These Recipes have been copied with permission from the Better Times Almanac of Useful Information, 5th Edition       Bob Waldrop, founder The Oscar Romero Catholic Worker-Oklahoma City-

Why pay high prices for expensive store mixes when you can make your own and thus control the quality, protect the nutrition, and serve tasty foods that don't cost much money? Not to mention, they are time-savers. This page has recipes for various common mixes that you can do for yourself.

Hearty Soup Mix

Mix together 3 cups green split peas, 3 cups alphabet macaroni, 1-1/2 cup rice, 2-1/2 cups pearl barley, 2-1/2 cups lentils, 4 cup dry minced onion. Combine all ingredients so they are evenly distributed, store in an air-tight container. For 6 to 8 servings of soup, add 1-1/3 cups mix to 6 cups water and 1-1/2 tbsp. salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Add 2 sliced carrots, 1 or 2 stalks celery (chopped), 1-1/2 cups cabbage (shredded), two 15 oz cans of tomato sauce, 1 24 ounce can of vegetable juice cocktail, or equivalent amounts of tomato sauce, and cooked meat (if desired). Simmer 20 more minutes, until vegetables are cooked.

Chicken Flavored Rice Mix

Mix 4 cups long-grain rice, 4 tablespoons instant chicken bouillon, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp dried tarragon 2 tsp dried parsley flakes, 1/4 tsp pepper. Stir until evenly distributed, store in an air-tight container. To make 4 - 6 servings, mix 1-1/3 cups chicken- flavored rice mix, 2 cups cold water, 1 tbsp butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Or cook rice with seasonings in chicken stock.

Dry Onion Soup

Mix together until evenly distributed: 4 tsp instant beef bouillon, 8 tsp dried minced onion, 1 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp Bon Apetit seasoning. Makes the equivalent of 1 package of dry onion soup mix. Use to flavor dishes or reconstitute for soup.

Basic Muffin Mix

Mix together: 8-1/2 cups flour, 1/3 cup baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp cream of tartar, 1-1/2 cups dry milk, 1 tbsp salt. Cut in 2-1/4 cup oil until evenly mixed. Mixture should look like cornmeal. Put in a large airtight container. Makes 13 cups of mix; should be used within 10 - 12 weeks. You can substitute whole wheat flour for all or part of the flour. Increase baking powder to 5 tablespoons for whole wheat.

Raisin muffins from Basic Muffin Mix: 2-1/2 cups mix, 1 tbsp. sugar, 2 tbsp. butter, cup raisins, cup water, 1 egg. Preheat over to 400 degrees. Combine mix and sugar, cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Add raisins. Beat egg and water together, stir into dry ingredients just until mixture is moistened. Batter will be lumpy. Spoon batter into greased medium-size muffin pan cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden. Makes 8.

Hot Chocolate Mix

Mix together: 4 cups dry milk, 1 cup unsweetened cocoa, 2 cups sugar, tsp salt, 1 tsp instant coffee (optional). Use 1/4 cup mix per cup of hot boiling water. Makes 20 cups total: Store in an air tight container. Variation, add 1 tsp instant coffee to mix.

Taco Seasoning

Mix together: 2 tsp instant minced onion, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp chili powder, tsp cornstarch, tsp crushed dried red pepper, tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp dried oregano, 12 tsp ground cumin .Store in an airtight container.

Homemade Burger "Helper"

Mix together: 2 cups nonfat dry milk, 1 cup cornstarch, 2 tbsp onion flakes, 1/4 cup chicken or beef bouillon powder, 1 tsp each dried basil, thyme, black pepper, parsley, garlic powder . Store in an air-tight container. (Developed by Colorado  State University Cooperative Extension)

Recipes using Burger Helper (each serves 4 to 6)

Chili Tomato Mac: Brown some ground beef or turkey and drain fat. Add one cup water, 1-1/2 cups uncooked macaroni, 2 cans chopped tomatoes, 1 tbsp chili powder, cup of Burger Helper mix. Cover & simmer 20 minutes or until macaroni is tender.

Hamburger Stroganoff: Brown some ground beef or turkey and drain fat. Add 2 cups water, cup Burger Helper mix, 2 cups uncooked egg noodles, stir well. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes or until noodles are tender. Top with cup sour cream or plain yogurt. Serve immediately.

Hearty Potato Casserole: Brown some ground beef and drain off the fat. Add 3/4 cup water, 6 peeled potatoes (sliced very thin), one cup of cooked peas and carrots and cup plus 1 tbsp. Burger Helper. Cover and simmer 20 -30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Uncover, stir, and cook until excess water is evaporated.

Skillet Lasagna: In a large skillet, brown ground beef, drain off the fat. Add cup Burger Helper, 1 chopped onion, 2 cups water, 16 ounce can of tomato sauce, 3 cups dry noodles and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring until thickened. Top with 2 cups mozzarella cheese five minutes before serving; turn off heat, stop stirring, and allow cheese to melt. Courtesy of Colorado Cooperative Extension.