I may be late to the party, but I am just now discovering how incredibly convenient frozen vegetables are. My default has always been fresh veggies, but, according to Michael Pollan in his book In Defense of Food, “Freezing does not significantly diminish the nutritional value of produce” [like canning does] because the crops are picked and frozen at the peak of freshness. So in some cases – if you are comparing, let’s say, fresh blueberries flown in from another continent to local organic blueberries that you froze yourself at the height of the season – the frozen berries could possibly even be the better (i.e. more nutritious and certainly less-traveled) option out of those two choices.
So in an effort to save time I decided to try out a bag of frozen, pre-cut, mixed veggies to make a super quick and easy weeknight dinner. And let me tell you what – not having to wash, peel, and chop (and even select at the store) all the different fresh veggies in this meal was definitely a time saver – without sacrificing too much in the way of taste. When there are a lot of flavors going on, like this fried rice recipe, I find it harder to detect the difference between fresh and frozen. I will continue buying fresh veggies for simpler meals and side dishes, but it’s nice to know that frozen is a decent option when you are in a pinch!
Super Quick and Easy Vegetable Fried Rice
- 1 cup brown rice, cooked according to package directions (for a quick dinner, it is highly recommended to make this in advance and store in fridge)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon ginger, fresh, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 - 10-oz bag frozen veggies, mixed and chopped (I opted for the "Chinese-style" mix)
- 2 eggs
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste (red or black)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce, reduced sodium organic recommended
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
In a large saute pan or wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
Add the onion and ginger to the pan and cook while stirring for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
Pour the frozen veggies into the pan (straight out of the bag - no need to defrost!) and cook while stirring for another 3 to 4 minutes.
Using a spatula push the veggie mixture to one side of the wok. Drop in the 2 raw eggs on the other side and let them cook for 1 to 2 minutes before stirring the entire mixture together. Season with salt and (red or black) pepper to taste.
Once the eggs are fully cooked add the soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice to wok. Mix together thoroughly, serve warm, and enjoy!
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.