Believe it or not, the number one reason people tell us they leave a CSA is not because they don’t like the veggies. It is because they have trouble using all their veggies each week, and it is stressing them out! I can relate. If your fridge is already full of last week’s veggies, the last thing you need is for more to show up. Here are a few things that might help.
- Prep your veggies ahead of time. Sometimes for me, the whole idea of having to wash and prep veggies just makes it too hard to use them in a meal that I’m rushing to get made. This especially seems to be true for leafy vegetables, such as kale and lettuce, that I need to wash and spin. I’m a lot happier to include something in the meal that I can just grab out of the fridge and it is ready to go. For this reason, I try to wash and prep veggies on Sunday afternoon, so they are ready for the week. A bowl (or mason jar) of chopped onions, a bag of washed kale, a bowl of diced peppers, or a bowl of chopped squash all get tossed into something before the week is over, and is unlikely to still be around by the next weekend.
- I also like to plan my weekly menu based on what I have in the fridge. If I know I have squash, tomatoes, kale, onions, peppers, cucumbers, and eggplant, I will sketch out what my meals will be for the week and try to include all of them. When I head to the kitchen with no plan, I tend to grab whatever is easiest, and convenience overrules creativity. Cooking is much easier if I just look up at my calendar and am reminded to make the spiralized squash with a tomato sauce (with sausage, peppers and onions) and a tomato and cucumber salad on the side. When my mind is clear, I can easily plan out meals that use everything I have in the fridge, and it makes my life much less stressful.
- Another way I use up lots of veggies is including them in all the meals I cook, even breakfast. This isn’t too hard. Plenty of mornings we eat eggs, leftover meat, and a side of whatever veggies I can quickly sauté. I also love to fry up sausage or bacon, onions, and a bunch of veggies. Then add eggs and make a huge scramble. It is especially great if I have some nice cheese I can grate on top. This uses tons of veggies each week.
- If all else fails and I still have a fridge full of veggies at the end of the week, I either juice them or make a soup (or broth). This uses up everything I have left, and is a healthy and delicious end to the week.
- Freezing them is the very last option, but sometimes it’s necessary. You can Google all kinds of ways to easily freeze many of your CSA veggies, fruits, and herbs.
If you think about it, we should be eating 7-9 servings of fruits and veggies each day. That is A LOT of veggies and doesn’t leave room for much junk or processed food! The only way to eat that many, is to be mindful about including them in each of your meals. A CSA is a great way to do that because it fills the fridge with potential nutrients for you… now eat it up!
Eat your veggies,