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Challenge: help me use my produce box

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  • Challenge: help me use my produce box

    I'm not the most creative cook in the world. Any great minds willing to help me?

    I'm in a produce co-op. We have a group of 8-10 that pay $15 a week each and take turns shopping at the wholesale section of the farmer's market. Some weeks are better than others according to whose is shopping lol. So today was pick up day and the shopper was my least favorite shopper. I don't like to waste food.

    So I have

    11 Bananas (not yet ripe)
    10 oranges (not navel -the hard to peel kind)
    5 Red apples
    5 cucumbers
    17 roma apples (not yet ripe-which is good as we are still eating last week's tomatoes)
    10 yellow potatoes
    2 heads of cabbage
    3 heads of ice berg lettuce
    1 head cauliflower
    Small bag of mushrooms-I gave most away already but kept a couple handfuls because I promised my kids I would try new foods if they would try new things.

    Bananas -my daughter will eat some and I'm going to take the rest camping this weekend and set them out as community food. My freezer is already full of bananas as we can never finish our weekly allotment. (any good primal recipes for frozen bananas?)

    Apples- My kids are super excited as we never get the red ones so these will go.
    Oranges -I'm only one that will eat them and I'm trying to cut down. My son will drink orange juice but I don't know how to "juice" them. Any idea?

    Potatoes-I would like some idea of using them on this weekend's camping trip but otherwise I can use them in oven baked potatoes for the family's starch. That will only use up about 4 of them (and I think I have potatoes in the cabinet that need to be used first lol)

    Iceberg Lettuce-I prefer any other kind of lettuce personally. I guess will buy some of the kind I like that is healthier and mix them until we run out. My son love iceberg though because it is crispier. Will probably make a big salad to share with other families camping.

    Tomatoes and cucumbers -we can eat in salad or by themselves but new ideas appreciated

    Cabbage and Cauliflower-This is where I am really stumped. I"m only one that eats cauliflower (it's not a favorite) and usually it goes bad before I can eat it. Can i freeze some of it and if I do what can I do with frozen cauliflower. Cabbage is hard. My husband will eat mayo based slaw(I don't really care for it) and he's out of town until Saturday but I can make it early next week. The only way I like it is in Asian Slaw (which he hates) and Cabbage soup. The first is not primal by any means and the second -I have no recipe for. I'm willing to try new ways as I'm trying to be a good role model.

    Mushrooms-I don't mind taste but hate texture of mushrooms (I love mushroom gravy on a steak but I'm sure that's not primal-love it on fries too but I know that's not primal lol). I am going to try them again (and again) to be an example to my kids.

    Also I have an eggplant from last week that I need to use up today or tomorrow. I tried eggplant fries last time we got one. I don't think it is primal. The taste was great but the mushy texture was not that great. Lots of ranch help me get it down. No one else here will eat it. Fortunately, It's a small one this time. Tonight is a good night to use it as I am the only one eating at home tonight.
    My journal
    7/5/11 -Size 14;
    1/10/12 -Size 4

  • #2
    Frozen bananas can be turned into a very simple 'icecream' - no other ingredients are needed you just put them into a food processor and mix them up.

    As for the cauliflower - how about making up some cauliflower mash and freeze that, or grating/shredding the raw cauliflower into small pieces and freezing it at that stage before using it to make cauliflower 'rice' (just fry the small bits of cauliflower in a little oil and use as a substitute for rice).

    I like to cut cabbage into thin strips and then stir fry it and add lots of butter. As a variation I sometimes add some cream cheese towards the end of cooking.

    Finally why not make a primal variation of mushroom gravy? - If you just leave out the flour you should be OK - you'll probably need to cook it for a bit longer to reduce the sauce and make it thicker.


    • #3
      Love Love Love a challenge like this!

      OK, Cauliflower: roast it with garlic and italian seasoning and olive oil or coconut oil--gives an entirely different flavor, then remind the kids that they said they would try new things if you did!

      Cabbage, cut up with onion and fry with bacon and bacon fat, or a favorite of ours is cooked with onion, garlic, tomatoes, and ground buffalo or beef, dont make it too soupy, make like a goulosh...and this freezes great.

      You can make an italian dish, cook down the tomatoes, or start with a good canned toms. Add lots of garlic, onion, cubed up egg plant, and mushrooms. let it simmer till thick, serve under an almond, garlic, parsley crusted chicken, or over the top of meat balls! Top with cheese if you are a cheeser!

      As for the potatoes and bananas, if they are too many for you to use on your starch eating family, or to be pawned off on the camping trip, then consider blessing a family in need.....


      • #4
        How took me 2 months to figure out that I have created TWO profles, no wonder I can remember my password---it's because I am not remembering my user name. And no wonder I seem to lose my posts, and my number of postings is not accurate! Sheesh, what a dumb butt!

        Anyway I was going to add that you can have a fun dinner and duplicate Red Robins burgers Protien style with the ice burg lettuce.
        Started PB Aug 9, 2010 then let 'stuff' get in the way
        Back to start and make a fantastic 2012
        Goal of Significant Weight Loss
        15 pounds down! with more to go!


        • #5
          I also get a produce box and spent some time stumped!!
          I am not big on recipes but I have learned you can make a lovely soup with most winter veg. Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, mystery greens & roots, whatever! Just add stock, cook till soft, puree if desired, spice to taste. This has never failed me. Mushrooms are better in soup too (I'm not a fan generally) and if it's the texture you don't like, pureeing will fix that. You can make soup by the gallon and freeze, it's very handy that way.
          You can roast most things too; roots, tomatoes, onions, probably cabbage too, I haven't tried. Cut everything into chunks except tomatoes; toss in olive oil & spices, bake at 350 for approx an hour, depending on how soft you like it. Wonderful.
          Other ideas... hm...
          I make a primal cabbage slaw with shredded carrots & beets, sliced almonds, & balsamic vinegar. Good for parties. This would work with iceberg as well, makes a more salad-y version.
          Cauliflower does make a lovely mash! I haven't used it by itself before but it should work fine. Steam till soft, mash with butter and garlic, yum!!
          My stepmother makes a wonderful potato thing that's good for camping! Slice potato & wrap in foil with butter & spices... just stick it in the fire! I think it takes about 20-30min depending on how soft you like it. You can do it on the grill or in the oven too. Not super primal but I will eat it every time she makes it!

          good luck & enjoy your box! I have grown to love mine!


          • #6
            I love these ideas!

            Elwynne -do you have a recipe for amounts for that slaw recipe. I' may be going to a primal picnic soon and that sounds like something good to take.
            My journal
            7/5/11 -Size 14;
            1/10/12 -Size 4


            • #7
              Try stuffed cabbage: lightly steam the cabbage, peel off the softened leaves whole, fill with a spicy meat mix of some type (chop up the eggplant, roast it, and mix it in with the meat), roll up, place rolls in baking pan, cover with a sauce (tomato sauce, thus using up the tomatoes), and bake till hot. You can find lots of recipes on-line (I haven't done a primal cabbage roll yet myself).


              • #8
                Try the new recipe for pizza crust on here, the eggplant one, and chop up those fresh tomato's for topping, can use the mushrooms on it too if you like. I'm not good with the other veggies you got... I've seen a recipe where you can grind up cauliflower and make hummus out of it...


                • #9
                  AuntPol, I don't have a specific recipe but roughly I can tell you I use 1/2 head of cabbage, a couple of carrots and/or beets, and a couple of tablespoons each of sliced almonds and balsamic vinegar, tossed well. I think it also improves with a few hours' or overnight storage in the fridge.
                  Hubby said he thought he would like it with raisins or dried berries added, so if you're into that give it a try. I like the mix of 3-4 colors, flavors, and textures; cabbage is crunchy in a different way than almonds, that kind of thing. Have fun!


                  • #10
                    I am also buried in tomatoes and I'm thinking of attempting a crock pot tomato sauce... if it's successful I'll let you know.

                    My sister likes roasting tomatoes: slice in half and place cut-side-up on a baking sheet, put in the oven on 250-300 for a couple of hours until the top starts to carmelize a bit. OMG THEY ARE LIKE CANDY.


                    • #11
                      for the mushrooms - i've been doing this lately for a side dish - in butter, saute a little bit of red onion, small dice, then add chopped garlic. When they're starting to get cooked put in the sliced mushrooms. Get em good n mixed up with all that flavor. I think i might add a splash of beef broth too. Then i add a little white wine & a few handfuls of fresh baby spinach & turn down to simmer a little. S&P to taste.

                      it might sound a little weird but it tastes pretty good. I made it once to go w/ mashed parsnip/rutabaga and a roasted chicken, i think.
                      Last edited by Catherine; 10-06-2010, 02:33 PM.


                      • #12
                        Mikki -the cabbage w/bacon was really good. Thanks!

                        I ended up making a mayo/yogurt based slaw since my husband likes creamy mayo based slaws the best. I want to try elwynne's though as I think I would like the vinegar based slaw better.

                        I have been having the cauliflower mashed with butter and cream.

                        I had the eggplant cubed and sauteed in olive oil with garlic, onions, and Old Bay crabcake seasoning and then added some parmesan. Used the spoon I was stirring the bacon and cabbage to stir it so it had a hint of bacon. Very Yummy.

                        Normally I would not eat any of these foods.
                        My journal
                        7/5/11 -Size 14;
                        1/10/12 -Size 4


                        • #13
                          jamie oliver's creamy mushroom recipe is one of my favourites

                          Put the butter into a large hot pan and as soon as it starts to melt add a drizzle of olive oil, the mushrooms, sliced onion and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir everything around and cook for about 8 minutes, or until the onions have softened and the mushrooms are starting to caramelize and take on colour.

                          Add the chopped parsley, then pour in the cream. Continue to stir and cook for another minute, until the cream has come to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for a minute before removing from the heat. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice, have a taste, and add more salt, pepper or lemon juice if it needs it



                          • #14
                            Here are some recipes to help with the veggies:

                            For the fruits, try googling primal or paleo recipes for each one (ex: primal apple recipes) and see what's there that you or your family would like. Maybe search the recipe forum here too.


                            • #15
                              apples - dry them! you can make apple chips in the oven if you don't have a dehydrator (google recipes) I always leave any potatoes in the "trade" box as I don't eat them anymore. I made 2 jars of saurkraut from one head of cabbage. I made an apple beet slaw once (google recipes). I made an asian slaw from napa cabbage, daikon radish, onion... I suggest googling recipes & then I make an amalgam of several. I love the sound of that bacon & cabbage dish I am going to have to try that! Cauliflower freezes well: cut into chunks, blanch in boiling water, dunk in ice water bath, then put in freezer bags. I can't keep up with my shares either - SO isn't primal & I can't eat it all myself! I have chard, spinach, peas, green beans, etc in the freezer. I got a monster huge kohlrabi last week! Oh ya, curried cauliflower is yummy too.
                              I have another eggplant today & haven't used last week's yet! and the cutest li'l pumpkin...