Friday, 14 January 2022

Sorting Through the Vegetable Drawer

 

Gosh, now that's an exciting blog post title isn't it. 😄😆

But not wanting anything that I already have to go to waste, yesterday I hoicked out the vegetable drawer and went through it all carefully.  Everything in it was bought either before Christmas or just after and some of the dates were waaaaay in the past!!


The first thing I usually do when I buy celery is to wash it and repack it wrapped in kitchen roll inside a green Stayfresh bag.  This really does mean that it stays fresh for a long time.  However I hadn't done it this time, so that was my first job.

 I know in the past when I have mentioned doing this that some readers have said that they wrap theirs tightly in tinfoil, but I've always found that this doesn't work as well for me.  Anyway prepping the celery all in one go means that I can use all the trimmings for soup and what I have left is ready for use ... or a quick grab and go snack.

I chopped up one and a half red onions my remaining two carrots and added the celery trimmings and leaves along with the stalks of the Tenderstem broccoli  then sautéed these in some oil while I checked through everything else.


The bagged leaves were looking very sorry for themselves, but still edible thanks to the kitchen roll trick.


Not bad when I bought them and opened them a day before this date.


I also opened and used the outer leaves of an Iceberg lettuce that I bought just before the New Year.  The cut end was placed on a double piece of kitchen paper and then into a bag, then it and the cut in half celery sticks were put back into the now wiped out and dried vegetable drawer.


Once the harder vegetables had been cooking for a few minutes I added the leaves, a vegetable stock pot that I found lurking in the cupboard ... I must check if there are anymore in there ... and about half a litre of hot water.


Then almost as an afterthought I added a good handful of washed red lentils, I might as well keep the protein police happy. 😉


It cooked away for a bit longer than I meant it too, as I started hopping around blogland reading lots of lovely posts, but then it was whizzed up and I decided to weigh it to see how many portions I would get.


So I reckon three good portions of lovely warming vegetable soup, so that's two more lunches for me and I now also know exactly what I have left in the vegetable drawer and it should keep me going until at least the middle of next week.


So I have left in the drawer - 

1/4 white Cabbage
most of a head of Celery
most of an Iceberg Lettuce
 Red Onions
Brown onions
1/2 Cucumber
full pack of Cherry Tomatoes
3 Peppers
and
the heads of the Tenderstem Broccoli 
(which are actually in a tub on the shelf of the fridge)

Not a bad little stash of fresh stuff, which after a thorough check is still pretty fresh and very usable.  I have just been adding this photo to my photo files and now I should be able to monitor everything nicely ready for showing quite a difference in the food stash on the 1st February.

I should do the same for the fruit drawer next ... but I think it's coffee time first. 😀


Sue xx



16 comments:

  1. Now I buy my fruit & veg from the warehouse, its always fresh and keeps ages. Useful - as I did a huge pre Christmas shop the day before covid hit the family, and we had far fewer to feed over the festive weekend, and lots left. Root veg have kept well in a covered box in the very cold garage. I made a successful cauli&redcabbage dhal on Monday. I'm repeating that today, as an accompaniment to turkey&squash curry, (also made from Xmas leftovers) and a Potato Aloo. So satisfying to use up and not waste. Lots of soups this month! I can't get on with foiled celery either.

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    1. What sort of warehouse is it? My little shed would be ideal for storing excess chilled things as its like a little icebox in there at the moment.

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  2. You must have a magic way with tenderstem broccoli to keep it from going off after so long. Here it gives up the will to live a day after it's sell by date. Tesco last better than Aldi though - their fruit and veg may be cheap, but it doesn't last. That looks a nice soup, did you add any spices to give it a Winter kick?

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    1. Partly the magic of the Smeg I think, it is VERY good at keeping things at the perfect temperature, that and my little tricks and techniques means that most fresh stuff stays perfectly edible for a month or so ... I'm amazed. I used to feel the same about Aldi fruit and veg but believe it or not this Tenderstem broccoli WAS from Aldi !!

      The only addition to the soup was some garlic powder, it's very rich tasting and very green after being in the fridge for a couple of days.

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  3. I did a clean out at the start of the week - stuffed 4 peppers for a couple of meals, combined some onions, peppers and the last of the mushrooms to have as a said dish one evening, and then used the last of the carrots, 1 cup of pumpkin puree found in the freezer and about 1/3 of a bag of frozen squash (along with some red lentils) and made a really lovely and warming soup that has lasted all week. I also used up a bag of salad greens (I sometimes lose the last bit of this but planned things a bit better last week).
    I bought some fresh onions and carrots yesterday and will pick up some more salad greens and tomatoes next week. I have a lot of frozen veg and will even use some tinned veg next week (I plan on making a cottage pie and always add a can or two of tinned veg for this). Really trying not to waste any food these days!

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    1. It's VERY satisfying when nothing goes to waste isn't it.

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  4. You certainly put me to shame here. I'm aware that I do sometimes throw out the trimmings of celery and such like. I used to give them to our daughter for the kids' rabbits but they have gone to rabbit heaven over the last year so the bits get binned (hiding my head in shame 😔) Your soup looks lovely and perfect for these cold days. I have copied your kitchen roll trick with carrots, cabbage and so on and it makes a big difference to the life of the veg. Thanks, Sue, for another useful tip 👍

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    1. I don't like the taste of celery leaves so these days they always go into soup or the soup bag in the freezer. I do miss having the chickens to give all the leftovers too and the compost bin as my last resort ... so I am even more careful these days to use as much as I can of everything before it goes to waste.

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  5. I will have to try your paper towel trick for keeping veggies fresh in the drawer. Those have lasted a long time!

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    1. It really works well. By taking the excess moisture away from the food and then feeding it back slowly it stops things from going mouldy or drying out.

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  6. Your soup looks very good. Clearing out the veg drawer and producing hearty soup for cold winter days is perfect. For me, keeping vegetables fresh is challenging so I tend buy what I need for a particular meal and use them quickly.

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    1. There's something very satisfying about making good use of everything isn't there. As I can't get out much at the moment, things have to be bought in one go when I can.

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  7. My veggies consist of a few parts of cauliflower (I buy the florets as we don't heat a whole one fast enough), some broccoli, a turnip, some carrots, a few radishes, some cherry tomatoes, some yellow onions (you call them brown) and part of a cucumber. Not much but it will all definitely be used up before I go shopping once again.

    God bless.

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    1. To be honest I never know what colour to call my brown onions, some people call them white, but now there are some REALLY white ones available on the market, so for now I'll stick with brown ... or just eat red onions ;-)

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  8. Delicious looking soup! I have never added lettuce to a cooked dish but just might start doing that!

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    1. I had never used lettuce in a soup until my Mum shared a recipe for it with me. The recipes was just to use the outer leaves of the lettuce, some garlic and half an onion and when I discovered how tasty it was I've been adding leaves to soup ever since.

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