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Friday, 23 January 2015

Using Frozen Food - Convenient, versatile, healthy and cost effective #coolcookery

When it comes to convenience in the kitchen, frozen food is one of my favourite go to ingredients.  It comes ready to use straight from the freezer and you can use as much or as little as you need.  The variety of frozen food available goes way beyond ready meals, pizzas and frozen chips, you can also buy a huge amount of vegetables, herbs, fruits and Quorn products (plus of course meat and fish) to use in recipes to feed the family, and the freezing process retains more nutrition in fruit and veg than when bought fresh.

frozen, Iceland
Frozen food - versatile, convenient and cost effective


Using frozen fruits and vegetables takes away a lot of the hard work with produce peeled and chopped and ready to use straight from the bag.  Peppers, mushrooms, spinach and onions are so easy to incorporate into meals.  Just use what you need and save the rest for another day meaning there is no waste. This makes it really cost effective and research shows that families could save up to £250 a year by making the switch to frozen!

onions
No More Chopping or Peeling!!


Frozen mashed potato is so convenient.  Frozen into small chunks, you microwave the amount needed...no peeling, boiling or mashing required.  As it only contains potato, butter and milk, it is exactly like the mash you'd make from scratch.  Frozen mixed vegetables provide a selection of different veg to add colour, bulk and nutrients to favourite family meals.  Frozen chopped onion is brilliant to use, as no peeling or chopping means no tears!

frozen food


The British Frozen Food Federation and Britmums have challenged me to come up with a Cool Cookery recipe for a family meal made using frozen foods.  I made a Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie using frozen sliced mushrooms, chopped onions, mixed vegetables, chopped garlic, mashed potato and Quorn Mince.  Using frozen food cuts down the preparation time, creates no waste and makes it quick and easy to make a nutritious and delicious family meal.  Great for when you are in a hurry.

frozen food, quorn


Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup of frozen chopped onions
1 cup of frozen sliced mushrooms
1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables
1 teaspoon frozen chopped garlic
1 bag of Quorn Mince
1 teaspoon Marmite
1 teaspoon chopped Basil
ground black pepper
1 vegetable stock pot
150 ml boiling water
1 bag of frozen mashed potato
grated cheese (optional)

Method

Gently fry the onions and garlic, add the mushrooms until softened.
Add the Quorn mince and continue to cook until it is cooked through.
Add the frozen vegetables, the stock pot, seasoning and boiling water.
Simmer for about 10 - 12 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated.
Meanwhile, cook the mash according to instructions.
Put the cooked Quorn base into an ovenproof dish and top with mash.
Grate over some cheese for a tasty topping.
Cook at GM6 for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Serve with frozen green beans, cooked according to the pack instructions.

frozen food, vegetarian, Quorn


Another meal I made using the frozen produce was a One Pot Mexican Dish incorporating frozen Quorn fillets, chopped onion, sliced mushroom, garlic, chilli, sweetcorn and mixed peppers.  As all the preparation was already done I just had to throw in a can of Pinto beans and a pack of Mexican rice (cooked according to instructions) and we had a super quick and easy meal, that can be eaten as is or served in a wrap with grated cheese.

frozen food


I am definitely an advocate for the use of frozen food as you can tell from my freezer (pictured below).  Frozen vegetables are often more nutritious, come ready prepared, are very convenient, last for ages in the freezer (which can result in a lot less waste than when using fresh produce) and are extremely versatile. It is a great idea to keep your freezer stocked up ready to make quick and easy family dinners. With big bags of vegetables costing just 89p in Iceland, they are a really cost effective way to get your family their five a day.  You can easily throw a handful of frozen vegetables into curries, stews, bolognese sauce or pasta dishes.  With a well stocked freezer, quality ingredients are always at hand and ready to use!

freezer, frozen
A well stocked Freezer!


I’m working with BritMums and Coolcookery.co.uk highlighting the versatility, economy and nutritional benefits of cooking with frozen food. All opinions are my own. For recipes and ideas visit http://bit.ly/coolcookery 

3 comments:

  1. Mmm looks great :)

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  2. Frozen chopped onions sound brilliant!

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  3. What a lovely array of colour - I never used to buy Quorn Mince but after tasting some of your delicious food using Quorn, I wouldn't dream of going back to my old eating habits i.e. using beef or lamb mince. Your recipe for Shepherds Pie is brilliant and I did make it, the only difference was that I used my own mashed potato which I had frozen some time ago. Using frozen food is such a good idea, however, and my freezer is always well stocked with it. xxxxx

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