Did you buy some extra frozen vegetables recently?
If you’re anything like me, you have more frozen vegetables around than usual. I do keep some around all the time, but I bought a little extra during some of my initial COVID-19 grocery trips.
I definitely want to use what I’ve purchased and make room for leftovers and new purchases. Fresh vegetables are my personal preference, but I do really like frozen peas and I do like to keep frozen green beans, broccoli and cauliflower on hand for go-to meals.
How to use those frozen veggies, in something other than smoothies:
In general, it’s best to avoid boiling frozen vegetables in a pot of water, because this leaves them soggy. And, who wants to eat soggy vegetables?! We want to save you from throwing out those bags of frozen vegetables and give you some ideas for how to cook with them.
- Frozen spinach: thaw and squeeze out as much liquid as you can and use in quesadillas or lasagne.
- Frozen broccoli or cauliflower: Preheat oven to 425 F. Toss frozen broccoli and/or cauliflower in plenty of olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the florets. It’s ok if they start to brown. The idea is that the water evaporates as they roast which leaves them pretty darn tasty with some crispy parts. (You can also roast them at 450 F which will just take less time and give you a more crispy veg).
- Frozen peas: Add to any soup, or make pea soup with them! I use them in my Black eyed pea, bacon and kale soup as well as in the NY Times Weeknight Fried Rice. You can add them frozen, or partially or fully thaw them in the microwave. Whichever way you choose to thaw, add small frozen veggies towards the end of the cooking process so as not to over cook them.
- Frozen green beans: I always keep a bag of green beans in the freezer for those times I need to rely on my go-to meals. I definitely prefer fresh to frozen, but steaming frozen green beans in a bowl with a few tablespoons of water or on the stove top prevents them from becoming water logged. My favorite way to season green beans is with Jane’s Krazy Mixed-up Salt and butter. I also like to toss them with mustard vinaigrette and serve room temp as a side or add them to a tossed salad. I also recently tried sautéing them in olive over medium high heat and they were quite good!
- Frozen edamame: Keep these on hand in both in the pods and shelled. I like to cook edamame in the shell for a snack or a side. Use shelled, thawed edamame in dishes like Easy Weeknight Tofu Veggie Stir Fry.
- Frozen garlic: Anna recently started using frozen garlic when she cooks. You use it just as you would fresh garlic. Have you tried it? I haven’t, but I’m going to give it a try!
- Frozen Brussels sprouts: I tried roasting them from the frozen state recently and they came out soggy. I’ll try again at some point! But a friend of mine said she recently successfully sautéd very small, frozen Brussels sprouts in olive oil.
- Frozen mixed veggies like peas and carrots: add them frozen to soups or fried rice
- Frozen corn: add frozen to soups or stews. You can also roast it for a few minutes before adding it to a soup or stew.
- Frozen asparagus: Honestly, I’ve never bought it and I couldn’t find any to try for this post. But I’m keeping an eye out for it. I’m going to assume it would be best thawed and added to something like a quiche, soup, or a one-pot meal/casserole.
- Frozen stir fry veggies: thaw on the counter or in the microwave and add to stir fry.
- Frozen onions and peppers: they work well sautèd in olive oil from the frozen state and served with Italian sausages or in fajitas.
- Frozen sweet potato fries and French fries: we’re fans of the Alexa brand sweet potato fries and French fries. Be sure to salt them before baking. I also bake them longer than the instructions for some added crispiness.
Frozen vegetables are as healthy as fresh.
Oftentimes we have clients ask us if frozen vegetables are as healthy as fresh. The answer is YES. They’re flash frozen just after being picked so they retain their freshness and nutrients.
We love hearing from our readers!
What’s your favorite way to cook with frozen veggies?