Emergency Meals

Sometimes the lights go out. And how do you cope then? We have frequently experienced outages, the worst being in December of 2008. That was the year of a dreadful ice storm that hit New Hampshire like a jack hammer. Phone poles and limbs came down, trees were uprooted, and we had no electricity for 9 days. We have lost power so often [usually in the Winter] that we have a routine. We quickly remove necessary perishables [milk, butter, meat, sausage, eggs, chicken, cheese] from the freezer and refrigerator, and place the items in a camping cooler on the back porch. There, they stay cool enough to use. Then we keep the freezers and refrigerator closed and covered with blankets for the duration. By having a gas cooktop and a pantry full of useful items, we can feed ourselves and even observe Fast Days under most conditions. Recently, Hurricane Dorian plowed across Prince Edward Island where we were staying, cutting off the juice for 48 hours. We coped just fine. The following are Fast dinners we have prepared and enjoyed during black-outs. The gratin cooked nicely on the cooktop, although the recipe would have you broil it at the end. [The gratin would also be a useful breakfast meal, served without any beverages.] And the dumplings were cooked in a bamboo steamer by candle-light, as you might tell by the darkness of the photo.

Egg-Tomato Gratin: 235 calories 10 g fat 4 g fiber 16 g protein 16 g carbs [15 g Complex] 200 mg Calcium  PB GF V Jacques Pepin, in his book Fast Food My Way, tells about this family recipe. HINT: The recipe serves two. Invite a friend or save for lunch tomorrow.

3 hardboiled eggs, peeled and sliced into wedges 3 oz onions, sliced 2 tsp garlic, chopped 1 tsp dried thyme + 1 tsp salt + ½ tsp pepper 1/3 cup garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed 10 fluid oz of tomatoes, drained [save the juice] 1 oz Swiss cheese or Gruyere, grated 

Cook the onions and garlic in some of the tomato juice, about 3 minutes. Add seasonings, tomatoes and the remaining juice. If tomatoes are in large chunks, crush with a fork and add the garbanzo beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer covered for 4 minutes. Nestle the eggs in the pan, then sprinkle with cheese. Cover and simmer another 2 minutes to warm everything and to melt the cheese. Excellent antidote to outrageous fortune.

Pork Dumplings Steamed with Bok Choy: 215 calories 8.5 g fat 2.3 g fiber 12.5 g protein 28 g carbs 190 mg Calcium  PB Our older son suggested this ‘starter recipe’ to encourage us to prepare Asian meals. NB: the dumplings were purchased at an Asian market and were very low in calories. You will need to have or to improvise a steamer to cook this.

5 pork dumplings 3-4 oz bok choy 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce dipping sauce: 2 oz black vinegar** + 2 oz soy sauce ** in lieu of black vinegar, combine equal amounts of soy sauce, rice vinegar, and water. 

Set up the steamer [mine is a bamboo version which is used with a wok]. Trim the bok choy to remove the largest parts of the center vein, and arrange the leaves on the platforms of the steamer. Put the frozen dumplings on the leaves. Close up the steamer and position it in a dry wok. Add water to the wok so that it rises over the bottom edge of the steamer but not so much that the water level comes up to the bottom tray of the steamer. Bring the water to a simmer. Let it cook for 10 minutes. Mix the hoisin sauce with some water to thin it. Combine the ingredients for the dipping sauce. Remove the bok choy to the plate and drizzle the hoisin sauce over it. Place the dumplings on the plate and serve with the dipping sauce. Despite the low calorie count, this meal is very satisfying. Other vegetables could be added, as long as their steaming time is the same as the other ingredients.

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday ……….. single portion for Thursday:

Next week I will discuss how to
start the Fast Diet and how to
stay on it.
Bob’s 10-Grain Cereal or equivalent 
Look for a new favorite breakfast
in the Archives
low-fat milk

blueberries, fresh or frozen


Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

Dinner, single portion for Monday: ……………….. single portion for Thursday:

Next week I will discuss how to
start the Fast Diet and how to
stay on it.
purchased dry tortellini
Look for a new favorite dinner
in the Archives
black or Tuscan kale +
red pepper flakes

garlic + tomato

olive oil + Parmesan cheese
Sparkling waterSparkling water