. These are great for making bread and making my own mixes. Don't forget to stock other basic vegan baking ingredients such as baking powder, sugar or sweetener, salt, tapioca starch, cornmeal, etc.

If you have a range top or working burner, but not an oven:

Five Traditional Breads to Make Without an Oven

Cornbread, Ten Minute Summer 

From Vegan Whole Grain Pancake & Waffle Mix (JUST ADD WATER! : )
      Blueberry Pancakes
      Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
      Grilled Banana Pancakes
      Strawberry Pancakes 

If you are able to bake, try these:

From Vegan Muffin Mix
      Apple Cinnamon Muffins
      Vegan Pumpkin Mini Muffins
      Banana Walnut Muffins
      Blueberry Muffins, Quick, Easy, Healthy 
      Cranberry Streusel Muffins
      Zucchini Mini Muffins

From Stir & Pour Yeast Bread Mix 
      Stir & Pour Garlic Bread Sticks 
      Stir & Pour Cinnamon Sugar Bread Sticks 
      Stir & Pour Dinner Rolls 
      Stir & Pour Toasting & Sandwich Loaf 
      Stir & Pour Focaccia 
      Stir & Pour Thin Sandwich Buns 

And, if you have access to a working microwave:
3 Minute Blueberry Muffin for 1 
      Chocolate Muffin for One, 3 Minute, Double Chocolate  

Legumes or Beans

In a situation in which you have no power, canned legumes are best.

They are also the easiest package to decontaminate.

If you do have power, dried legumes certainly give you a lot more bang for your buck!

Make sure that any canned legumes you buy don't have meat (bacon, fatback, etc). I find that many manufacturers use the word "seasoned" to mean "cooked with meat." Check the ingredients.

Split Red Lentils are the fastest to cook among dried legumes, then other split lentils, then split peas, then various kinds of beans - some taking longer than others. Some of the longest cooking times are Chickpeas and Soybeans. Check cooking times for whichever dried legumes you stock up on, in case cooking fuel is at a premium in your situation.

These are no-cook recipes:

Black Bean and Corn Salad

Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Fruited Black-Eyed Pea Salad

And this recipe that I think I've made every time I've needed a food when the power was out. Almost any kind of bean will work in a pinch : )
White Bean Salad

If you have more ability to cook or simmer, these are great choices:

Black Bean Soup (Slow Cooker)


Family Favorite Lentil Soup
Lemony Dal
Masala Dal
Red Lentil Soup - Moroccan or Sephardic Styles

Split Pea Soup

Claire's Southern Delight

Fruits and Vegetables

Canned or Dried will be the most reliable supplies here. And, once again, Canned goods are easier to decontaminate, if needed.

When buying canned Fruits and Veggies, take into account where substitutions can be made for foods you normally use fresh. For instance, I use celery for added crunch in a grain or bean salad. But, in a crisis, I might substitute Sliced Water Chestnuts from a can for a similar crunch.

Olives and Capers and Marinated Artichokes are little luxuries that can really make a meal more palatable when fresh fruits and veggies aren't an option.

 This is a favorite Fruit Salad, made from canned Mandarin Oranges, and Bananas and Apples which can be peeled if need be:

Fruit Salad

If you can access a microwave, you can try these:
Three Minute, Three Bite Brownie for One
Easy Microwave Fudge for One 

Nuts and Seeds

If your family enjoys nuts and seeds, they're great for an emergency, as they take little space and provide lots of energy.

Peanut Powder is also good, and can be used to make these great recipes
 3 Minute Asian Peanut Sauce 
Or LOWFAT Lowfat Asian Peanut Sauce
      Asian Peanut Noodles 

      Asian Peanut Rice Bowl 

      Asian Peanut Wrap  



Texturized vegetable protein has a very long shelf life, and can be reconstituted using just boiling water. It takes on the flavor of whatever sauce you add to it. Be cautious, though. It is very high in fiber, and can be gassy for some folks. For this reason, it might be best to use it as an occasional addition to your diet, rather than an everyday staple.

Quite frequently, TVP mince can be used in place of something like ground beef in a fried rice, or in chili.  The larger chunks can be used in place of meat to make a stew.

Like this:
Philippine Style Fried Rice

If TVP is something you'd like to explore, there are lots of recipes to experiment with out there, like these:
40+ TVP Recipes

Aseptic Tofu or Non-Dairy Milks

I buy Soymilk from the Dollar Store. Aseptic Silken tofu can also be handy in a pinch.

If you have access to a blender, and almond butter, you can make your own Almond Milk in just two minutes!

Two Minute Almond Milk

In addition to all these ideas, you might also try keeping a copy of this book on your shelf:

Apocalypse Chow

It has lots of great recipes & prepping ideas. (This isn't an affiliate link - just a product I like)

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