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How to use all the vegetables that come in a subscription? Answered

We get a box of organic fruits and vegetables every two weeks, but often end up wasting much of the food because we don't know how to cook it. I know we could look up recipes online, but we generally find that's just a little too much effort and we cook something we know. Any ideas how to cook unfamiliar veggies?


The crock pot and oven are your friends when you have a surplus of veggies. I can't stand wasting food- it really bugs me, so I've gotten very good at using up what I have on hand. Here is a few things I do to save money while enjoying more delicious meals than I otherwise would get. When they are fresh you can roast just about anything- or marinate in cubes on skewers and grill on the bbq. They keep well that way in bags in the fridge for using in salads or snacks with cheese and crackers type stuff, I roast a lot of veggies always before a party. For our Christmas party I marinated and roasted Japanese eggplant then made stacks of eggplant, fresh Mozzarella, basil and sundried tomato, they were superb as appetizers! The only veggie you really have to prepare differently is eggplant because it needs to be purged of its bitterness before cooking- I slice it and place the salted slices on paper towels in a stack in the fridge overnight, then cook it in whatever dish you feel like adding it to, especially good breaded and fried for sandwiches. My second favorite thing to do with fresh veggies is make cassaroles- you can put pretty much any veggies in a cassarole dish with either a tomato sauce or white sauce and bake it for an hour and you have a delicious meal, the key is using about a cup of some starch mixed in with it- stale bread works great or you can use rice or leftover mashed potatoes. Stuffing large vegetables like tomatoes, peppers or squash with what you would put in a cassarole works great too! For Christmas again I made large stuffed squash with two types of stuffing- dark rye and apple in half of them and a Mediterranean in the others. When your veggies start to get old- in your case right before you get the next box- that is when I would make soup stock. Soups and curries in general are a great way to use up vegetables and it really is all about the seasonings to make them taste like they should. Soup should have salt, pepper, garlic and bay leaves as the main flavors- then you can add italian seasoning or hotter peppers to taste depending what is needed. For curries I start with the same salt, pepper, garlic, onion and then I make spice mixes from scratch but if you don't live near a good indian market or don't know the right mixes the easiest thing to do is buy one of the bottled mixes- Patak is the standard one you find- and add by the spoonful until you get the flavor you like then mix yogurt in to taste if needed. Soup stock in my opinion shouldn't have any salt or spices in it and you can put any veggies you have nearing the end of their lifespan in. I have a large crockpot that we fill every couple days with questionable veggies and all the trimmings from whatever else we've cooked, the crockpot is super easy- just put the veggies in to the top, fill with water and cook on low overnight. In the morning drain and put in the fridge. A couple days later when I make a new batch or if for other reasons if I have any leftover stock I freeze it in ziplock bags with the date and main veggie flavors labeled on it and then when you want to use it just put the bag in a bowl of warm water to loosen for a few minutes then put in the pan and use as normal stock- the ice will melt the rest of the way in use. Freezing actually is a great way to store veggies, although I never quite got the hang of what ones freeze well raw- my mom is the master of freezing stuff! I tend to cook them lightly and freeze them afterwards if I really have a surplus of something that is so tasty I don't want it to go to waste. I used to make homemade "tv dinners" out of meals that were good but I had too much leftovers and then I would eat them when I was busy or bring to work. I'va also at times made jams and jellies but usually if I'm going in that direction I will make Japanese or Indian style pickles or liqueurs out of Vodka or other high proof clear booze poured over equal layers of tiny cut fruit and sugar packed in a jar. Put that in a sunny window for a few months and you get tasty fruit liqueur (this essentially was the main thing behind my great grandmother's liquor recipes). The main thing with canning stuff is sterilizing the jars, I boil them in a large pan while making up the other ingredients but there are more scientific ways of doing it. This is just a handful of things I've done forever to use up the food on hand. Old fashioned cookbooks- my favorites are from the turn of the century through the 20's- are great for generic recipes that can be used with any combination of ingredients on hands and the kitchen basics- flour, milk, eggs, oil and butter, etc. If you are cooking vegan this takes some adjustment, but they still are the most useful resources I've found. Hope this helps- Crystal


9 years ago

Soup, soup and more soup. Having friends over for dinner or trading with friends for other food (I know I always rush to my friends' when their CSA overfloweth)

Does anyone else find it ironic that you're asking online, because you're too lazy to find recipes online?

Did you ever try looking up something, that you were unfamiliar with what it was, how to use it, or what it was called? That is work :-)

Still, it is very difficult to look up things using a tool that demands words, when you have no idea what it is called or what it is. I don't think she asked anyone to look it up, but rather, do you know how to..., right ? :-)

But we don't know what veggies she has, so all we can do is give the generic vegetable recipes that searching would turn up ;)

I don't care that she asked, I just thought it was ironic that she is too lazy to look it up online, so instead she asks online.

OK fine, fuller explanation: What I can't do is look up recipes every time I'm about to cook something (I really am not that interested in cooking). I was hoping for some general ideas about the problem, not recipes, and lo! I got some really good ones. I AM online all the time for work, you see, but I don't cook at work.

Now see here mister, in my day we had cookbooks and they were heavy, we kept them at school which is thirty miles uphill both ways in the snow, so have some respect!

I still have a lot of cookbooks too. And yes, it seems quicker sometimes to open to the index to see if the fruit / veggie is there, but that only works if you know the name of the fruit or veggie. As you wrote, it gets much more difficult when you aren't familiar with it's name.

Any examples of such vegetables? Generally most things take well to roasting or baking... Maybe try frying them, it works for loads of stuff...


9 years ago

Throw them in a soup or juice them.

Roasting is your best option. My mom receives a CSA Shipment (Community Sustained Agriculture) shipment every week as well, and just like yourself, she receives tons of veggies that she has no idea what to do with.

She roasts them and makes a very delicious root vegetables platter. Over Thanksgiving and other holiday events, the root vegetables are the hit. Throw in some potatoes to add a flavor people are used to tasting, but also add some beets for color and health. Roasted root vegetables is one of the healthiest options you could choose.

I like to put them in stuff like smoothies since they're so much of everything else in there you cant taste them

There are some basic substitutions you've probably already found: all non- lettuce greens can be prepared like spinach, all squash can be roasted and used to replace meat, any mixture of vegetables and fruits becomes a salad when you put salad dressing on it. Mostly though, I would suggest making vegetable stock with what ever you don't know what to do with. You should be able to find suggestions online for water to vegetables ratio. It will save you time if you ever make soup from scratch and you can cook rice in it to add vitamins and flavor.


9 years ago

I know you've tried looking up recipes before, but give this site a try: www.allrecipes.com. There is an advanced search function that lets you specify which ingredients you would like to use. Just enter in the stuff you'd like to use, and see what shows up. Then, resolve to be adventurous and try something you maybe haven't tried before!

Well, depending to the classification, if they are root veggies, then a quick easy way is to roast them.