Don’t Let Veggies Go to Waste

veggies - up closeDo you ever get that sinking feeling when you realize that you waited too long before using up fresh vegetables?  You reached in to the crisper only to pull out a dripping, semi decomposing and slightly pungent (not in a good way) bunch of greens, herbs or vegetables. I hate that moment and each time it happens I tell myself that is the last time. I try to comfort myself that at least I have a compost pile that will welcome the new addition.

There’s a better way.

Like just about anything that is good for us, making sure that we won’t let our vegetables go to waste takes some planning and a bit of time. veggies - up close If you have 5 minutes Take everything out of your crisper and place on the countertop. Take a soapy wash cloth and clean out your crisper trays and thoroughly dry. This will ensure that you have a dry and clean environment. It will also allow you to quickly assess what you have available and which ones need to be quickly eaten.

If you have 15 minutes Clean your crispers and thoroughly dry. Instead of placing everything back in right away, take a look and determine which ones need to be placed in a fresher plastic bag, a mesh vegetable bag, or in an open dish. For example, mushrooms love to breathe and taking them out of their plastic tubs and putting them in a nice dish will do wonders at making them last longer and easier for you to grab and use.

If you have 30 minutes Clean your crispers and refresh vegetables bags and containers. Take a look at what you have. Are there any vegetables that would make great snacks for work or during the day? Clean, chop, and put them in a transportable container or bag. Are there any that need to be consumed right away?  Combine them in a bag and place them in eye view for tomorrow’s morning smoothie on your way to school or work. Are there any that would be perfect for dinner tonight? Make note of it and determine to follow through with it. Sometimes it just takes a moment to remember what we have.

If you have 60 minutes Clean your crispers, refresh and re-store. Chop up snacks, set aside for smoothies, but before you determine what you will use for dinner, think longer term. Now is the time to be proactive for the rest of the week and beyond. Get a large pot of water boiling because you are going to blanch a multitude of vegetables. If you have never blanched before, I gave a how-to over on my blog recently. The great benefit to blanching vegetables is that you cut down on dinner prep time in the future because everything is pre-cooked. Set aside portions in a freezer bag for the future. Save portions to add to chicken broth with a little seasoning and cream for soup. In fact, you can even freeze the soup for later. Lastly, keep some blanched vegetables for dinner tonight. All you have to do is reheat or sauté and you are ready to go.

Eat well, my friends. Lyndi


Lyndi Fultz nwafoodie profile pixArkansas Women Blogger member Lyndi Fultz writes about living and eating well from her life in beautiful Northwest Arkansas at nwafoodie. Much of her blogging inspiration comes from this gem of a place, which she refers to as the proverbial land of milk-and-honey. Read more related to cooking, entertaining, gadget suggestions, ingredient explorations, local finds, local restaurant treasures, kitchen tour spotlights, and always with a healthy and simplistic approach.