I really do not like dehydrating food, I find it to be more hassle than worth. However since I have a lot of free time these days I decided to dehydrate some food to pass the time.
Packing light weight is an integral part of my canoe camping adventures. Some of my trips require carrying distances between ponds and lakes. One way to keep things light are dehydrated meals.
I did some experimenting with pasta and sauce. It rehydrates really easy and packs a caloric punch after a long day.
I started with one pound of cooked rotini pasta, a 16oz jar of pasta sauce plus 4 more ounces, one can sliced mushrooms drained and 1 cup frozen peas. I used rotini because a lot of the research I’ve done shows that it holds the sauce better. After cooking, draining and letting the pasta completely cool I combined all ingredients in a bowl covered it with plastic wrap and placed in the fridge overnight.
The next morning I spread the pasta over my dehydrator trays and let it go for 9 hours. Once dehydrated I put it into a ziplock bag and weighed it. It weighed in at 18 ounces.
Yesterday afternoon I weighed out 8 ounces and began the rehydration process. Once the water was boiled I covered the pasta leaving just a little exposed, covered it and let sit exactly 20 minutes. The rehydration time was just about perfect and the taste was great. My wife even enjoyed tasting it as well.
Maybe this dehydrating food isn’t so bad!
I was craving pizza, better yet mushroom pizza so I came up with a fun experiment. I’m not a bread fan by any means so a heavy pizza crust just wasn’t doing it for me, don’t get me wrong I love a good pizza. So I came up with this idea of a portobello mushroom pizzas.
I sprayed two mushroom caps with a little olive oil and placed them in a 400 degree oven. While they began to cook I sautéed peppers and onions. I recently discovered at Wegman’s they have thin sliced peppers and onions already bagged up. I let the caps cook for about 8 minutes before adding pizza sauce and back into the oven for another 3 minutes. Lastly I added the sautéed peppers and onions along with some shredded mozzarella cheese placing them back into their happy place until the cheese was nicely melted.
When the mushroom pizzas emerged from the warmth of the oven they not only looked delish but smelled amazing. I wasn’t sure how they would turn out since I hastily threw these together, I was pleasantly surprised at how good they tasted. Now a fork and knife is a must with these.
Looking forward to experimenting more in the near future with this.
A little sauté going on © Joe Geronimo
Portobello mushrooms getting happy © Joe Geronimo
I wish you all could smell this, mmmmm sooo good © Joe Geronimo
I’m always on the lookout for good recipes and I came across this one recently. I decided to give it a try. It is amazing how much of a kick a 1/2 tsp of chipotle powder gives this dish, not that I’m complaining.
I did however left one component out, the cilantro. I’m not a big fan of it and quite honestly I really didn’t know what I could use as a substitute. If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them.
Now I thought it tasted even better the second day. I also added a Tbsp of sour cream the second time around.
I’d give this an 8 out of 10 and the reason I say that is because of the cilantro. It does have a medium kick to it from the chipotle powder.
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili © Joe Geronimo
For the past several weeks my post run lunch has been what I call utterly awesome! So here is what I put together.
1 avocado, 2 roma tomatoes chopped and a handful of kalamata or green olives. Some kosher salt, cracked black pepper and a small drizzle of olive oil. Nothing like fresh avocado, tomatoes and olives. Can you say yummy!
Post run lunch of avocado, tomatoes and olives.
One of my favorite foods are sweet potatoes with a drizzle of maple syrup, oh man my mouth is watering now.
So I decided to combine my love of sweet potatoes, wing sauce and make some homemade buffalo sweet potato wedges that are out of this world good. I mean these are cosmic!
First I began with two medium potatoes washed and the ends trimmed off. Then I cut them lengthwise into wedges, placing these babies in a bowl. I followed with 1 tsp olive oil, kosher salt and smoked paprika. Now things are starting to get happy.
I then placed the seasoned wedges on a wire backing rack into a 425 degree pre-heated oven, set my kitchen timer for 25 minutes and BAM, these babies are even happier now.
Once baked I put them back in the bowl, tossed them with 2 Tbsp of Frank’s wing sauce and placed some buffalo wing heaven on a plate. Now I use Frank’s wing sauce because I like it but also it is a vinegar based sauce and does not have any added sugar. However feel free to use whatever sauce makes you happy.
In my ongoing quest for delicious healthy eating I’m always looking for creative EASY meals. Well I think I just created one!
We’re fortunate to have a Wegman’s grocery store here in our area. Many times while perusing the produce section I’ve seen packages of butternut squash noodles but have been hesitant to try them. Hey don’t get me wrong I love butternut squash especially roasted and also as a soup. Yesterday I decided to give them a try.
I wanted to keep it simple but delicious. So I boiled a small pot of water and added the squash noodles, some sliced mushrooms and cooked for 5 minutes. While I was doing that in a small cast iron skillet I heated a tablespoon of olive oil. I drained the noodles and mushrooms adding them to the hot skillet, with some minced garlic, kosher salt and a dash of crushed red pepper sautéing another 5-6 minutes. Once done I plated it and hit it with some grated parmesan cheese. WOW!
I woofed this down as it was absolutely out of this world. I was truly sad once it was all gone because I craved more.
I boiled the mushrooms with the noodles because fresh uncooked mushrooms soak up the oil like a sponge. I believe boiling first helps prevent a lot of this. A few minor changes next time I make this. First I’d boil just a few minutes more as well as adding in some onions, garnish with fresh basil as well.
You’re kitchen is a studio so be creative as you want with this.
Butternut squash noodles with garlic & oil. image © Joe Geronimo 2020.
Grilled veggies over rice, delish in a dish. ©Joe Geronimo
I’ve been having fun plotting and planning healthy dishes over the past several weeks. Last nights dinner was really yummy so I thought I would share.
However there are just a few minor changes that I would make. First off I would omit the eggplant. Not that I don’t like it I thought it threw the texture of the dish off a little. And the other change I would make is go easier on the amount of rice I cooked.
With that said I will post the recipe exactly how I made it.
1 green bell pepper (chopped or sliced)
1 red sweet bell pepper (chopped or sliced)
1 sweet Italian pepper (chopped or sliced)
Half of a medium vanilla onion sliced
3 cloves garlic
1 small package Bella button mushrooms
1 small package Bella sliced mushrooms
Half of a medium eggplant (Cubed)
2 TBSP olive oil
Salt & Pepper
1.5 cups rice
I prepped my vegetables and put them in a ziplock bag with the 2 TBSP of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Made sure everything was coated and put in the fridge for a few hours.
This evening I decided to grill the veggies but you can do them either on the stove or in the oven, the choice is yours.
While the veggies were cooking I cooked my rice. Now I used just water but you can use any stock you like for added flavor. Once everything was done I plated the dish.
I really enjoyed this and definitely would make it again. This made two large servings but hey I was hungry anyway.