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Thread: Pantry Meals

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    United States Moderator Marianne's Avatar
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    Default Pantry Meals

    This thread is to give recipes, menus and ideas for using preserved foods to make tasty, balanced, attractive meals.

    There are various circumstances where this information could be useful; mainly loss of power or disruption in food supplies.
    • Snow or ice storms cut off power
    • Tornados/hurricanes down power lines
    • Power outages from overuse during peak times
    • Floods that impact power and transportation
    • Strikes or issues preventing just-in-time delivery to stores
    • Living off-grid
    • Using up preserved garden stash during winter months
    • etc.

    WHITE BEAN SALAD
    This salad uses canned and dehydrated foods. If you happen to have fresh herbs, onions and/or bell peppers, that's even better.
    • 1 can cooked white beans, drained
    • 1 tablespoon dried bell pepper bits, re-hydrated in a little hot water
    • 1 teaspoon dried onion bits, re-hydrated in a little hot water
    Mix beans, bell pepper, and onion in a small bowl. Pour about a half-cup of Italian salad dressing over and let sit a few minutes to blend flavors.

    Here is a simple Italian salad dressing that makes about a half-cup.

    Italian Salad Dressing:
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
    • 2 tablespoons vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon water
    • 1/3 cup salad oil
    Whisk together ingredients.
    Note: Add salt and pepper to taste.

    This cold bean salad can be served with cooked rice or pan-fried rice-vegetable patties for complete protein. If you don't have a way to pan-fry, or to cook a pot of rice, you can serve it with crackers and it will still have a good amount of protein from the beans.

    I'll post a recipe for rice-vegetable patties, and some pictures in the next few days. And add some more menus/recipes.

    White Bean Salad using fresh vegetables. Substitute dried if fresh produce is not available. Dress with Italian Dressing or Raspberry Vinaigrette.
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    Last edited by Marianne; 25th August 2015 at 23:24.

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    Default Re: Pantry Meals

    I live in an area where we get tornadoes and severe seasonal storms. About four years ago we had a rash of tornadoes that devastated much of the state and left us without power for a number of days. It got me thinking of ways to use up the thawing/melting food in the freezer/refrigerator and how to eat as healthy as we could under difficult circumstances.

    Raw things are good and healthy, but sometimes you crave the warmth of soft, cooked food and steamy soup. Finding a way to warm/cook food is important and worth some thought. You may already have a source, or be able to rig up something.

    SOURCES OF HEAT FOR COOKING
    • Outdoor gas grill
    • Coleman camp stove
    • Wood stove with an iron skillet
    • Indoor gas stove with a propane gas tank hooked up. When electricity is off, burners need to be lit manually with long lighters. You can pan cook, boil food, and heat water for washing dishes and simple bathing.
    • A fire pit outdoors. Someone adept at it could cook in an iron skillet, making sure not to get burned. Safer would be to thread pieces of food onto long sticks and roast them in the fire. Think biscuit/bread dough wrapped around the end of the stick in a thin layer ... soft veggies like yellow squash, bell peppers, fresh mushrooms dipped in oil/marinade...
    • A rocket stove ... look on the internet for plans
    • Search in this subforum for ideas too
    What have I forgotten? There are likely many other ways to find a heat source for cooking, especially other cultures outside the US where I am.

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    Default Re: Pantry Meals

    "Outlaw ovens" (earth ovens) come to mind, too.

    I really want to thank you for this thread, Marianne. I am deeply interested in this and similar subjects.

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    Default Re: Pantry Meals

    Quote Posted by Selkie (here)
    "Outlaw ovens" (earth ovens) come to mind, too.
    Thank you, Marianne.

    Different videos on how to build an earth oven here.

    Earthen Oven in 24 hours - 18th Century How-to Series

    Published on Apr 9, 2012
    How to make a simple earthen oven out of the least quantity of inexpensive materials in the shortest amount of time. Go from bare ground to a baked loaf of bread in less than 24 hours. Make sure to check out the companion blog to this series at http://savoringthepast.net/


    Below: Include metal and rocks amongst the wood to retain the heat. In this video they cooked a large hunk of meat in 3 1/2 hours.

    How to make a Hangi or Australian earth oven

    Published on May 7, 2014

    The process of making a Hangi my way.

    You may notice at the end of the video that I sound a little surprised that it worked. That's because this was our third attempt after a couple of failures, so it felt good to get it right.

    By the way, the meat was absolutely delicious with a hearty smoky flavour.

    You can also cook the vegetables in the hangi, just put them above the meat, with the hot rocks below.

    Experts tip: After digging the hole, it can help to "pre-heat" it by starting a fire in it early on, then removing as much of the embers and ash as possible. (hence the black ashes in the hole in the video)

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    Default Re: Pantry Meals

    "Maori earth oven" by Earthoven_hangi.
    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...earth_oven.svg


    Selkie, thanks for that ... you inspired me to read about earth ovens, an ancient method of cooking. It reminds me of the way New Englanders do clam bakes on the beach, digging a pit in the sand, an ember fire and fire-heated rocks, layers of food covered with moist seaweed and sand on top to seal in the heat.

    UPDATE: Wow, Paula, thanks for the info! That 18th century how-to series sounds so interesting.
    Last edited by Marianne; 13th August 2015 at 22:50.

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    Default Re: Pantry Meals

    DRIED BEANS
    On the subject of cooking beans, a couple of things … you want beans that are fully cooked, nice and soft (but not mushy/falling apart) and with enough thickened bean broth. And even more important, you want beans that are NOT GASSY.

    Happily, these things are easy to do once you know how.

    HOW TO COOK DRIED BEANS
    Set a colander in the sink. Cut open your package of beans; pour about a quarter-cupful into your hand and examine, handful at a time, looking for rocks, blobs of dirt, half-beans, or badly-colored beans. Remove those, and place each handful into the colander. Run water over the colander to rinse the beans well.

    Put them into a bowl, about 2 quart size, to allow for some expansion (1 cup dried makes 3 cups cooked). Cover with water, about 3 inches above the beans. Let sit overnight, or at least 8 hours.

    In the morning, dump the beans back into the colander, and rinse. Put into a cooking pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and carefully pour beans into colander, and rinse.

    Put beans back into the pot and cover with water, 3 inches above the beans. You can add aromatic elements if desired ... a bay leaf, garlic clove(s), chopped onion/shallots, chopped celery stalks/leaves are all nice additions.

    This is where you add the ingredients that tenderize beans and remove gassy elements by making them more digestible. You can choose one of three ways:
    • Kombu is a highly nutritious sea vegetable that is not detectable in the cooked beans. For a pound of dried beans, use a piece of dried kombu about 3” long. It will add saltiness on its own, so you may want to reduce or eliminate other salt. Kombu is the method I use, and can say it works perfectly. Don't be put off by the fact that it's seaweed, aka kelp. No one I've served kombu beans to has ever guessed it was in there.
    • Epazote is an herb that has been used for a long time in native Mexican and South American cultures. Use 1-2 teaspoons dried herb for a pound of beans.*
    • Ajwain is a seed used in Indian / Middle Eastern cuisine. Its flavor is similar to thyme, and it has additional health benefits. Use ¾ teaspoon for a pound of dried beans. Its flavor goes well with lentils, split peas, and garbanzo beans.

    *Some people use more epazote than I’ve indicated, up to 2-3 times as much. You may want to experiment using more if you find a lesser amount doesn’t work for you.

    Add your choice of bean tenderizer and bring beans to a boil. Turn heat to a gentle simmer. Cook until beans are soft, and liquid has thickened and boiled down (1-3 hours, depending on the variety, size, and age of your beans). Stir occasionally, and more often as the liquid cooks down.

    When beans are just barely tender, add salt if desired (2-3 teaspoons).

    Add a little hot water if needed, if beans aren't tender yet but liquid has cooked down too much.

    About Yields (and what to do with all those beans)
    The smallest package of beans is a pound, about 2 cups in general. Two cups expands with soaking and cooking to make 6 cups cooked beans … that’s a potful. If you don’t have a family to feed, or don’t want bean leftovers for the whole week, consider freezing 1-2 cup portions in zip-lock freezer bags. You’ll have the convenience of canned beans and the quality control of homemade food. Plus it’s cheaper to cook your own, especially if you buy beans in bigger packages than a pound.

    Resources
    The Bean Institute has a chart of bean yields (dried vs canned)
    http://beaninstitute.com/recipes/bean-yield-chart/

    About ajwain
    http://indianfood.about.com/od/thebasics/p/ajwain.htm

    About epazote
    http://www.thekitchn.com/ingredient-...epazote-152167

    About kombu
    This is the place I trust for quality sea vegetables.
    http://www.seaveg.com/shop/index.php...index&cPath=21
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    Last edited by Marianne; 16th August 2015 at 20:02.

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    Default Re: Pantry Meals

    Solar Oven and or Parabolic Cookers – Unless you know how to make them parabolic cookers are still somewhat spendy but solar ovens can be easily made by most anyone and some even purchased rather inexpensively.

    Volcano II Stove - This is a tri-fuel stove that people often use in conjunction with a Dutch oven. It collapses flat, is highly portable, a good alternative when cooking over a camp fire or heating up an entire backyard oven or burning in an indoor fireplace isn’t an option.

    Fireplace – It takes some practice but if you have the right type of wood burning fireplace you can cook certain things indoors in one. Any kind of wood burning is polluting so some won’t burn wood in the home.

    Low Wattage Microwave – Though some dislike them, refuse to use them for those who do a low wattage one can be run off a fairly simple, not all that unaffordable small solar panel set up. YouTube has some good videos. This same solar set up with a few tweaks can also be used to run other small appliances - some ice makers, air popcorn poppers and more.

    Flameless Ration Heaters – Though these won’t last indefinably, involve chemical reaction and need water to activate they are handy for heating up MREs (meals ready to eat). Also you can use them to warm up regular foods you normally eat. They are also available in drink pouch size to warm smaller things up fairly quickly.
    Last edited by Marianne; 14th August 2015 at 11:18.

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    Default Re: Pantry Meals

    Something i always keep in stock are vacuum packed vegetarian Indian meals. I can buy them at my local Asian store, In my store if i buy two i get one free, If you buy the right make, they are truly yummy. They are great for camping ect. free of artificial preservatives, colors and flavorings. a 2 - 5 yr shelf life. ready to heat up. Mild, medium or spicy.

    I have not tried this brand, but for an example.
    http://www.ishopindian.com/mtr-chana...-pr-22485.html

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    With some Chapati or paratha bread and your ready to go.
    When you express from a fearful heart in the now moment, You create a fearful future.
    When you express from a loving heart in the now moment, You create a loving future.

    Have no fear, Be aware and live your lives journey from a compassionate caring nurturing heart to manifest a compassionate caring nurturing future. Billyji


    Peace

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    Default Re: Pantry Meals

    Billy,

    What is the make of the yummy Indian food you like?


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    Default Re: Pantry Meals

    Quote Posted by Billy (here)
    Something i always keep in stock are vacuum packed vegetarian Indian meals. I can buy them at my local Asian store, In my store if i buy two i get one free, If you buy the right make, they are truly yummy. They are great for camping ect. free of artificial preservatives, colors and flavorings. a 2 - 5 yr shelf life.
    Yes this brand is without any Artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. And they mention the shelf life for each item in packed form and opened form. But I never eat any ready to eat sabzees/vegetables.
    Last edited by kanishk; 14th August 2015 at 17:53.

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    Default Re: Pantry Meals

    I use to eat red chilli powder with Chapati/bread.

    In a small bowl take red chilli powder.
    Add some salt
    Add some oil
    Heat the mixture.

    Now this red chilli chuttny is ready to eat with any bread/ chapati/ paratha

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    Default Re: Pantry Meals

    Thecha (Maharashtrian) green chilli

    On frying pan
    take some 10 green chillies
    3 tomatos
    4-5 garlic cloves
    And Jeera
    Heat them

    After they are sufficiently cooked, add oil and any other masala if you want to add and smash everything.
    Then add coriander leaves and salt. And smash everything well.

    Now I like to tell you the secret ingredient, which is Basil leaves(tulsi)

    People don't know about adding Basil leaves in this chutney. But is you add Basil leaves were great quantity of tomatoes are added you can add Basil leaves. It enhances the flavor. Two varieties of basil are added in tomato ketchup.

    Paper mint also comes in the family of Basil, so they also enhance the flavor. So people who know its importance add paper-mint in Non-veg dishes.

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    Default Re: Pantry Meals

    If you have a Mango tree and Mangoes are not ripe and are green.

    You can either cut the mango in small 5-7 mm pieces and add red chilli powder and salt.

    You can eat it as it is or with Chapatis, Rice, or anything else.

    When you will make it only the thought of it will make your salivary gland secret lots of saliva next time.
    ...........

    Some people add mustered seeds and oil in it after heating them.

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    Default Re: Pantry Meals

    Chivda made from Rice flakes
    (Maharashtrian Poha Chivda)

    Either you can make it in large quantity and eat it whenever you want or just make it in small quantities.


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    Default Re: Pantry Meals

    Jesse, thanks for the excellent info on heat sources.

    I noticed you posted twice, with slightly different wording on each, so I combined them into one and deleted the other, just to avoid confusion.

    There's quite a bit of info on this subforum (Living off the grid) about heating/cooking in emergencies without power, so thought I'd list a few.

    Offf grid cooking and heating
    http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...ng-and-Heating

    Beer/soft drink can stove
    http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...n-Into-A-Stove

    Rocket stoves
    http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...-Rocket-Stoves

    Another rocket stove thread
    http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...-Rocket-Stoves

    Lightweight stoves
    http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...-out-bag-stove

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    Default Re: Pantry Meals

    kanishk, that photo of chivda looks delicious!

    Your recipes with chiles sound wonderful too, but sadly they would be too hot for me.

    I too think basil and tomatoes are perfect together. I have both in the garden this year ... the basil is broad and lush, like small lettuce leaves.

    -----

    Billy, I had no idea there were such wonderful vegetarian Indian meals with long shelf lives. Definitely going to try to find them in my local ethnic markets.

    -----

    Fresh food is best, we know this ... but for emergencies and even occasional non-emergencies, quality packaged food has to be our source of nutrients and calories. The purpose of this thread is to bring ideas together to make this easier, and hopefully even tastier and more comforting in times of trouble.
    Last edited by Marianne; 15th August 2015 at 00:48.

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    Default Re: Pantry Meals

    The recipes here will generally call for ingredients that need no refrigeration, and can be prepared in a kitchen without modern conveniences. Many call for being able to heat / cook on a stove top, and most can manage this. Baking is more tricky, but could be done, say in a dutch oven over a heat source, or in an alternative oven.

    I've eliminated fresh eggs because you likely won't have them after the first 3 days without power ... unless you have hens or neighbors who do and share with you. There are acceptable egg substitutes for some uses. Dried egg white powder is available. Several vegetable starches can be egg replacers in baking. I'll talk about substitutes more as we post.

    As I test each recipe, I'll take a photo and post it.

    Some recipes I hope to share:

    Vegetables:
    Vegetable Sushi (nori make)
    Asparagus Casserole

    Pan fried little breads/starches:
    Skillet English Muffins
    Potato Pancakes
    Oatmeal Pancakes
    Hush Puppies (cornmeal cakes)
    Corn Griddle Cakes (using canned cream corn)
    Potato Puffs (using canned potatoes, Idahoan potato flakes, or fresh potatoes if you have them)
    Pea Patties (vegetarian burgers)

    Soups:
    Creamy Potato Soup (using canned potatoes, Idahoan potato flakes, or fresh potatoes if you have them)
    Cream of Tomato Soup (using canned tomatoes and evaporated milk)

    Salads:
    Three Bean Salad
    Cranberry Relish

    Starches
    Spanish Rice
    Vegetable Fried Rice
    Stove top Corn Pudding
    Stove top Stuffing with variations (fruit, nuts, veg)
    Steamed Rice-Veg Ring
    Scalloped Potatoes
    Steamed Lentil Loaf

    Sweets
    Dutch oven Cracker Pie (a mock-apple pie that's very good)
    Dutch oven Pumpkin Pie
    Applesauce Gingerbread Pudding (a steamed cake)
    Plum Pudding (a steamed cake)
    Steamed Cranberry Pudding with Lemon Sauce
    No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies

    Meats:
    Can-Can Chicken
    Chicken & Dumplings
    Stroganoff
    Tuna or Salmon Patties

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  35. Link to Post #18
    Avalon Member peterpam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pantry Meals

    My sister in law has become a master of cooking outside on a open flame with a dutch oven. It seems there is nothing she can't make with one. She makes great soups, dumplings and stews and even a sort of bread and cakes. Right now she does it while camping or just for the challenge of it, but it will be a great skill to have if the sh** ever hits the fan!!!!! There really is an art to using one correctly.

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    United States Moderator Marianne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pantry Meals

    If you can manage to home can or dry/dehydrate some vegetables, it gives you better options, and you control what's in your food.

    Here's the USDA website with up to date information on safe home canning. Guidelines have changed in the last few years.
    http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/pu...ions_usda.html

    Here's Kari Lynn's thread on home canning meat, in this subforum.
    http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...63-Home-Canned

    My canning kitchen:

    My home canned vegetable soup


    If you want to can meat and most vegetables, you'll need a pressure canner. I've found an online source in the US, that gives a good discount, and the one I want does NOT have a rubber gasket (a rubber gasket needs to be replaced periodically, and requires some strength to use). Here's the website.
    http://www.everythingkitchens.com/al...ooker-930.html

    Note you can get a basic one for around $100 on Amazon. Make sure it's a pressure canner, not a water/steam bath. The water bath ones work only for acidic vegetables and fruits.
    Last edited by Marianne; 16th August 2015 at 20:17.

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    Avalon Member Delight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pantry Meals

    This is a wonderful thread and I appreciate your information here.

    There is an MLM http://www.thrivefreezedried.com/that has parties to taste their freeze dried food. One of my friends had one so I went and was surprised by the great taste of freeze dried food. It could provide some variety to the pantry?

    I am adding here the concept of heat retention cooking.

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