Quick meals with frozen food starters

Quick Meals with Frozen Food Starters

With just a few basic frozen ingredients you can have a quick start for a family meal.  It doesn't have to take hours and hours to get a delicious nutritious meal to the family table.

Myth:  Frozen foods don't have as much nutritional value or quality as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Myth Buster:  Frozen fruits and vegetables are often more nutritious than fresh counterparts found in the grocery stores.  Why?  Frozen fruits and vegetables are picked at their prime and handled carefully and quickly frozen within hours of picking.

Fresh produce is usually picked while it is unripe so it can withstand shipping.  Fresh produce may sit in storage or on the shelves for days, weeks, or even months before you buy it.

Helpful hint:  Use frozen vegetables in most recipes that call for fresh or canned vegetables.  Good choices are casseroles, lasagna, pot pies, stir-fries, pasta dishes, dips or spreads.

Frozen fruit can be used in pies, cobblers, smoothies, muffins, cereals, or sauces/salsas.

Vegetable Cornbread Muffins

  • 1 (8.5 oz.) package of cornbread muffin mix
  • 1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and well drained
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 c. shredded cheese
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine, melted

Stir all ingredients together until combined.  Fill greased muffin cups about ¾ full.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.  Cool for a few minutes before removing from pan.  Serve warm.

Try different vegetables to discover your family's favorite.

Seared Steak Salad

  • 1 lb. flank, round or sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 large onion, sliced into rings
  • 8 oz. Italian dressing
  • ½ of a 32 oz. bag of frozen curly fries
  • 8 oz. package shredded cheese
  • Head of lettuce, torn into pieces
  • 4 tomatoes, quartered
  • 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 8 oz. ranch dressing

Spread steak, pepper, and onion in a covered dish.  Pour Italian dressing over the meat vegetable mixture.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

Cook fries following package directions while steak mixture is marinating.

In a large skillet, sauté steak and vegetables until meat is desired doneness and vegetables are tender.  Sprinkle cheese on top of cooked meat mixture.  Cover skillet and let cheese melt.

Arrange lettuce, tomatoes, and garbanzo beans on salad plates.  Top each salad with 1/8 of the steak mixture.  Serve with 1/8 of fries and ranch dressing.

Tater Tot Casserole

  • 1 ½ lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 4 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 (32 oz.) package of frozen potato rounds

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking oil.  Spread lean ground beef into bottom of pan.  Sprinkle chopped onion.  Layer frozen vegetables.  Cover vegetables with soup, carefully spreading over entire dish.  (Do not dilute cream soup.)   Layer potato rounds on top, covering the entire top.  Bake for about 1 hour or until beef is thoroughly cooked.

For more information, contact:

Nancy A. Freeman, County Director
Harrison County Extension Service
(228) 865-4227