Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Cutting greens with less mess

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays

When I need to chop some greens, like spinach or kale to put in soup, this helps contain the mess:

Kale greens

Split the bag open and chop on the bag. If I'm chopping a lot of greens, I may do this in two batches.

Kale greens

It looks like a lot less after being chopped! For some reason, chopping on the bag seems to be easier and less messy for me. I did use a cutting board under the bag, to protect the landlord's counters. ;)

And be sure to use a dull knife. I used a big sharp knife and chopped away happily... and it cut into the bag a little! We definitely don't want plastic in our food! Normally my dull kitchen knives don't cut the bag at all.

The kitchen counter

After I took pictures of my chopped kale (it's awesome in Turkey Sausage Kale Soup or Veggie Bean Soup!), I took a picture of what the *rest* of the kitchen counter looked like. Way too full of my junk and projects I keep thinking I'll have time for. Well, I did get some mending done this week and did some decluttering last week, but I'm ready to be done! Plus, the weather has been too nice to spend my free time cleaning junk out of kitchen cupboards. :P :)

Eliyahu with his Legos

And one more bonus picture today: Eliyahu with a Lego drawer. The drawer slides in and out and can hold small things (like treasure maps). :) For Eliyahu's 6th birthday this year, he got The Lego Ideas Book and both boys have spent hours looking through it, reading it, and using ideas from it to create things from our big box of garage-sale Legos! I am amazed at the things the boys have been building. I look at it and just see a jumble of bricks... :)

I've missed blogging! I did pull my camera out last week for some pictures of dinner, and I have some really good stuff to write about... I may start trying to use the computer again during afternoon quiet time... or get up super early to write... :)

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1. Using and storing avocado (Heather at Feel Good About Dinner)
2. Growing green onions in water (Sarah at Nature's Nurture)
3. Egg substitutes in baking (Tara at Feels Like Home)
4.
5.

Comments

That Lego Idea Book looks great! I'm going to have to remember it for my son's 6th birthday in a few months. Also, I've been trying to leave a comment congratulating you on the birth of your sweet baby for quite a while, but I kept getting errors every time I submitted the comment. Maybe it will work this time. But anyway, you have a beautiful family!

Thank you, Heather! :)

The Lego book is fascinating even to me -- the captions are interesting and have helped encourage reading -- along with building! :)

Please, whatever you do, don't get up super early! (Although I do missing reading what you have to say!)

Melinda

Melinda, lol! I am more of a morning person so that might be my best option... I do like taking afternoon naps during quiet time. ;) Most of my children are also "morning people" too, hence the "super early" vs. just "early". ;)

Thanks for the great kitchen tip! Any idea that reduces mess and clean up is a great idea.

My boys both love legos and we have millions! I told my parents not to buy any more legos for David's Birthday this year. I just sent them your link for a Birthday gift idea. I know he would love to look through and create many of these things. Legos are such a great toy! I love seeing their little creative minds work.

What an awesome tip, Tammy! I hate cleaning the green off of my cutting board and this totally solves that problem. Thank you :)

Here's my tip for this week - Growing onions in water: http://naturesnurtureblog.com/2012/04/10/tiny-tip-tuesday-growing-onions-in-water/

-Sarah

I'm wondering if chopping on the bag would release more BPA since you are actually cutting into the plastic. May not be the best way to prep health-wise.

Hmm, I don't know! My normal (dull!) knife doesn't actually cut the bag. But, it does press on the bag (obviously). I'm not sure of the health risks of that happening for a few minutes with the food on it... but my cutting boards are plastic too and the kale was stored in the plastic bag for however long, so I'm probably already doomed BPA-wise... ;)

Hi Tammy! It's been a while since I've visited, and I'm so glad to see that you and your beautiful family are well. I shared a tip today about what to substitute for eggs when you're baking.

http://www.feelslikehomeblog.com/2012/04/what-to-substitute-for-eggs-in-baking/

Happy Tuesday!
Tara

Thanks, Tara! Glad to have your post this week! :D

http://momsfrugal.blogspot.com/2012/04/kitchen-tip-leeks-and-green-onions.html

Hope you're back up to full strength and the baby is doing well- and Joshua too!

This is about cutting greens like collards, which I love and like to cook up a lot of it and put in the freezer. (Or you could also can them.) Instead of cutting the greens up, then putting the cut greens into the cooking pot, here's what I do, and this works great for the huge leaves of collards and other big-leafed greens: I wash them well, cut off any large stem pieces I want to discard (but please don't assume all stems are inedible - usually the stems cook up very tender and are delicious, unless maybe the greens are old); then I just stack the leaves into the pot, usually a dutch oven style pot, maybe staggering which direction the stems are pointing if you like, so all stems won't be on top of each other. Stack until you have either put all the greens in there, or until you have reached the top of the pot. Many times I have several bunches of collards and will be cooking two or three pots-full. Add a little water so the greens won't stick to the bottom of the pot, put a lid on and bring to a boil, turn heat down and cook probably at least 30 minutes, maybe an hour. The greens will be tender. Now get yourself one of those two-pronged cooking forks and a good sharp longish knife, and cut through all the layers into roughly two-inch squares, or whatever size you want. Now you've got them into bite-sized pieces; just stir them around because some of the layers will want to stick together, but it will be okay. I let them cool, then put into whatever freezer container I will be using, pouring a little of the liquid in with it, and freeze. I usually save some for dinner of course. Cornbread please. MMMMM.

Many times I love collards with no seasoning but a little salt, but I know most folks like more than that, and you can add your seasoning as you cook them, or after thawing for a future meal and seasoning them then.

This is so much easier than the way I used to do them, using a scissors to cut a couple of leaves together, or chopping with a knife and making an even bigger mess than I do now. If you don't have a big potful of greens, you might be able to snip through them with a kitchen scissors right in the pot, after cooking. Does anyone else use this method?

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