Author Topic: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!  (Read 18735 times)

Gerard

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #50 on: March 18, 2014, 04:30:28 PM »
Semi-echoing some earlier suggestions:
*lettuce less often... limited nutrients, anyway! You can replace it with smaller amounts of fresh herbs, most of which are crazy high in vitamin A.
*fewer ingredients per salad. The "one of everything" salad idea is based on home gardens, where you tend to have a bit of everything ripe at the same time. There are all kinds of amazing salads based on one or two main ingredients (cabbage or carrot slaws, Greek tomato salad, cucumber-yogurt, cooked beet salad with walnut oil, and so on). You also save money this way, by choosing the one thing that's on sale. Bored with carrots? Learn to make a vietnamese hot-sour-salty-sweet dressing.
*prep multiple days' worth at once, especially for single-ingredient stuff where you can just go nuts with the grater or food processor or whatever.
*make sure your knives are both sharp and *honed*. I used to not know the difference. Honing is needed when the blade is still sharp, but the edge has curled over so that it doesn't cut well... you run the blade up and down that big rough stick thing, and it straightens back up. That needs doing much more often than sharpening.
*At this time of year, use some frozen veg that are already prepped, even the ones you have to lightly cook a little first. Green beans with feta and chopped olives and sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil. Or kernel corn, with oil and chili sauce and a handful of chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, mint, or basil).

unix_kung_fu

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #51 on: March 20, 2014, 05:10:08 PM »
Yep, don't ever peel anything. Also, don't throw away the scraps (onions ends, carrot tops, pepper ribs/seeds, etc) but throw it into a gallon freezer bag. When it gets full, make your own vegetable stock: throw scraps into pot with water, bring to boil, simmer for a couple hours, strain with cheesecloth into containers, cool down, then refridgerate.

Veg stock is great for a base in soups, chili, sauteeing vegetables; why waste money on vegetable oil when all oils are more bad for you than good.

Sometimes I will save the vegetable scraps and throw them into the juicer and scrape the pulp out, add with my previously juiced veggie pulp, can make them into veggie flavoured crackers straight from the oven (another snack that cost pennies to make).

grantmeaname

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #52 on: March 21, 2014, 06:14:19 AM »
Yep, don't ever peel anything. Also, don't throw away the scraps (onions ends, carrot tops, pepper ribs/seeds, etc) but throw it into a gallon freezer bag. When it gets full, make your own vegetable stock: throw scraps into pot with water, bring to boil, simmer for a couple hours, strain with cheesecloth into containers, cool down, then refridgerate.

Veg stock is great for a base in soups, chili, sauteeing vegetables; why waste money on vegetable oil when all oils are more bad for you than good.

Sometimes I will save the vegetable scraps and throw them into the juicer and scrape the pulp out, add with my previously juiced veggie pulp, can make them into veggie flavoured crackers straight from the oven (another snack that cost pennies to make).
A good suggestion in general, but a poor suggestion for somebody with an allergy to the wax that everything is coated with.

m8547

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #53 on: March 21, 2014, 08:12:23 PM »
I'm slightly allergic to most fresh fruits and vegetables (not if they are cooked), and I tend to be more allergic to the peels and cores. I'm also allergic to soy, but only soy protein. I don't know if I'm allergic to vegetable wax, but I don't think I am.

I know that citrus often has an antifungal agent in the wax, so I buy organic citrus if I'm going to use the zest or peel. And any other pesticides are most likely to be found on/in the peel, so I would be wary of stock made with a large amount of peel unless you are buying organic or things that you know don't have much pesticide residue.

unix_kung_fu

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #54 on: March 23, 2014, 07:57:04 PM »
A good suggestion in general, but a poor suggestion for somebody with an allergy to the wax that everything is coated with.

Veggie Wash is inexpensive and safely removes wax (dirt, and others as well). I get most of my produce from a CSA which doesn't even have the wax on it to begin with though.

grantmeaname

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #55 on: March 23, 2014, 08:31:48 PM »
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.
OP goes on to say they don't trust washing in general. OP, have you tried one of the specially formulated produce washes?

I don't see the point, personally, but then I'm not allergic.

racherinh

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #56 on: April 07, 2014, 06:10:51 PM »
This used to be me.

1. A good knife - sharp, holds a blade well.
2. Practice. Then practice some more. It took me several months to really get good a chopping an onion efficiently.
3. Mandolins are amazing. We love them for winter salads, too, because we can quickly slice up 4 kohlrabi, some carrots, and an apple. Or if we want to make a large batch of pickled onions. (I hate raw onions, but love them pickled. We make 1-2 gallons of quick pickled red onions at a time - no processing. They are amazing in salads, tuna salad, on sandwiches, and so on).
4. Some types of peelers are much faster and more efficient. My little black n decker one is far better than others I've had to use. Start at the top and peel down - it should slide easily.
5. Broaden your idea of the salad - especially for winter. Indian and italian cookbooks have other types of salads than the classic lettuce salad.
6. Now is definitely CSA sign-up time in Boston. I just signed up for one that should be almost all of our veg (we are 5 going on 6), for only 30  week. Organic, local, delivers to my neighborhood so I walk to get them.
7. Practice. I used to time myself so I could see if I was getting faster.

GuitarStv

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Re: Fruit and Vegetable Prep is too slow! Help!
« Reply #57 on: April 08, 2014, 07:15:50 AM »

3. Mandolins are amazing. We love them for winter salads, too, because we can quickly slice up 4 kohlrabi, some carrots, and an apple. Or if we want to make a large batch of pickled onions. (I hate raw onions, but love them pickled. We make 1-2 gallons of quick pickled red onions at a time - no processing. They are amazing in salads, tuna salad, on sandwiches, and so on).
7. Practice. I used to time myself so I could see if I was getting faster.



Your speed should steadily improve on the mandolin with practice.  It's best not to get salad in them though.