Meals don’t have to turn to cold sandwiches or take-out when the lights go out. There are plenty of great ways you can prepare delicious and healthy meals at home with food items you probably have on hand.
1. Fire Up the Grill
Barbecue grills are an excellent option for cooking without electricity. The options you have when using a grill are practically endless. Some meal ideas you can cook on the grill include:
- Sliced vegetables brushed with olive oil and seasoning
- Steaks and potatoes for the meat lovers
- Shrimp skewers
- Barbecued chicken breasts
And those are just on a standard grill surface. Optional accessories can expand your choices even more. A silicone grill mat or stainless basket can make grilling smaller or delicate easier or at least keep food from breaking up and falling into the flames.
Rotisserie spits mean you can put a whole chicken or roast on the grill for slow and even cooking. If you have a side burner, you can use it to heat up items in sauce pots or even boil water for pasta or rice. A standard propane tank can last for multiple meals, but you don’t want to run out partway through. Make sure you have a second tank ready to go if this is your sole cooking appliance when the power is out. Of course, you can also use a charcoal grill for many of these meals.
2. Draw Inspiration From Raw Food Diets
Raw diets are incredibly popular. Many of the recipes you will find are vegan, but not all of them. Sashimi and some sushi contain raw fish or other seafood like eel crabmeat.
You can have creative salads with mixed greens, nuts, berries, and other fruits to keep things light and fresh. If you are looking for a slightly more portable meal, try putting it all into a wrap for added convenience. Use a fork to crush up an avocado. Then add some chopped garlic and a drizzle of oil, and you have delicious homemade guacamole to spread on crackers or bread.
Make up a batch of energy bars with dried dates and nuts. Or, if you have protein powder on hand, try mixing a scoop up with peanut butter and rolling them in chopped nuts or cocoa powder. Although it’s not a meal, it is a quick, healthy pick-me-up that can hold you over while you prepare something more substantial.
3. Make It a Cookout
Not all outdoor cooking appliances are barbecue grills. You can easily use a turkey fryer base for cooking large batches of stews, soups, and chili in addition to frying. Or, light up a fire and roast some hot dogs on the end of a stick. If you have kids in the house, this can be a great way to keep things light and fun until the power is back on.
Think Outside the Box
Sometimes the situation calls for a little extra creativity. Having electricity makes life a lot easier, but there are still plenty of delicious and healthy meals that can be prepared without it. So, when life gives you lemons, turn them into a nice marinade for your grilled shrimp instead of boring lemonade.