Living in the Caribbean has its perks, but with the beauty and laid-back lifestyle comes the dreaded hurricane season. Each year, we plan, we prepare our emergency kits, we safeguard our homes, but do we ever really plan out what we are going to eat after the storm?
We shouldn’t be relegated to a diet of canned corned beef and crackers just because we have no power! The possibilities are, almost, endless when it comes to eating after a storm. Many people think – I have no power, now what? Shelf stable is what, and I’ve got some tips to keep you sane while you eat your way through post-hurricane life.
How do I shop?
When you shop for a hurricane, you have to put yourself in the “I’m hungry and I have no power” mindset. Don’t just think about cans and boxes, think about ingredients and what you can create to feed your family for a number of days. This may be the most difficult part to preparing meals after a storm, but it is the most crucial.
Figure out what flavor combinations you like, and run with it. Do you like black beans? Great! Make a crushed black bean dip to eat with carrots or a black bean wrap with canned chicken and corn.
Once you’ve gotten the (conceptually) hard part out of the way, you can then move on to bigger feats, like weathering the storm.
Can I use perishables from the fridge?
For a short period, yes. Once you lose power, keep your fridge closed! The more you open it, the faster it will lose it’s temperature making your food items susceptible to bacteria growth. Cull your fridge prior to a storm, and only keep food items you plan to use within a day or two – fruits and vegetables, cheese, etc.
What can’t I use after a storm?
Make sure you keep away from any non-canned or loosely sealed food items that came in contact with flood waters. These waters often carry bacteria and other germs which can get onto your food. Canned and sealed goods that came into contact with flood waters should be sanitized with a mixture of bleach and water before consuming.
TIP: Keep all your non-perishable food items in a water tight storage container or high on a counter away from potential flooding areas.
What recipes do you recommend?
I’ve put together a few quick, easy recipes to try after a storm. Some require hot water, some require a grill or portable butane stove, but that just adds to the fun of cooking without power, right?
Black Bean and Chili Noodles – http://bit.ly/2tTqt5L
Chicken Couscous – http://bit.ly/2tTmLZW
Four Bean Chili – http://bit.ly/2tTjQjF
Black Bean Hummus – http://bit.ly/tkblackbeanhummus
Skillet Cornbread – http://bit.ly/2tTtK59
Grilled Salami Pizza – http://bit.ly/2tTDz2K
Energy Cookies – http://bit.ly/2tTpPW3
All of these recipes, and more can found at fosters-iga.com/fff/tanyas-kitchen. Be as creative as you can with cooking after a storm, and get your family involved! Cooking without power will take your mind off things for a while, and can provide a fun escape for the whole family. You can even make it a competition – who can come up with the tastiest meal with only a few ingredients!
For cooking tips, inspiration, and more, follow me on Instagram (@tanyaskitchengcm) and Facebook (@tanyaskitchengcm).
Discover your inner chef!