Author Topic: vegetable question  (Read 6377 times)

rosaz

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
vegetable question
« on: April 28, 2014, 07:53:58 PM »
Hello, kind of a random question, but I was hoping some people on here might have ideas. Because of time constraints, I can generally only make it to the grocery store once a week (I'm trying to work on that, but for purposes of this question, please take it as a given). I'm also trying to incorporate much more vegetables in my diet. Unfortunately, while the first few days after a grocery trip are full of yummy greens and tomatoes and such, by the end of the week any remainders tend to be unappeling. My question is: what vegetables do you guys eat that are still good (and ideally still nutritious) after 5 or 6 days in the fridge? (I could cook them at the beginning of the week and eat them later, if that helps)

Thanks!

FuckRx

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 793
Re: vegetable question
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2014, 08:08:57 PM »

unless you start accumulating too much bacteria or fungus on the fruits/veggies you don't really run the risk of losing much nutrition. Most of the nutrition such as vitamins won't break down in a fridge unless you start having some unwelcome guests inhabiting the shit out of them. even if you were to freeze them you really wouldn't lose much.

lady brett ashley

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: vegetable question
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2014, 08:21:41 PM »
I use a couple of different techniques.  The easiest is hardy veg.  Sweet potatoes and onions, for example, last a really long time (and don't need to be stored in the fridge at all).  Carrots and celery are good for this category too.

Then there's "live storage" - veg that is cut from a stalk can often be kept fresh by putting it's root or stalk in water.  That's things like celery, leeks, chives, asparagus, even kale.  For the stalk ones, just cut the tip off the root to give it a fresh way to drink the water.  put a 1/2 inch of water in a cup and "plant" the veg in there.  Replace the water every day (or the bottom may start to rot).  I've had asparagus last 2 weeks this way, and chives will just keep growing (i just cut some that were 2 feet tall).  This is a bit harder to remember and only works for some veg, but is really effective.

You can also check out various options for the best way to store things.  For example, i've found that rinsing salad greens and storing them wrapped in a slightly damp hand towel (or paper towels) keeps them good for a week or two (versus a day or two in a plastic bag from the store).  That's the only thing i've got off hand, but i found that method by doing a google search for storing veg that came up with a lot more.

The least good, but still viable, option is to buy less-fresh veg.  If you can buy, say, a great "today" tomato, as well as two that are close to ripe but not quite there, and another two that don't look that hot, you may have a tomato for every day of the week if you leave them by your window to ripen.

There is also the option of progressing through the week from awesome fresh salads to more cooked-veg-based meals, because there's a big gap between "i don't want to eat that raw" and "rotten," where you can fry it up to flavor some rice or what-have-you.

Best of luck!

snareman1

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
Re: vegetable question
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2014, 08:23:57 PM »
one item that lasts me a while is trader joes organic kale. It comes in a plastic bag. I use some, then squeeze the air out of that bag and insert it into a ziplock back and squeeze the air out of that as well. It last 6 days in the fridge. I hate using plastic bags, but they do help preserve the life of refrigerated produce.

alibean

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: vegetable question
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2014, 08:31:49 PM »
We use the veggies that go bad first.  So, kale typically gets used first.  In a kale salad it will last 2-3 days- well, usually by then it's gone.  Lettuce lasts a little longer if placed in a damp cloth produce bag.  Cabbage will last all week easily.  Lots of veggies that are good for roasting will last all week.  We also keep frozen spinach in the freezer to put in the smoothie every morning.  It's always my goal to see how many veggies we can eat. 

PindyStache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 241
  • Location: Minneapolis
Re: vegetable question
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2014, 08:32:50 PM »
Brussel sprouts last a long time in the fridge too and can usually be had fairly inexpensively. Broccoli usually stands up for at least a week, any hot peppers... in fact most vegetables should stay good for at least a week in a plastic bag in the crisper. The quality of produce varies a fair amount by store and even different locations of the same chain, so you may want to shop around and learn which places carry fresher produce. In general, what you buy at the store should be firm and colorful.

You aren't putting the tomatoes in the fridge are you??? That would make them go bad quickly. If they are fresh they should last a week.

Also you could just consider cooking the vegetables on the front end of the week then re-heating the prepared dish later in the week.

Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: vegetable question
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2014, 08:33:16 PM »
I get a full week out of most things. Baby spinach, green beans, tomatoes, mushrooms...

Carrots and other roots keep much longer.

Certain fruits like berries, you may be asking for trouble trying to store them past a couple days - mold just LOVES to grow on them.

Obviously this doesn't help your particular situation. I'd just switch to shopping 2x a week, or planning meals with less fresh veggies (or veggies that freeze well) for later in the week.

JPinDC

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 166
  • Age: 35
  • Location: DMV
Re: vegetable question
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2014, 07:20:48 AM »
Hard squashes (acorn, spaghetti, butternut, etc.) hold up well, as does cabbage. I also supplement with some frozen veggies, since those last longer and I cook for one.

OldDogNewTrick

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 135
  • Age: 62
  • Location: Florida
Re: vegetable question
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2014, 08:37:10 AM »
I get a week to 10 days minimum on most veggies. Also going to the grocery once a week helps keep your budget down.... believe me, I was sick last month for a whole week and a half. Hubby went grocery shopping every day for dinner and our grocery total for the month blew up.

I've started storing lettuce/greens in big mason jars. Saw it recommended on Pinterest and it seems to be working.

caseyzee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
Re: vegetable question
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2014, 08:58:20 AM »
I'm a big fan of frozen myself.  Broccoli, Cauliflower, peas, mixes.  You name it, we use it.  I like to stock up when they're on sale and I have the freezer space.  Don't get me wrong - I still buy fresh (peppers, cucumbers, even broccoli and cauli) - but with the frozen always available, I know I don't have to worry about getting enough to last a week.

simonsez

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1150
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Midwest
Re: vegetable question
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2014, 09:23:07 AM »
I'm a big fan of frozen myself.  Broccoli, Cauliflower, peas, mixes.  You name it, we use it.  I like to stock up when they're on sale and I have the freezer space.  Don't get me wrong - I still buy fresh (peppers, cucumbers, even broccoli and cauli) - but with the frozen always available, I know I don't have to worry about getting enough to last a week.
+1

~once a month we buy the big bag of frozen veggies (as well as the 5 lb bag of blueberries for $9.49 and the 6 lb bag of strawberries for $8.99) at Costco, about 5 lb and has 10 or so varieties in it, perfect for stir fry

Costco also sells a chard, spinach, kale mix that I freeze to lengthen its shelf life.

We don't really eat salads that often but do green smoothies instead using mainly frozen ingredients.  One of the grocery stores out here in the DC area, Harris Teeter, sells frozen chopped spinach for $1.09 per pound (much cheaper than the 6 or 10 oz. bags for $2.49) and surprisingly there is minimal water inside (i.e. I don't have to let it melt and then deal with a soggy mess, it breaks off and crumbles just fine).  Trader Joe's and other nearby places sell it as well but there is more water in the packaging, sometimes have to hammer on the bag with something to get it to break off.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 19316
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: vegetable question
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2014, 09:36:08 AM »
If you're planning on cooking them, frozen veggies are a great way to go.  They don't taste right if you try to thaw them out and eat raw though.

Fresh veggies that last a week in the fridge with no problem:
- Carrots
- Radishes
- Onions (don't need to be in the fridge)
- Celery
- Peppers
- Cucumbers
- Broccoli
- Cauliflower
- Tomatoes
- Mushrooms (not a vegetable, but what the hell)
- Baby spinach

I find that many of these veggies last longer if you take them out of the plastic bags in the fridge.  Make sure that the vegetables you buy are firm and not overripe so that they last longer.

Nancy

  • Guest
Re: vegetable question
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2014, 10:01:53 AM »
My Plastic Free Life has a bunch of information on how to keep veggies fresh (while trying to eliminate plastic): http://myplasticfreelife.com/2010/05/how-to-store-produce-without-plastic/

I've found keeping cut up carrots in a glass of water in the fridge to be an excellent way of keeping them fresh and available for snacking.

OldDogNewTrick

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 135
  • Age: 62
  • Location: Florida
Re: vegetable question
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2014, 10:22:10 AM »
My Plastic Free Life has a bunch of information on how to keep veggies fresh (while trying to eliminate plastic): http://myplasticfreelife.com/2010/05/how-to-store-produce-without-plastic/

I've found keeping cut up carrots in a glass of water in the fridge to be an excellent way of keeping them fresh and available for snacking.

Also, when the dill pickle jar is empty, I keep the pickling liquid and fill up with carrot and celery matchsticks.

dodojojo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 801
Re: vegetable question
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2014, 11:42:30 AM »
I use fresh vegetables for salads and cooked dishes where frozen veggies just don't work.  Some veggies are quite forgiving and when they get a little long in the tooth, I move them over to soup recipes.

I'm not really a big salad person.  I eat it on occasion out of genuine interest and on other occasions because it's "good" for me and convenient.  But it's a great way to up the daily produce servings. Still, I can't eat it more than 2/3 times a week. I am a big fan of soups.  I like making hearty one meal soups with protein/veggies/carb mixture.  But I also like to make quick and easy veggies soups that stand in for salads.  That's where frozen veggies are very handy.  You don't have to worry too much about form and texture because it all ends up going through the hand blender.  My standard recipe is stock, a couple of potatoes, 3 lbs of frozen broccoli,  and frozen/dry/fresh basil.  Cook and puree.  Switch out veggies/starch/herb with whatever you have on hand or crave.  I also use butternut squash, leeks and cauliflower a lot too.   I always swing by the frozen vegetable section when I'm at the market and pick whatever is on sale.  I don't have to use it right away and it's there in my freezer when I need a veggie fix. 

I do the same for fruit--using frozen versions to make smoothies/sherberts and they stand in as healthy desserts. 

Tonight I'll make tomato and bell pepper soup but since I like the peppers to be oven roasted first--I use fresh peppers. 

dodojojo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 801
Re: vegetable question
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2014, 11:48:43 AM »
Quote
(I could cook them at the beginning of the week and eat them later, if that helps)

Yep, always good to make a multi-servings recipes, save yourself time.  I find that if I'm lazy and don't make up a few servings of a couple of dishes on the weekends, I'm more likely to eat out for lunch and dinner during the week.  It's easy to moan that I have had a long day and don't feel like making dinner or lunch for the next day.  But if I have a couple of options in the freezer, I'm not tempted to eat out as much.

rosaz

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
Re: vegetable question
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2014, 09:05:38 PM »
Awesome tips! Thanks everyone :)