Prepping Your Veggies for the Week: 3 Ways

If you can get some prep done when you come home with your veggies each week, it can make the rest of the week feel so much easier. This doesn’t have to be done the night you come home from pickup, it could also be when you have time during the week/weekend. I just find that if I don’t do it when I get home, it often doesn’t get done.

It also is one of the number one ways to make sure your veggies get eaten by next pickup!

Your challenge for today: trail mix style salad base. Added romaine, spinach, tatsoi, and radish slices. Grabbed from the fridge last night and had dinner on the table in 15 minutes.

Your challenge for today: trail mix style salad base. Added romaine, spinach, tatsoi, and radish slices. Grabbed from the fridge last night and had dinner on the table in 15 minutes.

Here are 3 things you can do:

  1. Wash it, dry it, roll it, put it in a bag:

    I do this for greens that I am not sure what I will do with that week, greens I want to last a bit longer, or greens I will use as sandwich wraps. Romaine or other lettuces are the prime candidate for this method.

    I chop off the end,

    Wash each leaf, often using a colander,

    Dry it well — many swear by salad spinners. If you don’t want to mess with this, or don’t have the storage space for this (that’s me!) then use a clean towel.

    Place them on a clean towel in a neat line, if you have a lot of leaves, consider two towels, and roll them up! Make sure your towel isn’t soaking wet — you want it to be damp but not get things soggy.

    Put them in a bag and stick them in the fridge.

    Then you just have to unroll the amount you need. Should last at least a week.

  2. TODAY’S CHALLENGE: make a mix of your favorite raw salad greens. It’s like making your favorite trail mix.

    Good greens for raw-eating: tatsoi, mustards (only if you like a spicy, wasabi-like zing), bok choy, any of the lettuces, spinach.

    NOTE: many of these greens are also good for cooking. The leafy lettuce is the only one I would steer you away from cooking. Romaine can be grilled!

    Wash, dry (like above)

    Chop loosely (as big or small as you like your salad greens)

    Consider chopping your radishes or grating a beet if you have those options in your CSA share this week.

    Place in a bag or container.

    Will last 3 - 5 days.

    Take this with you to the office, grab it for dinner. You’ve got an instant salad base right there in that bag!

  3. Prep cooked greens

    Pac choi/bok choy (same thing), tatsoi, mustards, beet greens, kale, spinach, and radish greens are all great cooked.

    Cut bottom, wash, dry, remove stem, and chop for whatever you are going to use. Note that bok choy stems (mainly the bottom portion) should be cut separately from the leaves as they have different cooking times.

    If you want to get really prepped, you can blanch your veggies to get the cooking process started.

    To blanch, bring water to a boil, get an ice bath ready, add greens, cook for a minute, remove from boiling water, and plunge into the prepped ice bath.

    This gives you a great starting point to add garlic, sauce, etc. and have food ready really fast on a busy work night.

  4. Bonus! I know I said 3, but can’t help myself! Exit strategy: Blanching

    Whether it is Wednesday or Sunday that is your day before pickup day, you might find yourself with greens still on hand. Many will last into the next week, but if you are feeling pinched, you can always blanch and freeze your greens (the ones you can cook, anyway — do not do this with lettuce!!) for later.

    Do keep track of what is in your freezer. You’ll forget by winter that kale in the back of the freezer.

What tips and tricks do you all use when preparing for the week? Please share your thoughts here or on our Facebook posse. Or you can email me at genevieve@gardencityharvest.org with ideas.

That’s it for now. Bag up those greens for lunch tomorrow! Get your salad trail mix happening! And I’ll see you tomorrow for lunch greens.