What’s For Dinner?… Mac & Cheese!

Okay, Rule #1 when it comes to food storage meals: Don’t overlook the obvious!
Just because we are putting together ‘food storage meals’ does not mean they have to include wheat that we’ve been grinding all day by hand in a mortar and pestle and beans that we’ve been soaking for 36 hours to try and get soft. Remember folks… this does not have to be hard! Actually, let me put it this way… when you are scrambling to get your feet under you after experiencing some emergency situation/catastrophy, you are going to want your food preparation to be as simple as possible. So plan accordingly! Hence, tonight we are starting with good ol’ fashioned, right out of the box, Mac & Cheese… souped up a little. 😉
So here are our ingredients:

  • 1 box Mac & Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil (or you can use 3 Tbsp butter if you have electricity)
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup reconstituted powdered milk (1/4 c. if using butter, 1/3 c. if using oil)
  • 1 small can of SPAM, cut into cubes
  • 1 can of peas, drained (or you can use frozen peas if you’ve got electricity)
  • salt for the water (I prefer to use Kosher salt because it is stronger)
  • And although this is probably painfully self-explanatory, here are the steps to make it:

    1. Fill a small to medium saucepan half-way with water. (If needing to conserve water, you can definitely get by with a small amount!) Add salt (I just add enough to generally cover the bottom) and bring to a boil.

    2. Once it starts to boil, add the macaroni noodles and give it a stir.

    3. While the water is coming to a boil and the noodles are cooking, dice up the SPAM and throw it into a frying pan (non-stick is best).

    4. Cook it up until it’s mostly browned. (You don’t need to worry about cooking SPAM “all the way through” or anything. It’s actually safe to eat raw. Cooking it just helps to bring out the flavor and changes the texture so that it’s not like eating a raw hot dog. :))

    5. Keep an eye on your noodles and drain them once they are al dente.

    6. Return the noodles to the pot and add the vegetable oil (or butter), milk, and powdered cheese packet. Stir until fully combined.

    7. Add the drained peas (or frozen peas… which I happen to prefer since the color is a lot more vivid and I prefer the taste as well, but for the sake of keeping this shelf-stable, I used the canned ones :)) along with the cooked SPAM.8. Salt & Pepper to taste, and Enjoy!

    One of the reasons I love Mac & Cheese for food storage is that it is inexpensive, kids will eat it without complaint, and it’s incredibly versatile. It can be made with or without electricity since you can vary the ingredients to fit your situation (with electricity: make with butter and frozen peas; without electricity: use vegetable oil and canned peas). And you can dress it up or down pretty much any way you want. In fact, here is a LINK to about a gazillion recipes you can try, using mac & cheese as your base (and don’t let the titles fool you… they all sound about the same. But open some up and check out the ingredients. They’re fun to try, especially when you’ve got a whole bunch of macaroni that’s about to expire and don’t want to be eating the same thing over and over. –Yup, I’m there. :))

    Well, enjoy your dinner!


    3 thoughts on “What’s For Dinner?… Mac & Cheese!

    1. Camie says:

      My problem with having a food storage is learning to cook with it. Luckily I have a ton of friendly foods like mac n’ cheese stored up 🙂

      Does using oil affect the taste?


      • Debbie says:

        Hey Camie! The oil only slightly affects the taste. Not that it tastes bad, it’s just not the same as butter. So, when I have butter, I use butter. But if I’m in a position where butter is not available, it’s good to know this is still a totally doable recipe. 🙂
        Oh, and the beauty of the food storage process we’re going to get going on is that you don’t have to “learn” to cook with it. It’s the same stuff you already make. I really love this style of “storing food”.


    2. Angela Groke says:

      I have a butter product in 12 oz. cans that stores for far longer than the bottled oils. It’s called “Pure Creamery Butter -Red Feather Brand”. It’s manufactured by Ballantyne Export Company Ltd. (www.ballantyne.com.au)and there’s another web address stamped on it… http://www.MREWholesalers.com. I’ve been wondering how on earth I would use it -your Mac-n-Cheese recipe sounds perfect!


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