Thank you for the comments again, it's so nice to see friends here on the new blog.
I think we're getting better at spending less on groceries - well, I know we are. Having thought more about it, I think part of the problem is when we have to go out for more fresh veggies....when we're actually in the supermarket, it's always a temptation to buy other things. I no longer just see things and think 'oh that looks nice, we'll have that', but I do still buy things which I will use and are on a good offer or reduction, but don't actually need at the moment. So the answer is to go less! To facilitate that, we've decided to buy and use more frozen veg, so we don't have to go to the shops just for veg and end up buying other things. I've not really been a fan of frozen veg much up till now - well, other than peas and sweetcorn, which I always buy anyhow. Everything else seems to go mushy and tasteless, but I guess it depends how you cook them. I don't like plain boiled frozen cauli or broccoli, but they're alright with cheese sauce on. Brussels are ok, just about I find, if cooked in minimal water with a knob of butter, same with baby carrots. Frozen roasties aren't like proper home cooked ones, but will do if I'm short of time. I did buy a bag of frozen cut cabbage once, but the pack had so many hard pieces of stem and stalk and rough bits in, it put me right off. Sliced frozen mushrooms I thought were slimy and disgusting, fit for stew only.
Has anyone ever tried roasting frozen veg? How do you usually cook them, if you use them regularly? I bought a bag of frozen mixed veg (diced carrots and green beans, peas and sweetcorn) which I'm intending to try making veg & cheese fritters with today. I also got a bag of frozen sliced peppers, but have no idea as yet what to do with them, suggestions would be welcome.
The fritters are for lunch, I'll let you know how they come out. For dinner tonight to eat whilst Strictly's on, I'm going to do cheeseburgers in rolls with homemade coleslaw. Got no fresh cabbage, so I'm thinking outside the box and am going to do a winter root veg version - grated swede, carrot and parsnip, with finely chopped shallot, with a dressing of half mayo, half Greek yogurt and a spoonful of Dijon mustard. The carrot, parsnip and shallot are our own home grown, the swede not.
When cooking carrots and peas, just add a small teaspoon on sugar to the water, it brings the taste of frozen veg up. We use frozen veg often, but not cabbage, I can't stand eating any type of cabbage. I am cooking Paella for tea tonight.ReplyDelete
Like you my frozen veg never come out right, most are must mushy or hard and the sprouts just are not the same as fresh. I shall watch the comments here as I would love to use more fozen for the reason you stated, less going to the shops.ReplyDelete
We like fruit based slaw in winter, as well as normal like you say though, haven’t always got the white cabbage in. Grated carrot, followed by a grated apple or pear plus its juice. Often don’t need more than salt and pepper with that. Hate Brussels and carrots unless fresh. We lightly simmer cauli and broccoli and it is fine, a few minutes only. Could freeze your own cabbage in large shreds, see how that goes.ReplyDelete
Years ago my friend use to have an allotment, she use to freeze one chopped onion per bag or half a chopped onion and pepper per bag. Only suitable for stir-fries or stews and casseroles. Now when I see onions and peppers with a sell-by date 'today' and going cheap I do the same. I know what you mean about ready frozen mushrooms. I always buy fresh cauliflowers because I use the leaves as greens. I always use frozen veg, one main reason I just do not like tinned vegetables they always seem very salty to me.ReplyDelete
Just to add I never buy frozen carrots, or brussels they always seem spongy and never cook properly. I buy the above fresh also greens and broccoli. Always steam my vegReplyDelete
I've tried to roast frozen veggies but never successfully. I usually just stick with boiling sweetcorn and peas now. One thing I did find useful was frozen mushrooms to use in a risotto. They seemed to have a stronger flavour.ReplyDelete
Sliced peppers can be nice in a quiche. X
I really like the idea of the newfangled slaw. :) Let us know how it tastes to you?ReplyDelete
I always have peas, corn, sweet potato, squash and peppers in the freezer and I sometimes make my own batch of roasties to freeze. Very convenient and a lot nicer than the bought ones.ReplyDelete
I also prefer having cheese sauce over cauli and broccoli. They seem tasteless without. We weren't very keen on frozen veg and lately I don't seem to have had very many vegetables at all. I also agree with you that frozen roast potatoes are useful as a back-up - not nearly as good as proper roasties. Your version of a winter slaw sounds really interesting.ReplyDelete
I freeze my own vegetables. Mushrooms in particular - I like them on pizza but I am the only person in the house who eats them.ReplyDelete
When they are on special I buy up big, bring them home, chop them, part cook them in the oven (200C for 12 minutes takes out a lot of the moisture) then drain on paper towels and - this next thing is key - we have a foodsaver which allows us to freeze things vacuum packed and sealed. That way you can get a lot longer time in the freezer without things getting freezer burn, etc.
If you find them slimy it is likely the excess moisture. When I thaw mine out, I cut a small hole in the foodsaver bag to let out all the excess water, and even though they are part cooked and drained, there is still a lot of water in there.
We've just left winter behind here in Australia and one of the last weeks we had brussel sprouts available, I bought up big, we processed them in our food processor eg shredded very small, cooked them a little in rice bran oil, divided them up into foodsaver bags and froze them. I use them in The Other Half's cottage pie, to add in an extra vegetable as he needs as many as I can hide in there.
If I buy frozen brussels, I put them into a casserole dish with a lid, with white wine and bacon and slow cook them in the oven that way, they come out a lot better like that, well the wine and bacon disguise all sins I find. :)
We freeze our own peppers - I usually cook them in rice bran oil with a leek and we call it "pizza mix". If I have any left in the fridge at the end of the fortnight I cook them and freeze them.
One of the biggest life changing things we did was invest in a very large standalone fridge - it is 500 litres and gives us loads of space for storing veg. I shop once a fortnight and if everything is kept at the right temperature I find it lasts well. I can keep cauliflower and broccoli that long with no trouble.
I keep potatoes in the fridge and we buy in bulk, 5-15kg at a time when we see them on special. I have a large storage box which holds them all. But if you don't have fridge room, you can always get a special potato bag and keep them in a dark cupboard. If storing in the cupboard, it is really important to make sure there is no moisture on the potatoes at all. I wipe them off with a paper towel to be sure.
We have a large deep freezer so I can do all of this - batch cook things in bulk and then store them till we need them. Mid October I saw mushrooms on special and bought almost 5kg of them, processed them, foodsaved.. I ended up with 12 packets. I use one packet each week, which means it will be January before I need to buy them again. Each kilo I bought I saved $2AUD on the normal price.
I freeze fruit too - mainly bananas which I use for our protein shakes, but there are some strawberries in there, too. I am still eating 99 cent a kilo bananas from January 2018. I really went a little overboard buying those, but I have saved huge amounts of money because in between they have been as high as $4.99 a kilo here, the cheapest I have seen them since was $2.99.
Anyway, that is just a little of what we do here. ;)
I tried frozen veg Sue and I really don't like it apart from sweetcorn and peas, I buy frozen peppers sometimes which aren't too bad.ReplyDelete
I always steam veg, fresh or frozen. I find the taste and texture to be far better than veg cooked in water. I do my own roast potatoes and freeze them in large batches as I'd rather do a load of peeling in one go.ReplyDelete