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Frozen Vegetables Are Hot!

Chill out: Veggies from the freezer are fast, easy and convenient
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Elaine's Personal Picks continued...

My personal picks for finest frozen veggies are:

  • Corn (I like the petite white corn)
  • Broccoli florets
  • Shelled green soybeans (edamame)
  • Frozen spinach
  • Petite peas

If you like to walk on the wild side, stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's carry more unusual choices, like frozen diced butternut squash, shiitake mushrooms, artichoke hearts, a blend of red and green bell pepper strips, and Normandy Blend vegetables (carrots with green and yellow beans).

But the options don't stop there. In fact, of our 20 most frequently consumed raw vegetables, half are available frozen! Here's a list of those 20 popular veggies from the U.S. government's Federal Register; those available frozen in supermarkets are followed by an "F":

1. Asparagus (F)
2. Bell pepper (F)
3. Broccoli (F)
4. Carrots (F)
5. Cauliflower (F)
6. Celery
7. Cucumbers
8. Green snap beans (F)
9. Green cabbage
10. Green onions
11. Iceberg lettuce
12. Leaf lettuce
13. Mushrooms (F)
14. Onion (F)
15. Potatoes (F)
16. Radishes
17. Summer squash
18. Sweet corn (F)
19. Sweet potatoes
20. Tomatoes

'Halfway Homemade' Recipes With Frozen Veggies

If you'd like to venture beyond the standard microwave veggies, here are a couple of 'halfway homemade' recipes spotlighting frozen vegetables.

Easy Mu Shu

Journal as: 1 cup vegetables without added fat + 1 slice bread + 1 serving lean meat without added fat
OR 1 cup hearty stew
OR 1 cup entree salad with meat, poultry, or seasfood with light seasoning
OR 1 frozen dinner light, pasta or rice dish with fish.

I literally pulled this dish together in 10 minutes!

1 tablespoon canola oil
16-ounce bag Asian stir-fry veggies (available at Whole Foods and other stores)
2 teaspoons minced bottled garlic
2 cups meat or substitute of your choice (try frozen, cooked, tail-off shrimp that's been thawed; shredded roasted chicken or pork; or diced tofu)
3 cups shredded Chinese or Napa cabbage, packed (or substitute regular cabbage)
2 large eggs, beaten with 2 teaspoons water (you may use 1/4 cup egg substitute in place of one of the eggs)
3 tablespoons bottled hoisin sauce (available in most supermarkets)
6 flour tortillas

  • Start heating the canola oil in the middle of a nonstick wok or large nonstick frying pan or skillet. Add the bag of vegetables and the garlic; stir-fry for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the meat or tofu and the cabbage; stir-fry for about 2 more minutes. Push the vegetable mixture around the sides of the wok or pan to make a 4-inch wide opening in the center.
  • Pour the beaten eggs into the opening and let cook there for a minute. While you're waiting, grind some black pepper lightly over the top. Start tossing the mixture together to finish cooking the eggs (about 1 minute more). Drizzle the hoisin sauce over the top of the mixture and toss to blend well.
  • Soften tortillas by heating briefly in the microwave. Place some of the vegetable mixture into center of each tortilla and roll up like a burrito. Repeat with remaining tortillas and vegetable mixture.

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