Monday, June 08, 2009

Watching My Wallet..Some Veggie Storage Tips and A Whole Lotta Asian Food

Before I get started with this post, just want to let you all know that I have three guest bloggers working with me on this post. They are Cubbie, Keebler and Trolli..and they are fuzzy and have really cute floppy ears. Yup, this post is gonna be a little "goo"-ey aka Degu-y. So when they decide they have something to add, they've gonna do it. In between comments, they will be trying to chew on any remaining piece of wood furniture I have left in my bedroom.

Cubbie says: ```````````````````````````````````````````````

It was one of those days recently when I came home for lunch and we didn't have a thing ready in the fridge that wouldn't take more than /======== (Trolli) a few minutes to prepare. So we decided to run out and try a "new" sushi place down the street that opened two years ago. Obviously, we are creatures of habit (as far as lunch choices go) so this was a big outing! It was a pleasant surprise..and light on the ole wallet...

We loved the laughing dragon tea pots and the soy sauce containers were darn cute too!
\\3 (Cubbie)

Sweet potato tempura sushi is my weakness..oh yeah..and chocolate cupcakes..shhhhh!
Note: Guava has let me know that not all tempura is vegan..most has egg..ack! Big duh on my part. Sayonara sweet potato sushi..I'll check next time I go. Thanks Guava!

Cucumber avocado isn't bad either...they even had a vegetarian dragon roll..don't know about where you live but those are tooting hard to find here in Boston. Speaking of dragons, I almost died laughing reading Santa vs. Satan a book of imaginary fights. Chinese Dragon vs. European Dragon was hilarious! I digress..$8.95 for two sushi rolls + miso soup (and it's vegan..whoot!). Not bad. My wallet is happy.

On Saturday night, we visited a thai place in the burbs called the Lemon Tree..delicious garlic chive pancakes

My favorite Thai dish..Rainbow Garden aka Smother Me In Peanut Sauce And Call It Bliss (that's my literal translation)

What wasn't bliss..the bill. Almost $50 for two people for dinner. Like, really??? Geez..I so screwed up looking at the prices before we ordered..just too focused on the vegan items I suppose. We're in a recession Thai Restaurant Peoples! Have mercy on the working masses. So I'm on a self-inflicted restaurant hiatus for a week or so to make up for this! Hence, the lumpy mango summer rolls from Vegan w/a Vengeance below ...they aren't so pretty but man, they were good. I whipped up a peanut sauce to go. Sorry for the upside down picture..didn't realize it until now and am just too lazy to change it =)

\\\\\\94 (note from Keebler who just climbed on my keyboard..must be in code..hopefully you know what this means 'cause I don't)

Another good reason to eat at home this week is that my first farm share pickup starts this Thursday. Good excuse to empty and clean the fridge since, well, I won't share the details..let's just say, it needs a good bath. We've been on hiatus with our farm since November so it will be nice to be back with the fresh local veggies. In the off season months, I've been supplementing with our local fruit and veggie delivery service, Boston Organics. Love them and am considering switching my delivery over to just fruit every other week instead of canceling for the season since my farm rarely has fruit to offer (strawberries in a few weeks and melons in August but that's it).

Some tips I have gleaned over the years for storing my produce:
  1. Wash all non-leafy veggies before storing in the fridge otherwise you will end up with a very messy fridge. Organic farm share veggies are often straight from the field and can look the part! Also, let the veggies air dry a little after washing before going in the fridge.
  2. Buy special bags. Those green bags that claim to prolong the life of your produce really do work. Hands down, they triple, maybe quadruple the life of my greens and other greens.
  3. Don't put twisty ties on your bags..instead loosely fold them closed. Something about the air circulation helps my greens stay fresher this way. I got this tip from my German mother-in-law who is a fountain of knowledge in the food preservation area!
  4. If your greens, green onions, herbs, etc. come bound with an elastic or twisty tie (or both), remove those. Shake off excess water and towel dry if necessary. Greens/green onions/herbs do best with the minimum of moisture (too much encourages rot) and lots of space within the bag.
  5. Put herbs and green onions in a cup of water if using within 4-5 days..they'll stay perked on your countertop as if you just picked them yourself!
There are a lot of interesting suggestions out there for storing veggies and prolonging their fridge life..I try to avoid methods using paper towels or newspaper but some people swear by these methods. I'm sure those work just as well!

And finally, my first soap from the Strawberry Hedgehog vegan soapworks arrived on Friday afternoon. My mailbox was wafting with a lovely scent..just in time too because my vegan bar from Nakid is so melting, you haven't checked out Tracy from the Hedgehog, please do so..she's a vegan soapmaking star!

And finally, finally, the winner of my little "Tell me what you like about New England" is the amazing Shellyfish! More on her "cool" prize later..don't want to spoil the surprise!


ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

What a fun-sounding soap name. I love fun soaps (my favorite has to be a Mexican chocolate soap I found-- completely vegan!!).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the awesome storage tips!! I always have rotting veggies (pulls bag over head and slinks off).

Amanda said...

Jumbleberry--you are not alone! I've had my fair share of rotten veggies too unfortunately!

Anonymous said...

Tom can't put down Santa vs. Satan. He informed me that after I turn in at night he stays up to read it and laughs out loud by himself. I'm sure he'll tell you, but thought I'd pass it along for now.
And Mexican chocolate soap sounds divine!

For the Love of Guava said...

hehee... Mr. Guava and I have been treating ourselves a little too good in the restaurant area as well... but everything does look delicious! At least enjoy it all! :)

Mmmm... tempura sushi... seems like all the Japanese places we used to go to use egg for their batter! bah... so jealous!

Mihl said...

Your guest bloggers made me giggle. :)
Sushi and Thai? That is both pretty fantastic!

Anonymous said...

These are great tips! And thank you so much for the amazing gift! I am loving the chocolate & that book is great!