Once I have my groceries home, I immediately prep them. I get everything ready to go for my meals and snacks. These groceries should last for two weeks, allowing an additional trip for fresh produce if necessary. Check out everything I purchased here Mediterranean Diet Food Pyramid-Shopping Healthy on a Budget
Fruit is problematic for me. My choices are slim because I get painful canker sores in my mouth which limits how much citrus I can consume. That makes eating enough fruit difficult for me. This week, I bought a mango, blackberries, grapes, and apples. I also have freshly squeezed orange juice which I can drink a couple of days out of the week. I plan to start making smoothies again which will elevate my fruit and vegetable consumption.
Tip: Put distilled vinegar and water in a spray bottle and use the mixture to clean your fruits and vegetables.
I always keep prepped lettuce on hand. This is a mix of Romain Hearts and spinach. Next, I’ve cut the broccoli heads into small and large pieces. It’s ready to be tossed in a salad or steamed. Celery stalks have been cut and are ready to use.
This week I got a good deal on squash and grape tomatoes. I’ve got them prepped along with sliced cucumbers. Red, green, and orange peppers are sliced and ready to go as well. All of these veggies can be added to salads, meals, or used for snacks. Radishes are great as well. I just didn’t see any good looking ones at the store.
*Tip: Place a paper towel on top of produce before putting on the air-tight lids on them. It will help the fruits and veggies stay fresh longer.
Other salad fixings are croutons (used sparingly), dried cranberries, cubed Colby cheese, and beets. I’m addicted to pickled beets. I buy a can and pour them into a mason jar for easy use. You can read about my mason jars storage system here: Mason Jars Storage Ideas.
Every week, I boil five eggs, peel them, and put them in individual snack bags. I can grab them for a quick snack or I can take them to work to eat for breakfast or add to my salad. The key is to have everything ready to go.
I love storage bags. They make life so easy. I place my green onions and cilantro in plastic bags without washing them. I clean them as I use them. I’m not sure if it’s true, but they seem to stay fresher longer if I don’t wet them.
Since I got such a great deal on the squash and zucchini, (packs of three for .99) I decided to prep and freeze them for future waste. When I buy celery, I like to freeze half of it with onion. I use celery and onion a lot in casseroles. This way I always have some prepped and ready to go.
Lastly, I bought a bag of sweet potatoes from ALDI’s for $1.29. Great price but I won’t be able to eat them all before they go bad. Solution. Freeze some of them. I skinned a few and cut them into cubes for soups. I left the skin on the others and cubed them for roasting.
After everything is chopped and stored away, I gather the ingredients for the meals I want to cook over the next several days. I generally make a slow-cooked meal on Sunday. This week, I slow cooked vegetable barley soup. I totally messed up and put too much barley in what was a delicious soup. So I pulled some 15 bean soup I’d previously made out of the freezer. It’ll be a backup meal. Not sure that I can eat this barley mess. Ugh.
Later in the week, I’m sticking to tried and true recipes. I’m making a sweet potato, kale, and carrot stir fry and placing it over couscous. I’m also making ratatouille which is one of my favorite vegetarian dishes. Here’s my recipe Meatless Monday–Cold Weather Ratatouille.
I can add fish or chicken to any of these meals as a side dish. On the Mediterranean diet, vegetables should make up 50% of your plate. Whole grains make up 25% grain of the plate and a protein is 25%.
After all of this prepping and planning, I’m usually exhausted but it makes life easier during the week. All the thinking is taken out of cooking …and there’s always something available so I don’t feel the urge for fast food.
I’m done for this week, and it’s time for a nice relaxing cup of tea. This lemon ginger is fabulous and great for the digestive system. My next step is to stock up on my whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. I found some great bargains online, and I’ll have that haul coming up in another blog soon.