Hurricane Matthew update: for all their drama, hurricanes can be drab affairs when it comes to their culinary consequences.
The dismal checklist usually involves the usual suspects: granola bars, canned chicken or tuna salad, Spam, Vienna sausages, generic crackers and peanut butter.
For the latest updates on Hurricane Matthew check our WeatherPlus blog.
In a storm and aftermath, chances are your pantry supplies will dictate what ends up on your plate – particularly if the aftermath involves a power outage.
So in the spirit of thoughtful preparation as Hurricane Matthew approaches — here are some pantry items that promise to lift your post-storm meals and mood, especially when consumed by candlelight.
My new favorite tuna is packed in a 6.7-ounce jar with olive oil. Tonnino’s Tuna Fillets in Olive Oil packs Costa Rican tuna that’s dolphin-safe, wild caught and hand packed.
These are pricey little jars, retailing at just over $5 each. But each serves two to three – even more, if used in a larger salad.
Find them, among other places, at Publix, Publix GreenWise and The Boys’ market in Delray Beach.
These versatile beans are delicious, even at room temperature. They’re lovely when tossed with olive oil and lemon or vinegar, and a sprinkling of herbs. Fold in some good tuna and thinly sliced onion for a full meal.
Such a salad invites a ton of variations: Add tomatoes, avocado, fresh herbs, even other bean varieties.
Find them at your favorite supermarket.
GOOD OLIVE OIL AND VINEGAR
A drizzle of distinctive olive oil can add instant depth and a luxurious touch to a toss of greens, tuna and/or beans. Add a sprinkling of organic red wine vinegar or aged balsamic for balance and brightness.
I love a good, hearty Spanish olive oil, but in a pinch, a little bottle of Pompeian extra virgin oil fixes the craving for bold.
YUMMY PEANUT BUTTER
Peanut Butter & Co. makes some terrific varieties of peanut butter, from Cinnamon Raisin Swirl (our favorite) to White Chocolate Wonderful. No need for jelly – these are good on their own.
Find them at Publix, Walmart, Winn-Dixie, Target and other local shops.
My new favorite go-to cracker seems custom-made for everything from hummus to pimento cheese. Plus, Blue Diamond’s Pecan Nut-Thins are wheat and gluten-free. They’re made with rice flour and pecans and manage to maintain the lightest, most satisfying crunch.
Find them at Publix and most major markets.
Saffron Road makes delicious, crunchy chickpeas that are flavored by a variety of spices. (I love the falafel-flavored ones.) These are yummy alone, by the handful, or scattered atop salads and soups. Plus, they’re healthier than potato chips.
Find them at Publix.