Healthy Time-Saver: Frozen Veggies Help Make Family Meals Tasty in Minutes
The current MyPlate guidelines recommend filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables. While at first this may seem daunting, there are some simple ways to make it happen.
Here are Some Tasty Examples to Help Feed Your Family Right
- Corn, black beans & salsa: This is one of my families favorites. Mix defrosted frozen corn with a can of rinsed black beans and a jar of your favorite salsa. Serve spooned over baked chicken breasts, baked potatoes or put inside corn, whole-wheat or oat-brown rice tortillas with cheese for a quick soft shell taco.
- Spinach balls: Few kids will turn down something ball-shaped with bread crumbs in it. Serve these tasty morsels with a tomato-veggie sauce, and the majority of your plate will be vegetables!
- Veggie succotash: Quickly sauté some frozen lima beans or shelled edamame, corn, bell pepper, garlic and onion in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and add any fresh herbs you have on hand. Some stores sell frozen succotash ready to heat and serve. For extra flavor, add in pieces of brochette or ham. Serve with sliced fruit as a side to roasted chicken or veggie burgers.
- Veggie burgers: Enjoying a veggie burger is an easy way to get those veggies on your plate. There are a variety of great frozen burgers available. Load your burger with even more vegetable toppings, like lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles. Serve with fresh fruit on the side.
- Goat cheese panini: This meal feels like you’re enjoying a fancy sandwich. Defrost some pre-sliced frozen roasted veggies, like zucchini, eggplant, and bell pepper. Slice a high quality deli-roll or ciabatta in half, and spread with goat cheese. Add your favorite lunch meat and top with fresh basil, the defrosted veggies and some fresh baby greens. Don’t be surprised if your child likes this too, but you may have to switch out the goat cheese for mozzarella.
- Pasta sauce & frozen veggies: Pasta sauce is perfect for hiding extra veggies. Sauté your favorite mixed frozen veggies, then add the pasta sauce. Serve over whole-grain or even quinoa pasta.
- Stir-fry: Look for bags of stir-fry veggies in the frozen aisle. Sauté them with slices of chicken or tofu until crisp and tender. Toss with a jar of stir-fry sauce and serve over brown rice. An easy meal in minutes.
- Curry: Chickpeas or potatoes and frozen mixed vegetables can make for a great curry as Indian seasonings pair well with vegetables. Purchase a jar of your favorite curry sauce, and mix with cooked potatoes, onions and frozen veggies that have been pan sautéed until golden and delicious. Serve over brown rice with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.
- Garlic sautéed greens: This is one of my favorite side dishes. Simply grab a bag of pre-chopped frozen collard greens, spinach, or kale and sauté with one head of thinly sliced garlic and a few tablespoons of olive oil until warm and cooked through. Season with either a 50/50 mixture of soy sauce and balsamic vinegar or a dash of salt and enjoy.
- Healthy fried rice: Cook quick cooking brown rice according to package directions, and add it to a sauté pan with a splash of olive oil, frozen peas, carrots (or whatever your favorite veggies are), and eggs. Sauté until eggs are cooked. Season with sesame oil and soy sauce, and serve. My family loves this! We make it when we have left over rice.
- Easy veggie soup: Heat frozen veggies in a low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth. Add some beans, noodles, tofu, or shredded chicken and serve with baguette for a hearty dinner meal.
Isn’t it amazing how many delicious meals you can make using frozen vegetables? They’re affordable, nutritious and last for months in the freezer. You’ll save time and money by including at least one frozen veggie meal each week.