Freezers are wonderful things. They hold ice cream, home cooking put by for later, and frozen convenience foods. Some might say thereâ€™s no place for the latter in a the healthy, local, sustainable kitchen. Just look at the ingredients and nutrition label on a frozen lasagna…yeah, they have a point.
Still, I buy things from the frozen foods aisle and I consider myself a relatively healthy shopper/eater. Sometimes, you just need something easy and the freezer is one of the best places to find real food with a longer shelf life than a head of lettuce. Here are a few frozen foods I love:
- Veggie burgers: While Iâ€™ve dabbled in homemade veggie patties and enjoyed my creations, I still like to have store-bought veggie burgers on hand. Theyâ€™re one of my favorite go-to easy, fast dinners and make great hot lunches too. Recently, Iâ€™ve been buying a big package from Costco, which cuts down on excess packaging and makes the price a little more attractive.
- Ice cream, of course: Iâ€™m actually trying to cut down on my ice cream consumption. It got a little out of hand when we moved ashore from the boat and I was just so thrilled to have ice cream at my fingertips again! Donâ€™t take this frozen treat for granted!
- Frozen spinach: This is my new favorite thing to put in smoothies. With a bag of frozen spinach in the freezer I know I can always make a green smoothie, even if I donâ€™t have fresh greens on hand. Frozen chopped greens also make the smoothie colder and thicker than fresh greens. My favorite combo these days is frozen spinach, frozen mango, whey protein powder, and almond milk. It makes for a wonderfully thick smoothie that I like to eat with a spoon.
- Frozen edamame: snacking heaven. I donâ€™t know how else youâ€™d keep edamame around.
- The occasional frozen dinner…I feel kinda guilty about this one but I canâ€™t help myself. My indulgent, lightning-fast comfort food for nights when I just donâ€™t feel like cooking or donâ€™t have time is frozen mac and cheese. I try to buy the natural/organic brands. It makes me feel better to know I have one of these in the freezer in case of a dinner emergency.
- Misc. frozen veggies: Iâ€™m a sucker for brussels sprouts and, lately, lima beans. I have a favorite tofu/lima bean spread/dip recipe that Iâ€™ll share here eventually.
Recently, the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program sent me a coupon for a Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers frozen vegetable + sauce dish. Normally Iâ€™d steer clear of any sauced vegetable in the frozen food aisle. I was happy to see that the ingredient lists arenâ€™t too weird – thereâ€™s mostly just veggies in there! I was also thrilled to find macaroni and cheese with broccoli among the selection. While that doesnâ€™t exactly qualify as enough vegetables for a meal to me, it is a great example of how to incorporate more green stuff in normally not-so-green meals (even my guilty pleasures!).
The Steamer I tried tonight was good! It served Lee and I as a side dish. The sauce was light and with the addition of eggs tortillas, and a few more vegetables (since I cannot get enough of them) made a tasty dinner. I do wish there were more veggies in the bag. The whole thing was about as many veggies as I normally eat in one sitting.
Simple dinner: scrambled eggs and Garden Vegetable Medley + some
additional vegetables + whole wheat tortillas to stuff = sort of egg and veggie fajitas
(This would make an awesome breakfast too!)