Using the Dried Veggies in Your Pantry
While dehydrated vegetables certainly aren’t at the top of anyone's list of ingredients in a delicious, homemade meal, they do have a solid place in the kitchen pantry. They have good nutritional value, they are perfect for long term food storage, they can stretch a budget and they work well in a pinch. The easiest way to bring dehydrated vegetables back to life and give them a little flavor is to toss them into a pot of bubbling soup or a crock pot full of stew. Here are a few other ideas for dried vegetable recipes that will use up the dried veggies in your pantry.
Dried Vegetables That Don't Lose Their Flavor
Some of the most common and tastiest dried vegetables are tomatoes and mushrooms. Both should be available in the specialty foods section of your local grocery store. Shiitake mushrooms reconstitute nicely and are common in Asian dishes like hot and sour soup or stir fry. Sundried tomatoes are delicious right out of the package, and they are also common in Italian pasta sauces and salads. Other palatable dehydrated vegetables include onions, carrots, peas and potatoes, which are best when added to stews, soups and casseroles. You can even make dried vegetables from your own garden or produce from a local farmer's market using a food dehydrator.
Shiitake and Snow Pea Stir Fry
- 1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 cup canned bamboo shoots
- 1 cup snow peas
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon brown sugar
- Soak the dried mushrooms in 1 cup liquid (water or broth) for at least an hour. Once they are soft, slice into thin strips.
- Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet. Stir fry the snow peas until they are bright green, no more than one minute. Remove the snow peas from the wok.
- Add the mushrooms and bamboo shoots to the wok. Stir fry for two to three minutes.
- Add the soy sauce and the brown sugar, stir to coat the vegetables and simmer for three minutes.
- Return the snow peas to the wok and heat through.
- Serve over steamed rice.
Sundried Tomatoes and Spinach Fettuccine
½ cup sundried tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 ½ cups ricotta cheese
½ cup half and half
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup fresh basil leaves, julienned
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, julienned
16 ounces fettuccine pasta
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
- Cut the sundried tomatoes into thin strips using kitchen shears. Soak them in hot water for 10-20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta al dente and drain.
- Sauté the garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil until fragrant. Stir in spinach, basil and sundried tomatoes. Sauté until just wilted.
- Blend the ricotta cheese, half and half, Parmesan and salt and pepper.
- Add cheese mixture to hot pasta, stir to coat. Toss with spinach and tomato mixture.
- Garnish with additional basil leaves and Parmesan curls.