Don’t panic over wilted vegetables, sometimes it’s totally on purpose and totally tastes great!
Most of the time, someone saying “my vegetables are wilted” is not a good thing. But sometimes, I actually accelerate the perishing process of my produce...on purpose. Let me explain.
I have followed a mostly raw vegan lifestyle since 2006. I grew to love food and the life giving benefits of proper nutrition so much that I gave up a career in advertising to become a health coach. Now I also have my own television show where—at the end of each episode—I share a raw, vegan recipe with viewers (Shhhh, I don’t announce that it’s raw vegan, I just call it “healthy and easy”). All that said, sometimes, especially in the winter, I don’t want to eat raw vegetables—even if they’re warmed to room temperature. But I also don’t choose to compromise the vitamins and minerals that raw food is known for by cooking it. My solution? I make up a pan of wilted vegetables in the dehydrator. It’s so easy, I don’t even need a recipe for it—although I’ll give you the steps I used for my last batch here, in case you’re the type who likes instructions!
The trick is to use a dehydrator to “cook” your entree. I use an Excalibur® dehydrator because it will allow me to remove the shelves so that a 9x13 glass pan will fit inside. In fact, the pan I use has protruding glass handles that fit exactly into the horizontal slots in my Excalibur, so I can cook several pans at a time if I want! If you have a different style of dehydrator, you can still make the dish, you’ll just have to investigate other ways of ensuring that the veggies stay moist and are exposed to a low (105–110 degrees Fahrenheit) temperature.
For the recipe below, I suggest that—rather than go shopping—you simply use what you have on hand. No zucchini? Summer squash will work. Swap Swiss chard for spinach. If you like spring onions, add some in. Play with spices and adjust seasonings. The best results will be had if you chop or slice your ingredients evenly and if you select produce of a similar consistency or water content. I have not tried beets in this dish, for example, because I suspect they’d take too long to get soft and the other items will have dried up.
So now that you have the concept...go ahead, get creative!
Yield: 2 servings
- 1 medium zucchini, peeled and coarsely chopped
- ¼ head cauliflower, stem removed and florets chopped
- 2/3 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2/3 cup snap peas, sliced on the diagonal
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced
- 2 cups baby spinach
- ½ cup asparagus, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup purified water
- 3 tablespoons minced cilantro
- 3 tablespoons minced basil
- ¼ teaspoon unrefined salt
Combine ingredients in a 9x13 glass pan. Place pan inside a box-style dehydrator for 2 hours or until desired degree of doneness. Cover pan with aluminum foil if vegetables appear to be drying out and add additional purified water if vegetables appear to need it.
Serve as a side dish with a dollop of guacamole or heaped in a romaine leaf like a taco.
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