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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cheap prep foods

I can tell you that beans and rice are the perfect 'prep' food and I might be right, but if I don't tell you how to cook and serve these potentially nasty guys you'll be swearing at me when the time comes. Rice and beans both need a large amount of water to prepare them, you can probably (caveat emptor), use lower quality water to rehydrate both but your final preparation needs to be at temperatures higher than 170 degrees for pasteurization purposes.

Rice has a lot of uses; you can make a milk substitute, which I really don't go for but my kids like it with chocolate, yeah I'd fall for it too. As a breakfast cereal with honey and cinnamon it's tasty even if it's unusual. Adding soy sauce, meat and some vegetables and it's a main dish. Bake rice with a couple eggs, cumin, and some form of tomato and you have a great brunch.

To me, storage beans mean pintos. I know there are a bunch more but I store pintos for my family. I soak them atleast 12 hours before I try to cook them. In most cases I make refried beans, but they work well added to a soup, on tortillas, or in most any soup I try to make. The key is to make them palatable, they need to be boiled long enough that they are tender, adding spices even if it's just garlic or salt .

Lentils and split peas cook a lot faster, they can be added like herbs in the last 30 minutes or when rehydrating dried meats/vegetables.



Maitreya said...

I just stocked up on rice and beans. I read about a great way to cook beans yet save fuel; bring pot of pre-soaked beans to a boil. Remove from heat, wrap in a WOOL blanket and stick them in a cooler. They maintain heat and do much of the cooking time without expending fuel. Check them after a couple hours, bring to boil again and back in the cooler. Repeat until they are done (usually 2 boils, depending on type of bean)
I stocked up on vitamin C too, my bro ate rice and beans for a year and wound up getting scurvy.

Rick said...

A Hay Box is a great way to cook beans and other things such as rice, soup, and less tender cuts of meat for stews. It's also useful while backpacking assuming you have a tight lid container, like a quart jar for your cooking vessel. The insulation helps retain the heat providing a slow cooking method like a crock pot. Depending on what you're cooking you might not need to reheat at all.

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