Oh hey, your fresh produce is here!
Now, you’re either in one of two categories when you pick up that cute little red From the Farmer delivery bag on your doorstep.
- YES!! So many things and I know exactly what I want to do with them!
- Oh crap. What do I even do with (fill in the blank random vegetable)??
I don’t know about you, but even though I’m usually in the first category, preparing all those delicious veggies and fruits can sometimes fall by the wayside during the week (hello, takeout!) when I come home exhausted from work, the gym, etc. We’ve all made that mistake once or twice…or maybe a couple hundred times (sorry, bad pop culture reference) of leaving that spinach in the fridge for too long so it wilts, or totally neglecting those whole beets in the back of your vegetable drawer because they take too dang long to prepare on the weeknights.
As a health coach, I tell my clients to have prepared healthy snacks (and foods) in plenty, and at eye level in their refrigerators. If you come home starving, do you think you’re going to reach for those whole, uncooked and unpeeled beets? Probably not. But if those beets are already prepared, and you have a recipe on hand to make them with that you know will be quick, easy, and delicious? Count me in.
So now that you have all this fresh produce, what’s the best way to make sure you use it all up in a way that’s delicious, fast, and easy (and to avoid your favorite takeout place on speed dial)? Check out these simple, quick, step-by-step instructions to make your delicious and nutritious meals come together as quickly as possible!
- Before your delivery: Look for the “What’s Fresh This Week” email, that will tell you exactly what’s coming later that week! Anyone else think your delivery is kind of like a grown-up, healthy version of the tooth fairy? Hey, adults like surprises too!
- Now that you know what’s coming,brainstorm some recipe ideas for what you’d like to make with your farm-fresh goodies! Check in your pantry and fridge for sauces, spices or other foods that might taste amazing when paired with your produce to make whole meals, and look at your favorite blogs or pinterest for some recipe inspiration. Then make a short grocery list of anything you don’t have.
- Crunched for time? Heck, we’ve even made it extremely simple for you – check out the recipe ideas specifically chosen for your basket in the “Your fresh produce is here!” email on the morning of your delivery.
- When recipe hunting, just try not to get lost, waist-deep in pinterest recipes (and shoes, and puppies, and home decor…) for hours on end. Not that it’s happened to me or anything…multiple times.
- Next, get really excited because you know your delivery is coming before you wake up!
3. When your delivery arrives: I like to prepare, wash and cut my produce as soon as I can, so it’s all ready for quick and easy meals during the week. Then, there’s much less of a chance that my spinach, beets, or that giant squash that is a total pain to cut up, will go to waste if they’re already ready to be cooked or eaten!
- Figure out a time when you’ll be able to prepare your produce. You don’t have to clean and prep your delivery immediately, but within a day or two is best, especially if you have fresh greens that go fast like spinach.
- If you’re not going to wash and cut things up within a day or two, make sure you read the “Delivery Reminder and Storage Tips” email closely. It’ll explain exactly how to best store your produce so it stays fresher for longer!
You want to know exactly how I prepare my produce in advance? In my box this week, I had these goodies. Here’s how I prepped them!
Red Beets. I like to tackle the hardest-to-prepare items first. Beets can be daunting if you don’t have a plan for them. I like to peel and chop them to be used raw in salads, or to roast them whole while I’m preparing the rest of my produce, so they’re cooked and ready to go when I want to eat them! If you can’t tackle your beets immediately, no worries. They’ll be fine in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for a few weeks. Recipe idea: Roasted Apple Ginger Beet Salad
Baby Spinach. Spinach and other delicate greens need to be eaten within a few days, so the first thing I do is wash them in a colander and dry them on some kitchen towels so they’re ready to go when I want to grab some. Once they’re dry, I store them in a container in the fridge. Recipe idea: Pineapple Avocado Green Smoothie
Hearty Young Greens. Like spinach, you have to eat these quickly. I wash, dry, and store them the same way I do spinach. Recipe idea: Rainbow Chard & Carrot Hash. (You can substitute the chard for any kind of mixed greens.)
Leeks. Leeks can be another tricky one. They must be chopped and thoroughly cleaned between the layers to get all the dirt out before you can use them (unless you want to eat dirt!). I like to roast them with other veggies in the oven, or store them once they’re dry in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for another recipe later in the week, like 30-Minute Creamy Mushroom & Leek Chicken Breasts.
Portobello Mushrooms. Mushrooms can be tricky. You don’t want to wash and dry them until right before you plan on using them, because those guys soak up liquid like sponges. They’re best stored in a brown bag in the fridge, until you’re ready to cook them. Then, pull off the stems, run under water and wipe them with paper towel to get off dirt. Now you’re ready to use them! I like to chop and caramelize them with onions to put in a frittata. Recipe Idea: Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche
Green Bibb Lettuce. Like mushrooms, it’s best to wash this lettuce only as soon as you want to eat it, since it stays freshest all together (as you receive it). Recipe idea: Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps
Creston Apples. After washing and drying, I keep these in my crisper drawer so they’re cold and juicy when I want to eat them, normally as a snack with some peanut or sunflower seed butter! Recipe idea: Bacon-Braised Red Cabbage with Apples
Now let’s get to prepping. Happy eating!