I can't tell you how many times I've visited the market / grocery store only to find that they were completely sold out of Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. They always seem to have everything else BUT the low sodium veg which I suppose is a good thing as it means more people are enjoying low sodium veggie options. Until I really work out the perfect at home stock I regularly use boxed stocks for soups, sauces, and stews and when push comes to shove, full sodium vegetable stock will have to do.
Full Sodium Stock has significantly more flavour but with that flavour comes an abundance of salt. When using full sodium stocks, dilute the stock cup for cup with cold water. This will keep the sodium down as well as keep you in control of the level of salt and flavour in the dish.
Growing up, we as kids are taught to wash our produce prior to eating it but it was not a rule that I ever religiously followed until I learned more about food.
Every vegetable you purchase must be washed unless it is bagged and that bag specifies the product has been thoroughly washed. Not all dirt is as easy to see as notoriously dirty vegetables like celery, leeks, or lettuce. Dirt hides in all the creases and cracks and depending on whether your produce grows above or below ground, this will determine the scrubbing necessary.
Veggies and fruit that grow above ground like celery, tomatoes, cauliflower, and lettuces can be hand scrubbed and most dirt and grime is fairly visible to scrub away. Unless you are buying organic, you are attempting to scrub some of the pesticide away as well.
In the case of veggies that grow underground, it is important to thoroughly scrub them using a vegetable scrubbing brush. Carrots and Potatoes may appear clean from rinsing off but dirt hides between the microscopic sized cracks and creases in the skin. Peeling these vegetables will obviously remove the problem but you also remove flavour and nutritional value.
Washing produce may be that one annoying step you want to skip but seeing a ring of dirt around your pan after boiling potatoes is not attractive to guests! :p
Having rubber bands around is actually quite helpful for so many things in the kitchen. Most importantly, sealing packages that have been open and are not resealable.
If you're someone who purchases them in bulk listen up and you'll save a few bucks. Save all the elastics that wrap your produce when you purchase it. Ever notice veggies like celery and asparagus come wrapped in elastic? Save them for future use in the kitchen and you can really avoid buying elastics and bag clips.
You're welcome. :)
Potatoes get a bad rap but so long as you don't drown them in sauces and butter and fatty things, they are quite good for you. They are one of the most versatile vegetables available to you at the market. Aside from eating them raw, they can be baked, roasted, fried, chipped, sliced, mashed, boiled, and everything in between. I could rave about potatoes all day.
Did you know that they can also be used to thicken soups, stews, and sauces?
Jonathan - Happy Veg
Dedicated Foodie. Proud Vegetarian. Recipe Creator. Friend to all Animals.