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Mayo Clinic's 3-Day Emergency Meal Plan

The Dairy Queen Feb 9, 2013 05:42 AM

Mayo Clinic has put together a 3-day, 4 person emergency meal plan using shelf-stable ingredients and requiring no power. (The first recipe requires you to cook and refrigerate ahead of time). Not bad eating, during an emergency, I think.

Shopping list:




Don't forget the flashlights, batteries, water, manual can opener, paper plates, plastic utensils, plastic wrap, wax paper... You'll also need a couple of mixing bowls, a knife, and a cutting board.

Most of the items on the shopping list can be stored for an extended period of time, while a couple of items like pita bread and tortillas are perishable.


  1. JoanN Feb 9, 2013 05:59 AM

    I was seriously impressed--until I got to those cans of chicken. I don't think I've ever had chicken from a can. Not even on camping trips.

    Really, though. For nothing but cupboard ingredients and no power, that could tide you over very well, couldn't it?

    19 Replies
    1. re: JoanN
      The Dairy Queen Feb 9, 2013 07:13 AM

      Yeah, not bad, right? I think the idea of the canned chicken is that you'd get pretty bored after three days of eating only canned fish as your primary protein. Maybe you eat the chicken on day three...in case you don't need to hold out that long...


      1. re: JoanN
        valerie Feb 9, 2013 09:27 AM

        Totally agree on the canned chicken...ew. But really a pretty creative menu overall.

        1. re: JoanN
          MidwesternerTT Feb 9, 2013 02:48 PM

          I haven't used canned chicken in more than 25 years, but remember it being "ok", not awful Reading the recipes, the canned chicken is disguised in enough flavorful sauce that you'd probably only get the texture and nutrition. I vote we each seek out a small can and try it in one of the recipes, just to know what we could be in for. Tally the cost against the household's Research & Development (R&D) budget.

          1. re: MidwesternerTT
            JoanN Feb 9, 2013 03:38 PM

            You first. ;-)

            1. re: JoanN
              kengk Feb 9, 2013 03:56 PM

              My wife makes chicken salad with one of those tiny, tiny cans of canned chicken. Mashes it up with a hard boiled egg and some mustard and mayo.

              It (the salad) is about the vilest looking and smelling stuff I can think of but she seems to like it. The chicken itself doesn't look that bad.

              1. re: kengk
                JoanN Feb 9, 2013 04:33 PM

                De gustibus . . ., eh? I do remember Hormel ham in a can on camping trips. Poke two holes in the can with a church key and throw it on the fire until heated through. I thought it was a real treat when I was about 9 years old.

              2. re: JoanN
                nikkihwood Feb 9, 2013 10:47 PM

                The Mom discovered canned chicken, made into chicken salad, about 25 years ago..It quickly became her luncheon party routine, served on lettuce, with toasts or crackers.

                I make her a chicken salad, using it, every other week
                It tastes a little weird to me. She adores it. [With finely chopped onion, ditto celery, just a little too much mayo and Trader Joes 21 Seasoning Salute.] It's tough to keep Mom happy these days. This works.

                1. re: JoanN
                  MidwesternerTT Feb 11, 2013 12:59 PM

                  CAUTION - shopping list for chicken does not match recipes. I used the shopping list for canned chicken quantities, which I read as two 5 oz to 6 oz cans of chunk light chicken. Planning to make a half recipe of each of the 2 menu items, with both of the kinds of chicken I bought, for side-by-side comparison. Only to get home and read the recipes that call for "2 large cans of chicken" (Reggies Barbecue Chopped Chicken Salad) and " 1 (16 ounce) can chicken" (Charlies Chicken Salad).

                  I may have to do some math to use my 4.5 oz. can (Swanson's Premium Chunch White Chicken) and my 7 oz pouch (Valley Fresh White Chicken Cuts).

                  If this had been an actual emergency, someone in a family of 4 would be going hungry.

                  1. re: MidwesternerTT
                    The Dairy Queen Feb 11, 2013 01:40 PM

                    Very good observation. That's why it's a good idea to test the recipes if you really intend to rely on them!


                    1. re: MidwesternerTT
                      The Dairy Queen Feb 12, 2013 09:34 AM

                      So, how was it? Or are you waiting to buy some more canned chicken so you can proceed with your plan to try both recipes side-by-side?


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                        MidwesternerTT Feb 12, 2013 10:24 AM

                        I'll report back - both recipes are on the list for later this week now. It turns out my "High Hat Tuna" casserole from last night will also be tonight's supper and tomorrow's lunch -- lots more servings than I thought. And I don't think I want to experiment with canned chicken for a Valentines' Day meal.

                        1. re: MidwesternerTT
                          The Dairy Queen Feb 12, 2013 10:58 AM

                          Yeah, I dont' think my valentine would appreciate a room temperature canned chicken dish on Thursday either.


                    2. re: JoanN
                      MidwesternerTT Feb 13, 2013 03:30 PM

                      Recipe and canned chicken report - I tried the Day 2 Dinner, Reggies Chopped Barbecue Chicken Salad on Flatbread for lunch today. Summary - OK to good. For comparing two kinds of chicken side-by-side, I prepared the whole recipe of sauce, beans, corn mixture then divided into two bowls. I put drained canned " Tyson Premium Chunk White Chicken in Water" 12.5 oz in one, and a pouch of "Valley Fresh White Chicken Cuts" 7 oz in the other. By the time the food was stirred. both tasted identical. Sampled straight from the can/pouch, the canned Tyson was larger chunks and more firm.

                      Add a strainer and large mixing bowl to your emergency kitchen equipment list, and I'd prefer to have running water when making/eating these. All canned items needed to be drained - the liquid from the chicken is pungent - and the kidney beans rinsed. The flavorful sauce was drippy on the flatbread. Need to leave it flat and use knife/fork, not make a rollup from it, if you want to keep your hands neat.

                      1. re: MidwesternerTT
                        The Dairy Queen Feb 13, 2013 08:20 PM

                        Terrific report back, thank you!


                    3. re: MidwesternerTT
                      The Dairy Queen Feb 10, 2013 03:54 AM

                      I have half a mind to try them...as you say, might as well know what you're in for.


                      1. re: MidwesternerTT
                        jvanderh Feb 11, 2013 02:00 AM

                        I don't think canned chicken is any grosser than canned tuna. It's not as good as fresh chicken, but it's perfectly fine.

                      2. re: JoanN
                        juliejulez Feb 10, 2013 10:02 AM

                        I suppose you could have some precooked and shredded chicken in your freezer, since freezer contents keep pretty well for a day or so without power.

                        1. re: juliejulez
                          The Dairy Queen Feb 10, 2013 11:18 AM

                          The problem is you don't really know how long you'll be without power and opening your freezer allows the cold air to escape, speeding up spoilage.


                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                            juliejulez Feb 10, 2013 12:47 PM

                            True...I was mostly picturing an outage of 3 days, and in that case it'd probably be ok to open the freezer once.

                      3. MidwesternerTT Feb 9, 2013 06:08 AM

                        Good to have, thanks.

                        1. Berheenia Feb 9, 2013 06:19 AM

                          The list (minus the condiments) is very similar to what the Greater Boston Food Bank offers local food pantries.

                          1. s
                            sr44 Feb 9, 2013 04:02 PM

                            Of course, in storm-prone areas, you can keep the perishable items in the freezer, or prepare to make them as needed.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: sr44
                              The Dairy Queen Feb 10, 2013 03:47 AM



                            2. RetiredChef Feb 10, 2013 09:45 AM

                              Thanks for this. Although I don't live in a hurricane area nor one prone to earthquakes or other natural disasters except an occasional ice storm this is a very useful post.

                              1. ipsedixit Feb 10, 2013 11:56 AM

                                I dunno.

                                I have enough boxes of cereal, canned soup and chewing gum stocked in my pantry as it is that I think I'd probably be good to go for at least a couple of weeks, minimum.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                  JoanN Feb 10, 2013 12:44 PM

                                  Dry cereal and cold canned soup can get pretty old pretty fast. If you could last on that for a couple of weeks you've got a stronger constitution, and greater tolerance for pain, than I.

                                  1. re: JoanN
                                    ipsedixit Feb 10, 2013 07:22 PM

                                    You scoff, but there are many days where I actually crave dry cereal and my precious bottle of Diet Coke.

                                    If I've been traveling for several days, and dining out on rich foods like steak, seafood, duck, etc., there's nothing like unwinding at home with my box of Golean Crunch and a can of Diet Coke. Heaven.

                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                      juliejulez Feb 10, 2013 07:24 PM

                                      Ditto! Only mine is Froot Loops :-/

                                  2. re: ipsedixit
                                    juliejulez Feb 10, 2013 12:49 PM

                                    I'm with you, I don't think I'd ever get tired of peanut butter and honey sandwiches... I'd just have to make sure I had enough bread.

                                    1. re: juliejulez
                                      ipsedixit Feb 10, 2013 07:22 PM

                                      Peanut Butter and Honey? Who really needs bread at that point ... just give me a sturdy spoon.

                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                        nofunlatte Feb 12, 2013 10:35 AM

                                        I want to "Like" this!

                                  3. hill food Feb 11, 2013 02:10 AM

                                    I used to work for a firm that did a LOT of Mayo's design work, they ARE always thinking 20 steps ahead. it is truly a quality operation and the A/E firm I was with had the follow-through to back them up.

                                    1. meatn3 Feb 11, 2013 06:27 AM

                                      Some nice outside the box ideas! A little heavy on peanut butter for me personally but I'm one of the few who don't care for it. The energy bar recipe looks like a great snack for kids between school and sports practice.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: meatn3
                                        The Dairy Queen Feb 11, 2013 06:55 AM

                                        Left to my own devices, it might be peanut butter and crackers for every meal!


                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                          meatn3 Feb 11, 2013 09:06 PM

                                          I purchased some cracker jacks at a highway rest stop vending machine recently and discovered that the nuts were no longer objectionable to me. Might be about time to try peanut butter again. I give my "dislikes" list a try every 3-5 years. I wish I liked it - such a handy protein source to have!

                                          I am able to enjoy peanut butter in an occasional Reeces cup!

                                      2. MidwesternerTT Feb 11, 2013 07:58 AM

                                        If anyone has allergies, they'd really better stock / plan ahead for emergencies. Fortunately, no food allergies in our family. But two friends have kids with allergies - dairy in one family and peanuts in the other. They'd need to make more than a few substitutions in this plan, as would anyone with gluten intolerance.

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