Some people know it… I spend the equivalent of half the year alone with my children while my boyfriend works in the Far North of Quebec. There, it is -70C in March and it snows at the end of July. While he tries to convince himself that having frostbite is as commonplace as leaving a wash, I take care of the children, the house and the shop. Needless to say, when he comes back, it’s a party every time.
When it’s off, going to the grocery store is like an Olympic event! With a busy schedule like mine, you have to make choices. Summer is pretty easy: the mini fruit and vegetable market in the convenience store parking lot saves my life! I’ve troooop looking forward to it opening! But from the fall to the spring, I manage to go two weeks without going to the grocery store. And my kids eat fruits and vegetables at every meal.
Here are my tips:
First and foremost: You bone the hot chicken when you arrive from the grocery store? Do the same with your fruits and vegetables! Take care of them on the spot. Wash, cut, freeze, cook. Add this step to your back-to-grocer routine. I guarantee you, it will be the best 30 minutes invested of your week!
Pack all vegetables that won’t be used on the same day. The cotton food packaging soaked in beeswax is ideal. It will let your fruits, vegetables and herbs breathe, thus reducing them for longer.
THE FRUITS:
  • Cut everything that’s ripe.
  • Keep some of your fruit cut to make a fruit salad. It will be perfect for mornings in a hurry, as a snack, in lunches, alone, with yogurt, cheese or with a caramel coulis for dessert.
  • Put cubes in the freezer. They’ll make perfect smoothies. All fruits are good in smoothies. But try frozen papayas, milk and maple syrup: Paradise!
  • For “I need a quick drink” evenings, frozen pineapples become perfect pina colada, a classic. But you can have fun for a long time by trying various combinations!
  • Have you forgotten some fruit? Are they a little too soft? If you have a child under 2 years old, he will devour them without a second… Hahaha! If not, why not make a jam out of it? This classic of our grandmothers, we often forget. It’s so simple! Your homemade jams will garnish roasts and yogurts. Combined with a strong cheese, they will be perfect for stuffing your proc fillet or a chicken breast.
VEGETABLES:
  • Cut!
  • Keep some of it that will serve as rawness in lunches. Don’t forget the dip, that’s what makes kids think they’re candy! I propose my favorite: Plain yogurt, crumbled feta, a hint of honey, herbs. For a “really delicious and more nourishing” touch, add roasted pepper and toasted almonds. Go in the blender! Make it for the week. This dip turns into a meal if accompanied by pita bread and soup.
  • Sauté a ton of vegetables! They will make perfect accompaniments for all the week’s dinners. Cooked vegetables can be stored for 6-7 days without any problems.
  • Did you forget a few of them in the fridge? Cut them into large cubes, boil them with a broth (vegetables, chicken or beef), put in a blender to make a soup. Freeze if desired. To make it smoother, add a touch of cream, goat foming or cream cheese before serving.
Are you really exhausted? – Serve a grilled cheese with strong cheddar and homemade jam, with your vegetables already cooked as an accompaniment. – Cook pasta, add your already cooked vegetables. Use soup as a sauce. Thicken with a little cheese if necessary. If you have any leftover meat, poultry or fish, add it! – Do you have a mini leftover spaghetti sauce or chili? Brush a pita bread (or naan bread, or baguette from the day before), add your pre-cooked vegetables. Gratin. Bake for a few minutes. – Do you have lots of minis left? Make a buffet dinner! These are just a few ideas. But the key is organization. Above all, don’t be afraid to make tries and mistakes. The leftovers of the fridge often hide nice surprises.