By the time you read this Hurricane Dorian will hopefully be just a memory. In my nearly six years as a South Floridian I’ve seen a few hurricanes, luckily nothing major, but after the last one I was without electricity for a week. Since most of us down here in South Florida have electric stoves, a power outage means no stove either.

If you’re lucky enough to have a gas grill you can cook plenty of goodies on that (and clear the defrosting items out of your freezer). But what about those of us without a grill?

I got awfully tired of eating cold canned soup, and pre-packaged foods. Here are some recipes you can make using canned goods, some include items you may have stored in the fridge that need to be used, but none require a stove or grill, just make certain you have a manual can opener.

Asian Chicken Salad 

A light refreshing meal – use canned chicken breast unless you have some fresh roasted chicken left in the refrigerator.



2 cups shredded lettuce

1 cup shredded red cabbage

2 cans chicken breast meat (or 2 cups cooked chicken breast)

1 can mandarin oranges, drained

1 instant ramen packet, crushed (flavor packet discarded)

¼ cup shredded carrot

1 sliced green onion

¼ cup nuts (sliced almonds, cashews or peanuts)



2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. honey

½ Tbsp. sesame oil

½ Tbsp. hoisin sauce

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

½ tsp. minced ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

½ cup vegetable oil



In a large bowl, toss together lettuce, red cabbage, chicken, mandarin oranges, crushed ramen noodles, carrots, green onions, and nuts.

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. 

Slowly drizzle in vegetable oil, whisking constantly until emulsified.

Before serving, drizzle dressing over salad and toss to combine.

Allow to sit for a few minutes, serves two-four.


Mediterannean Tuna Salad in Pita

This is also delicious on crusty French bread. If you don’t have the tomatoes, the dish is still delicious.



2 cans of tuna

1 can (12 oz.) kalamata olives

½ cup feta cheese

2 small bell peppers

½ red onion, chopped

1 can (15.5 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Zest and juice of one lemon

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp. fresh mint, chopped

1 tsp. sea salt

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

Pita bread 



In a large mixing bowl add tuna, kalamata olives, feta cheese, bell peppers, red onion, chickpeas, zest and juice of one lemon, Dijon mustard, olive oil and sea salt. Toss to mix. Slice the pita in half, open pocket and stuff with tuna salad.


Crab Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

No need to eat boring food during a hurricane, these are quick and easy to make.



For the spicy peanut sauce:

2 Tbs. peanut butter

2 Tbs. rice vinegar

1 Tbs. soy sauce

2 tsp. sugar

½ tsp. red pepper flakes


For the filling:

3 oz. rice noodles (also called bean threads)

1 tsp. sesame oil

Red pepper flakes

1 seedless cucumber

1 medium carrot, peeled

1 red bell pepper

2 to 3 medium radishes

1 scallion, chopped


For the vegetable dressing:

1 Tbsp. rice vinegar

1 tsp. sugar

1 lime, juiced

2 cans crab meat, drained and flaked


To assemble the rolls:

12 rice paper wrappers

cilantro leaves

fresh mint leaves



Make the spicy peanut sauce: Whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce until smooth and creamy (add a little water if too thick) and set aside.

Make the rice noodle filling: If the cellophane noodles are very long, break them into smaller bits. Soak in water for about 20 minutes.

Drain the noodles, put them in a bowl, and toss with the sesame oil and a dash of red pepper flakes.

Make the vegetable filling: Use a vegetable peeler to slice the cucumber, carrot, red pepper and radish into thin strips.

Whisk together the rice vinegar, sugar, and lime juice in a large bowl. 

Add the vegetables, scallion and crab meat, and toss to coat.


To assemble

Soften the rice wrappers: Fill a round cake pan halfway with warm water. 

For each wrapper, immerse it in the water bath until it softens, which takes about 30 seconds. (Watch for it to begin curling, then immediately flip it over and continue flipping until it is just softened 

Use both hands to pull it up out of the water and place it immediately on a plate.

Put filling in the center of the wrapper: place a few sprigs of herbs, then the noodles and the crab mixture.

Roll up the summer rolls: first fold the top and bottom edges of the wrapper over the filling, then fold in the edges towards the center and continue rolling the filled wrapper until it's closed and snug.

Continue this process with each of the wrappers. As you finish each roll, place it on a cookie sheet and cover the rolls with a damp towel.

To serve, slice in half with a sharp knife and serve the peanut sauce on the side.

Serves four as an entrée, six-eight as a side dish.




What kind of party would it be without a cocktail and what could be more apt than the New Orleans classic?



8 oz. light rum

8 oz. dark rum

4 oz. fresh lime juice 

4 oz. orange juice

2 oz. passion fruit juice

2 oz. simple syrup

1 oz. Grenadine



Orange wheels

Maraschino cherries



Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake.

Strain into a large Hurricane glass over fresh ice.

Garnish with an orange half-wheel and a preserved cherry.

Serves four.