The winter months can be tough for many reasons, one of which is the lack of diversity found in the produce section at the grocery store — can you say “root vegetables galore”? Man cannot, and should not, exist on parsnips alone, especially when just a few aisles over, frozen foods picked at the peak of freshness and the height of ripeness are plentiful. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in the best of summer’s produce bounty. And we’re not just talking fruit for your smoothies; in the freezer section, you’ll find a vast array of quality ingredients, prepped and packaged with convenience in mind. A trip down this magical aisle also leads to a wide world of ethnic cuisine, with meals that are perfectly portioned and ready at a moment’s notice; no more trekking out in the snow for that curry dish you’ve been craving. Here’s a roundup of chef-inspired recipes, made easy by starting with a variety of frozen foods, brought to you by the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association.
You can literally do anything with frozen puff pastry — every home freezer should have a stockpile. Impress guests with a quick dessert or a savory appetizer. Frozen puff pastry is versatile and delicious — a blank canvas, if you will.
RECIPE: MINI PAVLOVA WITH MIXED BERRIES
Guiltless dessert — is there such a thing? If there is, it’s definitely the Pavlova, a traditional Russian dessert that’s made from meringue and topped with frozen berries that are always in season. Try this mini version for a bite-size dessert that really satisfies your sweet tooth while being easy on your New Year’s resolutions.
RECIPE: CRISPY CHICKEN SPINACH SALAD
Who doesn’t love crispy chicken strips? Seriously, who? They’re a go-to favorite for kids and parents alike. And this salad lets you be an adult, checking the box for nutrition, while still having fun. It’s savory, crispy…and did we mention there is bacon, too? Yep, bacon and crispy chicken. Need we say more?
RECIPE: SLOW COOKER MEATBALL SOUP
Think Italian wedding soup meets pasta fagioli when contemplating this sure-to-please wintertime recipe. And let’s be honest, the convenience of frozen meatballs plus melted, mouthwatering cheese in a broth-y bowl really just can’t be bad.
RECIPE: BLACKBERRY SMOOTHIE WITH KALE
Double your nutritional dose with a blackberry and kale smoothie! This antioxidant-rich powerhouse combo will sustain you for hours, making it the perfect breakfast or snack to kick-start your New Year.
RECIPE: GARLIC SHRIMP & VEGETABLES
No wok? No worries. Any pan will do when working with these prepackaged stir-fry staples. Add some fresh ginger and soy sauce, and you’ve got a quick and easy dinner — no passport required!
RECIPE: (Luvo) TANDOORI CHICKEN HACKS
One frozen entrée, three delicious meals — your weekly recipe rotation just got way more interesting. Impress guests, or yourself, with these globally inspired dishes. Tandoori spiced chicken three ways: tandoori chicken tacos with cilantro raita, sprouted tandoori chicken bowl with creamy tahini dressing and no-grill tandoori chicken party skewers.
Find more recipes and tips at EasyHomeMeals.