Monday, January 6, 2014

What To Cook In A Polar Vortex

Just when you thought you were heading back to work and school after holiday break, followed by snow day cancellations... here comes a polar vortex!

No playing in the snow for this one, with 50mph winds and freezing temperatures! I feel LUCKY that the high here in New York tomorrow is 14F. There's talk of -20's and -30's across the country. Of course, if we were in Northern Canada that might be normal. So who are we complaining for one day of chill?

Looks like we'll be holed up for another day of hibernation. My husband's weekly work trip was cancelled, flights are cancelled too, so he is home 4 extra days. That means another week of meals to plan. But, what if the power goes out? Long Island is notorious for long term power outages. What will we eat?

If I had the energy today, I would bake something in advance that could be eaten at room temperature. That would make breakfast and snacks easy for the whole family... no microwaving frozen pancakes or frying eggs...

I suppose the objectives here are:
-Use up refrigerated items in case the power goes out
-Plan ahead for no-cook snacks and meals, just in case
-Eat hot and hearty dishes to keep you warm and cozy
-Entertain yourself in the kitchen, since you can't leave the house

Zucchini bread is a classic... and some hidden vegetables for the toddler!
Whole Wheat Zucchini Raisin Bread

Zucchini Bread

If you've got some overripe Bananas around, you could substitute them in this recipe for
Plantain Walnut Bread

Plantain Bread
These Peanut Butter "Everything" Cookies are a hearty snack

Peanut Butter Cookies
Tonight, as the temperatures drop and we settle in deep (hopefully with some wine), I plan on making Chick'n Piccata. It's my go-to successful dish, easy and fast. I use Tal Ronnen's recipe for Gardein from his Conscious Cook book. (I did find the full recipe written out at Vegetarian Delights of a Yogini blog).

Chick'n Piccata
Hopefully we don't lose our power, otherwise we'll probably be eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches tomorrow! Otherwise, I plan to toss a Butternut Squash Pot Pie in the oven. I only have cream of mushroom soup on hand (instead of potato), and frozen squash instead of fresh, but I think those should suffice. We never refrigerate leftover pot pie, so if the power goes out we won't have to worry about it.

Butternut Squash Pot Pie

My husband always requests Harira Stew when the weather gets cold. I'm not sure what about a North African dish says "deep winter comfort"... I think it's the rich spices that make him feel more at home than your run of the mill vegan chili.

Harira Stew
Worse comes to worst, we can always chuck a couple potatoes wrapped in foil in the fire (yeah - Girl Scout camp style!), and skewer some fake beef to hold over the flames. That is, if we were skilled enough to actually use one of our "working" fireplaces. So far, we've had no luck at keeping a fire going - there really is more to it than throwing on a log and lighting it up. Too bad there are no ex-Boy Scouts here...


In any case, I think I'm ready for the freakin "polar vortex". How will you prepare and what will you eat?


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