Looking Toward the Fall / Less Time in the Kitchen
Yes, it’s already happening. When I’m out for our early morning walk, the birds aren’t up yet and it’s still pretty dark. Will definitely need to get Trooper’s lighted collar out pretty soon so I can see him! But we still have some summer left, so hopefully everyone is out and enjoying it. In order to have time to play, perhaps we need to carve out some time from somewhere else–like maybe less kitchen time? Here are some ideas that you might find helpful: (NOTE: see the end of this blog for a schedule of upcoming fall events)
If you can, prep your veggies when you first get home from the farmer’s market or CSA pickup. That way you don’t have to pull everything back out later just to do the prep!
- Fill the sink with cool water and clean all the greens right now. Spin them dry with a salad spinner. For kale, collards and other hearty greens where you won’t be using the stem, pull it off now and wrap the leaves carefully. Place in green bags to help keep them longer. For salad greens, wash, spin, wrap in paper towel and then put in green bags. (some folks go ahead and tear the leaves now, but I think this makes them get brown too soon).
- Go ahead and snap your green beans. Just be sure to use them in the next few days.
- Prep and roast whatever you like. This time of year: eggplant, yellow squash, zucchini, peppers and onions, all tossed with olive oil and maybe some herbs. (Having the eggplant already cooked is a good idea, as it doesn’t keep all that long). In the fall, switch to potatoes, yams, carrots, parsnips, etc. These roasted veggies can be reheated to eat as is, or added to salads, sandwiches, pizzas, you name it. If they are starting to look a bit old and you haven’t gotten to them yet, make soup out of them, or even blend them with a can of white beans to make a spread/dip!
- Make a lot of salads? Take a zip bag and add in all the prepped veggies you usually put in a green salad. Do a few of these bags, and your evening salad is practically made–just add the greens!
- Do a lot of smoothies? Take small freezer bags and fill with the nuts, seeds, fruit and greens that you usually use. Press out air and place in freezer….then just dump into your Vitamix, add liquid of choice (I use green tea) and you’re good to go. (I don’t do this myself, as a smoothie is so quick, but if there are folks in your house who might not otherwise make themselves one, this helps to encourage them to do a healthy snack/breakfast).
- Make a batch of rice. We use a rice cooker (finally found one with a stainless core rather than aluminum at the H-mart!). Use the rice all week. Or make a batch of quinoa. Both freeze well also, so make some of each, freeze half and you’re ahead of the game for next week! Same goes with dried beans. All of these can be cooking as you prep your veggies.
- Steam some broccoli and cauliflower. It will keep several days.
- Don’t touch the corn. You really do have to shuck this at the last minute, when the pot is already on the stove. If it’s organic, then save the corn silk and let it dry; makes a good tea for prevention of bladder infections for those who are prone.
- Make yourself some do-ahead dessert: chia pudding. Gather up some small containers; add to them chia seeds and cow’s milk/almond milk/coconut milk in a ratio of 1/4 cup chia to 1 cup milk. Maybe add some chopped up chocolate pieces or maple syrup. Let it sit about 30 min, then stir it up to prevent clumps. Cover and place in fridge. About 8 hours later, you can add chopped nuts and fruit on top. Totally packable as well!
Hope these ideas help you spend some concentrated time in the kitchen doing several things at once, so you have parts of a meal already prepped for later in the week. Then you can throw together burritos with the cooked veggies/beans/rice….or a stir fry with the prepped veggies and some added protein, served over the rice you’ve already cooked. Get the picture?
Leanne Brown’s e-book Good and Cheap. I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s quick, easy and free. Lovely to look at as well.
Clean Eating Academy–online courses to learn about healthy eating, cooking skills and recipe development. I can’t find on the site how much it costs, but the syllabus looks reasonable for those who have decided to learn how to cook.
Americas Test Kitchen cooking school. Yes, you can simply watch the videos for free on their site as well as access some recipes, but this cooking school is actually pretty amazing. I was a student for a few months a few years back just to check it out for you guys. Specific instructions, both written and in video form, on prep work and techniques. Recipes grouped by cuisine and by cooking technique. Not expensive, though for the premium amount you have email access directly to one of the instructors. Worth the investment if you’ve decided that it’s time to get real about cooking.
Energy Medicine 101, taught by Siobhan Hutchinson, Saturday 9/19/15 from 9am-5pm. This workshop will introduce the basics of Eden Energy work. You’ll learn a Daily Energy Routine, plus ways to feel grounded and centered. $125 (CE’s available for massage therapists for an additional $10). Contact Siobhan directly at 609-752-1048 or Siobhan@nextstepstrategiesllc.com
Fall Metabolic Liver Detox will start 9/18/15 and run for 10 days. This is our twice a year event in which we eat a partial elimination diet fortified by a medical food powder designed to aid the liver in it’s job of detoxification. We start on the same day and support each other via daily emails. Please contact the office to register: 215-741-1600
September Food Group: Not a potluck for once! The group was discussing the health benefits of traditional Indian cooking, so they’ve decided to do a road trip and join for dinner at a local Indian restaurant. Tuesday, 9/1/15. Please email directly for details: firstname.lastname@example.org
AIHM fall conference: People, Planet, Purpose. Global practitioners united in health and healing. Open to all care providers as well as the public, this will be a truly amazing event. Clinical pearls from many different perspectives, policy discussions, environmental topics, you name it. Come to the only truly interprofessional conference out there. (and yes, I’m the co-chair). San Diego, Sept 25-29 at the Paradise Point Resort. Pass this on!
Group Qi gong classes. Details still being worked out, so keep an eye open!