2

votes

How do I manage my vegetable intake?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 13, 2011 at 8:41 PM

I have an issue that I have identified in my current diet. I am not eating as many vegetables as I should. (none basically). I stopped buying them at the store because they would go bad in my fridge before I had a chance to eat them. Especially mixed greens. I don't like eating plain iceburg lettuce, I much prefer mixed greens, rocket or red lettuce for salads. Also I want to eat things like grilled asparagus, bell peppers. I can plan out my meals and buy only what I need for the week but then I end up skipping meals, or not making what I planned because I am tired. My lettuce goes bad in a few days, so I can't even get away with going to the store once a week. Does anyone have this problem and know a good solution?

D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on September 19, 2011
at 01:32 PM

Thanks for all your suggestions. In the end I'll tell you what I am doing now and how it is working out. 1. I really hate plain salads with no flavor so I looked up meals that are cooked and combined with meat but the main ingredient is some type of veg, or has veg incorporated into it. 2. I went and bought more frozen veges. I found a mix of frozen dark greens (kale, spinach, chard) at whole foods and bought those. 3. I looked up online how to keep lettuce from going bad and did the whole wash, dry, paper towel in bag deal. Kept lettuce for much longer.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on September 14, 2011
at 10:04 PM

+1 for a good question about practical issue in your diet that is tripping you up and robbing you of yummy veggies, while promoting food waste.

D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on September 14, 2011
at 06:20 PM

I honestly can't see any problem with microwaving food at all. I haven't read on why people think it is a problem, but I microwave lots of things.

D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on September 14, 2011
at 06:18 PM

Ok i'll tell you! This is what I ate last 2 weeks Breakfast= turkey bacon Lunch week 1= home made "P.F. Changs" lettuce wraps. I don't count the lettuce leaves here as a real source of veges though. This is basically meat and seasoning Lunch week 2= spaghetti squash with pasta sauce. Pasta sauce is 80% ground beef and 20% tomato Dinner= large piece of chicken or fish fried in a skillet. Or the same thing as I eat for lunch. I am changing my ways though, got veg in my diet now.

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on September 14, 2011
at 04:11 AM

Yes! I love romaine hearts. :) I buy a big bag of 3. I usually keep two in the original package, then wash and rip one up and put that in a separate bag for easy access.

5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on September 14, 2011
at 12:42 AM

Mine is like 70-80% meat...

Cebbca9a78d5612bf3468b273c2010d5

(452)

on September 13, 2011
at 09:15 PM

I do the same thing: romaine hearts. They last up to three weeks for me.

  • D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

    asked by

    (1368)
  • Views
    1.3K
  • Last Activity
    1255D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

12 Answers

best answer

1
51b472fa449ab0e5433f27dcd799fedd

(1091)

on September 14, 2011
at 02:48 AM

  • Do a bit of hunting and figure out which markets offer the most reasonable prices for ???loose??? veggies. For example I have a couple markets here where I can easily buy non-sale loose carrots for the same price per pound as I???d have to buy a large bag at other markets.

  • Avoid mixed greens. I love them too, but it just makes life a lot easier if you never bother buying them because dammit those buggers do rot all the time.

  • Crockpot. Crockpot. Crockpot. Did I mention crockpot?

  • People here are going to hate me for recommending this, but microwaving does a great job of cooking a lot of veggies (of course some better than others). One thing that I do quite often for dinner is:

    1. Pan-sear some meat
    2. Throw my veggies in the microwave till they???re just slightly undercooked
    3. Take the meat out of the pan, and deglaze with some water
    4. Throw my veggies in the pan and cook for long enough to finish cooking and soak up the juices
    5. Enjoy easy veggies!

D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on September 14, 2011
at 06:20 PM

I honestly can't see any problem with microwaving food at all. I haven't read on why people think it is a problem, but I microwave lots of things.

6
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 13, 2011
at 08:52 PM

Yeah, I have this problem too. Did you know you can grow a decent amount of lettuce on a patio though? Plus pickled, frozen or dried vegetables are good backups. Typically I go shopping once a week and have fresh veg for a few days, then I start having to rely on backups. Yesterday my dinner was lamb shanks + pickled carrots + dried dulse (a sea vegetable) + frozen spinach + thai basil from the yard. No shopping required. Another great idea is if you get an easily freezable vegetable, buy more than you need and freeze the rest. Bell peppers and asparagus freeze just fine. You don't need salad greens to have vegetables, you'll be fine if you just have salad the first three days after shopping.

3
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on September 13, 2011
at 08:54 PM

The only thing that comes to mind is turning down the humidity level in the refrigerator. Mine was to high and it was rotting my foods, it helped.

I hate recommending this but perhaps portioning and freezing the excess so you aren't wasting food, loosing money. I guess it's better to have them rather than not.

the other option is just to buy only what you will eat in a day or two and pick up things as you run out.

2
Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on September 14, 2011
at 10:01 PM

I think I am reading your question a bit differently than others. My read is that the fresh salad green type veggies that you are buying are going bad in your fridge not because of some problem with your fridge, but because you buy them and then don't use them (prepare them) within a "pre-rot" timeframe.

One thing that can help with this with salad is to pre-prepare it and keep it in a large rectangular salad container that is of average depth. Part of the key is in the prep. You wash everything and then carefully lay it out on clean towels or papertowels, or even place a dishwashing drainer to dry thoroughly. Then cut up and prepare as you like your salad and put in the plastic salad keeper. The key is in getting all the greens/veggies dry. And also, do not pre -add things that are wet like, black olives or green olives, for instance. Add them quickly when you actually get the salad mix out to eat, at mealtime.

Premade bunches of salad greens like this have been really essential for me.

You can also prep things like fresh asparagus and bell peppers you might plan on cooking in the same manner. Prewash and cut meal sized amounts and store dry in plastic bags or another container of your choice. Get them ready in advance to just throw on the heat.

This makes your fridge a place where you can just grab and go and eat the great stuff you want to eat, but find frustrating to totally prepare when dinnertime comes around after a long day at work, etc.

I also hate to waste food, so working this system feels much better all the way around!

2
D63a9a7789b948a1e88647f6c0e504ca

on September 14, 2011
at 03:04 AM

Well, frozen veggies would be an obvious solution -- not for greens, of course! I do share your frustration over those; nothing is more repulsive than rotting greens, but I still buy them and hope for the best. I do go to the store or, in season, the farmer's market more than once a week, however -- being in a small midwestern city this isn't a hassle for me. Most things seem to last pretty well.

1
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on September 14, 2011
at 02:28 PM

I don't care for salad greens. Spinach & chard have more nutrients and can be pre-cooked and then added to eggs or meat dishes.

My husband (the chef!) buys a bunch at the Farmer's Market, cooks them up and then I am set for the week.

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 13, 2011
at 09:31 PM

I run into the same thing all the time. I order weekly from a CSA so we try to stuff ourselves with the stuff that will go bad first, but there are those weeks when it just doesn't work out, and there is the sad wilted produce fridge purge. Back when I was juicing more, I'd make a tall glass of whatever was left in the fridge the night before the next delivery just to use it up.

I try to stay on top of things, and if I anticipate a stressful week, I blanch all the broccoli, collards, spinach, kale, mustard greens in a big pot of salted water, and then freeze them in serving size portions. If that sounds like too much work though frozen spinach, peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, etc. are supposedly higher in nutrients than the same food that has slowly been degrading in your fridge for a week. I wouldn't stress at all about sticking with frozen veggies if you feel like you waste less food that way.

I seriously love pickled veggies too. Sauerkraut, pickles, and kim chi are the only veggies I eat some days.

Nori sheets are shelf stable and good for wrapping up tasty meat and fish if you want to add some sea veggies. Dried mushrooms and seaweed can be tossed into a soup at the last minute for some veggie goodness too.

We also grow a big pot of parsley and some kale so I can snack on those if I'm feeling deprived of the fresh green stuff.

And lastly, if you want to venture into supplement territory, I have a jar of Vitamineral Green (basically a collection of a ton of different dried veggies in powder form), and I use a couple tablespoons of that in some water whenever I worry that I need more veggies or a quick energy boost. Best of all it can sit on the counter for a year or more and not go bad.

1
Df45ff15a3b093b7f22f0fec5ae1237a

(260)

on September 13, 2011
at 08:54 PM

I wonder what you do eat if not veggies, my diet is like 70-80% vegg. Mind sharing?

5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on September 14, 2011
at 12:42 AM

Mine is like 70-80% meat...

D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on September 14, 2011
at 06:18 PM

Ok i'll tell you! This is what I ate last 2 weeks Breakfast= turkey bacon Lunch week 1= home made "P.F. Changs" lettuce wraps. I don't count the lettuce leaves here as a real source of veges though. This is basically meat and seasoning Lunch week 2= spaghetti squash with pasta sauce. Pasta sauce is 80% ground beef and 20% tomato Dinner= large piece of chicken or fish fried in a skillet. Or the same thing as I eat for lunch. I am changing my ways though, got veg in my diet now.

1
1a0976c846702f549ee4df0d811098be

(972)

on September 13, 2011
at 08:49 PM

I had the same problem, and someone suggested Debbie Meyer Green Bags: http://www.amazon.com/Debbie-Meyer-20317-Green-Bags/dp/B0011TMP3Y

They really do keep veggies longer. Also, we buy frozen veggies sometimes. Not as nutritious/tasty as fresh, maybe, but a hell of a lot better than rotten.

Also, I just plain don't eat salad greens. I don't like them that much, and they always go bad on me. I do asparagus, zucchini, kale, green beans, broccoli. Anything that you cook can last a little longer, since it doesn't matter as much if it is a bit wilted. Cabbage will last freaking FOREVER in your fridge.

0
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on September 14, 2011
at 09:35 PM

I have a veggie garden I get a lot of mileage out of, but other than that I mostly buy frozen green veg. I only make exceptions when I have planned out a full meal in advance and am picking up the ingredients from the store. If I buy fresh veg to 'have them in the fridge', they often go bad before I get around to using them. I can't tolerate waste!

I don't buy a lot of lettuce, I do grow it, so mostly eat fresh-picked salads in the spring/early summer.

0
6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on September 14, 2011
at 04:06 AM

I have the same problem! Especially since my mom has a habit of buying several bags of greens at once, and I'm not a fan of mixed greens. Sometimes people at her church give them to her for free, and I just force myself to eat a lot of salad until they're gone, but sometimes this honestly gets too tedious. I really love broccoli, and would rather eat broccoli over mixed greens.

I haven't really found a solution to keeping greens in the fridge longer other than to either force myself (or the rest of my family) to eat them quicker... or just don't buy so much. I tried freezing them once, but uh... that didn't turn out so well. ;)

Oh, another thing is that I usually buy romaine over other greens, because they last longer, and I like the taste better.

Other than that... I've got nothin', sorry. But uh... good luck. :)

EDIT: Oh! Stir-fries. How could I forget about these? :) They somehow make everything taste yummier... I even make hot-dog stir-fry (grass fed, nitrate free, all natural hot dogs... not totally primal, but I consider them paleo). I put in cabbage, broccoli, celery, and a tiny bit of carrot, and whatever meat of choice... season with some salt, pepper, maybe paprika and cayenne... sometimes curry powder... it's so good. :)

0
8d454fc50d6d58643d6f8b0d1e7ea8ea

on September 13, 2011
at 08:53 PM

I have the same problem with those mixed baby greens. Romaine lettuce keeps a lot longer, is pretty easy to clean (I usually buy the hearts, so they're pretty clean to start with), and I find it more tasty & satisfying than the mini greens anyhow.

Cebbca9a78d5612bf3468b273c2010d5

(452)

on September 13, 2011
at 09:15 PM

I do the same thing: romaine hearts. They last up to three weeks for me.

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on September 14, 2011
at 04:11 AM

Yes! I love romaine hearts. :) I buy a big bag of 3. I usually keep two in the original package, then wash and rip one up and put that in a separate bag for easy access.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!