Author Topic: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!  (Read 18734 times)

BrooklineBiker

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Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« on: March 08, 2014, 06:38:01 PM »
Hi everyone,
I have a question regarding food preparation. As part of the MMM lifestyle I am trying to transition into, I am making my family a garden salad every night along with the occasional fruit salad. I peel some vegetables (e.g., carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes) and wash the remainder (e.g., lettuce, endives, peppers). One salad I made this week took almost an hour. I went to a few websites to look for tips but did not see much of use. One site recommended being sure to peel up and down when doing e.g., carrots. Can anyone recommend a device or approach to speed things up?
Thanks!

destron

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2014, 06:49:38 PM »
I do a few things to speed up the process, but a lot of it is just practice.

Lay out all your vegetables. Wash them at once. Have a large enough cutting board that you are not cramped. Cut off the parts you will throw away at once (e.g. carrot tops). Then have a big bowl where you will put your finished vegetables or fruit. As Dinosaur Jr says, start choppin' (Warning, 90's music video technology ahead: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGy1yEB299I).

You can make 2 days worth of salad in one shot to speed up.

I would also recommend making sure you have a very sharp knife (learn to sharpen it yourself with a whetstone) and watch some videos on proper cutting techniques on youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=how+to+cut+vegetables&oq=&aq=&aqi=&aql=&gs_l=

Weedy Acres

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2014, 07:15:29 PM »
You get faster with more practice, that's a big piece of it.

But go on over to youtube.  There are, indeed, videos that show you how to peel carrots, dice tomatoes, and core pineapples.   Go figure.

CommonCents

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2014, 07:20:37 PM »
And skip peeling the tomatoes

athomeintheworld

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2014, 07:31:10 PM »
Jamie Oliver has some decent food prep videos (and great real food recipes!)

NinetyFour

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2014, 07:37:06 PM »
There's no need to peel carrots.  Just wash them and you're good.

bogart

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2014, 07:43:54 PM »
When I buy a head of lettuce, I take the whole thing apart (separate the leaves) and throw it in a sink full of water -- dunk it around -- and then put it in a salad spinner and spin it.  After taking out whatever I need for that night's salad, I lay the rest flat on a dry linen or cotton kitchen towel (smooth/flat nap, not fuzzy), roll it up, and put it loosely inside a plastic bag (not sealed).  I find it will keep like this for a week or more, and it's all washed and ready to use.  I rinse veggies but don't peel much of anything except whole carrots -- but I don't usually buy those, I tend to get the so-called baby carrots or carrot chips that come packed in a plastic bag (I'm not a saint ...).  I also don't go over the top (quite the opposite) with bringing different ingredients into my salads every night.  I do like to throw some berries or grapes in sometimes, and of course they're easy, and berries will soon be cheap.

ratrationale

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2014, 09:19:21 PM »
- No need to peel tomatoes / cucumbers, you could just wash them
- When peeling carrots / potatoes / etc, do it over the garbage or compost bin directly, it saves a bit of cleaning time
- Might sound stupid, but cut vegetables into bigger pieces
- You can grate some vegetables instead of cutting (i.e. carrots, beets, squash)
- Cut vegetables for a few days in one sitting, it saves on prep and cleaning time

worms

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2014, 03:40:29 AM »
I tend to get the so-called baby carrots...
So-called indeed! A while back I visited a local (organic) carrot-packing plant that produced the majority of the bagged-and-washed organic carrots for a very major supermarket chain and was amazed to find a machine that "made" baby carrots out of bigger ones!

Zaga

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2014, 07:22:31 AM »
Sounds silly, but find out if your town (or you-tube) has any cooking classes.  A basic knife skills class, like a chef takes, is an amazing thing!

I work with a bunch of chefs, and sometimes they will give out knife skill tips for those willing to watch.  There are special ways to cut and/or peel any veggie or fruit you can think of that makes it super fast.  You should see me cut a pepper now!  I remove the core in just a few seconds.

anastrophe

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2014, 08:02:42 AM »
Stop peeling! You are throwing out nutrients. Also, things don't have to look perfect; are you spending time getting your pieces all the same size?

I agree that you probably need to improve your knife skills. And I hate to recommend gadgets, but a salad spinner and mandolin have really improved my life.

BrooklineBiker

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2014, 08:27:55 AM »
Stop peeling! You are throwing out nutrients. Also, things don't have to look perfect; are you spending time getting your pieces all the same size?

Hi everyone,
Thanks for the recommendations. I do want to respond to a number of people's recommendations that I not peel. In my case my peeling tomatoes, etc., is necessary. Many fruits and vegetables are coated in wax. That wax is typically derived from soybeans. I have a massive soybean allergy. Therefore, peeling is key for me.

ratrationale

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2014, 08:37:31 AM »
That really sounds like an annoying allergy. Humm, are you blanching your tomatoes to peel them then?

Zette

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2014, 08:42:54 AM »
Make sure you have a really good, sharp peeler.  It makes a world of difference on how fast it goes.

A ceramic mandolin makes cutting cucumbers, carrots, and zucchini into thin slices very easy and quick. 

An egg slicer can be used to quickly slice strawberries and mushrooms. 

I have a cherry pitter that will do 4 cherries or olives at once.

If you are using the tomatoes in a sauce or soup instead of a salad, you could get a tomato mill or tomato press.  You just put the whole tomato in the top and spin it and it removes all the peel and seeds (not sure if you have to cook it first or not.)

Definitely watch some videos on how to chop an onion.

I've been trying a system called 5 dinners in 1 hour where you do the prep work for 5 meals all at once, and then store everything in the fridge.  Most of the time is definitely spent in chopping fruits and veggies.  Many of the veggies (such as peppers, zucchini, and cucumber) definitely keep fresh for the full 5 days even though they have been cut.  Onions get a little weepy (and smell up the fridge if you store them in ziploc instead of glass) but are still good if you plan to cook them.

athomeintheworld

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2014, 09:50:15 AM »
Have you looked into buying from a farmer's market where you can buy produce that is not coated with anything (or sprayed with pesticides etc)

Miss Growing Green

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2014, 10:59:15 AM »
I personally have a food processor that holds 1.5 cup that I bought at WalMart for $9.95. It's probably not great for large salad toppings, but I never have to hand dice/mince anymore.  It's great for making salsas, dicing onions, mincing garlic, mincing fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro, etc.   wayy faster than hand chopping.

lifejoy

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2014, 11:22:10 AM »
This may not help... But I try to buy fruits and veges that take 0 prep for me, like baby carrots and mandarin oranges and those little cucumbers and berries (yay berries!)

Maybe in general that would help?

cats

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2014, 02:16:25 PM »
Couple of things I do:

-Big prep session on the weekends where I cut up a bunch of vegetables for the week.  If I can't do everything at once, I try to go for the ones that are messiest, as I find the big time savings in a bulk chop session is really on having to only do one round of cleanup

-Like someone else mentioned, use the food processor for slicing or grating whenever possible

-Go for vegetable dishes that require minimal cutting (i.e. pureed vegetable soups).  Honestly if I eat salad on the weeknights it's usually something like greens  and dressing, maybe one kind of chopped up vegetable.  In your case, maybe try to go more for vegetables that aren't likely to be coated in wax so you can skip the peeling...I'm not sure which ones these would be though (sorry!).  Obviously you do need to get a variety of produce, but if something is a LOT of effort to prepare, I don't bother with eating it more than I feel is really "necessary".

I also agree that practice makes perfect.  I always peel my carrots and since I have been peeling them since I was a kid, I can really crank them out, so peeling isn't any more effort for me than giving them a good scrub.  I had a former roommate who never peeled carrots because it was "too much effort", but then when she saw how fast/efficient I was at carrot-peeling, her response was "wow, I can see why it's not such a big deal for you!". 

Annamal

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2014, 03:28:20 PM »
We do a big round of mexican pickled carrots and onions once a month, means you can just grab a handful of both to stuff in a salad.

Also pitted kalamata olives (unless you are watching your sodium), sun dried tomatoes and roasted capsicum in olive oil.

You still need some good fresh base veges like cucumber but there are some premade ingredients that aren't too processed.

anastrophe

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2014, 03:42:16 PM »
Have you looked into buying from a farmer's market where you can buy produce that is not coated with anything (or sprayed with pesticides etc)

+1. The only place I see coated fruits or veg like cucumbers is the big-box grocery store.

homehandymum

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2014, 05:08:24 PM »
Have you looked into buying from a farmer's market where you can buy produce that is not coated with anything (or sprayed with pesticides etc)

+1. The only place I see coated fruits or veg like cucumbers is the big-box grocery store.

+2  And if I had to peel every tomato I ate, I'd only be buying them in cans, where they're already peeled!  :)

impaire

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2014, 06:38:26 PM »
For allergies to wax: could you not just dunk the culprits in hot water for a few seconds to dissolve the wax, then wipe dry (like we do to get rid of wax on apple before candy-coating them)? That probably depends on how severe your allergies are, but if you can manipulate the tomatoes when coated in that was, I would think it may be good enough. More research needed, of course, this is just a suggestion of something to look into.

BrooklineBiker

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2014, 09:01:53 PM »
For allergies to wax: could you not just dunk the culprits in hot water for a few seconds to dissolve the wax, then wipe dry (like we do to get rid of wax on apple before candy-coating them)? That probably depends on how severe your allergies are, but if you can manipulate the tomatoes when coated in that was, I would think it may be good enough. More research needed, of course, this is just a suggestion of something to look into.
Hi Impaire,
That is an interesting suggestion. I would have to be sure of getting all of the wax off to try that - which would make reluctant to do so.

BrooklineBiker

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2014, 09:04:43 PM »
Have you looked into buying from a farmer's market where you can buy produce that is not coated with anything (or sprayed with pesticides etc)

+1. The only place I see coated fruits or veg like cucumbers is the big-box grocery store.
Hi,
Thanks for the thoughts. However, the farmers' markets I run into locally (Boston, MA) are not featuring fresh, local produce right now as they will not be growing it for some months. As for waxed vegetables, both my local Trader Joes and Whole Foods have vegetables covered in wax. The WF in fact even has a sign warning customers of that fact.

BrooklineBiker

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2014, 09:07:11 PM »
You get faster with more practice, that's a big piece of it.

But go on over to youtube.  There are, indeed, videos that show you how to peel carrots, dice tomatoes, and core pineapples.   Go figure.
Thanks very much. I will check YouTube.

BrooklineBiker

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2014, 09:10:28 PM »
I do a few things to speed up the process, but a lot of it is just practice.

Lay out all your vegetables. Wash them at once. Have a large enough cutting board that you are not cramped. Cut off the parts you will throw away at once (e.g. carrot tops). Then have a big bowl where you will put your finished vegetables or fruit. As Dinosaur Jr says, start choppin' (Warning, 90's music video technology ahead: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGy1yEB299I).

You can make 2 days worth of salad in one shot to speed up.

I would also recommend making sure you have a very sharp knife (learn to sharpen it yourself with a whetstone) and watch some videos on proper cutting techniques on youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=how+to+cut+vegetables&oq=&aq=&aqi=&aql=&gs_l=
Hi Destron,
Thanks for the tips. Your approaches very strategic. I should definitely look into getting sharpening our knives.

BrooklineBiker

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2014, 09:11:14 PM »
Jamie Oliver has some decent food prep videos (and great real food recipes!)
Hi,
Thanks for the tip. I will check out Jamie Oliver's videos.

tmac

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2014, 09:21:24 PM »
I just avoid complicated salads, unless the salad is itself the main course.

For our salads to go with dinner, I plop some lettuce (prepped upon purchase then stored in the salad spinner in the fridge) on the plate, top with any beans and/or vegetables left over from other meals, then sprinkle on some vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. I almost always have left-over prepped onions, mushrooms, peppers, olives, onions, and tomatoes (only when in season -- otherwise they taste horrible) available*. 2 minutes, tops.

If it is the main course, as we do about once a week in the warmer months, I do spend more time on it. But it's still faster than most anything else I could make.

* At the end of the week, anything remaining gets used on pizza or burritos -- also veg prep nightmares.

grantmeaname

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2014, 05:31:50 AM »
Can you wash everything when you get home from the grocery store and then not worry about it again until the next time you go shopping?

JPinDC

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2014, 09:05:44 AM »
When I was growing up, my mom used to use a "salad shooter" (http://www.amazon.com/Presto-SaladShooter-Electric-Slicer-Shredder/dp/B00006IV0R). You put the vegetables in the chute and it spits out chopped ones.

TrMama

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #30 on: March 10, 2014, 09:42:21 AM »
In your case, I'd switch to organic for any fruits/vegetables that need to have the wax and peel removed. No wonder it's taking you an hour to prep a salad. I'd also look into getting a CSA for the summer.  You probably need to sign up now.

The thing I do that saves a lot of time is to prep all veggies at once either as soon as I get home from the store or shortly afterwards. I keep peeled and chopped carrots, peppers, celery, cucumbers, rinsed lettuce, etc. in tupperware containers in the fridge. It makes meal prep go way faster, generates fewer dishes and allows my kids to easily graze from the fridge.

Elaine

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #31 on: March 10, 2014, 10:30:54 AM »
I have a couple of tips:

1. Make sure you have a decent knife and that it is very sharp. Get a sharpening stone if you don't already have one.
2. Check out (or purchase) a reputable knife skills book. (I like CIA publications.) You will learn SO. MUCH. It will shock you how much more efficient you become.
3. Be patient. Cooking is something that people get frustrated with very quickly- but it's a skill like anything else. You wouldn't build a deck without learning about your tools, getting some reference materials, etc. And of course you wouldn't expect to build it as quickly as a professional contractor your first time.

It used to take me what seemed like hours to prep. Now I can dice, mince, and chop at almost a professional speed and precision. I attribute it mostly to reading about how exactly to handle knives, and how to prep various vegetables and fruits, and just keeping at it. I'd say I cooked almost every day for about two years before noticing that I was getting faster. After about four years I'm very fast, and I make way less of a mess.

Metta

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #32 on: March 10, 2014, 11:46:01 AM »
Williams-Sonoma has free courses at their stores. I took a basic knife skills course from them and it really helped me cut better and faster. Here is the link to their store events:

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/customer-service/store-events.html

It looks like the knife course is happening again on March 16.

somepissedoffman

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #33 on: March 10, 2014, 03:14:20 PM »
I work with a bunch of chefs, and sometimes they will give out knife skill tips for those willing to watch.  There are special ways to cut and/or peel any veggie or fruit you can think of that makes it super fast.  You should see me cut a pepper now!  I remove the core in just a few seconds.

Yes!  For me, learning proper onion cutting technique was critical.  It's nice to be able to get an onion diced BEFORE the water works start, so as not to handle a knife with impaired vision.  I still suck at cutting most vegetables, but I annihilate onions.  stupid onions...

kiwi

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #34 on: March 10, 2014, 05:09:25 PM »
I'd suggest a salads with just a few ingredients.   For instance, Carrot Slaw -

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/three-ingredient-carrot-slaw/

Or sliced cucumbers (I use a mandolin) with ranch dressing.  Or cucumber sticks with ranch dressing as a dip.  Or sliced tomatoes with a vinegar and oil dressing - either homemade, or prepared. Or simple German style cole slaw:
Half a small cabbage, sliced in mandoline
t salt
1 t sugar
t celery seed
1 T oil
3 T white vinegar

Or - sliced apples!  The "garden salad" style salad is a big pain in the rear in terms of how much prep it is.

You get the idea!   ;-)  Fewer ingredients, less work! 

OldDogNewTrick

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #35 on: March 10, 2014, 07:51:43 PM »
To peel tomatoes put a pot of water on to boil. Dip the tomatoes in the hot water for under a minute. Skin will split and peel off easily. Slice the stem top off and turning the tomato upside down over the sink squeeze the seeds out. Take your fingers and break open the remaining pockets of seeds, squeeze into sink. Return tomato to cutting board and dice or slice as wanted. With practice you can knock out many of these in short order.


NumberCruncher

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #36 on: March 11, 2014, 07:51:48 AM »
This is food for your family, right?

can't they help?


My husband does most of the cooking, but I usually help with the simple prep - peeling, washing, cooking rice, etc. It can really speed up the time to dinner.

amyable

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #37 on: March 11, 2014, 09:03:46 AM »
This is food for your family, right?

can't they help?


My husband does most of the cooking, but I usually help with the simple prep - peeling, washing, cooking rice, etc. It can really speed up the time to dinner.

+1

I do most of the cooking and my husband does most of the chopping.  It makes things so much faster.

fauxjargon

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #38 on: March 11, 2014, 09:47:04 AM »
Make sure you have a good knife!  It doesn't need to be an expensive one, but it should be a proper vegetable-cutting knife (curved, non-serrated edge so you can roll it on your cutting board) and it should be sharp (whether you spend $20 or $200, you need to know how to sharpen knives).

BrooklineBiker

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #39 on: March 11, 2014, 09:51:33 PM »
Hi everyone,
Thank you all for your excellent ideas. I have some skills to pick up and practice and will be starting to watch food prep videos soon.

galliver

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #40 on: March 11, 2014, 10:09:37 PM »
Just had this thought...obviously this isn't the most frugal way to go long-term, but as far as establishing healthy habits before making them more difficult, what if you buy some of your veg pre-prepped and only do half the prep, until you get good at it? Bagged greens, shredded carrots, diced peppers and onions, cabbage or broccoli slaw are usually available. Canned tomatoes are cheaper anyway but I don't know how I'd feel about having them on salad. Cucumbers, to the best of my knowledge, do not come prepped. So basically, take all the shortcuts you need for now to save time, then as you get better at chopping, go back to whole veggies for more of them, starting with most expensive. Like I said, it's not a long-term solution, but it might help get you there. I like to remember a line from Gretchen Rubin's "The Happiness Project": "Everything is cheaper at the grocery store."

I also second doing your prep all at once and tupperware it...maybe not for a week, but for 3 days at least. It streamlines the process significantly.

destron

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #41 on: March 11, 2014, 10:51:54 PM »
Hi Destron,
Thanks for the tips. Your approaches very strategic. I should definitely look into getting sharpening our knives.

http://www.amazon.com/Smiths-TRI-6-Arkansas-TRI-HONE-Sharpening/dp/B00062BIT4/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1394599820&sr=8-15&keywords=knife+sharpener

Here is a decent whetstone set for not too much money. You will also need some sharpening stone oil to go with it (it comes with some it looks like).

1967mama

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #42 on: March 12, 2014, 12:16:49 AM »
My salads for a large family don't take very long because they are mostly lettuce with a few chopped veggies on top for colour. I break up the lettuce by hand, I don't chop it. I think it's faster for me this way.  Just my 2 cents :-)

jnik

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #43 on: March 12, 2014, 10:47:38 AM »
In your case, I'd switch to organic for any fruits/vegetables that need to have the wax and peel removed. No wonder it's taking you an hour to prep a salad. I'd also look into getting a CSA for the summer.  You probably need to sign up now.
The farmer's market should do the job just fine for the summer. Plus the pie people are fantastic. Mmmm, pie.

Have you established that you need to peel and not just scrub the veggies? (Is there a way to do that that doesn't involve anaphylaxis?) I can't think of any alternative sources other than TJ and WF. Maybe the Super 88 at Packard's Corner? (Although their produce is highly variable.) I also wonder if the "organic" bits of Shaws/Star might be okay. Alternative would be to switch to steamed frozen veggies during times that local produce isn't available.

I do agree that a lot of it comes down to practice with a knife. I can make a salad in slightly less than half the time my girlfriend does.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #44 on: March 14, 2014, 10:30:57 PM »
If its for your family, get them to help. I liked peeling carrots as a kid. Potatoes were a game, the goal was one giant peel. Knives were fascinating, I was slow when I started (I can't remember my age, maybe 7) but I got better. My mom would sit me down and do other stuff while I took forever. Doing it was great parenting, every person can benefit from cooking skills. Other tasks included picking vegetables and washing (4-5 years old), taking out the compost, stirring, mashing and anything else to keep me busy.

If its just you and spouse, you might be short of child labour. In your OP you made it sound like you took an hour, I assumed by yourself, which I wouldn't enjoy.

T-Rex

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #45 on: March 14, 2014, 10:55:32 PM »
You don't have to peel carrots or tomatoes. English cucumbers do not need to be peeled, either. I'm not sure why you peel any of those things!

Zaga

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #46 on: March 15, 2014, 07:29:32 AM »
You don't have to peel carrots or tomatoes. English cucumbers do not need to be peeled, either. I'm not sure why you peel any of those things!
She explained that earlier, food allergies.  The wax they use to preserve some veggies is soy based.  Believe me as someone who also has food allergies, there are lots of places that you wouldn't expect an allergen to be that they somehow are.  For example, french fries at a restaurant are often cooked in the same oil as other foods, and I can get an allergic reaction to milk from eating plain fries.

T-Rex

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #47 on: March 15, 2014, 08:05:47 AM »
In that case, I'd probably try different ingredients. (Radishes, beets, peppers, olives, avocados, onions, sprouts, spinach, apples, pears, berries, nuts, cheese, etc...)

livraison

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #48 on: March 15, 2014, 08:53:48 AM »
In the same vein, ditch the lettuce. It takes forever to wash, dry and tear up (and to find the salad spinner, which you then have to hand wash and dry). Replace with cabbage (Savoy or Chinese are more lettuce-like than the standard white or red, but those work well, too) and fresh herbs (parsley usually, but anything leafy). The added advantage is that leftovers stand up reasonably well for at least a day, even if the salad was dressed (unlike lettuce that wilts and gets slimy).

puglogic

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #49 on: March 15, 2014, 09:41:39 AM »
I tend to make salads too that don't require peeling.  I don't have that kind of time.  And I never use tomatoes - too much of a hassle.  If you could narrow your "peelables" down to one or two things you really love, that might help.

One of my favorites:    Mixed lettuces, dried cranberries, toasted walnuts, goat cheese, sometimes mandarin segments or roasted golden beet slices.   

That kind of thing.  See how creative you can get with making a big salad with ingredients that are less work for you.  Have fun with it.

Or make a kale salad. Lots of delicious recipes for that online.  Mine is massaged with a lemony vinaigrette and tossed with toasted bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.  I crave it, and I was never a vegetable eater in my younger years.

Are there any vegetable wash products that will take off the wax?  You might research that.  Easier than peeling.

Good luck, and good for you, trying to find an easier way, so you can spend more time with your family/friends.