Tips for Busy Cooks

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By Nina Andres, courtesy of  Capay Valley Farm Shop

It’s not always easy to fix a healthy meal, but with a little experience and know-how, it becomes much easier! I’ve learned a thing or two over the years while juggling farming and raising two young children. We’ve put together some tips for finishing the fruits and veggies in your box and enjoying them on a busy schedule!

If you have done the hard part, which is to get the good food into your home, eating well does not take a lot of preparation time. All of the ingredients in your FarmShare can be prepared in less than half an hour, and many of them take much less time than that. Because the foods are in season, fresh, and flavorful, they need minimal input for enjoyment.

If you’re looking for a snack, forget the chips and crackers. Reach for a melon, peach, or grapes first. Eat them plain, add some yogurt, or make a smoothie. If you are adventurous, slice a cucumber or tomato, squeeze on some lime juice, and sprinkle on a little salt. If you like hot sauce, add some on top. Yum!

When you need to make dinner quickly, steam some rice and sauté green beans or eggplant with tomatoes and garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Another option when you’re in a hurry is soup: chop some veggies (potatoes, onions, tomatoes, summer squash, beans, and garlic, for instance), add some salt and pepper, water, and cook. In 30 minutes you have a quick, healthy stew. Another idea: try sautéed summer squash and onions with quesadillas on the side. A dinner like this can happen in 15 minutes.

If you are extra busy, try to eat the items that don’t keep as long first. Then when you have time, you can prepare the others and avoid wasting them.

What keeps the longest? These items should last 5 days or more:
- Onions and garlic
- Potatoes
- Eggplant (store in crisper of refrigerator)
- Summer Squash (store in crisper of refrigerator)
- Cherry tomatoes, red tomatoes (store on counter away from heat and light)
- Basil (store in a jar of water on counter, covered loosely with a paper or plastic bag, away from heat and light)
- Cucumbers (store in crisper of refrigerator)
- Carrots (remove tops before storing in crisper of refrigerator)

What may not keep as long? These items may last fewer than 5 days:
- Fresh fruit (store on counter to ripen, in refrigerator to slow ripening process)
- Heirloom tomatoes (store on counter, eat before soft)
- Corn (cut the tip off before storing or preparing)
- Green Beans (store in crisper of refrigerator)
- Fresh greens (store in crisper of refrigerator)

Do you have tips of your own? We’d love to hear them! Email us at info@capayvalleyfarmshop.com. Enjoy your produce and happy eating!

 

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About Us

Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.