Raiding the Pantry

Getting by on what you’ve got

pantry staples
Recipes and photos by Tessa DeLine

Earlier this spring, there were some uncomfortable days when a run on the supply chain left us all wondering if we would have enough toilet paper and other staples. If you overstocked, you may be wondering how you can use what you’ve bought. If you found yourself short, you may be looking into how to avoid a similar situation. Either way, these recipes demonstrate you can find uses for items in the pantry. None of these recipes call for fresh or refrigerated items but do utilize dehydrated produce.


INDIAN-SPICE SPLIT PEA SOUP

This easy-to-make, Indian-inspired soup is vegan-friendly, fiber rich and tastes amazing served with a slice of warm naan bread.

Ingredients:

1 pound split peas (picked over, rinsed and drained)

½ cup dried carrots, diced

½ cup dried celery, chopped

¼ cup dried onion, chopped

1 tablespoon dried garlic, chopped

2 teaspoon curry powder (or to taste)

1 teaspoon ground ginger

3 bay leaves

8 cups vegetable stock (or more as needed)

Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

In a 5-quart Dutch oven on medium heat, add all ingredients and simmer gently with the lid on, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom of the pot burning. Cook until desired tenderness, about 45 minutes. Taste and correct your seasonings.

Servings: 8

TIP

Dehydrating vegetables

Look for our article on dehydrating produce in next month’s issue! Though there is a slight nutrient loss, dehydrated vegetables and fruits can last five years or more if safely stored. If you don’t dehydrate your own, you can find them for purchase.


Granola2

HONEY CRANBERRY GRANOLA

This homemade granola is easy to make and a great topper for yogurt or as a snack. It’s high in fiber, vegetarian-friendly and gluten-free. Making your own granola is easier than you might think and cheaper than store bought. If you don’t have dried cranberries, try raisins, dried currants, dried chopped cherries or even nuts. If you don’t have a silicone liner for your baking sheet, just lightly grease it with coconut oil to prevent the granola from sticking to the sheet.

Ingredients:

4 cups rolled oats (not instant or quick cooking)

1 cup dried cranberries

2/3 cup honey

1/3 cup coconut oil

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 ½ tablespoon flaxseed

1 ½ tablespoon chia seed

½ teaspoon fine salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium- to large-sized bowl, add the oatmeal and cranberries. In another bowl, mix together the honey, coconut oil, cinnamon, flaxseed, chia seed, salt and vanilla extract. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix well until oatmeal is thoroughly coated. Use a silicone spatula to help place granola mixture in a single layer on a large baking sheet with silicone liner. Bake for 10 minutes, then stir. Bake approximately another 10 minutes or until light golden brown in color. Remove from heat and let cool. Granola will crisp once it has cooled. Store in an airtight container until ready for use.

Servings: About 8 cups

TIP

Flaxseed

These little powerhouses are packed with nutrients, but whole flaxseed has a tough outer shell that prevents the body from fully digesting and absorbing all the benefits. If you have whole flaxseed, grind it with a blender, food processor, coffee grinder or mortar and pestle before adding to the recipe.


Salsa1

RESTAURANT-STYLE SALSA

Who would have thought you can make a fresh tasting-salsa similar to what you would find in a Mexican restaurant that’s made out of canned tomatoes and other pantry ingredients? It’s hard to tell that you used reconstituted lime juice out of a bottle rather than fresh picked.

Ingredients:

1 28-ounce can of whole or chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons dried onion, chopped

2 teaspoons dried garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon dried cilantro

2 teaspoon lime juice (reconstituted)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon dried chili powder

DIRECTIONS

Rehydrate the dried chopped onion and dried chopped garlic by adding 3 tablespoons of water and letting the mixture sit in a small bowl for about 15 minutes. Drain. Add all ingredients to a food process and blend to desired thickness. Taste and correct your seasonings. Add more lime juice if desired. Store covered in an airtight container in your refrigerator. Serve it on eggs, taco salads, burritos, or simply dip with corn chips.

Servings: About 30 ounces

TIP

Want some heat? Feel free to spice up this mild version with dried ground jalapeno or other red pepper of your choice. Salsa is also the perfect condiment for using canned produce and dry beans to create new varieties. Try canned or jarred peaches, pineapple or mangoes, or add corn, black beans or black-eyed peas.

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