August 1, 2010


What to Eat When the Power Goes Out

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There was a severe thunderstorm in our area last Sunday.  It left hundreds of thousands without power.  Our electricity went out about 4:00 pm and didn’t return until 9:00 pm Monday night.  Many people went three or four days without power.  That got me thinking about what you can eat when you don’t have electricity to cook with.

Don’t Cook
It just so happened that I had stopped by Giant and picked up some chicken salad to have for lunch that day.  I bought plenty and we ended up eating it for dinner also. Sandwiches and salads are easy to make and don’t require electricity.

Besides going out and buying cooked food, you could use any cooked meat you have in the refrigerator or freezer, or canned meat such as tuna. These meats could be used on a sandwich or on top of a green salad. Don’t forget other protein sources like peanut butter or cheese. 

If you have milk in the refrigerator that needs to be used, eat cold cereal for breakfast or any other time.  And use up other cold foods that are in that frig like yogurt, fresh fruit, and vegetables.

Cook on the Grill
When power goes out during the summer, a big concern is the food you have in your refrigerator and freezer.  If you have uncooked meat in there, it’s great if you can cook it.  Of course, those of you with a gas range don’t have anything to worry about, but if your stove is electric, you can turn to a grill.  I didn’t need to use mine much, but if we had gone longer without power, I would have been pulling chicken breasts out of my chest freezer and grilling them. 

Lots of things can be cooked on the grill including vegetables, potatoes, and corn on the cob.  A side burner is handy for heating a can of beans or making an evening snack of popcorn. 

Eat Out
Restaurants are the obvious choice here, but what about asking a friend or family member if you can come to their house and cook dinner for everyone (or at least help).  Unplanned times like that can be fun and memorable.

What are your suggestions for eating when the power goes out?
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We were lucky to get our power back after only 12 hours, at 3am Monday. After we lost power, I found a Chipotle with power for dinner and didn't even mind the 20 minute wait! Purefit protein bars are great to have on hand and Kay's Naturals individual packs of protein cereal, which can be eaten dry. A loaf of Udi's gf bread lasts for several days on the counter, so it can be handy, but don't open freezer to get out. Schar vacuum sealed bread and rolls helpful too.

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