Emergency Food Storage Update: 6 Lunch Options

"the shiners." Photo by Sterling Communications. From the Flickr Creative Commons.

It is a good evening to be thinking about emergency preparedness.  Today, the Fredericksburg area received several inches of snow.  My children are in heaven!  They love snow and I think it is great too.

Snow does make it hard to get around, however.  While we are not strangers to driving in snow, many people in the Washington area are (although I like to hope the snowstorms of the past several years will eventually make us all proficient snow drivers).  The danger of being on the road in most Washington snowstorms is not the weather but the inexperience of other drivers.  It is definitely the safer option to stay off the freeways, take untraveled back roads and not drive at all unless necessary.

Aside from being mildly stressed about getting my packages to the post office for mailing, I am happy to stay put, enjoy the white and continue work on my emergency food storage plan.

On Tuesday, I gave you 6 dinner options eating solely from canned and prepared foods. Today, I offer 6 lunch options.  Lunch from prepared foods is not new to most of us.  At one point or another, most of us have packed a lunch to school or work.  Most people have eaten a PB&J or tuna sandwich at least once.  This menu includes these classics and adds a few others to give a little variety.

As I sort through the millions of options for emergency food eating from the grocery store, counting all the calories, sodium and nutritional content, it is striking to me how small choices make a huge difference.  For example, changing one soy taco mix for another saved hundreds of milligrams of sodium.  Choosing corn tortillas over flour also cuts sodium dramatically.  No salt canned vegetables are the essential choice to make this menu work.  If you add any salt to the vegetables it is almost impossible to stay within a 1,500 mg/day sodium count.

So, without further ado, what are my 6 lunch menu choices?

Ryvita Whole Grain Rye Crispbread, Rye & Oat Bran, 8.8-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 10) at amazon.com.

1. Tuna “sandwiches” with mayonnaise on rye crispbread crackers with low-sodium V8 juice drink. (~429 calories, 563 mg sodium)

Lundberg Eco-Farmed Brown Rice Cake, Salt Free, 8.5-Ounce Units (Pack of 12) at amazon.com.

2. Peanut butter and honey rice cake sandwiches with a glass of milk (~590 calories, 360 mg sodium)

Eden Organic Garbanzo Beans, No Salt Added, 15-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12) at amazon.com.

3. Salmon and chickpea salad (modifying this recipe from the wonderfully-named “Paupered Chef” blog) with honey whole wheat bread made from a boxed mix.  (I am not sure if I would actually be able to cook bread in a real emergency but a friend has tried it with at least partial success.  I am not thrilled about stockpiling a ton of crackers so I will take the risk that between frozen breads and rolls in the freezer and breads from box mixes we can have at least some real bread in our emergency food diet). (~450 calories, 395 mg sodium)

Frontier Soups Hearty Meals™ California Goldrush White Bean Chili, 15-Ounce Bags (Pack of 4) at amazon.com.

4.     Chili and cornbread. The chili is from a dehydrated mix with no salt added.  The recipe calls for artichoke hearts which unfortunately don’t seem to come in a low-salt option.  The cornbread is from a Marie Callender’s just-add-water mix.  The sodium on this meal is a bit high so I will see if I can still use it by keeping the sodium count of the remainder of the day’s meals low in the final menu plan. (~490 calories, ~755 mg sodium)

Harvest Direct Soy Taco Mix at amazon.com.

5.     Tacos. The filling for these tacos is a soy vegan/vegetarian variety.  My husband is not thrilled about this but since we will only stock 6 packs that we will consume just every once in a while to keep the supply fresh, he thinks this could work.  The taco mix will be served on corn tortillas (kept in the freezer to preserve their shelf life) with canned tomatoes and onions.  (~470 calories, ~510 mg sodium)

Frontier Soups Homemade In Minutes™ Idaho Outpost Potato Leek Soup, 4.0-Ounce Bags (Pack of 4) at amazon.com.

6.     Potato Leek Soup with Vegetables and Bread with Hot Chocolate. A basic no-salt added potato soup mix is enhanced with no salt added canned vegetables.  Hopefully this could be served with some whole wheat bread made from a mix.  (~590 calories, ~445 mg sodium).

When I read the list of lunch choices to my husband, he thought they actually sounded delicious!  Success!  I still have the problem that my children are not going to like some of these choices but I know they will eat canned tuna and salmon.  I am not so sure myself about eating canned chicken.  When I tasted it the last time, I found it absolutely gross.  I don’t mind it heavily salted and seasoned in prepared soups but that doesn’t meet my healthy criterion.  So, the parts of my dinner menu that include canned chicken might ultimately change.

In my next post, I will aim to add 6 breakfasts.  I have a new appreciation for anyone who does menu planning!

What do you think of these lunch choices?  Are there healthy options for lunch you would add?  Please share in the comments.