View Full Version : Emergency Rations

02-08-2011, 05:54 PM
So here I am, sitting in a house with nothing to cook for dinner because I put off shopping this weekend, thinking that my husband could go after work this week. Well, I looked at the calendar yesterday and found that he won't be home in the evening until Thursday. That means it's pasta (what I call "emergency rations") or order a pizza. The kids voted for pizza.

I'm wondering what other meals, besides pasta, I can keep on hand when the cupboards are bare. I'm thinking of things with ingredients that are non-perishable or frozen (and easily thawed). I should probably cook double batches of stuff and freeze it, but our freezer is usually pretty full as it is.

Any ideas???

02-08-2011, 06:35 PM
you could keep some browned ground beef in the freezer and make shepherds pie in a pinch? the beef doenst take up as much space as the whole thing. and frozen (or canned) veggies, or the soggie ones in the back of the drawer. we do keep (all natural) hot dogs in the back of the fridge.

Stella M
02-08-2011, 07:10 PM
Rice, stock, chickpeas, tumeric, currants = a very nice chickpea pilaf! That's my cupboard standby.

02-08-2011, 07:42 PM
Breakfast dinner!

02-08-2011, 11:33 PM
I usually have frozen vegetables and a couple kinds of stock on hand so I can whip together a soup, with or without meat (meatball soup is a standby favorite here). We also usually have some frozen sausage, some sort of cheese, and tomato sauce on hand. I can make pizza dough in the bread machine and make simple pizzas. Ummm what else... tuna rissoles (like crab cakes but with tuna) are usually something I can whip up, or tuna salad. Burritos and stir-fry are other standby favorites. Oh, and meatloaf with sauteed veggies. Not sure if these are what you're looking for or not... Oh, I usually have some sort of stuffing mix in the pantry so I can roast some meat and serve it with stuffing and potatoes. Call it pseudo-Thanksgiving.

02-09-2011, 12:06 AM
I always put some raw boneless skinless chicken breasts in freezer bags with some kind of sauce as a marinade and then you just thaw and bake. Make some rice/pasta and veggies and you are good to go. Yesterday I did this with a honey lemon sauce. I've even used spaghetti or teriyaki sauce in a pinch.

Heck if all else fails, have breakfast for dinner! :)

Miguels mommy
02-09-2011, 12:28 AM
Canned chicken w/ hamburger helper meals (not healthy but .60 a serving) can be made w. water instead of milk
Canned mixed veggies multi colored, pasta spirals,
Jiffy muffins, cookies can be made w/ water instead of milk.
Plain Apple sauce to replace eggs and oil when baking and out.
Bisquik w/ water to make pancakes, waffles, crapes, and biscuits.
Marenades to use to add flavor

02-09-2011, 09:32 AM
I keep beans and rice in the pantry at all times. Chickpeas are a nice substitute and make an easy curry. I also keep homemade noodles in the freezer; they can be cooked and served with a good grating cheese or turned into soup almost instantly. Stir fry is another go-to emergency food, but it does require having enough veggies around. I usually make double batches of soup to keep in mason jars in the freezer. Garden burgers and roasted potatoes are easy and don't require much, or of course, there are always pancakes!

02-09-2011, 09:47 AM
Thanks for the ideas, everyone!

We do have pancakes sometimes (tonight, as it happens). Stir fry is a good idea--four ingredients: rice, meat, frozen veggie mix, and marinade. I should probably keep some other loose pack vegetables in the freezer for impromtu soups.

02-09-2011, 09:52 AM
Fish tacos are our emergency rations. Any kind of tortilla will do (nuke 'em for a few seconds to warm them) (I always keep corn and flour tortillas on hand stored in the freezer). We use breaded fish fillets, fish sticks, battered fishes, grilled fish, fish fish (fish cooks fast), leftover fish, canned fish, any fish will do or even shrimp. There is always taco sauce in the fridge and some cheese. Add some shredded lettuce or cabbage, chop some tomatoes, a little onion or avocado maybe, lemon or lime squeezed on top if we got it or even a blob of sour cream, whatever I have on hand that will go with "taco." And dinner is done! This one is also a big hit with the fam and it take no time at all.

02-09-2011, 10:03 AM
We've always got pasta and my wife's homemade spaghetti sauce on hand (she makes large batches and freezes it). Pizza is a popular stand by as well (frozen, not delivered-we live out in the country and nobody delivers here). I usually have some vegetables on hand to make a teriyaki stir fry too, with shrimp or chicken, sometimes.

Wabi Sabi
02-09-2011, 10:36 AM
I try to always keep a few cans of wild salmon in the pantry for times like this: salmon, some breadcrumbs or crackers, an egg to bind it together, seasonings and that's about it. Form into patties and cook for a few minutes per side in a cast iron skillet. Serve on a bun like a burger or just plain with whatever veggies you have on the side.

Another cheap and easy pantry staple that my kids love: saute a bag of frozen Italian style veggies in a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, etc. Combine with cooked pasta, a squeeze of lemon juice on top and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. If you have any chicken on hand you can toss that in as well. I'll also sometimes use a bag of frozen onions/bell peppers or if I have some fresh spinach on hand that needs to be used before it goes bad I'll throw in a few handfuls of it while sauteing the vegetables.