Friday, February 12, 2010

Save The Produce!

As I mention often, one of the downsides of getting a large box of organic produce every week is that I have to be vigilant about using it up. 

It definitely hurts to throw away that produce I so lovingly packed one, two, or even (gulp) three Mondays or so ago!

DSCF8312 One of my favorite “use it up” method is the often seen here huge pan of roasted veggies.  I love this because it is truly an anything goes dish…anything I have that needs to be used goes in it!DSCF6309 I do try to make sure I use the fragile, tender, more easily spoiled produce such as the lettuce first. 

I have found that I am more apt to eat salad (and make my family eat salad) on a daily basis if I take the time to wash, spin, and tear the head of lettuce so it is ready to go.  I prep it and then stick it in a bag similar to those Debbie Meyer green produce bags.  Then all week it is just a matter of pouring some in a bowl and topping it with fresh cut salad veggies. 

Usually I will make an enormous salad with it…cut veggies and all, and then store that so all I need to do is pour onto a plate or in a big bowl for dinners or lunches….no more cutting necessary.


Isn’t that a gorgeous rainbow of colors?  Tastes pretty good too…I would much rather taste that rainbow any day. 

This was my prepped salad stash for this week….usually topped with some sort of protein…feta cheese, tempeh, seitan.

Stirring Up Dinner

Well this week I found myself, once again, with an abundance of veggies that were on their last legs or just needed to be used up…and to be honest I was kind of sick of the roasted veggies.  I wanted something different that  used a bunch of veggies….and wasn’t soup!

Stir fry to the rescue!

First I had some tofu in the fridge so I set that to pressing.   No…I don’t store textbooks on the stove…underneath all those textbooks is a brick of tofu!  You have to press it for about 30 minutes to get all the liquid out!

Second step was to get the brown rice cooking since that takes so long as well….that is in the pot to the right of the pressing tofu.

DSCF0153While those two were doing their thing largely unattended, I hunted down veggies for the stir fry that I knew were hiding out in the fridge and set to work chopping and dicing.DSCF0154 I added orange carrots, yellow carrots, a large bunch of scallions (from three weeks ago!!!), some broccoli that was seriously on its last legs (and the inspiration for this dish!), fresh garlic, fresh ginger, and mushrooms.

Once the tofu was pressed and drained, I cubed it.DSCF0156

Finally everything was ready to go….I think this is in the pan cooking already but I am not sure!!!!DSCF0158

While the veggies were cooking, I got a pan out and tossed some sesame seeds in there to dry toast.  I saved these to put last into the stir fry.

Have you noticed that all of our pots are stainless steel and our pans are cast iron?  Our cast iron pans are so well seasoned they are all nonstick.DSCF0157Once the veggies were fork tender I began tossing “stuff” on them.  I wish I could tell you it was an exact recipe…but it wasn’t.  I subscribe heavily to the “pour it on until it feels right” method of cooking.DSCF0159

I added a hefty dose of less Na soy sauce and very generously poured some honey in there as well.  When I went for the taste test something still was missing….and I noticed the jar of natural peanut butter on the counter…so I opened that and got out a large spoonful which I stirred into the stir fry…perfect!!!  That did the trick! DSCF0160Final addition was the topping of toasted sesame seeds.  I thought about adding some cashews in there as well, which would have been delicious, but I decided the sesame seeds and tofu were enough.  After all, I am still trying to notch the scale downward!

Dinner was a huge hit…except for FabHubs who tolerated it…but that is to be expected….and the bonus is I successfully saved a whole bunch of veggies from a sad fate in the compost bin. 

Salads, Stir Fries, and Roasted Veggies…do you have any other Go To methods for using up large amounts of veggies?

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