I can’t even begin to imagine what those of you in the Northeast are dealing with right now. Being essentially stuck in your homes with no power and minimal access to anything must be terrifying and trying. I was stuck in a hurricane on Long Island years ago, but it paled in comparison to this storm. For those of you who have a generator, or for those of you in other parts of the country or the world who just want to save money and time preparing healthy food, this post is for you.
You’re going to be stuck in your home for a few days with no access to a market, so how do you eat healthy? This scenario is coming true for many Americans on the East Coast right now, and it can be an absolute nightmare. Some people are lucky enough to have a generator to keep some basic items working, like a fridge/freezer, hotplate, etc. Aside from canned foods, pasta, grains, and beans, what can you have on hand to ensure you’ll continue to eat well while you deal with this crappy situation? Frozen vegetable and fruit mixes of course. Your local grocery store has plenty of varieties of veggie mixes – california style (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots), asian style, fiesta style, etc., and they can all be used to make a wide variety of dishes. I keep my freezer stocked with various mixes after watching Jeff Novick’s Fast Food and reading through some of his recipes. Here’s a really easy one you might want to make.
Pasta With Tomato Sauce and Veggies
- 1 Large can plum tomatoes, no salt added (whole or diced)
- Whole Wheat (or brown rice or quinoa) pasta
- Onions (either fresh or frozen – pre-diced frozen onions are easier)
- 1 bag vegetable mix (California style or Mediterranean style)
- Frozen greens (spinach, kale, collards, etc)
- 1 can beans (cannellini, kidney, or garbanzo)
- Spices (garlic – preferably minced but granulated is fine, basil, Italian seasoning)
- Get out two medium to large pots, one for the sauce and one for the pasta.
- Boil water in one of the pots for the pasta
- Meanwhile, in the other pot, dump the tomatoes (cut them up in the pot if they’re whole), onions, veggie mix, greens, beans, and spices to taste and turn the burner to medium-high. Stir occasionally until heated through, and taste it to make sure you’ve got enough seasoning in there.
- Cook and drain the pasta according to the package.
- Get a bowl, put in some pasta, and add your tomatoey vegetable mix to the top.
- Add some nutritional yeast and/or some chili flakes if you want some heat.
That’s it! Astoundingly simple, one of the healthiest dishes you can make, and you can make it in large batches to have leftovers for days in your fridge. Using no-salt added canned tomatoes instead of store-bought tomato sauce eliminates the oil and sugar that usually comes with the pre-made stuff. If you want to turn the leftovers into soup, just add water or vegetable broth and reheat. Anyone stuck on the East Coast right now have any other easy meal ideas?