Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What do you do with all those veggies?

So a few of you have been asking me how we eat all the veggies, and I'm more then happy to answer those questions and share our new way of eating.

So where do you buy all your veggies?  

We actually buy a big chunk of them from Costco.  They seem to have the best deals on a lot of them.  (A 5 lb. bag of spinach for $3.59 vs. a 10 oz. bag for $2.99 at the local grocery store.  Same goes for celery, cucumber, peppers, carrots, etc)  Yes, I know Costco sells ginormous amounts and how can you possibly eat that much?  Well, remember my last post when I mentioned that I'm really cheap?  I HATE throwing away food.  So that is another reason why we buy a lot in bulk - we're forced to eat it and not just throw it away.  If we don't make it through that entire 5 lb. bag of spinach by the end of the week, (which is actually rare) I will throw it in the freezer to mix in with our green smoothies.

We purchase the rest of our fruits and veggies at local "farmers market" retail store called Sprouts.  I like them because they (claim to) buy local so everything is really fresh and they can keep their prices low because they aren't paying for shipping.

How often do you go grocery shopping?  

My mom taught me to make up a weekly grocery list.  I will sit down once a week and plan out my meals, pull out the recipes I plan on using, look through the weekly ads and figure out the best prices, then make my list accordingly.  We usually go grocery shopping every Saturday (so my husband is home to help battle with the kids).

A lot of people think they have to shop often to keep the produce fresh.  I haven't found this to be the case.  We rarely have a problem with food spoiling before we get to it.  Cilantro is probably the fastest to get squishy and slimy, so I ensure I plan the meals with things that will "go off" first towards the beginning of the week...and save the sturdy veggies for later in the week.

How much do you end up throwing away?

As previously mentioned, I plan it such that we don't end up throwing away too much (unless it's been a busy week and I haven't reached the bottom of the crisping drawers in my fridge).  But like I said, I am cheap and I don't like to throw stuff out, so I try best to make sure we use it all up.

A wise woman I know once said to me, "We (meaning us wives) throw out with a teaspoon what our husbands bring in with a shovel."  And that really resonated with me.  I have been trying to be much more mindful of the hard work my husband puts in and really make sure we eat up every last bit of that hard earned money.

What exactly do you do with your veggies?

I put them in everything!  We make a lot of green smoothies.  I always add more veggies than what the recipe calls for in a lot of stir fry's and Asian dishes, and a lot of Mexican dishes.  We make big salads and just pile everything on.  A wrap packed full of veggies is common for lunch.

I'll eat most things in their raw state, which makes for a really quick meal.  The longest part is dicing them up, but that's most of the prep work right there.  Then, if you want, you steam them and throw in a bit of rice.  Viola!  Instant meal!  Dinner tonight took me maybe 15 minutes to throw together with my two crazy kids running circles around my legs.

I always make sure that each morning I chop of a lot of 'snack' veggies to take along with me throughout the day.  I'll cut up celery, peppers, cucumbers and carrots, toss them in a bag and keep them close at hand.  I'll often throw in a little container of hummus or something just so I don't get too bored with plain old veggies.  My daughter also loves to dip her celery and apples in peanut butter so we'll carry a small container for that as well.

Tomorrow's post I'll dive into meat & cheese substitutions.  See you then!