November 18, 2012

Are Your Veggies Out Of Sight And Out Of Mind?

Re-Organizing Your Fridge, With Intention

Don't stuff your most colorful foods into a life-sucking time trap. Skip the veggie bin....
Vegetables are a Top-Shelf food,  and that's where they belong!

Best Eaten Fresh question: Why is it that veggie bins almost always among the bottom shelves of our refrigerators? 

That being asked, I have to admit; I have never had an apartment with a fridge younger than about 10-15 years, so, maybe times have changed. But, my guess is that many of us still have refrigerators built circa 1990-2000 that were designed around space and function.  Shouldn't healthy eating be the priority in refrigerator design?  I think it is time to think outside of the box. 

Although these bins are made to keep our veggies fresher and  crisper, they hold our veggies hostage. Out of sight and, out of mind. 

How many times have you come home with a harvest of veggies, only to shove them into a dark little drawer for keeping? Weeks later you sadly rediscover the now floppy remains, "oh crap! I forgot about the ______ [insert vegetable you want to eat more often, but, always manage to forget here] again!". Vegetable-bin-neglect results in a floppy, sad, and, otherwise avoidable death. 

Me covering up the Frowny-face in the right corner.

With about 20 minutes of  time and organization, you can increase your veggie intake by leaps and bounds! 

All you have to do is create a space to store them within eye sight.   

I love vegetables. I was that bizarre kid who chose them over the meat. And, though I was raised eating a variety of veggies with about every meal, I have accidentally let veggies go to wilt in my fridge my entire adult life. My biggest victim is celery. To be honest, I don't care to eat celery much aside from in soups, so, no heartbreak there (sorry celery). 

Beets, spinach, and chard...that's another story...a very sad one that ends in heartache over a vegetable. Okay, I feel bad for downing celery...good organic celery is peppery and delicious. I think that a childhood filled with a tasteless and waterlogged version coated in peanut butter or cream cheese kind of tainted my taste-memory of real celery. Okay, back to the refrigerator...

After a few episodes this summer,  it dawned on me; my failure to meet an ambitious veggie quota was due to poor presentation! 

Deductive Reasoning: 
I would eat what was on the top of the drawer the day of purchase. The veggies that did not fit into the drawer ended up on a shelf where they were easily within eyesight, and they were also eaten. Inevitably, the veggies on the bottom of the drawer were most often forgotten about, and left to wither to waste. Or for soup scraps...or, If I was really lucky I could shock and blanch the life back into them.

After realizing the peril of that dungeonous drawer, there was nothing else left to do; I retired our veggie crisper, and began to lovingly display all veggies on the top and second shelves of our fridge. 

It was only today that, I removed everything from the top shelf but a beautiful cornucopia of  colorful veggies. They are pretty much irresistible now. And, every time I open my fridge, inspirations on how to prepare them come to mind, as they are the first thing I see.

Label Master

Think Outside Of The Bin

Just because it's labeled "veggie bin", it doesn't mean it can't house the condiments. If it makes you feel better, get some masking tape and re-claim the space for something that is a little less perishable. Make it a beverage or condiment crisper instead. 

We have these huge jars of olives and roasted red peppers that don't fit in the side doors of our refrigerator. So, I  pulled those off the top shelf and tucked them into their cozy den below with other jars of randomness. I like the idea of a "condiment crisper" since condiments are rarely used , and  last forever. Like FOREVER-forever. Before a grocery trip, our barren refrigerator resembles a moist and well lit vault of rare and antiquated jars. 

Plus, I am reminded of my talented loves ones who make things from scratch !

Label Your Lids For Simplicity

From an aerial perspective,  I see shiny lids of condiments that line my crisper drawer. I like shiny things so this is an aesthetic plus. In order to avoid having to pick up and inspect every jar to find what I am looking for, I  label the tops with masking tape, a permanent marker and my three year old handwriting..."pesto, jam, salsa...", and so on. 

5 Steps To Create Space And Honor Your Veggies

#1 Clear all items from the top shelf of your refrigerator.

#2 Display luscious array of veggies on that top shelf.

#3 Place beverages that would usually be on the top shelf in door compartments or in drawers.

#3 Remove condiments from shelves and doors to make space for other items if needed, such as beverages.

#4  Label lids of jars with masking tape so the jars are easy to identify from above. Place them in a crisper / bin. 

#5 Use baskets and bowls to organize veggies on the top shelf if needed.

No comments:

Post a Comment