Food Round Up

When I asked for advice on better eating and how to incorporate more variety, and more fruits and vegetables into my eating world, I had no idea what kind of response it would generate. You all blew my mind!

Kamel’s response to the first few comments hits the nail on the head. He said, “Basically, they’re telling us to grow up.” Which is true. And one day, we may just do that.

Rachelle said: I know you say you get sick of things quickly, but if you build up a few good base recipes it really helps. For example, we love tacos. That can become chicken tacos, fajitas, taco salad or regular tacos. I make a tomato based stew that can have fish or shrimp or chicken added to it. Our backup plan is always roast chicken with a carb and a veggie, which is really fast when you get the precooked kind. Crockpot stew is easy for work days, or you can make a giant pot of soup (like minestrone) on the weekend and freeze it in containers. Chicken tortilla is also good for that. Good luck!

Kimberly said: I’m going to sound a bit . . . lame here, but maybe think about doing a weekly meal plan. It sounds really annoying, I know, but I did it for the past month or so, and it was uh-maze-ing.

We would do the “what do you want to have?” “I dunno, what do you want to have?” “I dunno, what’s in the fridge?” “I dunno, what’s in the freezer?” thing when it came to having dinner and it drove me nuts. Plus, besides the grocery store basics, I’d never know what to have, and I’d always end up having to run to the shop for that one pesky ingredient that I didn’t have whenever we inevitably decided on making food. With a meal plan, you can try new recipes and shop according to what you want to make, as opposed to drawing a total blank at the store as to how things are going to come together.

Of course things change and things come up, so sometimes meals have to be moved around, but I’ve found it to be a really really great starting point. And by doing it weekly, it might not give you enough time to get tired of the food you’re eating.

and Lauren (not me) said: Do you have a wok? I’ve found that has helped me A LOT with vegetable consumption. Plus it’s quick. Most veggies cooked in a little olive oil soy sauce basil salt taste devine. Or even more delish Is a sauce made of balsamic vinegar, honey olive oil and soy sauce. I can eat anything cooked in that. That sauce made it possible for me to eat mustard greens. I recently signed up for an organic vegetable box so it’s kept me on my vegetable cooking toes, and also generally made me feel healthier.

We do not have a Wok! But now I want one! Although… I may need a tutorial in how to actually use one. Unless it’s “Heat, oil, stir” and then I think I’m ok. A lot of you suggested Mark Bittman’s cookbook “How to Cook Everything” and I’m hoping to begin my cook book collection/discovery sometime after the wedding. I think this book in particular should be required reading for Kamel who had issues cooking fresh pasta the other day. Sigh.

Also the Whole Foods app seems to be a big hit in the comments. We haven’t played with this yet, but it’s on our To Do list. This goes hand in hand with our need for more time during the day. Once we get a minute to look through recipes we might like and make a list of ingredients, we’ll be on our way to the grocery store, attempting to make something edible.

Nicki (and Maris who has been bugging me to get one for ages) suggested: CROCK POT! I am seriously so lazy that I start it the night before, when I go to bed, and we eat it for dinner the next night. My staple is frozen chicken boobs, I throw those in there with anything and it turns out delicious.

We had one on our registry from the beginning, but then of course it went out of stock (as SO many things have done!! Driving me crazy!) and I just added another one onto our list yesterday! So let’s hope we get one and I can experiment with lazy warm dinners that don’t involve spaghettios.

A lot of you, including Carrie, suggested Costco for Produce: When I’m not so crazy, and the month before your wedding falls into the crazy, I try to make one new recipe a week. Skinnytaste.com is a staple and I make some of those recipes all the time, per the first comment.

I wanted to throw out going to Costco, or Sams, or BJs, or whatever. David and I get a week’s worth (sometimes more) of produce: apples, stuff for salad, a dinner veggie, and vegs for snacking which we take to work everyday. We also get our proteins there: ground turkey, chicken skewers (frozen), panko tilapia fillets, boneless pork chops, chicken boobs (heh, stole that). It makes for ridiculous freezer tetris, but we have things for when we plan our meals (turkey for Asian sesame meatballs) or when I get home and it’s all, “Craaaaap. Forget to take something out.” So it’s panko tilapia (4 pts each) with oven roasted potatoes. Et voila, fish and chips.

I’m totally checking out Skinnytaste.com because 1) I love the internet and 2) I loooove when I don’t have to think about whether or not something is good for me. I want someone to think about it first and then give it their stamp of approval.

Today I’m asking for some more help, since you all seem to have ROCKED that shit last time. I need suggestions like craftosaurus offered up when she said: I try to find ways to eat veggies that I get excited about because dreading them does me no good. Sometimes that means putting them in something where they get overshadowed (fruit smoothies and pesto are excellent vehicles for spinach…. I honestly hesitate to elaborate, lest I become That Girl Who Talks About Spinach Smoothies Everywhere On The Internet. Really.).

Sometimes it means making them taste different than I thought they could (i.e., take a big batch of kale, torn in pieces, toss it with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, and RICE vinegar: spread on a baking sheet under a broiler until it crisps up – not long = kale chips!)

And sometimes it means adding in something I really, really want to eat. I like salads ok, but if I know my salad has avocado pieces and green olives, I get psyched about it.

Because the truth is, as much as we’re trying (V8 this morning! hooraay!), my pickyness is not making it easy. If fruit is too soft it grosses me out, if vegetables are too limp, I feel the same way. What are your tricks on making things you don’t REALLY want to be eating, edible? Do you have any trick dipping sauces (That aren’t awful for you), some ways of cooking things that make the texture/flavor better? I know you have links and tips up your sleeve. Don’t hold out on me!

41 thoughts on “Food Round Up”

  1. Not to sound creepy, but as Jeff and I were leaving the grocery store yesterday I said, “I can’t believe Lauren and Kamel only go every other week! How do they do that?”

    Really, how do you manage to only go every other week? I find it hard to plan for even a week, so I understand why you’d get bored with what you have by the end of week one!

    What vegetables are you eating now? We eat a lot of frozen peas and corn, as sides for other things. It’s the easiest thing in the world to make, and frozen is both healthier and tastier than canned vegetables. So if you are making tacos make a side of corn. If you are making pasta, include a side of peas. Not exciting, but simple and quick.

    I know on the other post a lot of people recommended meal planning, and I’d second that! If you buy vegetables knowing exactly how you’ll make them, you’re more likely to use them. Otherwise it becomes intimidating. That bunch of kale looked good in your shopping cart, but just looks annoying in the fridge without a plan.

    Also, pretty sure you got down the steps for a wok. I think preparing veggies in a wok, or sauteeing them in a pan is always better than boiling (to avoid limpness).

    Finally: Add cheese or garlic, and you’re probably good to go with most things. Broccoli? Boring. Broccli with melty cheese on top? Yum! Green beans? Boring. Green beans sauteed with olive oil and garlic? Yum!

    1. So, we were doing the 2 week thing, but now we are trying this once a week thing, with smaller amounts of food purchased. It’s going ok… except I bought a bunch of lettuce and haven’t chopped it up yet… that my be gone now.

      The vegetables we eat regularly are: carrots, green beans, squash, salads when we are out. We also eat bananas, apples, nectarines when in season, melon, and berries sometimes.

      When I had more time I would often roast brussel sprouts and beets. I can also do broccoli with cheese… most often in my mac n cheese.

      I just need to be more focused on making it a priority. I could eat roasted vegetables every day if I had the hour to do it. There is a butternut squash on my counter right now waiting to be eaten. Sigh. The time factor is currently killing me, but hopefully in a few weeks I’ll be able to starting using my oven again.

      1. Sorry to horn in on this convo, but we do a salad every night with dinner. It’s just lettuce (we are lazy and get the bags), one tomato that takes a minute to chop up, the shredded carrots you can get in bags, and some celery b/c we take those to work as a snack. Works great and makes sure we get vegs with every meal and it takes 5 minutes tops.

  2. I also have the texture issues you mentioned. However, I’ve learned if veggies are getting limp it means it’s a great time to cut them up into small and stir fry them and if the fruit is getting soft you can put them in a smoothie. I find that learning to cook with the fresh fruit and vegetables in recipes is a first step. Partly so you learn how different foods cook and partly so you learn how to flavor them with different spices. Then you’ll gradually expand to making your own stuff and throwing together amazing recipes. At that point it will just be second nature.

    1. Yes to stir fry and smoothies.

      I feel you on the soft fruit/limp veggies but Cheap Lizzie takes over and finds a way to get her money’s worth.

      Also grilling sturdier fruits (like stone fruits and melon) that is 1-2 days past it’s prime is also great. Just spray the grill with some cooking spray and place them flesh side down. Great with Greek yogurt.

  3. Like you, I don’t like limp vegetables, especially limp green beans or broccoli. The surest way to limp the heck out of your veggies is to boil them, so I avoid that at all costs. But! I discovered that steaming veggies is a great (and really fast) way of cooking them without making them limp. And all you need is an insert for a standard pot (like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Trudeau-Stainless-Steel-Vegetable-Steamer/dp/B00062B0K6), nothing fancy.

    Also, I second the wok idea. And yes, it is really that easy to use. I’ve discovered that if your wok is not non-stick, then you have to keep the heat at a lower setting than you normally would to avoid sticking.

    About cooking pasta… I come from a family/culture where pasta is consumed very rarely, if at all. So, the first few times I tried cooking pasta, it was a disaster. It’s not as obvious as everyone makes it out to be! I’m learning though… I’m sure Kamel will figure it out with practice, too!

    1. Yes! Steaming works great for EVERYTHING. Cauliflower steamed tastes nutty and sweet, not bland and yucky. Steamed patty pan squash are great. A pinch of salt and a little lemon juice perk up a lot of cooked veggies, too, like green beans. Steam sliced carrots and add a tiny bit of maple syrup before serving — this is one of my favs. A trick with steaming is to save the water and freeze it. When you get enough you can use it to cook beans or make stock for soups.

      Another way of making veggies delicious is the good ol’ pan saute. Not the healthiest, so go easy on the oil. But sliced zucchini or summer squash with sauteed onions, and a little bit of dried thyme are good. You can cook them just tender so they’re not mushy, or turn up the heat and brown them crispy on the edges.

      If you like roasted veggies but don’t have an hour for root veggies, asparagus roasts in 10 minutes under the broiler. Drizzle a little olive oil, and sprinkle salt and pepper. Pull them out when they turn even brighter green and are just fork tender. The flower ends will crisp, but the stalk will stay juicy and have just enough chew, unlike canned or steamed asparagus. This is another good candidate for the lemon juice splash.

      1. I just saw you like brussels sprouts, too. These are good steamed as well, just cut them in half so they cook faster. These can be sauteed on the stove top, too. Brown them cut side down. My fav is in bacon fat, but if that’s not your thing, olive oil works. They’re really good with onions too. Good luck!

        1. You are magical!! I’m totally doing that next week. Not with bacon fat because … Where do you even GET bacon fat?? But I’ll def throw in some onions and mushrooms (though Kamel is anti the mushroom).

          And the lemon juice idea? Amazing. I’ve been going with the good ol salt and pepper stand by (sometimes with chili flakes) and now that we have a spice rack I really need to start BRANCHING OUT.

          1. Just keep what’s left over when you cook the bacon 🙂 Strain what’s left over through a paper towel into a jar, and keep it in the fridge. It keeps indefinitely, heats quickly and cooks without burning. I use just a little, and sometimes mix it with another, no-cholesterol veggie oil, but it adds a huge kick to everything.

            Seriously, this is my not-so-healthy way to punch up my greens. I also keep a pound in my freezer to add on the spot. I separate the fresh pound into quarters, cut in half w/scissors, and freeze. Whenever I need some flavor, I cut off just an inch from the frozen hunk with my kitchen scissors, chop it up, and saute it before I add veggies. Just a tiny bit goes a long way.

            Of course, to paraphrase Cookie Monster, “Bacon is a SOMETIMES food.” Hehe!

    2. To give you my family’s pasta background, I was in college before I learned that people eat turkey at Christmas. We’ve had lasagne since I can remember. My sister and I compete for “who can make grandma’s sauce the best” (she wins, but has to concede meatballs to me). She cannot make the actual pasta to save her life.

      Some tips:
      1. salt the water (just a little)
      2. DON’T PUT THE PASTA IN TILL ITS BOILING (sorry if that’s a “no, duh” but I’ve lived with a lot of Irish people recently who don’t get it, and wonder why it comes out weird and mushy)
      3. stir it when you first put it in, and check it about a minute before the box tells you to. Check by taking a piece out and biting into it- when its the texture you want, you’re done (this may take many tries) Eventually, you’ll be able to look at it and decide how close to ready it is.

      Also, if you can get the fresh, refrigerated pasta at the store, its much easier- follow the instructions on the package and you’re fine; its a lot quicker too.

  4. Yes to the CrockPot. I need to get better about loading it up before I leave for work. My best trick with it is shredded chicken (for use in any number of things, but mainly tacos): Stack frozen chicken in it, add some taco seasoning (or whatever seasoning you like), turn it on, and leave it for 8 hours. When you come back it’s MELTY tender chicken, in a sauce of nom (you can thank the frozen-ness for the sauce as it melts). Take a couple of forks to it to shred it, and add it to whatever.

    SO. SIMPLE. I imagine it would work with other meats as well.

    As for that Crockpot … we got ours at Costco for CHEAP. A 6-quart and a little dip one for $35 I think? I’m not sure. But it’s totally do-able.

    And then I can send you recipes out of the Crockpot Cookbook Jon got me for Christmas. =)

  5. You know about my war with Jethro on veggies. One thing I’ve tried to do is make sure every meal has SOME kind of vegetable. Even if it doesn’t seem like they go together, like green beans as a side if he’s having macaroni and cheese…

    And YES to the vegetable steamer. The absolute best one that I use is the insert in a microwavable rice cooker. It’s deep so I can put lots of veggies in there, unlike my stove top one and doesn’t seem to hold them. And this is terrible, but I put on all my vegetables. I love carrots or broccoli and I’ll put a little butter on them and then pour on the lemon juice or TrueLemon when I’m feeling lazy.

    And How to Cook Everything is AMAZING. It gives you loads of options when you’re like, “Jesus, not more chicken….”

    Also? Massive salads can be your best friend. You can sneak veggies in there that you might not like, but with a little nummy dressing they’re awesome. (KALE? I’m looking at you…)

  6. I have to second Carrie’s kale chip recommendation. They are so tasty and give you the same want to eat morrrre craving of a regular chip but completely guilt free!

    My everyday cooking bible is Budget Bytes: http://budgetbytes.blogspot.com. Not all the recipes are healthy but a lot of them are and she gives you a price breakdown and pictures for each step. I have yet to make a recipe of hers that was not yummy.

  7. Consider subscribing to a CSA veggie box once a month (or share one with another couple). It “forces” you to try new things. They usually provide some recipe ideas or you can google or consult Mark Bittman (also my favorite!). Or just browse the farmer’s market and ask them what their favorite way is to prepare certain things.

    If you dislike prepping the veggies, buy them pre-cut, like at Trader Joes or in the freezer section. It might be more expensive, but at least you aren’t wasting them! Or make a point when you get home from shopping to spend 30 minutes cleaning and chopping everything right then.

    Think outside the traditional salad box. Mix and match strawberries/mandarin oranges/pears/mangoes into baby spinach/arugula/spring greens with some feta/goat cheese/fresh mozzarella and walnuts/almond slivers/pecans. Or try an Asian Slaw with shredded cabbage (that you can buy pre-cut), apples, raisins, and a sweetened rice vinegar dressing. Mix roasted vegetables into quinoa or wheatberries or couscous for a cold grain salad. On Sunday, I make a couple fun salads for the week and add them to my lunches or dinners.

    Play with your food! Find a fun new recipe every week that you want to tackle together. Make it a couples fun thing you do!

    1. Speaking of non-traditional salads, I would like to share one of my favorite recipes that I discovered last summer. It’s really simple: tomatoes, peaches, onions, oil, and salt. I know the combination sounds weird but it is DELICIOUS! Works well with juicy nectarines as well. 🙂

    2. Man… we used to go to the farmer’s market every weekend. And then life took over and our farmer’s market loving ways died. We need to rock this again. It also had us eating different things because everything looks so damn pretty! 😉

      1. You’re lucky, I don’t think we even have a farmer’s market in the town i moved to with my fiance, and at my parents’ this summer I discovered that we have a great one- that’s only open on Thursdays, and we all work.

    3. I second the CSA box delivery idea! Esp when you can choose what they send you. And then it kind of forces you to look up recipes and figure out what to do with what you have so you dont waste it 🙂 Thats how I found the Kale Chips idea! I was like “whaaaat is all this green leafy stuff!”..and started googling and viola!

  8. 1 suggestion is to chuck a ton of veggies into your pasta sauce, if you eat pasta at all. With all that sauce on them, you can barely taste them, though they do add some substance that isn’t carb-laden, which is nice. Also, I saute all my veggies in oil and lemon juice. I know oil is kinda fatty, but it’s a good fat, so I really don’t care. I’m eating a veggie, what more do you want from me. =P

  9. Oh, I have another veggie disguise. Spaghetti squash is really and truly a tasty substitute for pasta (which may be appropriate, considering the dearth of pasta skills in the household you cited earlier ;). And, super easy. Ready? Stab holes in squash with a fork. Microwave for 6-7 minutes. Turn over, microwave 6-7 minutes more. Stick a knife in it. If it slides all the way in, you’re done. Slice it in half (watch the steam), scrape out the seeds, and shred the flesh with a fork. Top with veggie-laden pasta sauce. The only difference is, it doesn’t twirl on your fork. I’m planning to use this one on my future kids ALL THE TIME.

    1. My other favorite pasta sub is…zucchini. I use a vegetable peeler to make ribbons and throw it in the boiling water for the last 30-60 seconds of the pasta cooking time. It has a similar texture and size as most long pastas. I do 50/50 pasta/zucc serving so I get the carb-y pasta-ness I crave without all the, well, carbs.

  10. I have no great tips to share because I too need to “grow up”. Love that Kamel phrased it that way, and yes, so true. We have about 5-7 meals on rotation and almost none of them are healthy, and they are all ridiculously easy. When we talk about dinners with friends, they can’t understand why we don’t make a meat-veg-starch meal every night, but we just *don’t*… at least not right now. But it seems like some faraway goal, that we’ll do one day ‘when we grow up’. Genius

  11. If you are up for buying a cookbook then I suggest looking at either of the Ottolenghi books which have awesome veggie recipes in them with great dressings. We have never been unhappy with anything we have made and also used to live near the shop in London, which was great, if not unbelievably expensive! (http://www.amazon.com/Ottolenghi-Cookbook-Yotam/dp/0091922348/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308363972&sr=8-1) or
    (http://www.amazon.com/Plenty-Vibrant-Recipes-Londons-Ottolenghi/dp/1452101248/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1308363972&sr=8-2)

  12. My secret dipping sauce is homemade mayo, in various forms. Aioli (mayo with garlic) is so good with blanched brocolli. And everything else. To make it, stick a clove of peeled garlic in the blender with about a tsp of mustard, a tbs of vinegar or lemon juice, and an egg yolk, and a little salt and pepper (fry up the egg yolk for a snack/save for breakfast). Blend it up til the garlic is pureed. Slowly trickle in olive oil (others like canola or sunflower, but olive oil is such a healthy oil. For decadence, I hear melted bacon fat is good) as you blend it. It should just be a thin thin stream, or drips. When it’s thick and mayo-y, it’s done. It’s no more than a cup of oil for one egg yolk. If you add too much oil, or too fast, and the yolk and the oil won’t mix up, then add a second yolk, and it will be fine.

    It sounds a little daunting the first time, but it’s so easy and so yummy, and so much healthier than storebought. You can also add herbs, anchovies, etc to it.

  13. Greek yogurt can make anything taste delicious. I use the no fat Fage (giant tub at Costco!) and you can make dips with it and use it as sour cream. An easy dip is crushed garlic, lime juice, fresh chives. Use it in place of sour cream, so you could probably get a ranch dip packet and use the Fage. You can put dill and mustard in Fage for a great sauce for veggies and salmon – it’s the only way I’ll eat salmon.

  14. Oh! Great subject! Maybe I can help?

    1) I pour balsamic vinegar on most salads (my favorite: lentil – tomatoes – greek ewe cheese). Just saying “balsamic” make me drool.

    2) Vegetables in pasta. Zucchini, like said above, but it works very well with all those green vegetables I don’t like so much. With tomato sauce, a little bacon and a fair amount of cheese, you don’t even see the green stuff in there.

    3) My tip for dealing with soft fruits: compotes. Just cut it in small pieces and cook it with some water (you can also add some sugar and cinnamon if your into that). Feel free to mix and match. If you’ve got too much, you can freeze it too.

    But I think the most important step, beyond all the tips we could give you, is for you to want to do it, to eat them, to try and get healthy meals. In french, we say “tu peux mener le cheval à la rivière, mais tu ne peux pas le forcer à boire” (you can drag the horse to the river, but you can’t force it to drink). Since you do want to drink your way through fruits and veggies, I’m sure you’ll get over everything and just do it.

    Have a good day!

  15. My boy didn’t eat ANY vegetables when we first got together, now he eats everything except mushrooms. Basically, I was sneaky – covering things in cheese, hiding them in mash (parsnip mash is especially yum – but maybe that’s uber british?) or in sauces or soups and then before he knew it he’d developed a taste for them! It also helps with the weird texture thing which I have too, especially bananas – I love banana taste but CANNOT just eat a banana. Chopped up and frozen though – YUM and LIKE ICE CREAM!

  16. Ack! I read this the day you posted it and thought “yay, I helped! I’ll have to comment when I have time to deal with my stupid phone or sit at my home computer.” An just NOW, I have time. 🙂

    So yay! I’m glad I helped!

  17. I grate zucchini (courgette? I’m Australian, sorry if some of this doesn’t translate) into everything that’s even remotely soupy/stewy/casserole-y. If I use the fine side of our grater, the zucchini literally dissolves into whatever is cooking after about 30 minutes and you can’t see or taste it. I love vegies and would normally eat nothing but vegies but am pregnant at the moment and the thought of eating vegies makes me want to hurl. Hence the hiding zucchini trick.

    Prior to this, my favourite vegie hit was a pumpkin soup, except I found a recipe somewhere that makes the ultimate pumpkin soup. I get two butternut pumpkins (squash?), de-skin and de-seed, cut into chunks and throw into a big baking pan (I line it with baking paper because it makes washing up easier and I’m lazy). Then I grab a kilo (uh, two pound?) bag of carrots or two, cut up those suckers (peel or not peel, doesn’t matter much), then throw them into the baking pan with the pumpkin. I sprinkle on some cumin (seeds or ground), but plain also works. Then roast then until soft (medium oven for 45-60mins or longer) – the carrots won’t go as soft as the pumpkin. If it browns/caramelises a little all the better. While that’s happening, cut up onion and garlic and saute that in some oil or butter until soft and then put in about two litres (uh….half a gallon?) of chicken or vegetable stock (I use a stock powder or homemade). When the vegies are roasted thrown them into the stock, cook until it starts to simmer. Then I use a stab/wand/hand-held blender to whiz it all up until smooth. Sometimes you need more or less stock depending on how many vegies you put in.

    I ladel this into a bowl and put in a dollop of sour cream and a smaller dollop of pesto. And eat with mounds of crusty bread. Most winters I cook a huge pot of this on a Sunday and then freeze it into small portions and take it to work for lunch with a bread roll.

  18. I will admit that I’m a fruit and veggie fan, so I’m biased here. I’m also vegetarian so I rely on veggies that much more in my meals.

    I can’t emphasize how much a cookbook bible, like Bittman’s HTC Everything, helps with the “I need to feed myself like a grown up” conundrum. My roommates and I used Bittman and one cookbook from the Moosewood restaurant (I recommend “New Classics”) to plan almost every dinner we ate for two years. And by the end of those two years, we’re all people who enjoy cooking, vegetables, and all that jazz. One of my roommates had subsisted on bagels, bananas, and cereal for the first 20-something years of her life until we embarked on this project, and she now has a food blog where she tackles things like homemade whole wheat pizzas and shaved asparagus salads. For *real.* And she’s still weirded out by a lot of food textures, but she’s confident about what she does like.

    I emphasize the cookbook bible because it tackles the problem of dinner from two angles: you can use it to plan meals ahead of time, and you can also use it as a reference book for when you’re staring at your fridge thinking, “wilty spinach, frozen peas… and cous cous?” It’s got your back either way. The first few months of this cooking-by-the-book plan were terrifying, and our shopping trips were so planned out it hurt. But after that (even before the end of the two years, when we parted roommate ways for different jobs) it started to feel natural. By the end of year 2, I think our “cooking like a real person” skills were totally set in stone, and now we all eat well, but it’s not a daily crisis. AND then my favorite part is that once you practice those recipes enough, you start to be able to jump to your own food conclusions. So you don’t need the book to tell you what goes well together, and you have a little more freedom in the supermarket to pick up whatever you want, since you know you will be able to turn it into something.

    Also, for us, 2 books was ideal. If we got really sick of one, we could toggle over to the other for a while, but we didn’t feel overwhelmed by choice.

    Okay this is a super long comment, and I’m sure most of the info is repetitive, but my last trick is to enter the supermarket and go straight to the produce section (which is how most are set up anyway) and spend most of my time/money there. My significant other and I get more fruits than I think we will ever consume. We get a ridiculous number of vegetables, usually pretty different from each other. Our rule of thumb is 5 veggies and 2 kinds of fruit, minimum. We fill easily half the cart this way. I leave the produce section feeling like I will have to sell my firstborn to pay for all the bounty we just selected. I have to drag myself to the checkout, nervously awaiting our monetary fate. And then, the miraculous thing is, it’s never that expensive! I end up putting the same amount of money towards produce that I otherwise would have spent on boxed crackers and prepackaged bread and other things. Which also add up.

    So, arm yourself with a great reference book, and OWN the produce section like nobody’s business.

  19. Late to the party, heyoo. I had something to add that might help with limpy fruits and veg.

    My sister is a Tupperware consultant and tries to pawn stuff onto me. Some things are MEH but there’s one that I am OBSESSED about. They’re called “Fridge Smart” containers and they’re made to keep fruits and veggies fresh, with little vents that you open depending on what’s in there. I especially use them for peppers and broccoli, since both start turning after only a few days at most. In these containers they will stay fresh and crisp for weeks. WEEKS, I TELL YOU. I don’t have the big round one for lettuce but I bet it would work well, too.

    Here is the link: http://bit.ly/m9Uhas (I swear I’m not a saleslady, I’m just oddly entertained by useful plastic containers.)

Leave a Reply