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Frozen vegetables are a fabulous back-up plan, but do you have a plan for when and how to use them?  Making a plan helps you mentally prepare for actually doing the work when it’s time to use frozen vegetables.  Read on for 13 ways to use frozen vegetables.

Add Frozen Vegetables to Meals

  1. Add frozen vegetables to pasta.  Try frozen diced carrots, loose leaf spinach, and broccoli florets in macaroni and cheese.  Try artichoke hearts, fine green beans, and roasted red peppers in pasta primavera.
  2. Add frozen vegetables to rice pilaf, biryani, or simply steamed rice.  Try riced cauliflower, diced carrots, petite peas, or baby lima beans.
  3. Try bulking up your regular soup recipes with extra frozen vegetables.  Frozen spinach is an easy option, but carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, kale, and collards can also work. Diced frozen mirepoix is a handy starting point if the fridge is empty.
  4. Turn that burrito into a bowl.  Years ago, I had a strong preference for Boloco over Chipotle because Boloco has broccoli and black olives. Add in corn, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, spinach, or broccoli into your burrito bowl.

How often do you use frozen vegetables?

Make Frozen Vegetables into a Side

  1. Stir-fry it!  Add a little garlic or lemon juice, and you have a five minute vegetable side.  Try any type of green, broccoli florets, peas, green beans, artichoke hearts, lima beans, mushrooms, or mukimame.  Just add a (small) splash of water at the beginning to help them defrost.
  2. Microwave them, with a lid on. Just a little olive oil and butter.  Anything you like.
  3. With tomato and garlic.  Bacon, rumor has it, also helps the less enthusiastic.  Saute the garlic in a bit of oil, add the tomato sauce, and then toss in the vegetable when the sauce is warm.  Top with crumbled bacon if you actually like bacon.
  4. [Any vegetable] cheese.  This is for your inner four-year old.  Start with 1 T butter.  Melt, add 1 T flour (wheat or corn), and stir until very lightly toasted.  Add 1 cup cold milk, whisking.  Stir gently until it thickens.  Add the vegetable.  Stir in 1 cup grated sharp cheddar.  The fancy option is to then place the mixture in a little casserole dish and broil or bake until lightly browned on top.
  5. Eat them frozen.  Or just defrosted.  Mukimame works well as a snack– pour into a container while frozen, by snack time they will be defrosted.

Vegetable-Centered Meals

  1. Vegetable curry.  Try butternut squash, French cut green beans, peppers and onions, and/or summer squash in your favorite curry recipe.
  2. Chili.  You don’t have to go vegetarian to add vegetables: try butternut squash, mushrooms, extra peppers, corn, or summer squash.
  3. Soup.  It’s so comforting.  Warm frozen vegetables in a pot and add a liquid of your choice– tomato sauce, broth, a white sauce, cream, or soy milk.  Use an immersion blender to puree.  Herbs, spices, and other flavors can snazz them up– like basil with broccoli soup!
  4. Quiche.  Crustless quiches, or egg stratas, are easy ways to eat more vegetables. Grease a casserole and then add layers.  Make a layer or two of vegetables: cauliflower rice, grilled vegetables, spinach, kale, or mushrooms.

Want to learn more tips and tricks? Click to read the next post about using frozen vegetables!

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