I'm excited to share with you a short video and blog post about some of my favorite frozen vegetables and recipes for how I use them in quick and easy meals. As I mentioned recently, I'm learning more and more about how important it is to include lots of veggies in our diets, so I'm really amping up the quantity (and quality - frozen makes buying organic really affordable) of veggies in my life. It's really fascinating how they can affect the gut microbiome, which benefits nearly every aspect of our health. I mean, we all know that eating veggies is good for you, but here's another reason to load up on them! 🙂 I hope this video is helpful to you and inspires some new kitchen creations using frozen veggies!
All Things Cauliflower
Cauliflower is definitely a hot ingredient in the past year or two, so it's no surprise this frozen food is at the top of my list. Thanks to its popularity, companies are making all sorts of versatile products to make it easy to enjoy, which I am really thankful for because if you've ever made homemade cauliflower rice or attempted a cauliflower pizza crust, you know what a giant pain in the butt it can be - what a mess! And, hey, I'm all about short cuts when it comes to cooking. I love the frozen riced cauliflower from Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. They're super easy to mix into stir fry dishes, burrito bowls, and some of my favorite recipes listed below. I've even heard riced cauliflower is great added to a smoothie, but I haven't personally try it. (Have you? If so, let me know what it's all about!) I also keep frozen mashed cauliflower on hand to add on top of a lightened-up Shepherd's Pie or as a quick and easy side dish, which is so good with a little minced garlic, melted ghee/butter, and salt + pepper. Lastly, pre-made cauliflower pizza crusts are a serious game changer! Making it from scratch is way more effort than it's worth in my opinion. This frozen meal starter is a go-to family favorite - even Quinn will eat it! I tried the one from Trader Joe's over the weekend and it was just okay - a little mushy, but I don't think I fully followed the directions - but the ones from CAULIPOWER are amazing. They're a little hard to find at grocery stores, but you can always buy them online.
Getting in greens is always a priority for me, but I seriously cannot keep enough fresh bagged spinach around to last for the week. It cooks down to nothing and one bag is often gone in a single dinner. Since finding organic frozen spinach, I make sure to always have it stashed away for my late-in-the-week meals or the "wing in" ones on Saturday before we've gone grocery shopping. Frozen spinach is great in smoothies, breakfast casseroles, one-pan dinners (my fav) or even as a simple side dish (just saute with butter/ghee/oil and your favorite seasoning). Plus, you never have to worry about wasting spinach and watching your money wilt away.
I might be on the side of obsessed with all of the spiralized veggies that are popping up in grocery stories. Even better is that stores such as Trader Joe's are now making freezer-friendly options, which are the best to pull out in a pinch. Not to mention it means I don't have to make a mess attempting to spiralize a carrot! I personally love Trader Joe's spiralized zucchini and carrot noodles, and they often make an appearance in my meals. While a carrot is still a carrot, there is something fun about the spiralized shape that makes me want to eat even more veggies. They're always a good option for a healthier noodle recipe and go great with a hearty sauce or simple side dish. I love mixing zucchini spirals with Laughing Cow cheese and a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan for a super cheesy, but calorie-friendly dish!
Bagged Onions and Peppers
If there is one task I'm just not a big fan of, it's chopping onions (and peppers). I mean, I doubt anyone loves chopping something that makes you cry, but it's definitely a step I don't mind skipping. I adore the Trader Joe's fire roasted mixed onions and bell peppers. They makes life so much easier, and they're really affordable. In fact, I often find colorful bell peppers on the pricey side, so the frozen option is a great budget-friendly opinion for us. We use these mixes for family favorite fajitas, soup bases, casseroles, and easy crockpot recipes. They're a must-grab the next time you hit the grocery store! Quick tip: For finely chopped peppers and onion, just toss the frozen stuff in your food processor or blender for a few seconds - works great for this Hashbrown Breakfast Bake!
Broccoli is one of those vegetables that can be tossed into just about any dish and add some heartiness while still being a nutritious addition. Its high fiber content is always really filling and it's ability to hold up to different cooking methods makes it very versatile. It doesn't get mushy as easily, and I've even found that the frozen variety holds up quite well to simply roasting (unlike other frozen veggies I've tried). Frozen broccoli is great in everything from an omelet, soup, casserole, lunch bowl, stir-fry, or as a simple roasted side dish. Plus, it's easy to jazz up with a little cheese, sauce, dressing, or your favorite seasoning blend, like Everything But the Bagel Seasoning. Have I mentioned that one a few times now? 🙂 If you haven't tried it yet, I would definitely give it a go!
There are absolutely a ton of other great freezer vegetables out there, so make sure to stock up on your family's favorite so you always have a quick fix on hand.
Question of the Day
What are some of your favorite frozen veggies and ways to use them?