It’s All about the PRODUCE !!!

 

You go to the store and purchase salad makings with the best of intentions.

 Like the busy time-saver you are, you pre-chop your lettuce and your veggies so you can toss a healthy meal together on the go. But, a few days later your lettuce and veggies are mushy and gross.

 What to do  when this happens & why ?????

A combination of natural gasses, moisture build up, and the act of chopping your veggies can speed of decomposition.

 But, with a few handy tricks you can make them last long enough to get your money’s worth! 

Cucumbers:

images.jpg

Cucumbers are tasty when they’re crispy. When they turn mushy … not so much. To keep cut cucumbers fresh longer, try this tip:

  Cut your cucumbers into about 1/4-inch slices. Stack the slices in a sealable container. Then, place a folded paper towel on top of your cucumbers and put a lid on your container. Store your cucumbers upside down (so that the paper towel is on the bottom). The towel will soak up extra moisture. 

Peppers:

images

Need to keep your chopped bell peppers fresh a few days more? Try this hack :

 Use a sharp knife to cut your peppers. A dull knife could damage the exterior of the veggie. Remove the stem and seeds. Then cut into slices or chunks.

 Lay your pepper slices on a paper towel and wrap the towel around the peppers. Place the paper towel-covered peppers into a bowl and add about 1/2 inch of cold water. This will keep your peppers fresh for about a week.

Carrots:

images

Do you buy baby carrots just to avoid trying to slice, dice, and store full grown carrots? Try this hack and save a little extra cash at the grocery store. 

Trim off all of the green tops from the carrots. Store the tops in a separate container if you want to use them for soup later on. 

Store your newly trimmed carrots in a bowl of water for several weeks. 

Bonus points: this actually works for baby carrots too. 

Lettuce:

images.jpg

Pros have  tried three different ways to keep lettuce greens fresh in the fridge. 

Method 1: Storing leaves in rolled in a paper towel then placed in a plastic bag.

 Method 2: Storing leaves in a hard, re-sealable, plastic container with a paper towel.

 Method 3: Storing the greens in a plastic produce bag with a puff of air and sealed. 

Surprisingly, all three methods yielded still-fresh veggies after 7 days. 

At 10 days, the clear winner was method 2: Line a plastic storage container with paper towels and line the towel with greens. 

Don’t pack them down. Seal with a lid and store. The hard container protects the leaves from getting bruised and extra space in the container provides enough air flow to keep the greens … green! 

How to make your fresh produce last longer

If you’ve ever spent big bucks on fresh fruits and veggies only to have them go bad a few days later, you’re not alone. Keeping fruits and veggies fresh can be tricky, especially when the weather starts warming up. If you want to save money and keep your food fresh longer, check out a few of these tips for storing your favorite produce.

1. Bananas

images.jpg

Wrap ’em up. Cover the stems in plastic wrap to keep the natural gases emitted by bananas from browning the bananas too quickly. You can wrap the bunch together or break them apart or store them  individually, I have this banana box for my little one and it works wonders!!

2. Potatoes

Store your favorite starch with an apple. The natural ethylene gas in apples helps keep the potatoes from sprouting. 

3. StrawBerries,Amla, Jamun,other berries .

Wash your berries in 1 cup (240 ml) vinegar and 3 cups (700 ml) water before storing them. Make sure you dry them completely to keep mold and bacteria at bay. Store them in airtight containers in the fridge .

4. Tomato

If you want to keep your tomatoes fresh and tasty, keep them out of the refrigerator, according to Cosmopolitan. Store tomatoes on the counter so they ripen properly. If they still have stems, I would suggest  you store them stem side down (or cover the stems with scotch tape). 

5. Celery

images

Ditch the plastic your celery came in and wrap the bunch in tin foil. The foil makes it easier for natural gases to escape. Plastic bags keep the gases trapped in, which wilts your celery faster. 

6. Herbs, Curry leaves , Mint 

8 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again And Again.

Stop tossing your herbs in the refrigerator. Grab a glass, fill it with water and put your fresh herbs on a windowsill. The cold temperatures of the fridge wilt your herbs and suck away flavor. When herbs start to go bad, chop them up, put them in an ice cube tray and cover with olive oil. Freeze until set. They’ll last for months this way! 

7. Mushrooms

images

Store your mushrooms in a brown paper bag. The bag helps keep your mushrooms dry and clean so they don’t get slimy. If they start to dry out, rinse them under water. 

8. Radishes

Chop them and store them in a bowl of water in the refrigerator to keep them fresh and crispy, it stays fresh upto 15 days !

9. Cheese

Rub the cut edges of your cheese with butter. This keeps hard cheese from drying out. 

10. Onions

Store onions in a cool, dry place. Lay them flat so they get good air circulation, so that the outer skins dry and don’t get moldy. 

11. Apples

Store apples in the refrigerator to make them last longer. They last up to three weeks in the fridge. Note: Keep these sweet treats away from other fruits and veggies because they release a ton of natural gas, which causes your other produce (except for potatoes) to ripen faster. 

12. Oranges

Store oranges at room temperature. Try a basket to allow air flow to circulate to keep your fruit juicy.

13. Lemons

Instead of cutting your lemons in half for a bit of juice, poke them with a skewer and use the juice you need. Then just store the lemon in the refrigerator. Cutting your lemon in half will make it dry out faster. 

14. Broccoli

Store your broccoli in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic. Broccoli should last up to five days. 

15. Greens,Coriander leaves.

 

Store your lettuce and spinach in the veggie drawer, wrapped in plastic. Add a paper towel to absorb moisture. If your lettuce starts to wilt a bit early, soak it in ice water to revive the crispness. 

16. Avocado

images.jpg

Keep your avocados on the counter until ripe. This usually takes two or three days, depending on their state when you bought them. When they soften a bit, store them in the fridge to keep them from going bad. Preserve the tasty fruit by squeezing a bit of lemon on the exposed pulp if you need to store it. 

17. Spring onions 

8 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again And Again.

You can significantly increase the shelf life of these onions by storing them in a jar of water on the counter. Snip away as you need (and they’ll keep growing in between!). 

What are some of your tricks for making your food last longer? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

8 Vegetables that you can regrow

There are only so many foods in this world that can be regrown over and over again. Vegetables are one of the best ideas for attempting to keep this sustainable food growing again and again. Each one of these 8 ideas, gives you the instructions you require and tutorials on setting up and regrowing 8 different vegetables.

Spring onions /Scallions 

Scallions You can regrow scallions by leaving an inch attached to the roots and place them in a small glass with a little water in a well-lit room. … 

8 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again And Again.

Garlic

When garlic begins to sprout, you can put them in a glass with a little water and grow garlic sprouts. The sprouts have a mild flavor than garlic and can be added to salads, pasta and other dishes. … 

8 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again And Again.

Bok Choy

Bok Choy can be regrown by placing the root end in water in a well-lit area. In 1-2 weeks, you can transplant it to a pot with soil and grow a full new head….

8 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again And Again.Carrots

Put carrot tops in a dish with a little water. Set the dish in a well-lit room or a window sill. You’ll have carrot tops to use in salads. … 

8 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again And Again.Basil

Put clippings from basil with 3 to 4-inch stems in a glass of water and place it in direct sunlight. When the roots are about 2 inches long, plant them in pots to and in time it will grow a full basil plant…. 

8 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again And Again.Celery

Cut off the base of the celery and place it in a saucer or shallow bowl of warm water in the sun. Leaves will begin to thicken and grow in the middle of the base, then transfer the celery to soil. …

8 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again And Again.Romaine Lettuce

Put romaine lettuce stumps in a 1/2 inch of water. Re-water to keep water level at 1/2 inch. After a few days, roots and new leaves will appear and you can transplant it into soil…. 

8 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again And Again.

Cilantro

The stems of cilantro will grown when placed in a glass of water. Once the roots are long enough, plant them in a pot in a well-lit room. You will have a full plant in a few months 

8 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again And Again.

Share these awesome tips with your friends and family…. 

15 TIPS FOR MEAL PLANNING .

It’s whatever way you organize yourself to cook a meal, whether that’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is the plan you make before you shop. Some people plan a month in advance, freezing neatly labeled packets of soup and stew. Others wing it, shopping for that evening’s meal at the farmers’ market and picking up whatever looks good to them.( I am amongst  both People )

Secondly, I was asked by many readers how I plan  my menu . There’s no right way to plan your meals; you should just do what is effective for you!

This list of tips is all over the map — there are plenty of ideas here for getting more organized and helping yourself think ahead. 

This is just a rough idea of how to plan the week’s menu 🙂

15 Tips for Meal Planning 

GETTING INSPIRED

1) Spend time each week looking for recipes.

This may feel like an indulgence, but just let yourself do it. Browse websites for recipes that look delicious.

2) Create a place to save recipes, and keep it SIMPLE.

Do whatever works for you. Don’t get caught up in a system, just use whatever works best and most easily.

3) Ask your partner, family, and roommates what they like to eat.

This might sound obvious, but it’s easy to get caught up in our weeks and forget to ask our husband and kids  what they would like to eat?

4)Check the Weather.

Again, you may say, duh, but seriously. Right now, the weather is changeable in many parts of the country. Look at the weather forecast, and try to predict if you’re going to be in the mood for soup or grilled shrimp salad On Friday.

5) Weekly Menu Plan

 I use a blank WEEKLY CALENDAR and plan the week’s meals on the weekend, basing my grocery list on only those items.

GETTING ORGANIZED 

1) Start a calendar.

Now that you’re getting inspired in what to eat, start a calendar of what you’d like to cook over the next few days or few weeks.This always helps BTW.

2) Go with theme nights (soup night, pasta night, beans).

I use general guides like Soup Night, Pasta Night, Beans to make it easier. Every Wednesday is Taco night  at my place …just saying!

3) Choose a shopping day and make a shopping list.

Some of the meal planning and recipe-saving services let you do this easily, extracting ingredients from the recipes you have saved.

4)Check what’s on Sale .

Some folks really like to organize their meals around sales. I used to do this but not anymore. 😦

5) Plan for Leftovers !

Most of us have at least some tolerance for leftovers. Try to make you’re cooking always do double duty. Make a little extra of everything, and if you don’t want it right away, freeze it.

GETTING IT DONE

1) Prep food as soon as you get back from the store.

Wash and dry lettuce. Chop onions. Roast vegetables. Shred zucchini for quick stir-fries. Stack up glass containers of prepped ingredients in the refrigerator and bask in your own awesome preparedness. 

2) Cook components of your meals.

Going beyond prep, cook components of the meals. I cook large batches of components(gravies )on the weekend, then mix-and-match them according to what I’m craving during the week. 

3)Be strategic about freezing.

The freezer is your friend. Actually, it’s the friend of future you. Make a double batch of that sauce mentioned above and freeze half for later. Don’t Judge me but my Life has been saved plenty of times by my freezer !

4) Don’t overstuff the refrigerator.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when your fridge is over-full. Also, things get hidden in the back, lost behind the veggies . Don’t let things go bad.

5) Keep a well-stocked pantry.

Meals are easier and quicker to prepare if you keep your pantry well-stocked. 

All right! What did I  miss? What keeps you motivated, inspired, and on track with cooking for yourself during the week? Please let me know !! Dying to read about your menu planning !!

BENTO LUNCHES THIS WEEK

A few more Bentos from last few weeks 🙂

bento2

Spaghetti & Marinara Sauce

IMG_6386

HAVE A GOOD DAY BENTO!

IMG_6339

SIMPLE BENTO!

IMG_6285

ANOTHER ONE SIMPLE BENTO!

IMG_6282

CUTE BENTO!

bento

SPAGHETTI & MARINARA AGAIN!

IMG_6239

OCTOPUS & BUTTERFLIES !

I had fun making these lunches ,hope u have fun making them too !

Bento Lunches @ the Messed up home .

ME AND BENTO

bento 1                  IMG_5314
I started making bento Lunches in June 2015 ! yes two weeks ago I was mesmerized by the world of Bento !
So my story behind Bento lunches is that last year Sun (DH) & Poohcoo (DD) were not taking lunches to office and school respectively ! The reason for poohcoo was “ food didn’t look nice mommy” ! As for Sun ,he just ate Office lunches because it was readily available !

It was the last straw for me When Poohcoo’s Lunches came back home Just the way I sent them to school ! I had to start making changes in our lifestyle and Eating habits ! anyone who looks at Poohcoo always tells me “ you don’t feed her at all!! Look how skinny she is !etc etc”, then It Struck me , How about decorating the Food for her to eat ??

This year I promised my self no more half eaten lunches bought back home ! That’s it ! and I started searching google for various lunch menus etc etc , and then stumbled upon Bento Lunches, I thought I could incorporate both Adult lunches and Kiddie Lunches at the same time with same ingredients and food !

So after a little bit of experimenting over the summer holidays I started making these lunches and Voila ! both lunch boxes come home Empty!! YAY!!

SO WHAT IS A BENTO ?

A bento is simply lunches packed in a box or container , It originated in Japan. The Japanese terms Charaben or Kyaraben refer to making food look like characters/ cartoons .

The term bento is represented more into a themed like character type lunch. My definition of bento is packing little and decorated food in a lunch box, of course with Lunch notes !!

IMG_5314

WHY I MAKE BENTO LUNCHES ?

Since I have to pack lunches anyway, it may as well be fun for me too. It does take a little more time and effort but I think it is worth it.

Making bento lunches has become a creative thing for me ,the end result is fun lunches for the kid(s). Poohcoo loves to see what I am making for their lunches and always helps me pack her snacks !

It encourages healthy eating,Making healthy food fun and cute encourages my family to try out something that they never would have ! so sneaking in Veggies and Fruits is an amazing feeling !

You get to collect cookie cutters and amazing samdwich presses and clay moulds etc ! This may not be at the top of everyone’s list but shopping baking stuff for me is fun, I do admit I have a small hoarding tendency 🙂 when it comes to Bento lunches !!

HOW TO START MAKING A BENTO LUNCH ?

bento2

I personally follow Just Bento Website for all my needs for Bento making ,I suggest you do the same . Here is her Link –http://justbento.com/handbook/getting-started-bento-making.

More tips and everything related to Bento Making is on her website Since I am starting out very new here , I don’t have anything yet to write more about it .

UNTIL THEN TRY NOT TO BE A BENTOHOLIC LIKE ME !!

 until then Happy Bento Making !!