Shopping at a Farmer's Market in July is alwlays alluring -- all that fresh produce -- everything says "Buy me."
But when you're cooking for one, it's hard to pick; even harder to have any discipline.
The first few times I went, I bought just like in the past and ended up with quite a bit of dead produce (more than usual -- I confess to always over buying).
Now I'm a bit more disciplined. (it's a learning curve.) I look at each thing and say, "How am I going to use you?" and perhaps more importantly, "When?"
So I can't buy more fruit than I'm going to eat in 5-7 days. I try to make sure that some of it isn't ripe yet. I eat lots of fruit -- I usually have some as part of breakfast and lunch and at least one fruit snack every day. That means I could eat more than 20 portions in a week. I target my indulgence here -- especially since you can't buy fresh peaches or blueberries worth eating in December.
With veggies, I have to get better at planning. Some for salads, of course. I usually have one most days. But to me a salad might be just tomatoes and parsley with some shallot or cucumbers and red onion in vinegar with a bit of sugar and dill so I don't need seven days worth of greens.
The rest have to be targeted for actual dishes This week that means:
- Tomatoes, frying peppers, hot peppers, onions, and garlic for a vegetable spaghetti sauce. I eat it as is (seasoned with sea salt, pepper, thyme, and basil) or use it as a base for meals with grilled shrimp, portobello mushrooms (one big one is a main course), chicken tenders, and so forth.
I can make a big pot. It can safely stay in the refrigerator for a few weeks (the acid from the tomatoes), be the basis for a company meal, or get put into pint or quart containers in the freezer.
- Thin spears of asparagus. I can either make a pot of soup -- again the freezer strategy -- or steam or roast the spears and use them in salads all week long. This week my plan is to use most of them in a vegetqrian lasagna (I cut it up after it's cooled and freeze the pieces for instant dinners) and the rest in an asparagus omelet. Omelets are perfect cooking for one.
I had to pass up lots of great looking fruit and terrific looking corn, eggplants, and zucchini. I'm looking forward to putting them into the plan for next week -- or maybe I'll be seduced by something even better.