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Frozen mixed veg: cheap and cheerful


maggiethecat
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The frozen department Trusty Tramp is that bag of Mixed Vegetables:corn, carrots, peas, green beans, lima beans. It's cheap and available and it's everywhere. It will turn a trick for 79 cents.

Except for Trader Joe's haricot verts from France -- maybe the world's best frozen vegetable --I don't buy frozen green beans. Frozen peas are as good or better than fresh. Frozen corn is handy. Frozen carrots are silly. Frozen lima beans are sinful: I boil some up and eat them with butter, salt and pepper the way other folks pig out on ice cream.

But mixed?

What to do with them? I've added them to empanadas. I've boiled them up and served them cafeteria-style with lots of the above mentioned butter and s & p. Minus the corn, I suppose they could be dipped into a minestrone. A handful in the veloute for a chicken pot pie? (It would show it's industrial 79 cent tawdriness like a whore with a heart of gold at a garden party in Newport.)

Is there a way to make mixed veg greater than the sum of it's parts?

(A co-worker with a migraine problem used a bag of Mixed Veg as an ice pack. Management was not amused.)

Margaret McArthur

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1912-2008

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The  frozen department Trusty Tramp is that  bag of Mixed Vegetables:corn, carrots, peas, green beans, lima beans. It's  cheap and available and it's everywhere. It will turn a trick for 79 cents.

Except for Trader Joe's haricot verts from France --  maybe the world's best frozen vegetable  --I don't buy frozen green beans. Frozen peas are as good or better than fresh. Frozen corn is handy. Frozen carrots are silly. Frozen lima beans are sinful:  I boil some up and eat them with butter, salt and pepper the way other folks pig out on ice cream.

But mixed?

What to do with them?  I've added them to empanadas.  I've boiled them up and served them cafeteria-style with lots of the above mentioned butter and s & p.  Minus the corn, I suppose they could be dipped into a minestrone. A handful in the veloute for a chicken pot pie? (It would show it's industrial 79 cent tawdriness like a whore with a heart of gold at a garden party in Newport.) 

Is there a way to make mixed veg greater than the sum of it's parts?

(A co-worker with a migraine  problem used a  bag of  Mixed Veg as an ice pack. Management was not amused.)

When there was no garden fresh veggie around that sort of bag was my mom's regular on the dinner menu- simmered in a minimal amount of water (so barely any left at the end) and then tossed with butter and parmesan (o.k.- margarine and the stuff in the round green cylinder)- but the kids scarfed it and we all love veggies as adults.

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Peas, corn and limas are all perfectly acceptable, separately, in their frozen state. I disagree with Maggie about the beans: I think they're fine, though you can't treat them like fresh. On carrots we agree: what's the point?

Frozen peas and corn usually don't need more than a couple of minutes in boiling water; limas are usually best, in a 50-50 butter/water braise, after about 15; beans in about four (we're continuing to ignore the carrots). But here's what's sort of magical about the mix: somehow, they can all be done at the same time (even the orange guys). How does that happen?

Chicken pot pie of course. They're also handy two days after Thanksgiving in a turkey melange of some sort, when the feast vegetables are gone or have given up the ghost. With some good stock, a starch (rice or noodles) and some meat scraps, they can bolster a hasty soup. And though I hate to admit it in front of Maggie, I've tossed them -- corn and all -- into a quick-and-dirty Minnestrone.

Dave Scantland
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dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Sometimes I use frozen peas or a pea/carrot mixture in fried rice. Well, I thaw them first. :raz:

Frozen lima beans are great with butter, salt/pepper and whatever fresh herb looks good from my garden. I've used frozen, chopped spinach in quiche and that's about it.

While *I* don't use the multitudes of frozen mixed vegetables now available (there weren't this many when I was young!) I bet that they help out some folks who would otherwise avoid vegetables altogether. So I can't knock 'em too hard... them being healthy, convenient and all. :rolleyes:

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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I bet that they help out some folks who would otherwise avoid vegetables altogether. So I can't knock 'em too hard... them being healthy, convenient and all.  :rolleyes:

Exactly!

At the Community Meal where I work, we serve 100 guests for $300. For the last several weeks, a community farm has been providing us w/ fresh vegetables FOR FREE (beans, lettuce, beet tops, zucchini, collards, turnips, carrots). However, it takes lots of labour to make these items ready to eat. Last week our supervisor asked whether I could plan a menu w/ frozen veg to "give the volunteers a break". So I will.

This week, we used frozen corn and canned beans (kidney & black) in a salad: easy peasy... frozen veg, salsa, fresh tomatoes, fresh cilantro, cider vinegar, brown sugar, green onions, and zucchini or cucumber. Season to taste w/ jalapenos, cumin, salt, pepper, etc. This is the MOST popular salad that I make for the Community Meal. They always want 2nds and take-away. Since our budget is so incredibly low (remember, this is the West coast of Canada), I am happy to make do with whatever canned beans the food bank gives us (or are on-sale), and frozen corn.

Just so you all know, it takes 2 hours to wash ground harvested lettuce for 100! Buying pre-washed, imported from Costco is ever-so-tempting.

Karen Dar Woon

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The  frozen department Trusty Tramp is that  bag of Mixed Vegetables:corn, carrots, peas, green beans, lima beans. It's  cheap and available and it's everywhere. It will turn a trick for 79 cents.

Except for Trader Joe's haricot verts from France --  maybe the world's best frozen vegetable  --I don't buy frozen green beans. Frozen peas are as good or better than fresh. Frozen corn is handy. Frozen carrots are silly. Frozen lima beans are sinful:  I boil some up and eat them with butter, salt and pepper the way other folks pig out on ice cream.

But mixed?

What to do with them?  I've added them to empanadas.  I've boiled them up and served them cafeteria-style with lots of the above mentioned butter and s & p.  Minus the corn, I suppose they could be dipped into a minestrone. A handful in the veloute for a chicken pot pie? (It would show it's industrial 79 cent tawdriness like a whore with a heart of gold at a garden party in Newport.) 

Is there a way to make mixed veg greater than the sum of it's parts?

(A co-worker with a migraine  problem used a  bag of  Mixed Veg as an ice pack. Management was not amused.)

These things have saved my hide many a time.

When my kids were much younger, and my goal was always

to make one meal rather than separately for each person,

khichdi was always a popular option - one pot; rice + dal + veggies,

at a spice level all could enjoy.

If you don't fancy khichdi, then you can always make a simple

mixed veg pulao:

Fry the relevant spices in a little ghee (e.g. cumin seed,

whole cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamom pod, bay leaves, black peppercorns);

add rinsed baasmati rice and stir fry until translucent;

Add the correct amount of water (not too much, you don't want

to drain away the nutrients or have a mushy result);

some frozen mixed veggies (e.g. 1/2 cup for 1.5 cups rice);

salt, and pinch of haldi.

Boil until done, and there you go. Very simple baseline veggie pulao

that you can either jazz up with other additions, or use as the background

for whatever else you're serving (and it will go with a wide variety

of other dishes and cuisines).

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(A co-worker with a migraine  problem used a  bag of  Mixed Veg as an ice pack. Management was not amused.)

I like to keep a few bags of CHEAP frozen veg just for First Aid purposes. That way, the same bag(s) get used over and over, and I'm not worried that I might eat them. :raz: Frozen peas/corn make the best ice packs for joint injuries... they bend.

Karen Dar Woon

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A handful in the veloute for a chicken pot pie? (It would show it's industrial 79 cent tawdriness like a whore with a heart of gold at a garden party in Newport.) 

:laugh::laugh:

But there would be something sooo comforting about that 79 cent tawdriness in conjunction with a well made chicken pot pie, echoing the Swanson's of yore...

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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it is easy to turn your nose up at something like a bag of mixed frozen veggies but you know what from poverty has come some of my best meals

..and when I was broke...ages ago ... my friend from Figi taught me to curry a bag of mixed veggies and what a great cheap and yummy lunch it was ..and still is ...

fast and easy..

.this is her her process and I still do it for a quick lunch it is great

just start with oil saute a diced onion then add garlic and cumin saute around well then add the veggies and some curry powder (I use BetaPac Jamaican) but any Madras curry would do ..then saute ..then add a little broth just to make a thick sauce ...(I just use a knorr cube mixed with water)

serve in a bowl with a pile of warmed flour tortillas

she also folded half a tortilla like a samosa and would seal them around the curry and deep fry them

the price kicks butt and why not ..frozen veggies are usually picked at the peak of ripenss

try to curry them ...you will not be wasting time or money!

Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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I like em mixed with rice in various incarnations. They're the perfect dicey size. I use them in fried rice, rice pilafs, or I like to throw a few handfuls in with my rice, in the rice cooker with some butter, and steam them together.

I also like them quicky in weeknight soups, like vegetable beef, or beer and cheese soup.

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I'm afraid I'm bereft of ideas (which doesn't happen very often) about this one, as I don't use frozen vegetables except for peas and corn. Milagai's pulao sounds really good, though.

No matter what the recipe, I'm glad to see your thoughts (not literally, although wouldn't that be interesting?) returning to the joys of food and cooking.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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