Consumption 101: Follow Through in the Kitchen
It happens with the best of intentions. Bright, leafy greens beckon from market stalls with their verdant announcement that spring has, at last, arrived. There are new onions with their pungent aroma, snap peas nestled together by the basketful, and brilliant radishes in shades of red, purple, and white. Just like that, the vegetable drawer is full. But as days pass, farmers market euphoria gives way to a sense of defeat as the produce languishes away. Dreams of cooking fresh every night didn’t quite happen.
With a bit of planning, those vegetables could indeed show up on your dinner plate on a typical Tuesday. Instead of a bundle of sagging greens left in the drawer, you could have quick meals at the ready. The idea is simple: before the market’s haul goes into the refrigerator, take the time to prep for the week ahead. Greens, such as kale and chard, can be stripped from their stems, rough-chopped or torn into smaller pieces, and stored in a container ready for an omelet, salad, or stir-fry. Radishes, carrots, and beets can be separated from their frilly greens and stored separately. If they are in good shape, all those leaves are edible, too. Parsley leaves can be picked from the stems, the leaves stored in a lidded container where they will keep for a week or more.
While you’re at it, fire up the oven with a few potatoes and a butternut squash or two. Dice beets, radishes, and carrots, and get them roasting as well. On top of the stove, sauté greens with a bit of olive oil and garlic. Prepping a number of items at once is a more efficient use of the energy and fossil fuels it takes to cook them, and, as an added bonus, less time is spent in the kitchen later. Once cooked, these vegetables will store in the refrigerator for a week, and you will have them ready for a quick reheat after a long day at work.
Even still, there will be weeks when a couple of hours in the kitchen is too much, or when you look in the refrigerator to find a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, all needing to be used – soon!
When that’s the case, it’s time for A PLATEFUL OF ALL THE THINGS or CLEANOUT THE FRIDGE POTATO SALAD. Rather than specific recipes, these are formulae for making wishful thinking into dinner.