Stretching Meat (Recipes For Today WWII) « (2024)

Stretching Meat (Recipes For Today WWII) « (1)Here are pages 15, 16 and 17 of the WWII ration cookbook titled “Recipes For Today” that was published by General Foods Corporation in 1943. This was during the second world war when the United States was experiencing food rations and shortages (sugar, meat, etc.) and homemakers were looking for creative ways to feed their families.

You can view all the pages in this little book by visiting this category: Recipes For Today (WWII), just click a page title to view that section of the book. You’ll find scans of the pages included below (click pictures to view a larger size) as well as a typed version for easy printing.

S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g Meat

CHICKEN CASSEROLES. Use chicken with corn, Lima beans, and gravy. Or chicken or turkey with potatoes, sauteed onion, and medium thick chicken cream sauce.

FISH CASSEROLES. Use fish with macaroni, scraped onion, green beans, and tomato sauce or thick tomato soup. Or alternate layers of flaked fish, sliced potatoes, and Green Pea Sauce (page 16) with added sauteed onion, celery, and green pepper.

LIVER CASSEROLES. Use liver with potatoes, onions, bits of bacon, and white sauce made with bacon fat. Or liver with sauteed onion and celery, peas, and mushroom or tomato sauce.

EGG CASSEROLES. Use hard-cooked eggs on layer of well-seasoned spinach with cheese sauce. Or deviled stuffed eggs, green beans, rice, and curry sauce.

VEGETABLE CASSEROLES. Use broccoli or cauliflower, peas, carrots, celery, bits of cooked bacon or chipped beef, scraped onion, and tomato sauce. Or small white onions on layer of spinach with green beans in cheese sauce.


5 medium potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup sifted flour
1 cup Post’s Corn Toasties, crushed*
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Wash potatoes and cook in boiling salted water until tender. Remove skins and put potatoes through ricer. Add salt, eggs, flour, Corn Toasties, and nutmeg; mix thoroughly. Shape into 1 1/2-inch balls. (If mixture is too moist, add more Corn Toasties.) Drop dumplings into boiling salted water or onto stew. When they rise to the surface, continue cooking 3 minutes, or until done. (To test doneness, cut a dumpling open. If center is dry, dumpling is done.) Makes 2 dozen dumplings.

To serve dumplings as a main dish, cook in boiling salted water. When done, remove from liquid; keep hot. Saute 4 strips bacon and 2 tablespoons minced onion until bacon is crisp. Crush fine 1 cup Corn Toasties* and add; mix well. Arrange dumplings on hot platter and cover with Toasties-bacon mixture. Serve immediately. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

*Or use 3/4 cup Post’s 40% Bran Flakes or Grape-Nuts Flakes instead of 1 cup Post’s Corn Toasties.

  • These recipes will help you do wonders with what little meat you have. Small amounts are stretched to make generous, satisfying meat dishes by the use of a crispy cereal topping, a tender meat pie crust, a biscuit roll, or nourishing cereal. Dumplings may top a stew, go with gravy, or even be a main dish.


1 cup Corn Toasties, Grape-Nuts Flakes, or Post’s 40% Bran Flakes
1 teaspoon melted butter or margarine
1/4 cup grated American cheese

Use cereal flakes whole or crush slightly. Heat in saucepan, shaking pan back and forth over heat. Pour butter over hot flakes and toss lightly to distribute butter evenly. Put into bowl; add grated cheese and mix lightly. Sprinkle as topping over any creamed dish or casserole. Makes topping for small casserole.

A little minced onion may be sauteed in the melted butter. Cheese may be omitted. Bits of cooked bacon or ham may be added.


1/2 cup minced onion
2 tablespoons fat
3/4 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
1/3 cup fine soft bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk
Biscuit dough (page 24)

Saute onions in fat in covered saucepan 5 minutes; measure 2 tablespoons and add to meat with salt, pepper, bread crumbs, and milk; mix well. (Ground lamb or cooked meat may also be used.)

Mix biscuit dough, adding remaining onions to flour with shortening. Roll dough into 12×9-inch rectangle. Spread with hamburger mixture and roll lengthwise as for jelly roll, wetting edge to seal. Cut in 12 slices; place, cut-side up, on greased baking sheet. Bake in hot oven (450° F.) 20 minutes, or until done. Serve hot with Green Pea Sauce. Makes 6 servings.

Green Pea Sauce. Make 2 cups medium white sauce, browning butter and adding 2 bouillon cubes. Add 3/4 cup drained cooked peas.


6 large onions
1/2 cup (1/4 pound) sausage meat
1/2 cup Grape-Nuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon melted fat
1 tablespoon ketchup

Peel onions; cook 15 minutes in large amount of boiling salted water. Drain, cool, and remove centers from stem end, making little cups. Chop centers and combine with sausage and remaining ingredients. Fill onions with mixture and place in greased baking dish. Each may be topped with 1/3 slice bacon. Bake in moderate oven (375°F.) 45 minutes, or until tender. Makes 6 servings.


Use Corn Muffins (page 25) or Biscuits (page 24). Split each and spread with softened butter. Put together with creamed ham or chipped beef between layers and on top. Left-over muffins or biscuits may be split and toasted, then used in this way.


12 large cabbage leaves
2 cups ground cooked meat
1 cup crushed Post’s 40% Bran Flakes
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, unbeaten
1/2 cup meat stock or 1/2 cup hot water and 1 bouillon cube
1 1/2 cups stewed tomatoes
2 strips bacon

Cook cabbage leaves in boiling salted water 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and sprinkle with salt. Mix together meat, cereal flakes, onions, seasonings, egg, and stock. Divide into 6 parts.

For rolls, fit together 2 cabbage leaves; arrange portion of meat mixture on this, roll, and fasten with toothpick. Place rolls in greased baking dish. Add tomatoes. Top with strips of bacon. Bake in moderate oven (375° F.) 40 minutes. Makes 6 servings.


1/2 pound ground beef
1 cup Post’s Corn Toasties, crushed*
1 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
3 to 4 tablespoons milk or water

Combine ingredients and mix well. Shape into flat cakes and pan-broil in lightly greased pan, turning to brown both sides. Makes 6 cakes about 3 inches in diameter.

*One cup Grape-Nuts Flakes or Post’s 40% Bran Flakes may be substituted for Corn Toasties; increase liquid to 6 tablespoons.


1/2 cup minced onion
1 tablespoon butter or bacon fat
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup Grape-Nuts Wheat-Meal
1/2 cup chopped cooked chicken, ham, or veal
1/2 cup drained kernel corn
1/4 cup chili sauce

Saute onion in fat about 5 minutes, or until tender but not browned. Add chili powder, salt, and milk. Bring to a boil, add Grape-Nuts Wheat-Meal gradually, and cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add meat, corn, and chili sauce; mix well. Turn into greased 9x4x2-inch baking dish. Brush top with melted fat. Bake in moderate oven (375° F.) 25 minutes. If necessary, place under broiler to brown. Cut into squares. Makes 3 to 4 servings.

If you have a few stuffed or ripe olives on hand, add 1/4 cup, sliced or chopped, to this dish.

  • You can extend the rich flavor of meat and supplement its nutrients with the good proteins, minerals, and vitamins of cereals. These recipes show how.

Stretching Meat (Recipes For Today WWII) « (5)

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Stretching Meat (Recipes For Today WWII) « (2024)


How do you stretch meat in a meal? ›

If you don't want to get rid of the meat altogether, try stretching it with a filler. I like to stretch ground beef by adding a 12 oz can of black beans to make 2 pounds of a meat mix. I will also add in canned carrots for nearly no added taste and extra vegetables. This is a great option for Mexican dishes.

What food was popular during World War 2? ›

Vegetable pies and turnovers, fruit preserves, carrot cookies – basically anything you can imagine! Another food that was popular, and which certainly needs no introduction, is Spam. It might not seem like the most exciting product, but back then (with so many food shortages), Spam was fully embraced.

How do you make meat stretch? ›

For every pound of raw meat, add one cup of cooked filler. For each 2 cup portion of shredded chicken, add 1/4 cup of rice. Substitute 2 cups of your finished dish for 1 pound of ground beef or turkey called for in a recipe.

How do you stretch meat? ›

Tips for Stretching Meat Further
  1. Add in a filler, such as oats, breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs.
  2. Bulk it up with shredded vegetables. Carrots, Cauliflower and Broccoli are great choices!
  3. Sub a portion of the ground beef for white rice or beans. You won't even notice the lack of meat.

What food was banned in WW2? ›

The ban on sliced bread was just one of many resource-conserving campaigns during World War II. In May 1942, Americans received their first ration booklets and, within the year, commodities ranging from rubber tires to sugar were in short supply.

What food was hard to get during WW2? ›

Rationed Foods. The categories of rationed foods during the war were sugar, coffee, processed foods (canned, frozen, etc.), meats and canned fish, and cheese, canned milk, and fats.

What did they eat for breakfast in WW2? ›

An English Breakfast during WWII. Breakfast tended to be porridge with milk if available but some families would use melted lard! OMG. A special treat was toast or bread and jam (we always had jam apparently – my grandmother would make it, but so little sugar, she relied on the fruit.

How do you stretch meat for burgers? ›

Stretch your ground beef with any of these cheap fillers:
  1. Cooked or uncooked oatmeal, or rolled oats.
  2. Breadcrumbs.
  3. Cooked barley or bulgar wheat.
  4. Quinoa or couscous.
  5. TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)
  6. Grated or finely chopped vegetables like carrots, celery, garlic, onions, sweet or hot peppers, potatoes, squash, or zucchini.
Dec 24, 2022

What is tender stretch method in meat? ›

Tenderstretch allows the fibres of the muscles of some cuts, such as the tenderloin, to shorten. Any adverse effect on tenderness is small and usually not apparent to consumers. There is also no effect on forequarter cuts other than the cube roll as no extra tension is applied to these muscles.

How do you loosen meat? ›

A meat mallet is a common and quick way to tenderize meat. Place the meat between wax paper or plastic wrap before using the kitchen mallet to break apart the meat's connective tissues.

How do you stretch a meatloaf? ›

Mix in breadcrumbs.

One of the most common extender for stretching ground beef is breadcrumbs. They work especially well in meatballs and meatloaf, but you may enjoy them in burgers as well. Some recipes call for mixing equal amounts of breadcrumbs and ground beef when trying to stretch the meat.

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