Kitchen Hack: Making Frozen Veggies Taste Amazing

I’m sure all of our wallets have felt the sting of inflation when visiting the grocery stores lately. Milk is nearly $4 a gallon, bread is over $3 a loaf, and meat prices are astronomical, too! When you shop on a budget and most of that budget is spent on essentials, some things just have to get pulled back. Maybe that’s less snacks, maybe that’s less organic items, or maybe it’s replacing fresh vegetables with frozen.

I have been buying frozen vegetables for a while now because 1. they’re easier (no chopping!) and 2. they’re cheaper. This started probably sometime in 2020 after having our second daughter, and then into 2021 I bought more and more frozen broccoli. Our second daughter has been a pickier eater than our first, but broccoli was one of her favorite foods – and up until recently – the only vegetable that she’d actually eat. It was because of this that I started experimenting with different ways to cook frozen vegetables, and I think I nailed it! Read below for the “recipe” that takes your frozen veggies from sad to fab!

Instead of boiling your veggies to death or steaming them in the microwave you’re going to get out a cast iron skillet and a large lid.

Then pre-heat your skillet on high heat. Once it’s hot, dump your 12-16 ounce bag of vegetables directly into the pan and cover them. The water that is released will steam them while they’re covered.

After about 4 minutes, uncover your veggies, add two tablespoons of olive or avocado oil (or butter), salt and pepper to taste, and about 1/2 tsp of garlic powder. Give all of that a stir then cover again.

Cook for an additional 6-8 minutes, covered, and with the heat turned down to about medium.

And that’s it! These are so easy and it gives the vegetables a little bit of a crisp on the outside while they still maintain the tenderness of steamed veggies. And this isn’t just for broccoli! I’ve used this method with all sorts of frozen veggies: carrots, cauliflower, halved brussels sprouts, green beans, peas, bell peppers, frozen stir fry mixes, and corn kernels. It turns out spectacular every time! If you try a different vegetable, please give me an update.

I hope this little hack serves you well. Save some time, spend less, eat some veggies…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This article contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, I just get a small commission. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Vegetable Fried Rice

Do you have a staple, go-to, easy dish you frequently fix for your family? Vegetable fried rice is one of ours! It’s a quick, simple, and delicious way to eat plenty of veggies while taking a break from meat. Plus it’s healthier than any take-out you can get! We typically try to eat 1-2 vegetarian/plant based meals per week because it’s good for the tummy and the budget! You can eat it as a side dish – it would go great paired with my Sweet and Sour Broccoli – or solo for a light, vegetarian dinner. If you want to take a break from eating too much meat, but find yourself scratching your head for ideas, I hope you try out this delicious and veggie-heavy dish!

friedrice1.jpg

Vegetable Fried Rice


Ingredients

  • 2 cups of cooked brown rice (cooked according to package)
  • 1 lb of frozen stir fry vegetables
  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 knobs of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tsp of sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp of coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 3 eggs, beaten

Directions

  1. In a large pot, heat sesame oil over medium-low heat.
  2. Add onions and garlic, cooking until tender and fragrant (about 3-5 minutes).
  3. Add in ginger and sesame seeds, cooking for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Turn heat to medium-high and add frozen stir fry vegetables.
  5. Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Once vegetables are tender (but still vibrant in color, not mushy!), add cooked rice.
  7. Add in seasonings and coconut aminos, stirring to coat everything.
  8. Create a hole in middle of the pot and add beaten eggs.
  9. As the eggs start to cook, slowly scramble them, then mix into the rice.
  10. Serve hot topped with chopped scallions and extra coconut aminos.
  11. Store leftovers covered in fridge for 7-10 days.

I hope you give this easy vegetarian dish a try! For more plant based dinner ideas, check out my Baked Falafel and my Slow Cooker Potato and Kale Soup. Eat your vegetables…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!