Five fresh food ideas for weight loss and better health.
6 Meals to Make during a Power Outage & a Guide to Saving vs. Tossing Cold Foods
No Power? No Problem!
With the increase in snow we’ve been experiencing in Northern Nevada, power outages may be on the horizon. Fingers crossed we make it through the rest of winter without a major power outage, but in the event that a storm leaves you in the dark, here are some tasty and nutritious meal ideas to serve up — no oven, blender, or microwave required!
Have a Tapas Party. You don’t need a power outlet to break out the cheeseboard and enjoy an array of tapas. Think: Olives, chickpeas (toss with olive oil and spices for a little more flavor — we like chili powder for a spicy kick), mashed avocado with a sprinkle of lime and salt, roasted red peppers, and whole-grain pita wedges. This is also the perfect time to use up cheese that may go bad if your power is out for an extended period of time.
Think Ahead With Overnight Oats. If you think the power will be out until morning, combine 1 part oats and 1 part water, and let the mixture sit overnight. (Be sure to sub in water for milk since you won’t be able to refrigerate overnight.) In the morning you can add sliced banana, or apple and cinnamon, for a no-cook bowl of oatmeal.
Mash Up Some Homemade Hummus. For a tasty snack, use a fork or potato masher to smash chickpeas, then stir in lemon juice, minced garlic, and a touch of salt for a homemade hummus dip. Serve with sliced veggies and whole-grain crackers or pita for dipping. For a bean dip trio, mash up an assortment of beans, such as black, kidney, and cannellini.
Get Creative with Veggie Noodles. The wonderful thing about veggie noodles (other than their ability to transform your favorite pasta dish into a low-cal meal) is that they require no boiling water, making them the perfect meal base when you don’t have electricity. Carrots, cucumbers, and beets can all be spiralized into noodles or cut into ribbons with a veggie peeler, and then tossed with seasonings like oil, vinegar, and herbs for a no-cook pasta dish.
Wrap It Up. Veggie wraps are super easy to whip up and can be customized using whatever is left in the house — all veggies, beans, and seasonings are fair game. Start with whole-wheat tortillas (or use romaine, kale, or collard greens as wraps), then pack in canned beans, onion, tomato, cucumber, and any other veggies you have on hand, and drizzle with oil and vinegar.
Go Old School with PB&J. Throw it back to lunchbox days and enjoy a schmear of peanut butter and sweet jelly on bread. After two hours without power, all meat and poultry is a no-go, so peanut and other nut butters are a smart go-to protein source. Take the traditional sandwich up a notch by adding sliced banana, apple, or strawberries.
Tip: Consider storing refrigerated/frozen foods outside to help preserve freshness during a snow storm.
Refrigerated Food and Power Outages: When to Save and When to Throw Out
Held above 40 °F for over 2 hours
|MEAT, POULTRY, SEAFOOD||Raw or leftover cooked meat, poultry, fish, or seafood; soy meat substitutes||Discard|
|Thawing meat or poultry||Discard|
|Salads: Meat, tuna, shrimp, chicken, or egg salad||Discard|
|Gravy, stuffing, broth||Discard|
|Lunchmeats, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, dried beef||Discard|
|Pizza – with any topping||Discard|
|Canned hams labeled “Keep Refrigerated”||Discard|
|Canned meats and fish, opened||Discard|
|Casseroles, soups, stews||Discard|
|CHEESE||Soft Cheeses: blue/bleu, Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, cottage, cream, Edam, Monterey Jack, ricotta, mozzarella, Muenster, Neufchatel, queso blanco, queso fresco||Discard|
|Hard Cheeses: Cheddar, Colby, Swiss, Parmesan, provolone, Romano||Safe|
|Grated Parmesan, Romano, or combination (in can or jar)||Safe|
|DAIRY||Milk, cream, sour cream, buttermilk, evaporated milk, yogurt, eggnog, soy milk||Discard|
|Baby formula, opened||Discard|
|EGGS||Fresh eggs, hard-cooked in shell, egg dishes, egg products||Discard|
|Custards and puddings, quiche||Discard|
|FRUITS||Fresh fruits, cut||Discard|
|Fruit juices, opened||Safe|
|Canned fruits, opened||Safe|
|Fresh fruits, coconut, raisins, dried fruits, candied fruits, dates||Safe|
|SAUCES, SPREADS, JAMS||Opened mayonnaise, tartar sauce, horseradish||Discard if above 50 °F for over 8 hrs.|
|Jelly, relish, taco sauce, mustard, catsup, olives, pickles||Safe|
|Worcestershire, soy, barbecue, hoisin sauces||Safe|
|Fish sauces, oyster sauce||Discard|
|Opened vinegar-based dressings||Safe|
|Opened creamy-based dressings||Discard|
|Spaghetti sauce, opened jar||Discard|
|BREAD, CAKES, COOKIES, PASTA, GRAINS||Bread, rolls, cakes, muffins, quick breads, tortillas||Safe|
|Refrigerator biscuits, rolls, cookie dough||Discard|
|Cooked pasta, rice, potatoes||Discard|
|Pasta salads with mayonnaise or vinaigrette||Discard|
|Breakfast foods –waffles, pancakes, bagels||Safe|
|PIES, PASTRY||Pastries, cream filled||Discard|
|Pies – custard, cheese filled, or chiffon; quiche||Discard|
|VEGETABLES||Fresh mushrooms, herbs, spices||Safe|
|Greens, pre-cut, pre-washed, packaged||Discard|
|Vegetables, cooked; tofu||Discard|
|Vegetable juice, opened||Discard|
|Commercial garlic in oil||Discard|
|Casseroles, soups, stews||Discard|
Frozen Food and Power Outages: When to Save and When to Throw Out
Still contains ice crystals and feels as cold as if refrigerated
Thawed and held above 40 °F for over 2 hours
|MEAT, POULTRY, SEAFOOD||Beef, veal, lamb, pork, and ground meats||Refreeze||Discard|
|Poultry and ground poultry||Refreeze||Discard|
|Variety meats (liver, kidney, heart, chitterlings)||Refreeze||Discard|
|Casseroles, stews, soups||Refreeze||Discard|
|Fish, shellfish, breaded seafood products||Refreeze. However, there will be some texture and flavor loss.||Discard|
|DAIRY||Milk||Refreeze. May lose some texture.||Discard|
|Eggs (out of shell) and egg products||Refreeze||Discard|
|Ice cream, frozen yogurt||Discard||Discard|
|Cheese (soft and semi-soft)||Refreeze. May lose some texture.||Discard|
|Casseroles containing milk, cream, eggs, soft cheeses||Refreeze||Discard|
|FRUITS||Juices||Refreeze||Refreeze. Discard if mold, yeasty smell, or sliminess develops.|
|Home or commercially packaged||Refreeze. Will change texture and flavor.||Refreeze. Discard if mold, yeasty smell, or sliminess develops.|
|VEGETABLES||Juices||Refreeze||Discard after held above 40 °F for 6 hours.|
|Home or commercially packaged or blanched||Refreeze. May suffer texture and flavor loss.||Discard after held above 40 °F for 6 hours.|
|BREADS, PASTRIES||Breads, rolls, muffins, cakes (without custard fillings)||Refreeze||Refreeze|
|Cakes, pies, pastries with custard or cheese filling||Refreeze||Discard|
|Pie crusts, commercial and homemade bread dough||Refreeze. Some quality loss may occur.||Refreeze. Quality loss is considerable.|
|OTHER||Casseroles – pasta, rice based||Refreeze||Discard|
|Flour, cornmeal, nuts||Refreeze||Refreeze|
|Breakfast items –waffles, pancakes, bagels||Refreeze||Refreeze|
|Frozen meal, entree, specialty items (pizza, sausage and biscuit, meat pie, convenience foods)||Refreeze||
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