By now you have probably noticed that OAMC style cooking (yeah I know how weird that sounds when you list out the acronym) relies fairly heavily upon spice mixes, condiments and premade sauces. A perfect dump recipe is just chicken dumped in a bag of salad dressing. Great taco meat can be had using the crockpot and a packet of Mexican spice. But those little packets are expensive. Sure, you can get one for 50 cents or a dollar. Now imagine a OAMC session where you are doing all Mexican style food and you need 10 of those packets! And have you read what’s in those packets?
Wheat flour, salt, dried garlic, maltodextrin, chili peppers, spice, dried onions, monosodium glutamate, paprika, sugar, contains less than 2% of silicon dioxide as an anticaking agent, soybean oil and malic acid
Yikes! I hope you aren’t going GF!
What’s the answer? Make your own mixes, of course! Every OAMCer has their own stash of mixes they like to keep on hand (some kind of taco seasoning always seems to be on the list *grins*). It allows you to save money, because most of the ingredients are usually already in your pantry, and (let’s repeat the TV chef’s mantra:) you get to take control of the quality of the ingredients. It has become a little crass over the past few years and heard in too many places to count, but it is still true. The more you cook from scratch, the more control you have over the ingredients, and in this day and age that’s important. I mean, what is the recommended daily dose of malic acid? And can I please just get it from my apples and not from my tacos?
Too many casseroles start of with a can of “Cream of Something Soup”. It doesn’t matter what the something is, because they all taste the same. Mostly I just avoid those casseroles, because here is a list of ingredients, most of which I DON’T want in my food:
CHICKEN STOCK, WATER, WHEAT FLOUR, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, COOKED CHICKEN MEAT, CREAM (MILK), CONTIANS LESS THAN 2% OF: CHICKEN FAT, SALT, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, DEHYDRATED COOKED CHICKEN, YEAST EXTRACT, LOWER SODIUM NATURAL SEA SALT, FLAVORING, AUTOLYZED YEAST EXTRACT, VEGETABLE OIL, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, DISODIUM INOSINATE, DISODIUM GUANYLATE, SPICE EXTRACT, BETA CAROTENE FOR COLOR, SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, SODIUM PHOSPHATES, CHICKEN FLAVOR (CONTAINS CHICKEN STOCK, CHICKEN POWDER, CHICKEN FAT), CHICKEN FLAVOR, BUTTER (MILK), CREAM POWDER (CREAM [MILK], SOY LECITHIN), ENZYME MODIFIED BUTTER (MILK), NONFAT DRY MILK, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN AND COTTONSEED OIL, LIPOLYZED BUTTER OIL (MILK), OLEIC ACID, BUTTER OIL (MILK), LACTIC ACID, BUTTER FLAVOR (ENZYME MODIFIED BUTTER, ACETIC ACID)
There you have it. Cream of Chicken Soup which has more modified food starch than chicken or cream. Oh what a wonder modern chemistry has wrought. The mix I want to try has this list of ingredients:
2 cups nonfat dry milk powder, cornstarch, instant chicken bouillon granules, dried onion flakes, dried basil, dried thyme, pepper
It’s not perfect, but for a dry mix it will do. At least I recognize everything in it. I am still not exactly sure what “lipolyzed butter oil” is . . .
Rather than continue ranting on the evils of modern food science, I think I will just go ahead and give you the menu. It is probably the easiest menu you will see for OAMC. Just get out 6 clean jars of appropriate size and a bowl and funnel. I have listed the volume of one batch of each mix so you can either alter the recipe to fit your jars or find jars to fit the recipes. I like using the stage 3 babyfood jars (the tall ones) for spice mixes. Simply mix one up, funnel it into your labeled jar, wash the bowl and funnel, and move on to the next. I would make the Creole or Taco seasoning last. You don’t want all that cayenne and chili powder mucking up your cream soup. 🙂
Now, what to do with these mixes? Here’s a list of recipes, some I have tried, some I haven’t which all feature one of these recipes.
Ranch – To Die for CrockPot Roast, Ranch Roasted Potatoes, Seasoned Goldfish Crackers, and of course, dressing and dip
Cream of Chicken Soup – Leftover Casserole, Swiss Cheese, Ham and Asparagus Bake, Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken, Cracker Barrel’s Hashbrown Casserole
Onion Soup Mix – Cranberry Chicken, Quick French Onion Meatballs, Creamy Apricot Chicken
Creole Seasoning – the best Burgers, Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta, Sweet Potato Fries
Steak Seasoning – actually, this is just our favorite steak seasoning 🙂
Taco Seasoning – Crock Pot chicken Taco Meat, Mexican Casserole (and you can use the cream of soup mix, too!), Scout’s Salsa Chicken