Here is a picture of butternut squash soup (recipe posted below), oven roasted white & sweet potatoes, and raw vegetables with a dairy-free dip. The night I fixed this meal, I had very little time, so I heated up the soup, roasted the potatoes with their skins on, scooped out the pre-made dip, and grabbed some raw vegetables out of their Ziploc bags. Tada....a nutritious meal! And the kids loved it because of the presentation - some patterned wax paper, coconut milk, and a sprinkle of cinnamon really did the trick! I usually try to keep cut-up veggies on hand for moments like these.
It is wise to take some time at the kitchen counter once a week to cut up some vegetables so that you will always have last minute veggies for any meal or snack. Raw vegetables are nice and crunchy too, so when a craving for something like potato chips hits you, it'll be so easy to grab for something that is satisfying yet nutritious instead, because it'll be all ready for you.
Remember, a bag full of celery, a pound of carrots, or a head of broccoli won't send an appetizing message to the brain when you or your children are searching the refrigerator in a ravenous state. So, plan ahead! When you are eating vegetables raw, it is worth paying a little bit extra to buy organic.... you can usually taste the difference, and if it tastes terrific you'll tend to WANT to eat it, which is an added bonus, right? :) And, organic foods contain something like 4 or 5 times the nutrients of non-organic! I guess that makes it cheaper to buy organic in the end! ;)
Some vegetables keep better than others after they've been cut up and stored in the refrigerator in a Ziploc bag. I've done pretty well with the following:
Carrots last for a long time
Fennel - only cut the bottom to seperate the sections - the cuts turn brown
red, yellow, orange peppers - keep a paper towel in the bag - 3 days at most
cucumber - keep a paper towel in the bag - gets soggy on the 2nd day
snow peas - uncut - great snack!
mushrooms - sliced - great to add to salads
sprouts - as is - great for snacking and salads
grape/cherry tomatoes - keep them on the counter - never refrigerate tomatoes
Pomegranates can be peeled ahead of time, and stored in a Ziploc bag until you are ready to assemble your platter. All kinds of dried fruit and/or nuts & seeds can be added. We keep a 3-drawer bin that is full of these sorts of goodies at all times! I will include a picture of our nut/seed/dried fruit collection in a later post. This simple kind of treat is perfect for after school, Sabbath afternoon, or anytime you want a nutrient packed snack....quick, easy, and nutritious!
This is a great Fall or Winter soup to make ahead of time. It's real simple to make, its gluten free & dairy free, and it stores beautifully in the refrigerator for a few days. To reheat this velvety soup, cover it and bake it in the oven at 350 F until it is bubbly!
1 small leek or a small onion (thinly sliced)
Olive oil for sauteeing the onion
1 container of vegetable broth
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
A very generous amount of Sean Salt
A bit of Ground black pepper
1 apple (peeled, cored, and cut into large chunks)
1 large sweet potato (peeled and cut into large chunks)
Good quality butternut squash (peeled and cut into chunks)
*use 3 times as much butternut squash as sweet potato
*I use the solid part on the stem side for soup & the seeded side
gets roasted with brown sugar, cinnamon, & DF butter inside of it!
About 8 cups of water - give or take...
Cinnamon for sprinkling (optional)
A drizzle of DF milk or DF creamer of your choice
Sautee leek or onion slices in a bit of olive oil until they start browning
Pour in the vegetable broth
Add the cinnamon stick, salt, and pepper
Add apple, sweet potato, and butternut squash to the pot
Add enough water to cover all of the ingredients twice over
Bring to the boil.
Continue boiling on high until all of the vegetables are tender
enough to mash with a fork easily against the side of the pot
Either using a blender or a hand blender, blend the soup until velvety
Drizzle with DF milk or creamer (we use coconut)
Serve piping hot!