I have a confession: I eat a lot of frozen meals. As the Creative Content Producer here at B+C, my plate is very full — and not with healthy food. A demanding job and busy lifestyle means I miss out on homemade, healthy meals more than I care to admit. It also means that when I *do* buy fresh groceries, a lot of it goes bad before I have a chance to use it.
It turns out that OXO may have the answer to my produce problems. OXO's GreenSaver Produce Keepers keep produce that would otherwise rot fresh longer. It works by controlling for the three main reasons produce prematurely spoils: Ethylene gas that is given off as produce ripens (which speeds up the ripening process in neighboring produce), improper airflow (which leads to moisture buildup) and uncontrolled humidity. With GreenSaver, I found that I could buy some fresh produce *the week before* and it will still be good.
Armed with my new secret weapon, I decided to challenge myself: With the help of the GreenSaver System, could I spend an entire work week eating home cooked meals chock full of fresh produce — without compromising my busy schedule *and* without having the food go bad? If so, I may have found a way to give my vitamin-deficient body (and my wallet) a major break.
That's me! Thanks to my very full schedule, I buy most of my meals out, and when I do go grocery shopping, I frequent the frozen food aisle. My diet consists of overpriced restaurant food and microwavable meals.
About OXO GreenSaver Produce Keepers
OXO's GreenSaver Produce Keepers ($15-25) are friends to any and all whole fruits and veggies. Use their nifty produce chart on the underside of the vent to determine if your produce requires more or less humidity, then open or close the vent accordingly and add the replaceable filter. The elevated basket keeps the produce away from the walls of the container, allowing for airflow that wouldn't exist if you kept the produce in its plastic bag from the store.
OXO's Crisper Inserts ($6) work in a similar way, but they go straight into your crisper drawer.
The Meal Plan
When determining the meal plan, I made sure that breakfasts would take five minutes or less to prep, lunch could be made easily the night before (leftovers are your friend!), and dinner would take twenty minutes or less to make. Each recipe has tons of fresh produce to ensure I'd get all those nutrients I've been lacking.
Yummy stuff, right?
Here's the corresponding grocery list. All in all, I spent about $120 — and I even sprang for the organic produce. Not bad for 15 meals in San Francisco!
First up, breakfast time. On Monday, I opted for a nutrient-rich spinach strawberry smoothie with chia seeds and almond milk.
Using OXO's Illuminating Digital Immersion Blender sped up the process even more. I roughly chopped up the ingredients, added them to the blending beaker and blended away. Thanks to the intuitive digital controls and smooth motor, there was NO splatter or mess.
I have to say, this smoothie really started my day — and week — off on the right foot. It's been ages since I've had a homemade smoothie using fresh produce.
Here's the rest of the week's breakfast menu:
Tuesday: Cinnamon Almond Milk Chia Pudding with Fresh Fruit (I prepped this one the night before)
Wednesday: Spinach + Feta Frittata
Thursday: Fresh Fruit Bruschetta with Sourdough Toast and Honey Butter
Friday: Kitchen Sink Smoothie with Chia Seeds, Almond Milk, Extra Fruit + Extra Veggies
Monday's lunch consisted of tasty shrimp spring rolls with avocado, cucumber, carrot and spinach.
I wrapped these bad boys up the night before in rice paper (which, I have to admit, was trickier than I anticipated) and paired with some chili oil.
Psst: If you want to master the perfect spring roll, I suggest you check out Food52's super helpful tutorial.
Not bad for a packed lunch! My coworkers were impressed.
Here's the rest of the week's lunch menu:
Tuesday: Leftover Salmon w/ Spinach + Quinoa
Wednesday: Leftover Shredded Chicken + Rice w/ Cheddar Cheese + Spinach
Thursday: Tomato, Feta + Spinach Quinoa Bowl
Friday: Rice Bowl w/ Shredded Chicken, Cheddar Cheese, Avocado + Tomato
Pro Tip: On Sunday night, I put two chicken breasts and some chicken stock in a crock pot to cook on low overnight. In the morning, I had enough shredded chicken to last the week.
On Monday night, I added some salt and olive oil to two fillets of salmon, baked them for six minutes, then broiled them for about two minutes to crisp up the top. When they were done baking, I packed one fillet away for Tuesday's lunch.
While the salmon baked in the oven, I made a cucumber, avocado, tomato and lemon juice salad.
I topped the salad with feta cheese to make the meal a touch more Mediterranean.
I'll definitely make this meal again. It has so many yummy flavors and it was *so* easy to prepare.
Here's the rest of the week's dinner menu:
Tuesday: Shredded Chicken + Rice w/ Onion + Garlic
Wednesday: Garlic Shrimp w/ Lime + Cilantro on a Bed of Sauteed Spinach
Thursday: Fried Egg Sandwich w/ Toasted Sourdough, Fried Egg, Avocado, Tomato + Cheddar Cheese
Friday: Shrimp Fried Rice with Scrambled Egg, Carrots, Onion + Leftover Veggies
The Verdict: All in all, I'd say the meal plan was a success. Save for two dinner meals I skipped because of unexpected evening plans, I stuck to the schedule wholeheartedly and with great results. Using OXO's GreenSaver System diminished my hesitation to buy fresh produce — I no longer doubt that the avocado I buy Saturday morning will still be good on Thursday night — and it also inspired me to start cooking again. It's great to know that small changes paired with smart technology can make a big, positive impact on my lifestyle.
Will you be trying this meal plan yourself? If so, we want to hear about it! Tweet us at @BritandCo and tell us about your experience.
This post is a collaboration with OXO.
Author: Maddie Bachelder
Production + Styling: Maddie Bachelder
Photography: Chris Andre + Maddie Bachelder