Archived: Help! I bought a Good Food Box and now I have too many vegetables!

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Student life doesn’t have to be a big game of “how many days straight can I eat Kraft Dinner without dying?” That’s especially true if you’ve ordered a Good Food Box, which is part of a program run by the Community Kitchen Program of Calgary that gives all Calgarians access to top quality, fresh fruits and vegetables at a very low cost.

That said, if you’ve ordered a Good Food Box (and we highly recommend it!), you might be astonished at the sheer amount of produce you get. Even a small box averages 20 – 25 pounds of fruit and veg. And sometimes you might not know what you’re supposed to do with all that. So if you find yourself with the happy problem of having too much food and not knowing what to do with it, check out our top 3 things to do with extra veggies from your Good Food Box.

Psst: Not sure how long your box of fruit and veg will keep? Consult StillTasty for guides to shelf life (how long it’ll stay fresh) and storage (should you keep it in the fridge or the pantry?).

Stir fry everything (we mean everything)
Best for: Literally any vegetable you can cut up. Seriously, just go wild.

We haven’t met a veggie we couldn’t stir fry. You might need to experiment a bit with how long each vegetable needs to be cooked – some tougher veggies (think carrot or broccoli) take a little longer, so add those first.

Toss it all in a tablespoon or two of oil over medium-high heat. Once everything is tender (you are taste-testing, right?) throw in some store-bought sauce. You could eat it over rice if you’re feeling fancy, but if you eat it directly out of the pot, we won’t judge.

Tips: Try to chop everything roughly the same size – it’ll cook evenly that way. If you’re adding meat, cook it first then add it back in when the veggies are almost done.

Use your (ramen) noodle
Best for: Green onions, shelled peas, baby spinach, thinly sliced cabbage, shredded carrot.

Can you boil water? Can you can slice or dice a vegetable? If you answered yes to both those questions, you’re in luck. You can upgrade your ramen from “salty noodles in styrofoam” to “delightful, delicious basically-gourmet noodles (in styrofoam)”.

Adding veggies to your ramen is a quick way to make you feel less of a broke student, and also to offset the impressive amount of salt and starch you’re about to consume. Just add your vegetables to your noodles while they’re cooking/brewing, or even just toss ’em raw right on top if you like the extra crunch.

Tips: Top off your ramen bowl with a fried egg or sliced hard-boiled egg and a bit of hot sauce. Trust us on this one – you can thank us later.

Make your veggies soup-preme
Best for: Root vegetables (like carrots, potato, or onion), squash, broccoli or cauliflower, celery.

Soup is dead easy – all you need is a big pan, ideally with a lid. If you have garlic or onion, start by cooking it in a bit of oil over medium heat, until it’s soft. Then you add all your chopped veggies (aim for small chunks) and cook them ‘til they’re nice and brown. Add enough some broth to cover the vegetables, add a bit of salt and pepper, and let it simmer for about half an hour – depending on how soft you like your veggies. Taste it occasionally and add whatever spices you like.

That’s it! You’ve made soup. If you want to make it creamy, just blend or puree it. You can add a bit of cream, milk, or butter if you’re feeling fancy, but it’s not really necessary.

Tips: A bouillon cube dissolved in hot water can replace broth in a pinch.

Of course, there’s a million different things you can do with all that fruit and veg – the sky is the limit on this one! Worst case scenario, you have to leave a gift-wrapped zucchini on your neighbour’s doorstep – and is there really anything wrong with that? (We think not.)

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