Preparing for travel: A few ways to use up all of that produce.

Hi friends. I want to thank you for your very kind comments (and emails and Tweets and FB messages) of condolence over the past few days. Thank you for holding my sister in your thoughts.

I am en route to Iowa this morning and thought I would share a few things that I did to prepare for the trip. Namely, eat vegetables.

We get a weekly organic produce delivery every Thursday. This means I had a lot of veggies to try to use up before leaving (and it meant canceling this week’s order!). Dave’s cousin and her husband spent Thursday night with us (we were out for dinner when I got the sad news and they were wonderfully supportive). I made them massively veggie-packed food Friday morning as a thank you.

Before heading out for a hike in the Garden of the Gods I made them their very first green smoothies. I used one entire head of red leaf lettuce, three cups of unsweetened almond milk, one and one-half frozen banana, one cup of frozen cherries and one medjool date (Served 4).

green smoothie for liz and matt

They were pleasantly surprised and Liz even shared it on her Facebook!  I also prepared  my Creamy Breakfast Casserole before the hike

Creamy Breakfast Casserole on JL goes Vegan

which we put into the oven upon our return. I used an entire bunch of kale and lots of other veggies and I served the casserole with an arugula salad (and toast withhomemade vegan butter). I think the veggie-ful morning of drinks and eats was a real hit.

Sunday I realized it was go-time for the rest of my produce – use ‘em or lose ‘em.  I juiced all of our apples (14) which only made about 16 ounces of juice. So that was easy.  But oh, wow, did I still have a ton of veggies.  I decided to make a “toss whatever ya’ got” in the pressure cooker type of soup.

A very veggie pressure cooker soup recipe on JL goes Vegan

I’d say I used about 4 quarts of chopped veggies. I added 8 cups of vegetable stock (that I had made just a few days prior with last week’s produce…sensing a trend here?) and grabbed a few bottles from the spice drawer. This happened:

JL's Very Veggie Pressure Cooker Soup

It was so, so good.  I had it for lunch Sunday and for breakfast and lunch Monday…and still had about six cups leftover, which I poured into a sturdy storage bag and tossed into the freezer. It’s such a simple recipe. [click to continue…]

JL Fields is co-author of the forthcoming Vegan for Her: The Women’s Guide to Being Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet and writes the blog JL goes Vegan.

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