Thinking Outside the Box 2021, Display Periods 1-26 

The purpose of this notice is to provide Industry with the attached Thinking Outside the Box (TOTB) 2021 meal plans for display periods 1-26. 

The TOTB program, which encompasses Dietician approved recipes, aims to encourage and teach military members and their families how to cook more meals at home. By doing so, healthy living is encouraged and the basket size increases. 

The commissary continues to work with the Department of Defense to address the health and wellness needs of the military community. Continuing in 2021, in addition to shelf stable items for TOTB, we have elected to include more dairy, frozen, meat, and produce items in our recipes. 

Industry representatives are encouraged to review the attached list and submit promotional opportunities, to include cooking demos, to the category managers in support of this program. Any offer received that is the best price versus like items within the category will receive an additional 10% margin investment. As an example, if your offer of 20% savings beats all other competitors on its own merit, the commissary will invest an additional 10% during that two-week display period. If selected, not only will your item be highlighted as part of the Dietitian Approved Recipe, it will also be featured in our Commissary Sale’s Flyer. 

Point of contact for this notice is Ms. Deborah Harris,, (804) 734- 8000 extension 48751, or Ms. Kirsten O’Nell, Kirsten.O’, extension 48126. 

Tracie L. Russ

Director, Sales 

Your Commissary … It’s Worth the Trip! 

DP 1 – Hearty Beef Stew 

  • Low-sodium beef broth
  • Frozen veggies Tomato paste
  • Worcestershire sauce 

DP 2 – Chile Chicken Nachos 

  • Whole grain tortilla chips
  • Canned corn Cheese
  • Canned jalapenos Red/pinto beans
  • Nonfat plain Greek yogurt 

DP 3 – Fried Rice 

  • Long grain brown rice
  • Sesame oil
  • Low-sodium soy sauce
  • Frozen peas and carrots 

DP 4 – Chicken Noodle Soup 

  • Frozen boneless skinless chicken breast
  • Whole wheat/whole grain lasagna noodles
  • Low-sodium chicken broth Frozen peas 

DP 5 – Fajita Bowl 

  • Sliced frozen peppers
  • Brown rice Black beans
  • Canned corn 

DP 6 – Irish Stew 

  • Tomato paste
  • Frozen peas and carrots
  • 16 oz. Low-sodium beef broth
  • Red wine vinegar 

DP 7 – Brown Rice Pilaf/Chicken Breast Skillet 

  • Dried parsley
  • Whole wheat spaghetti noodles
  • Brown rice
  • Frozen broccoli 

DP 8 – Ham Bone Navy Bean Soup 

  • Dried navy beans
  • Bay leaf
  • 12-16 oz. bag frozen okra
  • 32 oz. low-sodium chicken broth 

DP 9 – Salmon Quesadillas 

  • Whole wheat soft tortillas
  • Nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • Sliced black olives
  • Dried basil Salsa 

DP 10 -Tofu Curry 

  • Tofu Curry
  • Canned diced
  • Tomatoes
  • Brown Rice 

DP 11 – Kielbasa Skillet Dinner 

  • Whole wheat/grain pasta
  • Shredded parmesan cheese
  • Low fat kielbasa sausage
  • Balsamic vinegar 

DP 12 – Quick White Bean, Chicken, and Kale Soup 

  • Cannellini beans
  • Frozen cooked chicken
  • Low-sodium chicken broth
  • Barley 

DP 13 – Shrimp Tacos 

  • Hard taco shells
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Salsa
  • Fat free refried beans 

DP 14 – Crab Cakes 

  • 16 oz. chilled can lump crab
  • Bread crumbs
  • Spicy brown mustard
  • Mayonnaise 

DP 15 – Mediterranean Chickpea Salad 

  • Canned black olives, pitted 3-6oz.
  • Feta Cheese, 4 oz.
  • Low-sodium canned chickpeas, 12-16 oz.
  • Lemon juice (small jar)
  • White wine vinegar (small jar) 

DP 16 – Eggplant Parmesan 

  • Canned crushed tomatoes
  • 14-16 oz. Tomato paste
  • 6-8 oz. Bread crumbs
  • Shredded Mozzarella 
  • 8 oz. Minced garlic Italian seasoning
  • Whole wheat or whole grain pasta
  • 12-16 oz box 

DP 17 – Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice 

  • Instant brown rice
  • Frozen pineapple chunks or canned no sugar added pineapple chunks
  • 10-16 oz Frozen peas and carrots
  • 10-12 oz. Sesame oil Hoisin sauce Cashews
  • Frozen boneless chicken tenderloins or breast (uncooked), 1-3 lbs. 

DP 18 – Microwaved Zucchini/Spinach Italia no Bowl

  • Shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 8-16 oz. Ricotta cheese
  • 4-8 oz. Marinara sauce
  • 16-24 oz.
  • Lemon pepper seasoning 

DP 19 – White Bean and Tuna Salad 

  • Low-sodium cannellini beans
  • 14-16 oz.
  • Canned albacore tuna chunks
  • 6-8 oz. Sunflower seeds (seeded)
  • Balsamic vinegar 

DP 20 – Green Chili Burritos 

  • Frozen cooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp (medium size)
  • 16-20 oz. bag Low-sodium black beans
  • Canned green chilies
  • 2-4 oz. Low-sodium canned sweet corn
  • 14-16 oz. Shredded mozzarella
  • Whole grain tortillas 

DP 21 – Spicy Turkey Sausage “Breakfast” Hash 

Low-sodium navy beans

14-16 oz. Low-sodium chicken broth

14-16 oz. Turkey kielbasa sausage

12-16 oz. Tomato paste, 6 oz. 

DP 22 – Mandarin Chicken Salad Bagels 

  • Canned chicken
  • 12-16 oz. Greek yogurt
  • 8 oz. Dijon mustard
  • Whole grain/wheat bagels
  • Black pepper Chopped walnuts
  • 8 oz. No sugar added canned mandarin oranges, 12-16 oz. 

DP 23 – Harvest Chicken Casserole 

  • Wild rice
  • Dried cranberries
  • Low-sodium chicken broth
  • Sliced almonds 

DP 24 – Microwave Vegetarian Chili 

  • Low-sodium canned corn
  • Frozen sliced pepper and onion mix
  • Low-sodium pinto beans
  • Low-sodium petite cut diced tomatoes
  • Chili powder 86 percent dark chocolate candy bar 

DP 25 – Chew Oatmeal Raisin Cookies 

  • Raisin and/or dried cranberries
  • Rolled oats
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Chopped pecans 

DP 26 – Grits with Bacon and Black-eyed Peas 

  • Quick grits
  • Low-sodium canned diced tomatoes
  • Low-sodium canned black-eyed peas
  • Frozen collard greens
  • Turkey bacon 


Nagle to take over as West and Pacific Deputy Area Director

FORT LEE, Va. – Robert Nagle, former Defense Commissary Agency Zone 16 manager, will assume duties Oct. 11 as deputy director of DeCA’s West and Pacific Areas.

He will have indirect oversight of 108 commissaries located in 19 states, one territory (Guam), and two countries (Japan and Korea).

He replaces Martin “Marty” Jackson who retired in June, after 24 years with DeCA.

“Bob brings us a wealth of experience, drive and passion for delivering the commissary benefit,” said Matthew S. Whittaker, Pacific Area director. “His in-depth knowledge of operations and ability to communicate will prove to be valuable assets for every zone and every store under the West and Pacific command team.”

Nagle started federal service in 1988 as a store worker at the McClellan Air Force Base commissary in California. He quickly assumed leadership roles starting as the grocery manager of the Naval Station San Diego commissary in California, and then moved on to hold various store director positions in the West Area. He became the Zone 16 manager in 2017.

As the zone manager, he was responsible for 10 commissaries located in Southern California. These locations handled 3.9 million customer transactions resulting in $243 million in sales in fiscal year 2019.

“Bob brings an understanding of the current conditions in the field, which will strengthen us as we press forward into what will be our new normal for the foreseeable future,” Whittaker added.

Bringing his vast commissary and retail grocery experience to the position, Nagle is excited to be going home to where it all started.

“I am honored to have been selected as the deputy area director,” Nagle said. “After all these years, I still have a great passion for the commissary system and what it means to our service members, their families, retirees and disabled veterans. I look forward to going home to McClellan and start supporting the teams of DeCA’s Pacific and West Areas.”

Nagle holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in economics from California State University in Sacramento, California.


About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit, saving authorized patrons thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to similar products at commercial retailers. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.


This press release comes courtesy of DeCA Corporate Communications