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Leon's View

Make basic red enchilada sauce from storage foods

Make basic red enchilada sauce from storage foods

Survival food is sustenance that can be made easily during a survival or emergency situation using mainly simple, long-term storage food items, cooked outdoors, using off-the-grid methods.

by Leon Pantenburg

Enchiladas are a popular Mexican food, and is one of the most popular dishes that could be bought from a street vendor in Mexico. Hence, it is popularly known as “simple street food”.

Enchiladas are tasty and easy to prepare.

The term “enchilada” simply means ” dipped in chili”. Mexican restaurants worldwide cater enchiladas with different kinds of filling. A few of the popular fillings for enchilada is Mexican beans and cheese, loved by many vegetarians around the globe, chicken and herb enchilada casserole, shrimp and crab enchiladas in chipotle cream sauce and so on.

But this is a survival recipe. During an emergency, you can’t guarantee exactly what form of protein you might need to convert into a familiar flavor! You could use pre-cooked and canned chicken if you do not have the fresh ones. Or, you could use virtually any small game animal.

To make, for example, squirrel enchiladas, you would boil the carcass until the meat comes easily off the bones. Then, just use that meat in a standard recipe. Obviously, you could substitute fresh ingredients if you had them!


Basic Red Enchilada Sauce

1/2 c tomato powder

2 c water

2 Tbs green chilies dehydrated (optional)

1/2 tsp garlic granules, dried

1/2 tsp cumin, ground, dried

1/4 tsp oregano, ground, dried

In a medium saucepan, bring to a boil 2 cups of water. Add green chilies, lower heat to simmer and cook for 5  minutes. Then whisk in tomato powder and all the spices. Simmer for 5 more minutes. Now it is ready to use with your favorite enchilada or to top a burrito.

From: “Jan’s Fabulous Food Storage Recipes: Converting Stored Foods Into Usable Meals” by Jan LeBaron

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View Comments (2)


  1. Leon

    06/04/2015 at 09:31

    I buy or trade for dehydrated ingredients. I don’t have a dehydrator. Yet.

  2. Pete M

    06/03/2015 at 12:00

    Do you dehydrate any of your own ingredients or do you just buy them? Looking at buying a dehydrator to make my own light weight, back country food like this recipe.

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Leon's View

Leon Pantenburg is a wilderness enthusiast, and doesn't claim to be a survival expert or expertise as a survivalist. As a newspaperman and journalist for three decades, covering search and rescue, sheriff's departments, floods, forest fires and other natural disasters and outdoor emergencies, Leon learned many people died unnecessarily or escaped miraculously from outdoor emergency situations when simple, common sense might have changed the outcome. Leon now teaches common sense techniques to the average person in order to avert potential disasters. His emphasis is on tried and tested, simple techniques of wilderness survival. Every technique, piece of equipment or skill recommended on this website has been thoroughly tested and researched. After graduating from Iowa State University, Leon completed a six-month, 2,552-mile solo Mississippi River canoe trip from the headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minn., to the Gulf of Mexico. His wilderness backpacking experience includes extended solos through Yellowstone’s backcountry; hiking the John Muir Trail in California, and numerous shorter trips along the Pacific Crest Trail. Other mountain backpacking trips include hikes through the Uintas in Utah; the Beartooths in Montana; the Sawtooths in Idaho; the Pryors, the Wind River Range, Tetons and Bighorns in Wyoming; Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, the Catskills in New York and Death Valley National Monument in southern California. Some of Leon's canoe trips include sojourns through the Okefenokee Swamp and National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia, the Big Black River swamp in Mississippi and the Boundary Waters canoe area in northern Minnesota and numerous small river trips in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. Leon is also an avid fisherman and an elk, deer, upland game and waterfowl hunter. Since 1991, Leon has been an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 18 in Bend, and is a scoutmaster wilderness skills trainer for the Boy Scouts’ Fremont District. Leon earned a second degree black belt in Taekwondo, and competed in his last tournament (sparring and form) at age 49. He is an enthusiastic Bluegrass mandolin picker and fiddler and two-time finalist in the International Dutch Oven Society’s World Championships.

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