When dealing with groceries: washing your fruits and vegetables IMMEDIATELY after bringing them into the house makes dinner prep for the rest of the week just that much faster — and freshens them up to last longer.
WHAT I DO: Use a big bowlful of cold water with a dose of Trader Joe's Fruit & Vegetable Wash mixed in. (I would attach a link, but I could not seem to find one on their website.) The all-natural "soap" cleans off wax, pesticides and grit in one fell 30-second swoop. Change the water as necessary if you are cleaning a big load of produce. Rinse all that gorgeous goodness with cold water, prep it if needed (see below), and allow it to air-dry before storing.
For leafy greens (like lettuce, green herbs): trim any browning ends then wrap the plant loosely in a paper towel and store it in a partially closed bag in the veggie drawer.
For firmer stemmed vegetables (like broccoli, asparagus): trim off a good inch of the gross stem ends; place the vegetables in a jar, glass or bowl with an inch of fresh water and refrigerate on a shelf. Use as soon as possible.
Fruits and veggies that should NOT go in the fridge (they don't like it, or they ruin everything else around them with their gas. Yes, gas.): potatoes, onions, hard-shelled squash, tomatoes, eggplant, avocados, apples, bananas, pears.
Here's to faster dinner prep!