Ok. So this recipe suits a lot of needs for me.
It’s simple. So simple a Caveman can do it.
It uses powdered milk. I’m the kind of person who keeps extras on hand for food storage purposes (e.g. a blizzard comes, the power goes out, we’re snowed in, and we gotta survive on our pantry food for three weeks). I like to have a box of powdered milk handy, but it expires fairly quickly. This recipe gives me a way to rotate it into our daily meals so it doesn’t get wasted.
It’s fairly healthy. Though, to a certain extent, I consider it a cheat meal.
It’s versatile. It works with almost any meat and any substantial veggie (even frozen). And the flavor can be easily altered with the right seasonings.
For a single meal version, if you just want to try it out, here it is:
Primal Hamburger Helper Style Mix
2 Tbls Powdered Instant Milk
2 tsp Potato Starch
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Dried Parsley
Take a pound or two of meat, cooked. Heat it in a skillet with chopped veggies (thawed if previously frozen). Stir fry meat and veggies until warm and vegetables are cooked. Add 1 cup of water and the Hamburger Helper Style Mix. Simmer until sauce thickens a bit. Serve in a bowl.
I find hearty veggies like cauliflower and carrots work well in this recipe. More delicate veggies break down quicker and become mushy, but could be used if they were, say, previously roasted and you just tossed them in a the last minute.
To make this recipe in bulk, here are the proportions:
Bulk Primal Hamburger Helper Style Mix
3/4 cup Powdered Instant Milk
1/4 cup Potato Starch
1/4 cup Paprika
2 tablespoons Onion Powder
2 tablespoons Garlic Powder
2 tablespoons Salt
1/4 cup Dried Parsley
I mix that up in a quart jar and keep it in the fridge. Then I make it like the recipe above, using the 1 cup of water (as specified) and 5 Tablespoons of the pre-made bulk mix.
My favorite meat/veg combination is ground chuck and cauliflower, which almost tastes like cheeseburger mac if you toss in a handful of shredded cheddar before you scoop it into your bowl.
So I’ve mentioned before that I like to “be prepared.” In terms of prepping for natural disasters, I generally consider two scenarios. In the first one, we get stuck in the house without any electricity for a week or so (which happened last winter to some people I know in West Virginia). In the second scenario, we are forced to leave our home for an extended period of time (which happened to many people after Hurricane Katrina).
If ever forced to leave–especially quickly–for what might be a long time, I have a packed Bug Out Bin. It’s actually a big, black trashcan made for the outdoors. It has wheels. And it’s loaded with stuff (although there’s a little room for more). It’s missing a few key elements (such as a change of clothing for the family), but overall it has most of the things I would need.
So what does it contain?
Copies of Family Documents
Fishing Hooks, Sinkers, Lures, & Vest
First Aid Kit
Boating Flare Kit
Plastic Sheeting (Clear, 3.5 Mil)
12×18 Ft Tarp
Fleece Blankets (3 Small)
Contractor Trash Bags
Paracord (100 Ft, Black)
Rope (50 Ft, Nylon)
P-51 Can Opener
4 Cloth Diapers & Pins
Mason Line (90 Yds)
Toilet Paper (4 Rolls)
Soap, Shampoo, Lotion (Travel Sized)
Crank Flashlight/Lantern (2)
LED Lantern (1)
Water Purification Tablets
Work Gloves (3 Pairs)
Notebook & Sharpies
Disposable Diapers (5)
Salt & Pepper
Sterno (3 Cans)
My most obvious missing items are Bible, Freeze Dried Food, Bandannas, Insect Repellent, Quik Clot, Sterno Stove, and Change of Clothing for Family.
But I can probably finish the bin with less than a $400 investment, so it’s on my list of Things to Do when we’ve got some cash in the bank.
Am I prepared for every possible contingency? No. But it’s nice to know that if I have to leave the house quickly because of a hurricane or blizzard, I’ll at least have a few things to keep us comfortable.
Sometimes my kids want something sweet. And I don’t mind indulging them on occasion. Sometimes this means cookies. Sometimes candy. Sometimes chocolate milk.
But I am trying to turn their tastebuds to “healthier” sweets, I guess. At least sweets made with coconut flour instead of white flour. Maybe one day I’ll transition them to honey and maple sugar as sweeteners instead of white sugar. One day. Maybe.
In the meantime, I made the white cupcake recipe from Cooking with Coconut Flour by Bruce Fife. I added rainbow sprinkles to the batter because I’m cool like that.
Pretty nice, eh? The kids loved them, so I guess they tasted okay. CaveHubby said they tasted like a regular cupcake, which is high praise from him.
I think Bruce’s coconut flour cookbook is about the best I’ve encountered. Yeah, there’s some repetition. And it’s pretty basic. But I consider his recipes to be an excellent starting point. I make something, tweak it, and then tweak it again. That’s how it’s been with all of my Paleo baking. He gives me the framework to build upon, which is a lot easier than starting blind. And all of his recipes seem pretty darn solid.
My two elder CaveKids don’t like to go outside when they’re cold. They’re like me, I guess. I prefer to stay inside. Snuggly. Warm. Comfortable.
But they still need to get some activity. They need to burn off a little energy. And they need to move. Because I don’t believe in the couch potato life. (Ok. That’s a little bit of a lie. I love the couch potato life. But I know it’s not good for me or my family.)
I cut an old yoga mat into squares. (Yeah. I probably should’ve just done some yoga on it instead. But I didn’t. Don’t judge me.)
On each square mat I placed a sticker with a different colored square or triangle.
I also placed a sticker with a vocabulary word.
Then I got a pair of make-your-own dice. On one die I put different colored circles. On the other I put squares and triangles.
When my kids play, I scatter the mats around my living room, kitchen, and dinning room. Then they roll the dice. If they roll purple and a square, they run to find the purple square. The smaller CaveKid is supposed to be responsible for this. Then, once they find it, the bigger CaveKid has to read the word on it (loud enough for me to hear). Here’s a close-up of a mat:
They can easily spend thirty minutes running around the house playing this game. The mat labels are removable, so as they get older I can change the game with harder words or other school skills.
I’ve talked about my hobo packs (i.e. scout packs, campfire dinners) in the past, but I never posted a picture of them.
Finally. Here is a recent dinner.
First, a long piece of aluminum foil dotted with a coconut oil/ghee combination. I topped that with some veggies, like onions and sweet potatoes.
I also added on two burgers (made with ground chuck, hand-pattied by me and still semi-frozen) and some frozen Brussels sprouts. I seasoned with plain salt and pepper.
We wrapped up the foil packages, baked at 350 degrees for about an hour, and ended up with this.
Delicious. Clean. Easy.
CaveHubby had a similar meal, except he chose a vegetable mix instead of Brussels sprouts. And he used white potatoes instead of sweet. That’s the beauty of Paleo Hobo Packs. Every hobo can customize his or her own meal.