Friday, May 27, 2011

How much?

Mr. Barefoot and I have been having a lot of trouble getting enough vegetables and dealing with our meal plan for the past month.  I think this is because we have recently decided to eat more vegetables and also not throw things away. So in trying not to overbuy, we are underbuying and running out of food.  We also have a meal plan, but this month's didn't work out since we are trying to eat more seasonally, but the farmer's markets have only radishes and chard.
Our CSA is still two weeks away from starting, and I've realized that the biggest problem for us is that we have no idea how many vegetables to buy for ourselves, unless they are part of a recipe.  If you do the math, to get the recommended 3-5 servings a day of vegetables, we need to be buying 6 servings of vegetables per day for a week.  Which is 42 servings, total.
A serving, in case you were wondering, so something around-ish 1/2 cup of vegetables or one tennis ball sized vegetable (so a small head of brocolli).
Which means that what we should be buying, if we were only eating fresh vegetables, to feed two people reasonable vegetables for a week is something like:
1 lb green beans (should create 4 servings of vegetables)
2 zucchini (a word I still can't spell) - 4 servings
2 yellow squash - 4 servings
2 heads broccoli - 2 servings
4 peppers - 4 servings
1/2 lb snap peas - 2 servings
1 Eggplant - 4 servings
2 cucumbers - 4 servings
1 lb of spinach - 4 servings
1 lb salad greens - 4 servings
2 bunches radishes - 4 servings
1 lb peas - 4 servings

So, upon writing that list, uh, holy cr*p, 3-5 servings a day of vegetables is a LOT.  More importantly, our current produce yield looks something a lot more like:
1 bag salad - 2 servings
1 bag spinach - 2 servings
1 bunch asparagus - 2-4 servings
1 bunch radishes - 2 servings
1 eggplant - 2 servings (they are small right now)
2 peppers - 2 servings
1/2 lb green beans or snap peas.  - 2 servings

That is about 14 servings of vegetables, for two people, for a week.  It works out to about 1 vegetable a day.    So clearly we're not buying enough vegetables.  (This by the way, is a REALLY GOOD week for us.)  I'm not really sure what to do, short of buying a ton of stuff at the farmer's market on Sundays, then coming home and menu planning.  Which does sound exhausting, but might be worth it.  I feel better when I'm eating fresh vegetables, and right now, we have the time.  But then we run into the problem of - sometimes we go out to eat. Sometimes vegetables go bad.  How do we keep the vegetables from going bad and make sure we eat them fast enough?  I think strict menu planning and using all my vegetable cookbooks is going to be the answer.  Also making sure things like cucumbers are already washed and ready to eat will help me reach for them for snacks.

Anyone have any tips for how much vegetables the Barefoots should be buying? I feel like I should be walking out of the grocery store with at least one reusable bag filled with just produce.  I also didn't include onions on this list because I don't know if they are a vegetable.  Thoughts?


  1. Isn't the recc 3-5 of veggies AND fruit? It's easy enough to eat an apple here or there...

  2. Thank goodness the new food "pyramid" just came out and now all you have to worry about is filling half your plate with fruits and veggies!