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I throw away too many vegetables. I tend to buy a lot of vegetables, because I love them, and I love how I feel when I get plenty of veggies in my diet. But as the week progresses, I find myself grabbing whatever is easiest, which is often not my veggies. Tonight, I decided that I needed to do something to reverse the trend. Thus, Clean Out the Refrigerator Night. This is actually a recipe I like to make often, but it is an adaptable recipe, depending on what I have to use up.

Veggies and Couscous

5-6 cups of veggies, whatever you have (tonight I used mushrooms, red and yellow bell peppers, a leek, broccoli and cauliflower, 1 yellow tomato and 1 red tomato)
16 ounce container Imagine Organic Creamy broccoli soup
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh basil

I sautéed the mushrooms, bell peppers and the leek in a bit of water until they started to soften, then added the broccoli and cauliflower, put a lid on the skillet, and let that all steam for a bit. When the broccoli and cauliflower started to soften, I added the soup, chopped the tomatoes, and ground some pepper on top. The lid went back on top, and I let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Then I picked some fresh basil from the pot in my window and stirred that in.

I served over tri-color couscous, and we had steamed carrots and mandarin oranges on the side. I feel so healthy!

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Reading No Impact Man has really made me aware of how much stuff we throw away. It doesn’t help that we are working on massively decluttering the apartment. We recycle, but I really would like to do more reusing.

However, it takes so much time to reuse! We have been doing pretty good with bringing our lunches, and the Laptop Lunchboxes are so much better than the sandwich baggies I used to send with the girl that she would throw away every day. But, washing those extra dishes every night takes so much more time. And, if I can whine just a bit more, my kitchen sink is just that much too short, so that my back hurts when I stand there to do dishes, stooping just a bit. I don’t even notice I am doing it until my back starts to hurt.

I really don’t mind the extra dishes that much, though. It’s the thought of how many more dishes and how much more prep work I would have if we reused more that really gets to me. So, I feel a bit guilty as I put the empty glass mango sauce jar in the trash, but not guilty enough to seriously think about making my own mango or apple sauce at home in my own reusable jars. Do you know how long that takes?!?!?

Maybe someday I’ll get there, but for now, I am just going to focus on the benefits of not using sandwich baggies. And I will go put my paper bags from Trader Joe’s by the door so I don’t forget to take them with me tomorrow to the store. Baby steps before running, right?

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