I had meant to talk about this 'award' a few months ago, but sometimes 'time' and 'events' just get in the way. Too often, "food storage" foods are viewed as less in quality, taste, and variety. This just doesn't have to be the case. Here is a case in point. Our ward/congregation had a Chili cook-off. This has become quite the competition with some of our neighbors and they guard their Chili recipes quite closely and look forward to competing in this event.
I decided to enter....not because I am the best Chili-maker in the world, but because I wanted to try to make Chili with many of my food storage supplies and use one of my favorite toys.....my electronic pressure cooker.
I cooked some of my dry Kidney Beans in the Pressure Cooker. It is important to know that I have had these particular beans for several years and they were really hard. However, in the Pressure Cooker, they came out just great. I poured them into a strainer so that I could rinse the beans.
I cut up steak....and I really do mean steak. I wanted to win you know! With the this pressure cooker, you can brown the meat inside on a different setting that does not involve pressure. I browned the steak with a little Olive Oil and garlic.
I added other shelf-stable ingredients and the beans into the pot with the steak. Of course, I added seasonings (chili powder, salt, etc to my liking). I then simmered the Chili in the pressure cooker. I can, because this device has so many settings....which is a huge selling point for these devices!
What was the result? An award entitled "What is the secret ingredient?". Well, I did use some fresh items. Just before the judging, I put in some freshly chopped Cilantro and squeezed 2 limes into the mix.
If you think about many of your recipes, they do use food storage/shelf stable foods. You can, of course, combine them with fresh ingredients as well. Also, having good tools like this Cuisinart Electronic Pressure Cooker also makes using them convenient and reasonable. Just like with any hobby or interest, having the right tools makes all the difference. Why would you not infer the same logic with your Food Storage or Emergency planning?
Put on your thinking cap and try using your staples in everyday meals:)