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  • Caitlin Booker

Food Tips - Veggie Edition

Happy New Year, and new decade. I hope that your Twenties are off to a roaring start!

(Get it? Oh, I crack me up)


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So the one thing Janu-worry comes with, new decade or not, is a tight as a tiger budget. Unless you’re a finance superhero, with the self control of a Saint able to frugally pass through December splurge free. If you are, drop your tips in the comments! There is a lot of us that need your guidance. But if your guidance involves celery sticks and bad wine; maybe no then.


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Now back to the point! (I feel that all my blogs have this moment, hmmm)


Tight budgets can spoil your food fun in the kitchen. But, they don’t have to. Having worked in very remote locations, where supplies are scanty; as well as not so remote locations where the budget is scanty. I have picked up a few handy hacks that make fitting yummy food into whichever scanty situation you find yourself in possible. Today is all about the veggies. Why? Because I hear a lot of people complaining that they are expensive and don’t last.


My best piece of advice would be to look at where you shop, and what you buy. The where, and the what of your shopping can help, or hinder your budget. So, keep in mind that (in most cases) convenience costs.


Mass market style shops where you can get anything from your soap to your sauce tend to have higher prices than your local grocer that only stocks food. Again, this is not always the case, but is definitely true for a certain company, who, for a period, had avocados costing more than their shares. So do check your prices. You may realize that the little trip to the local grocer in your area makes your scanty situation seem a little less scanty.


As for the what of your shopping. Please don’t buy pre-cut veggies. Not only do they cost more, they also go off faster. The time it takes to cut your own veggies is not that much. A further benefit of not buying pre-cut veg, is that uncut veg often has less packaging. I hardly ever see a whole butternut in plastic bags, but I always see pre-cut butternut in plastic bags.


Another thing, you might want you sit down for this one, but certain veggies lasts longer than others. I know, I was speechless when I found this out. Your budget besties in the veggies are:


Cauliflower - this bestie can also be frozen at home, or bought for cheap already frozen. Another bonus it can basically replace any carb for those with weight loss resolutions.


Broccoli - from my experience the plain Jane normal broccoli lasts longer than its sexy long stemmed cousin.


Cabbage - do you realize just how much this BFF veggie is underrated? Firstly, it lasts! Secondly, it is very versatile, and can take on many flavours.


Purple cabbage, slow-braised with apple & gin. Pictured with venison olives, & roasted cauliflower.

Squashes - from gems to pumpkin they last, they are budget friendly, they are super filling.


Carrots - most root veggies actually.


Beans and peas are also fabulous.


When it comes to other veg. The budget is saved in the storage. Tip one: get it out of that plastic and into a brown paper bag. The bag helps absorb condensation, prolonging the life of the veg. If you are a container fan, which I am, I have found putting a piece of paper towel into the container keeps the soggy and mold at bay.


Tip two: buy them as ‘whole’ as possible. A head of lettuce lasts longer, and is often cheaper than a packet of lose mixed salad leaves.


Tip three: a lot of fresh cut herbs last longer when placed in a vase of water like flowers. Parsley, and coriander last particularly well like this. Bonus, they look cheerful on your counter.


Tip four: make sure you dry your veggies properly after washing them. A lot of moisture can shorten their lifespan.


Tip five: the frozen section. Budget friendly, lasts, There is a surprising variety. Also thanks to the way they are frozen, most are still very nutritious.


That’s my veggie tips. I hope they help stretch that budget to the end of Janu-worry. Let me know what your food tricks are.


Love,

The Gourmet Hippo




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