I didn’t intend to focus on food this week, but food and money seem to be swirling around in my brain, so here goes another post about lunch. A few months back Generation X wrote an article on how to clean, prepare and store lettuce for up to a week.
Prior to reading that article I tended to be one of those awful people who bought fruits and vegetables with the greatest of intentions and then left them in the fridge to rot, but thanks to Gen X’s article I have yet to waste a single piece of produce in the last month.
In essence, the Generation X article says to buy a head of lettuce, wash it thoroughly, chop it up finely (I use a plastic knife), run it multiple times through the salad spinner and then place it in a bowl with a paper towel on top, covered with saran wrap. The paper towel helps to absorb the moisture in the lettuce and the drier the lettuce remains the longer it will stay fresh.
I altered Gen X’s technique ever so slightly. I actually keep the lettuce in the salad spinner rather than placing it into a different bowl. I place the plastic bin, with the lettuce inside, back into the bowl of the salad spinner and then place the paper towel on top and cover with saran wrap. By keeping the lettuce in the salad spinner the moisture can drip off of the lettuce and into the bottom of the bowl. I think this helps keeps the lettuce extra dry and crisp.
Since I began using this technique I now eat salad for lunch at least three or four days a week. I typically cut up leftover chicken from last night’s dinner and throw it into the salad along with sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, carrots, red peppers and whatever other veggies I have on hand.
I also make a point to cut up the lettuce as soon as I get home from the grocery store, because I know if I wait too long I’ll allow it to spoil in the bag. Since I’m already preparing the lettuce I go ahead and clean my other fruits and vegetables, well everything except strawberries and mushrooms, which tend to rot faster if you wash them too long before you eat them.
Thanks to Generation X I’m not only saving money… I’m also no longer wasting perfectly good produce.