refrigerator
Food For Better Health,  Grill It!,  Healthy Eating,  Main Course,  Meals For Two,  Pork,  Recipes

A Refrigerator Make Over

With recent events, it may be more difficult than ever to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

A cluttered refrigerator tends to make it harder to spot those healthy ingredients, meals, and snacks.

Plan a refrigerator make-over this weekend.

When you stock it with smart, delicious choices, living a healthy lifestyle becomes that much easier.

Take these first three steps to a refrigerator make-over

1.What to toss out…

A messy refrigerator can create overwhelm when you go to the refrigerator for a snack.

Get rid of old condiments and anything that has been sitting in your fridge that you know you are not going to use.

 READ THIS TO FIGURE OUT FOOD EXPIRATION DATES 

You will also want to get rid of rotting produce, moldy cheese, leftovers older than a week and anything else that is inedible.

2. Clean it out…

Remove everything from the refrigerator.

Wipe down the shelves and rinse out the crisper drawers to make sure you are starting over with a clean-smelling fridge.

Repeat these steps for the freezer.

Using your handwashing dish detergent and warm water is sufficient.

3. Refill and reorganize…

Use a list to restock your fridge and freezer with healthy options which allow you to put together quick and tasty meals for the week, including snacks.

The following tips will show you how to organize your refrigerator for success.

Anatomy of a refrigerator

Top Shelf…

I store all my condiments and sauces here because I am short, which makes this shelf difficult to get to and ideal for those items used less frequently.

Keep in mind, this is often the warmest shelf, make sure to stock foods that are not highly perishable or foods that don’t necessarily have to be refrigerated but you prefer eating cold.

Middle Shelf

Front and center, store all your nutritious grab-and-go snacks.

This is prime real estate, so put good-for-you foods that you have pre-portioned or that come pre-packaged in a single-serving size.

Store foods in clear, see-through plastic containers so you can easily identify what you are looking at.

I highly recommend Lock-n-Lock containers.  See a full range of their products HERE.  (I do NOT earn a commission from them).

Here are some ideas:

Wash thoroughly and cut up fruits and vegetables you buy as snacks, as soon as you get home.

Put peanut butter in some celery sticks, place them in a container and put them where you will see them when you open the doors.

Individually portion some hummus to have with crackers.

Place leftovers, or less healthy foods behind the fruits and more healthy foods.

download a free food journal

Bottom Shelf

This is the coldest part of some fridges, especially those with bottom freezers.

I thaw all meat here. I also store my bacon and any other raw meat product on the same shelf.

Place a kitchen towel underneath the meat, reducing the risk of any raw drippings landing on and contaminating other foods.

Depending on your refrigerator’s layout, milk, yogurt, cheeses, and eggs should be stored in the coldest part of your icebox as well.

 Want a tour of my pantry? – Click HERE to go to my YouTube Channel 

JoAnn's Food Bites Pantry

Crisper Drawers

Usually, there are two types of drawers in most refrigerators.

Fruits and vegetables are ideal for these drawers because you can control the amount of moisture the food is exposed to.

Vegetables should be stored with a high humidity level, preventing them from losing moisture and shriveling up especially leafy greens.

Leave them in their original packaging or in a loosely tied perforated plastic bag.

Fruits that should be refrigerated include apples, plums, grapes, and berries.

When fruits, and some veggies, ripen, they release ethylene gas, which can cause veggies to spoil more quickly.

Side Door

Most store their condiments in this area since it is the warmest part of the refrigerator.

However, my fridge has a partial door opening, so I store my frequently used items here, such as creamer, milk, and butter.

Some items for door storage include ketchup, salsa, salad dressing, nut oils, fresh herbs, and water.

Good rule: FIRST IN, FIRST OUT

After grocery trips, put newer items in the back of the fridge or pantry shelf and older ones to the front.

This allows you to use up older stuff before it expires.

On Refrigerator Door

My refrigerator is stainless steel, therefore, magnets are not an option; however, I do keep a picture my granddaughter drew on the front.

I use painter’s tape to attach the week’s menu plan to the front of the door.

Painter’s tape will not leave any residue or damage the surface of the door.

oUT OF MILK APPI do not write down my grocery list and keep it on the door, but some find this helpful.

When I used to do this, I would forget and leave the list at home.

Now I use the Out of Milk app.  It allows me to set up different stores and maintain a list for each store.

I can easily mark off what I buy.  GET THE APP HERE.

The app will also keep track of your spending budget and shopping list total.

It is very user friendly and it is FREE!

The mantra of out of sight, out of mind is something to remember as you are reorganizing your refrigerator.

Place foods you should be eating less of – in the back, behind healthy stuff.

You may want to consider storing the “bad foods” in dark containers so you don’t see the contents.

The foods most easily accessible should be healthy snacks.

needle meat tenderizerSpeaking of healthy…this week’s recipe is grilled pork loin chops, marinated in a flavorful, bright liquid for 24 hours.

I previewed this recipe on my Facebook page, as I demonstrated how easy this recipe really is.

The key to this recipe is using a needle meat tenderizer.  BUY ONE HERE!

Marinated Boneless Pork Loin Chops

These delicious, 1 1/2" thick, boneless, pork loin chops came from ButcherBox. They were so tender and flavorful. Absolutely the best loin chops we have ever tasted.
Course Main Course, Pork
Cuisine American
Keyword boneless pork loin chop, marinated, pork chop
Servings 2 people
Calories 260kcal

Equipment

  • Needle Meat Tenderizing Tool

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 4-6 oz. boneless pork loin chop

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients, except pork loin chops, using a whisk
  • Using the meat tenderizer tool, puncture the boneless pork loin chops, twice on each side.
  • Place boneless pork loin chops in a large zip lock bag
  • Pour the mixture over the chops, remove all air possible from zip lock bag, place in a container and refrigerate a minimum of 6 hours but no more than 24 hours.
  • Flip the chops once halfway through the marinating process
  • When ready to cook, turn the grill burner to high and heat up the grill for 15 minutes.
  • Make sure to clean and oil your grill grate.
  • Place loin chops on hot burners. Flip after 3 minutes, putting a good sear on both sides of the chops.
  • Turn the burner down to medium and cook pork loin chops until an instant-read thermometer reads 162ºF. Remove chops, cover with aluminum foil and allow carry over cooking.

Notes

The key to this tasty recipe is using a meat tenderizing tool like this one...
 

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