Friday, June 08, 2012

Use-It-Up Salad! - or - The Vegetable Crisper Peril.

Use-It-Up Salad!
Continuing the The Use It Up Challenge, I turned my attention to the vegetable crisper - two drawers at the bottom, traditional sources of zombie material.
Sadly, the outcome was no different today than from any time I had ventured into crisperland. The level boss was a cucumber so old it appeared to have deflated accompanied by a fleet of radishes grown wooley; they were dispatched with the aid of the garden house and now reside comfortably in the compost.
Fortunately, everything else could be saved and most of it went promptly into a salad. I also threw in a few odds-and-ends from the main body of the fridge, such as a packet of salsa and the last quarter-cup of crumbled blue cheese. To balance out the blue cheese, I added some blueberries - that may sound odd, but try it; berries and cheese play well together!
From the pantry I included a can of chickpeas or garbanzos; they're one of our favorite additives, providing a little protein and a gentle flavor. While the can went into the recycling, I've started peeling the paper because when I take the kitchen recycling bin outside, I separate out the cans to take to a local scrapyard. We keep running across sources of scrap metal, so I've deditated the former yard waste bin (...whose function was supplanted by the compost pile ...) to accumulating metals. It may take a couple of months to accumulate a load worth the trip, but it's not as if the metal is going to do much else than wait patiently!
The result was a pretty decent salad which, with a microwaved potato from the crisper, made a nice Friday at-home supper!
Cleaning out the crisper, I was struck again with how often the plastic bags used for purchasing veggies become, in the fridge, a source of moisture and then rot. I think it's better to remove them from the plastic when they go into the fridge; what is your experience?


Small Footprints said...

I love making salads out of all the veggies in my bin ... it's always a unique combination with a variety of textures and flavors!

Yeah ... those plastic bags are not only bad for the environment but I believe they encourage food to go bad quickly. I typically won't use them in a store ... most veggies don't really need to be bagged. Also, I've found it helpful to clean some veggies when I get them home ... radishes will last longer if one takes them off the greens (but don't toss the greens, wash them and either stir fry them or steam them ... they're really good). I wash herbs and wrap them in a slightly most towel ... they keep for a long time. Here's a tip for celery ... if they start getting rubbery, cut them off the base and put them in a cup of water ... they'll crisp up and be good to go.

mrs green @myzerowaste said...

that sounds delicious; I love chick peas and feta and I agree; the addition of fruit can be delicious. I've never tried blueberries but we have cranberry cheese over here so I can see how bluberries would work too. Thanks for the inspiration again!

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Speaking as one who knows... veges & fruit should be removed from the bags as soon as you get them home; and remember, not all fruit and vege should be kept in the fridge. Loves your fridge & pantry post.