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14 Recipes You Can Make—Even If You’ve Lost Power

No electricity? No problem! From major storms to local blackouts, the inconvenience of a power outage doesn’t have to leave you feeling, well, powerless. Consider these ideas and recipes to help feed your family when you’re out of electricity and out of ideas.

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Fresh green salad with spinach,arugula,romaine and lettuceShutterstock / Alena Haurylik

Go Green

When it comes to no-cook foods, the obvious choice is salads, fruits and veggies. Not only is a green salad light, healthy and refreshing, but it can easily become an entree using cooked chicken, leftover beef, or canned tuna or salmon.

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Red, white and blue summer saladTaste of Home

Red, White and Blue Summer Salad

Caprese and fresh fruit always remind me of summer. In this salad, I combine traditional Caprese flavors with summer blueberries and peaches. I also add prosciutto for saltiness, creating a balanced, flavor-packed side dish. —Emily Falke, Santa Barbara, California

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Preparing Vegetable Gazpacho Soup with Tomato, Cucumber, Paprika and HerbsGMVozd/Getty Images

Stir Up Gazpacho

The infamous cold soup is actually a snap to prepare using fresh and canned ingredients you likely have on hand. Experiment with herbs and seasoning or add things like sliced olives, beans or diced cheese.

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So-Easy GazpachoTaste of Home

So-Easy Gazpacho

My daughter got this recipe from a college friend and shared it with me. Now I serve it often as an appetizer. It certainly is the talk of any party. —Lorna Sirtoli, Cortland, New York

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Taste of Home

Rely on Beans

It’s easy to turn canned beans into a filling dish, particularly if you have a few varieties on hand. Add some canned corn for extra color and flair. Mix it all up with a few tablespoons of salad dressing for a simple dish.

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Colorful Corn 'n' Bean SaladTaste of Home

Colorful Corn 'n' Bean Salad

This quick recipe couldn’t be easier…the liquid from the corn relish becomes a ready-made dressing! And because there’s no mayo, it’s a perfect salad to bring along on summer outings.—TerryAnn Moore, Vineland, New Jersey

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Taste of Home

Make a Ceviche

Ceviche is a no-cook seafood classic that’s huge on flavor and low on effort. Most marinate in citrus juices, while others use shortcuts to achieve the same taste without the wait time.

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Shrimp Veggie SaladTaste of Home

Shrimp Veggie Salad

My family loves to have potluck barbecues during the summer. With several backyard gardens in the family, you can be sure one of us will bring a variation of this classic salad. Add a dash of your favorite hot sauce if you like to turn up the heat! —Karen Goodnature, Lompoc, California

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Tuna and White Bean Lettuce WrapsTaste of Home

Wrap It Up

Amp up your sandwich game with a wrap. Consider lettuce wraps to use up leafy greens that might go bad in a power shortage.

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Crab Louie Lettuce WrapsTaste of Home

Crab Louie Lettuce Wraps

Party guests can mingle and enjoy these tasty portable lettuce wraps without having to juggle plates and forks. — Michael Watz, Normal, Illinois

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Cubed cheeseImage Source/Getty Images

Create a Charcuterie Board

These gems aren’t just for guests. An assortment of cheeses, crackers and yummy extras always satisfies. Add some sliced bread or baguettes, jam, and dried fruits and nuts and dig in to this change-of-pace meal.

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Fruit and Cheese BoardTaste of Home

Fruit and Cheese Board

Who says cheese and sausage get to have all the fun? Make this a party go-to with any fruits that are in season. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Vibrant colors of a healthy food. Avocados are a great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium.Roberto Machado Noa/Getty Images

Grab an Avocado

Avocados do well without refrigeration for several days, so they can be lifesavers when the power is out. Best of all, they add a little flavor and flair to gloomy days (and they’re healthy too).

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Chipotle Lime Avocado SaladTaste of Home

Chipotle Lime Avocado Salad

I use my music to promote a healthy lifestyle, like eating your veggies. This bright salad is loaded with avocado, cucumbers, tomatoes and a little heat factor. —DJ Cavem, Denver, Colorado

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Taste of Home

Pop Open a Can

Canned meats can save the day when you need to feed your family fast. Keep canned tuna, chicken, salmon and shrimp on hand for emergencies.

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Herbed Tuna and White Bean SaladTaste of Home

Herbed Tuna and White Bean Salad

This is a quick and delicious salad that can be made special for guests—or yourself—by grilling fresh tuna steaks instead of using canned. —Charlene Chambers, Ormond Beach, Florida

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Mature man preparing food on a barbecue grillJack Hollingsworth/Getty Images

Take It Outside

Weather permitting, preparing food on the grill or over a campfire can be a lifesaver when the electricity is out. If you’re worried about food in the fridge going bad, grab several ingredients and put together kabobs.

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Foil-Packet Potatoes and SausageTaste of Home

Foil-Packet Potatoes and Sausage

My family enjoys camping and cooking over a fire. These hearty foil-packet potatoes turn out beautifully over a campfire, on the grill or in the oven at home. We sometimes leave out the sausage and serve the potatoes as a side dish. Either way, it’s so easy, and the spuds can be served right from the foil pouch for easy cleanup. The recipe also tastes amazing when cooked in a Dutch oven. —Julie Koets, Elkhart, Indiana

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Crunchy almond and oatmeal granola in jar with yogurt kiwi granola parfait in glasses on the side, photographed overhead on slate with natural light (Selective Focus, Focus on the top of the granola and the parfaits)Ildiko Aranka Papp / EyeEm/Getty Images

Dress Up Granola

Perfect for snacks, breakfasts and light lunches, granola is filling enough to stave off hunger for several hours. Jazz up a bag of granola or serve it straight out over yogurt, particularly since yogurt can go bad quickly. Or, enjoy a bit of granola with fresh or canned fruit.

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Granola Trail MixTaste of Home

Granola Trail Mix

My family has always enjoyed this crunchy four-ingredient snack. When we go camping, each person includes one additional ingredient like mini marshmallows, corn chips or cookie pieces. The taste is never the same, and we're often surprised by the combinations. —Shelley Riddlespurger, Amarillo, Texas

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Arrange an Antipasto Platter

Loaded with flavor and no-cook flair, antipasto makes a great lunch or light dinner. Serve with a green salad and iced tea or wine for a fun menu.

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Antipasto PlatterTaste of Home

Antipasto Platter

We entertain often, and antipasto is one of our favorite crowd-pleasers. Guests love having their choice of so many delicious nibbles, including pepperoni and cubes of provolone. —Teri Lindquist, Gurnee, Illinois

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dried Fruits, Nut honey, top view, flat layfrom_my_point_of_view/Getty Images

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Enjoy a sweet treat while waiting for the power to be restored. Grab some dried fruit or glazed nuts or whip up the tasty no-bake bites that follow.

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No-Bake Peanut Butter TreatsTaste of Home

No-Bake Peanut Butter Treats

Perfect for road trips, these peanut butter oatmeal balls won’t stick to your hands. Keep them in the refrigerator for portable snacks. —Sonia Rohda, Waverly, Nebraska

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Edamame hummusTaste of Home

Mash Some Hummus

Thick, filling and tasty, hummus is an easy solution when you’re craving a bite but can’t cook. Skip the food processor when the electric is out, and mash the beans with a fork instead. Serve the hummus with crackers or veggies, or use it beef up sandwiches and wraps.

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Hummus & Veggie Wrap-UpTaste of Home

Hummus & Veggie Wrap-Up

I had a sandwich similar to this once when I stopped at a diner while on a long and arduous walk. I enjoyed it so much that I modified it to my own taste and now have it for lunch on a regular basis. Everyone at work wants to know how to make it.—Michael Steffens, Indianapolis, Indiana

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Girl eating peanut butter and jelly sandwichJGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Revisit a Longtime Favorite

When all else fails, turn to the old standby, PB&J. Peanut butter sandwiches still deliver loads of comfort, particularly during trying times. Try your own spin on this all-time classic.

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Peanut Butter, Krispies and Chocolate SandwichTaste of Home

Peanut Butter, Krispies and Chocolate Sandwich

This crispy, chocolaty sandwich is like a Saturday-morning cartoon breakfast without the bowl. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor


Mark Hagen
The former owner of his own catering business, Mark’s been part of the Taste of Home team for the past 20 years. His work has also appeared in Quick Cooking, Light & Tasty and Country Woman magazines as well as in various Pillsbury and Betty Crocker cookbooks. When he’s not spending time in the kitchen with his Westie, Rocco, he’s working in his yard, doing stand-up comedy or devouring a platter of nachos. (Most likely the latter.)

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