Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Vegetables you can eat

My family pretty much loves eating vegetables, so this time of year, with our CSA kicking into high gear, and the kids out of school, ought to be prime vegetable-eating days for us.   But vegetables have this habit of coming in un-noshable configurations.  We're constantly in danger of being in the situation that K-daughter once described as "the house full of food, but there's nothing to eat."  (What she said actually said was that the house had food that only mom knows how to cook.)

For example, here's a peek at our refrigerator this morning -- full to the brim.  But when my sons peek, what are they going to grab:  head of lettuce, or the jar of leftover scrambled eggs?

Containers and cutting things up make such a huge difference.  N-son grabbed a bagel, some sliced asparagus, and some eggs.  J-son grabbed the jar of eggs and also a jar of raw carrots, and decimated both.  
When I bring home the CSA produce on Tuesday evening, I spend about an hour with my cutting board and my food processor, chopping and container-ing the produce.  We were rich in lettuce this week, so one head got washed, chopped, and stored in meal-sized canning jars (the boys will make a quick and easy lunch salad from those jars).  The other head, I wrapped in a damp towel and stuck in the crisper drawer.  I've come to love the damp-towel technique, which keeps my lettuce/kale/spinach crisp for up to two weeks!

Here are some other recent new-to-me ideas.  Of course, I chopped up the watermelon to make it easy to grab-n-go . . . 

. . . but J-son encouraged me to freeze some of the pieces, which he and his buddies eat like popsicles. They love it!  (And J-son hates all other popsicles, except for frozen bananas).

Slicing the veggies, I've got down.  The new twist I've been working on:  Putting them out on the counter with a bowl of dip means that the vegetables become the go-to snack.  The dip I make at home, which the family goes ape over, is these three ingredients:  mayonnaise, mustard, and a splash of balsamic vinegar.  The vinegar is optional, but adds a nice tang.

And pesto.  I've loved pesto for . . . well, about forever.  But I had a pesto breakthrough (an "e-pesto-phany"?) when I discovered that it's possible to make pesto with things other than basil.  So the tops of the carrots (of which, the bottoms J-son is destroying) are now in a pair of jars labeled "carrot top pesto" (recipe here).  Which is truly yummy.  And likewise, some Persian Cress, which seemed to be too tangy for my family to eat straight, turned into "Persian pesto".  Not to mention garlic scape pesto, which I look forward to every year.  These jars are divided between the fridge and the freezer; I'll have summer garlic-y goodness even when the snow falls all around us again.

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