Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Make Life Easier

Have you been a vegetarian/vegan for a while?  Are you getting tired of chopping veggies every night?  Is there an easier way? What about convienence when you get home and don't feel like getting out the cutting board and knife?

Here's what I do to make life a little easier.  I cut up romaine and let 'er roll in my salad spinner.  I also shred some green cabbage and do the same. 

I have a rubbermaid plastic container that I drop all that beautiful green phytonutrients into.  Here's a picture so you get an idea of what I mean.  That is enough greens for about three days.

I also have a foodsaver.  I really love that appliance and don't even do enough with it yet.  I'm kinda slow when it comes to getting all my ducks in a row, but I eventually get there.
I thought I'd let you see what I'm talking about in case you're interested in getting one.  And no, I don't make a penny on any of the gadgets or appliances I recommend.  I just love them so much and find them useful and want to pass that information on to my fellow E2Lers, vegans and vegetarians.  Well actually anyone that might be interested.  Can't leave behind the SAD eaters, can I.

So what I do is fill up quart size mason jars.  The wide mouth type, not the regular.  Not only is it easier to get the veggies into the large size opening, but I also only have the wide jar sealer, not the regular size.

Well let me show you more of what I do.  You know the chop wizard.  I've talked about it before a few months ago.  I love that kitchen tool.  It makes my life so much easier, and it will yours too.

The food processor only shreds or slices.  I can chop veggies in the bottom, but sometimes it's hard to get them just the right size you want.  And I really like the uniform size of chopped vegetables I get with the chop wizard.  Here's a video in case you want to see it in action.

I had mine for almost 4 years and I broke it.  It was my fault, not the product.  I was so bummed.  I went to two of my local Walgreens because that's where I purchased my first one,  but neither one of carried it anymore.

So I thought I'd check out Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Golly gee they made my day!  Still $19.95 plus tax.  So I hurried home with my new, old kitchen tool and got to work on a few on my regular salad fixings.

I chopped away on some carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and cucumber with that chop wizard.  After each vegetable, I stuffed a jar full of 'em, placed on the cap and put it aside until I had all five jars full.  Next step was to take them over to the foodsaver and begin sucking the air out of 'em.  It takes at the most, 30 seconds. 

So once I have them all done, I refrigerate the jars and have fresh chopped veggies when it's time to prepare my supper salad.  The only thing I add that's not already chopped is grape tomatoes, walnuts and an apple.  Next time I do the chopping, I'll chop a jar full of walnuts so I won't have to do those either.  That means I will be chopping only the apple.  I may even give them a try and dip them in some lemon juice so they don't turn color. 

I also add some type of bean, usually garbanzo beans to the salad and that doesn't require chopping so it makes my supper salad preperation so quick, easy and convenient.

Make your life easier and give it a try.  If you don't have the foodsaver I'm sure using the jars would still be helpful.  Some of the jars are used up within 3 days.  Some a little longer, but only a day or two more.  So you might be able to get away with not having to use the foodsaver.

My next task will be freezing some of my cooked items and using the foodsaver so that they'll last so much longer in the freezer.  That will allow me to make lasagnas, stir fries; any healthy dish and have plenty of frozen suppers so that when I don't feel like cooking, I won't have to.

I hope these have been some helpful hints for you.  They are time savers for me.  I have fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis and when I have a bad day, I don't want to prepare or cook anything.  So I'm trying to get a head of the game so that I don't cave into eating SAD foods.

Eat to live, everyone!  :)


Suzie said...

What a fantastic idea! I'm already cooking and freezing in batches, but cutting and storing quantities of fresh veg is a fab idea. I hope that cut veg doesn't lose too many nutrients, though.

Fab blog!

Suzie (from E2L Yahoo Group)

Laina said...

The foodsaver is designed to preserve the nutrients in foods because the air is removed from the storage container allowing the vegetables to last longer than if left in the storage compartment in the refrigerator.

I'm sure there is some nutritional loss, but it would be minimal.

Thanks for commenting!

Laura said...

Excellent tips - thanks Laina! I pre-prep veg for salads, but never thought of cutting them so small nor about putting them in glass. I've been using freezer bags. I think smaller bits may make chewing through the 1lb of raw veg a bit easier. I also suspect that using glass jars may make the chopped veg last a bit longer. I'll try it out and let you know.
peas and carrots,

Laina said...

Hi, Laura.

I do like the smaller pieces. It's easier to chew, and I also can enjoy the flavors more when they're small.

I hope it works out well for you!

Anonymous said...

just got this from memeberto member blog.. thankyou. I had tucked my jars away and been using only the biggie ones.. but this is good when family comes and they want their own style.. nancy happy gal

Laina said...

Hi, Nancy.

It's really so convenient and saves time when you're in a hurry. I love not having to chop veggies every single day. :)

earthchick said...

Laina, I've been considering getting a FoodSaver ever since you posted about it on the yahoo group. But I'm confused by the options on Amazon - I see several there (by FoodSaver) ranging in price from $70 to $299. I don't know which one I should get. Is yours the V2240?

Laina said...

Hi, Stacey, I bought the V2490. It came with 2 rolls and a set of canisters. I'm not sure they even sell it anymore.

What I do when I'm in the market for a product is to go to and find the product I want.

I look at the different brands and models and ususally choose by the reviews that others have left.

I read both the good and not-so-good comments and decide by those which model to purchase.

I'll take a look and see if I can find the model I have. :)

earthchick said...

Thanks, Laina. I had read all the reviews on Amazon but was still undecided. It seemed like all of them had some reviews that were bad. Thought I'd look into the one you've got since you seem so happy with it. :)