I have to hand it to Wegmans (and not for the first time). I was there today and in the produce section saw pre-cut stir-fry vegetables, all laid out in rectangular trays, ready for you to take home and cook. There was even a store chef there about to start a demonstration. The photo here is from their website, on a page of stir-fry instructions. A little online cooking school!
It’s not that I’ve never seen veggies pre-cut for stir-fry before, but Wegmans had used some nicer vegetables: some of the packages included split baby bok choy, others had snow peas, then there were shredded carrots and a couple other items (red pepper?) plus what looked like sliced oyster mushrooms, instead of the usual boring buttom mushrooms. I didn’t think they were shitakes, either, because they were pale. Not your average stir-fry, but something a bit more interesting.
What also impresses me about this is that they encourage you to cook and will (I’ve said this before) meet you at your level of comfort (or time available) in the kitchen. You can buy a dish completely prepared and ready to reheat at home, or prepped so you can do your own cooking. Or you can start completely from scratch, of course. They call it “Take it or Make it,” and it’s a great way to encourage you in a guilt-free way.
I like the concept for another reason, too. If you are only cooking for one or two, buying all those ingredients often means you wind up with a drawer full of veggies that don’t get used while they are nice and fresh. Before pre-cut vegetables in the produce section became more widely available, I used to use the salad bars in supermarkets to assemble stir fry ingredients – a little pricey, but if you want to include ingredients like broccoli or cauliflower, it means you don’t have to buy the whole thing, just a few pieces.
So true! I hate that kind of waste. When I moved back East from Colorado years ago, I had a problem with a lot of the fruit being bagged or shrink wrapped in packages of at least 6 pieces each. Drove me nuts…