Every Saturday Trey and I head to the Farmers Market near our home. The Farmers Market is a major component of my weekly shopping. I find taking in all of the fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as freshly made breads and snacks, very inspiring for my week of making meals.
I am not someone who goes to the market and just buys what looks good. If I did that I would come home with WAY too much food. Everything looks good to me at the market! I make a weekly meal plan keeping in mind what’s available at the Farmers Market. My meal plan usually includes 4 specific dinners and basic ideas for lunches and breakfasts. I then shop at Whole Foods, the Farmers Market and Trader Joes to buy all of my food for the week.
Trey comes with me on most Saturdays and it is a great way to inspire him to eat more fruits and vegetables. He loves trying samples at the different stands. Fruits are always a favorite, but he finds vegetables that he likes as well. I like that he has an understanding of food in its “raw” form, before preparation. He also has an understanding that all food is not available all the time. He knows that there is a strawberry season, a grape season etc.
Trey really likes cauliflower and brussels sprouts so we often get those during the “winter”. (Hard to use the term winter seriously when it has been such nice weather in Northern California the last few months). He loves a brussels sprout kale salad that I make with apples and a Dijon Lemon dressing. For the cauliflower he is addicted to Dreena Burton’s Almond-Roasted Cauliflower. This is a great recipe for anyone who thinks they don’t like cauliflower.
After we get home from the market I do some preparation to get all of the fruits and vegetables stored and ready for the week. In particular I make sure to wash and store all of my greens. My method keeps the greens fresh for at least a week, and often 2 weeks.
First I wash the lettuce. In this case I bought romaine hearts. After washing the greens and letting them dry a bit I put them in a large Ziploc bag with a piece of paper towel. This romaine will stay fresh in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks. The lettuce is so fresh from the Farmers Market that I notice it lasts significantly longer than lettuce from the grocery store, even when I pack it away in a similar fashion.
Next I wrap fresh herbs in paper towels. I really enjoy having fresh herbs whenever possible. I tend to buy cilantro, parsley and mint each week. I put mint in my water bottle everyday. Sometimes I also add citrus or cucumber. This helps me drink more water and allows my husband, Harrison, to tease me about my need for “spa water”. Trey also loves spa water…Harrison is somewhat less amused by this fact.
For fresh berries I follow the tip one of the berry farmers passed a long to me a few years ago. She told me to store berries in a flat plastic or glass container lined with paper towel. This definitely seems to keep the berries fresh longer. Whenever they look like they are going to go bad before I eat them I add them to a large Ziploc bag in the freezer. I then use this bag of frozen berries for smoothies throughout the year.
After my prep work I typically make myself a snack with items I bought at the Farmers Market. In this case I took two slices of fresh wheat walnut bread that I purchased and made an open faced sandwich. I spread two slices of bread with almond butter. On top of the almond butter I added sliced fresh apples and sprinkled the apple slices with flaked salt. It was delicious way to wrap up my weekly shopping and preparation.
Anyone have any tricks they use to prepare their fruits and vegetables for the week? I am always looking for ways to streamline my prep.