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Keep the family healthy during #quarantine Bulk Prep; Greens

Spending time in the kitchen is one of my favorite pastimes. However, between a full time job and a full blown yoga practice, finding the time has been a challenge. Now, with the advent of self isolation, I have plenty of time on my hands. I'm re-honing my cooking skills. I hope these tips are helpful in these difficult times.

For years I worked in the restaurant industry. Starting in the kitchen as a dishwasher in junior high school, making my way into the kitchen at the local "dog track" to server at one of the most renouned Steakhouses in Atlanta; I even dabbled in management. Common among kitchens is the process of bulk prep. It is impossible to run a restaurant and not prep the constituents of major recipies and the recipies themselves in large quantities. Doing so saves time. This is a technique you can use in your own kitchen.

One of my favorite spring and fall bulk preps are fresh, local greens; red or rainbow swiss chard, dandilion, curley or flat leaf kale, traditional or savoy cabbage, and bok choi to name a few. The process is simple; yielding a versitile and nutritious base ingredient for many recipies.

The following suggestions depends on what your needs are. The next time your in the grocery's produce section, select one bunch of each green available for a family of 2-3. For a family of 4-5 I'd reccomend 2 bunches. When you get home, give each buch an initial rinse. Grab a LARGE bowl and your lettuce spinner. Bunch by bunch, chop the greens, rinse and spin dry. Don't forget to water your house plants with the rinse water. Mix the greens and store in RubberMaid; FreshWorks Produce Preservation containers. Your cleaned greens will last several days in these containers.

Now that you have your greens, what to do with them. One of my favorite morning idea is to sauté a handful of greens with coconut oil and a pinch of seasoning. Once sautéed, serve with an over easy egg or two; an unconventional breakfast but a great way to start the day. Also, if you cook soups with an Instant Pot, add a few handfuls. The options are only limited by your imagination.

And now, the most important ingredient; while chopping, rinsing and cooking the healthy greens for yourself and family, focus you mind on how absolutely grateful you are for your family, friends and community. Your kitchen prep will never be the same.


Aaron Brooks Pareigis



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