Saving unused produce

I get a lot of vegetables from my CSA and there are times when I just don’t use them in time.  Instead of letting them spoil, here is a quick and easy way to save them for future use.  Nothing is worse than having to throw away organic vegetables.  (See below for instructions on fruit) 

Although fresh and raw or lightly steamed is best, this technique will help with freezing.  Blanching vegetables only takes a few minutes in boiling water.  Blanching helps kill the bacteria and stops the enzymes that cause the food to go bad.  By cooking them quickly and immediately freezing them, most of the nutrients are preserved. 

Just prep the vegetables by cutting or trimming them.  You want everything in “ready to cook” mode.  The best thing to do is to blanch the item, then spread them out on a baking dish for freezing.  When frozen, you can transfer them to a parchment lined bag or other container (don’t put food right next to the plastic).  Freezing on a tray first prevents the entire contents from sticking together thus allowing you to take out only what you need when you are ready to reheat them. 

Most vegetables take 2-3 minutes of blanching time only.  It is a quick and easy way to preserve your fresh veggies for future use.  They are great when you have to pull together a quick meal. 

To reheat, simply sautee them or steam them for a few minutes. 

For fruits, there is no need to blanch first.  You can freeze any kind of berry and stone fruits like peaches and plumbs – just remove the pit and cut in fourths or sixths.  Frozen berries are great for smoothies later on.

Weekly Meals

As part of our Lighten Up Weight Loss challenge, my husband and I promised to post what we eat daily.   Most of the people in the challenge are going with the Advanced Plan so that is what we are following so everything listed is approved fare.  Hopefully this will help people get additional meal ideas and to see how easy it is to apply to a busy life.    (F=Fred and K=Kim)

Wednesday Day 1 of the Weight Loss Challenge

Breakfast

F- 3 egg whites

K- Onions/spinach w/ fried eggs (I sauté the veggies and crack the eggs right in the pan with them.  I usually break the yolk but you can leave them sunny side up.

Lunch

F- Chicken over spinach salad with olives

K- Salmon with pesto cauliflower (I put it right in my vitamix and it comes out the consistency of risotto then add pesto sauce and salt)

Dinner

F&K- Grilled chicken with asparagus

Snacks

F-AM -Coconut Flakes, PM- Almonds

K-PM- Celery w/ Almond Butter

Thursday

Breakfast

F & K- Chocolate & Blueberry smoothie made with frozen blueberries, cocoa powder, chocolate NaturePro (available at the office soon or order from http://www.maximizedlivingdrroberto.com/), and coconut milk

Lunch

F & K – bowl of coconut soup and plate of stir fried vegetables w/ tamari

Dinner

F&K Grass fed steak with sautéed zucchini and green salad w/ olive & vinegar

Snacks

F- 2 hard boiled eggs

K- handful of almonds & walnuts

Friday

Breakfast

F&K- Blueberry chocolate smoothie

Lunch

F&K – grass fed steak fajitas w/ avocado – grassfed flank steak (purchased from http://www.whiteoakpastures.com/).  Marinated in apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, spike seasoning overnight.  Cooked on cast iron grill pan.  Sauteed sliced red bell pepper, onion, and celery in butter in a cast iron pan, added spinach at the last minute.

Dinner

F&K- Grilled Chicken Salad – organic chicken put between parchment and pounded to about ½” thickness.  Seasoned with organic seasoning mix, salt, and black pepper.  Grilled on cast iron grill pan.  Salad- red leaf lettuce, black olives, ½ tomato (tomatoes in moderation), cucumber, celery, onion, hearts of palm, slivered almonds with oil & vinegar.

Snacks

F – Almond Power Bar (recipe in boos), Coconut Flakes

K- green tea

Saturday

Breakfast

F&K – Berry smoothie

Lunch

F&K – at a wrestling tournament all day- packed leftover grilled chicken salad and almond power bars

Dinner

You CAN still eat out during your 30 day challenge,  you just have to be very careful what you order- here is what we did…

F- La Parrilla Mexican Restaurant – Monterrey Chicken Salad with no bacon, no cheese, no tortillas, salsa for dressing.  Chicken soup with no rice.  Unsweetened iced tea with stevia

K- Monterrey Chicken Salad, no bacon, no cheese, no tortillas, added extra avocado, salsa for dressing.  Unsweet tea

Snacks

F- handful almonds & cashews

K- almond power bar

Sunday

Breakfast

F- 3 scrambled eggs

K- Scrambled eggs with onions and mushrooms

Lunch

F- spinach/romaine salad w/ cucumbers, zucchini, black olives, oil&vinegar and 2 cups of chicken soup

K- romaine with cucumbers, zucchini, red onion, black olives, broccoli, celery, oil&vinegar and bowl of vegetable soup.

Dinner

F & K- taco salad- grass fed ground beef (from Publix) + taco seasoning recipe from the book with shredded raw cheddar cheese (from Nature’s Corner Market), whole avocado, black olives, cucumbers, salsa for  dressing.

Snacks

F&K- chocolate bark (recipe in the book), almonds

Healthy Strawberry Parfait

I wanted to share one of my favorite treats/desserts.  It’s great because it is 1)healthy 2)quick & easy and 3)I always have the ingredients on hand. 1-2 tablespoons of organic almond, or cashew butter a handful of sliced strawberries (or any berries really) add coconut milk to cover sprinkle with stevia That’s it! Make coconut milk a staple in your pantry- it is so versatile, yummy, and healthy.