Friday, November 05, 2010
I used to wonder why the vegetable drawer in my refrigerator was called a "crisper" when what it seemed to do was ensure that my veggies turned into a soupy mess. But fortunately, the freaky slime-vegetable syndrome can be avoided with some proper planning and prep work.I discovered that the key to actually eating my veggies instead of feeling guilty every time I opened my fridge drawer to another slimy glop of former salad is to make them into useful meal-fodder as soon as I buy them. This takes a little bit of time when you get home from the grocery store, but saves time, money, and the disgusting chore of cleaning out the goopy vegetable drawers.
What I do now is plan to go grocery shopping when I'll have about twenty minutes afterward for food prep (no rushing home, throwing everything in the cupboards and fridge and dashing back out again. Then as soon as the vegetables come out of the grocery bags, I wash them and put them on dish towels to dry. After patting them off, I slice or dice them into whatever form I'm actually going to use them in. This means that onions, green peppers, and zucchinis get diced up for use in omelettes, stir-fries, and burritos. Red peppers are in long slices that the kids like to dip in hummus. Carrots get sliced into sticks. Yes yes, I know you can actually buy bagged baby carrots, but I think real carrots taste way better and they last a heck of a lot longer. Plus, the baby carrots only have 70% of the beta carotene of regular carrots. And just for fun every year (and because my kids will eat way more of them) I grow purple carrots in our garden. They're gorgeous!
Snapware Glasslock containers that I just happened to pick up one day at Costco.
You still have to eat the vegetables within a reasonable time frame of course. They will eventually go bad, even in glasslock containers. But because they're already pre-prepped, you're so much likely to just throw them into breakfast, lunch or dinner when you're in a rush. You can easily build a salad, an omelette, or a skillet meal in 5 minutes or less when you have your vegetables under control. Side bonus is you actually eat better and save money by not throwing out expensive produce.
The Ironmom Extra Mile: More than you knew about baby carrots here at Wisebread.com