As a mom the expectation is that you create delicious, wholesome meals that your whole family gobble up night after night… but the truth is that I’m a lousy cook and only too happy to pass over responsibility to my husband who is far more adept in the kitchen.
So far this system – of me planning the meals and buying the groceries and him cooking – has worked really well for us, expect that sometimes life gets in the way… and I HAVE TO COOK!
This is usually because my husband is traveling or working late and sometimes, occasionally, it’s because I feel particularly kind and realise I owe it to him to let him walk through the door to a meal on the table…
But don’t be fooled, my meals have to be properly easy to whip up. Plus now that I’m also working an office job every day and a mom job every afternoon I don’t have time to go past the shop every day which often means I have to create something healthy and appetizing from our pantry cupboard and freezer. No mean feat!
Fortunately I have recently made friends with the frozen section of the grocery shop thanks to McCain and have stocked up on some of their easy essentials such as their broccoli and cauliflower florets, spinach, diced peppers, stir fry mix and even diced onions, for when I’m really in a rush!
And because I know I’m not alone in staring at the clock at 5pm and realising that I’ve got a few hungry tummies on my hand, who really don’t want to wait for 2 hours to eat, I thought I’d share two of my quick fix family-friendly recipes today…
But please bear in mind I’m no cook, let alone a food blogger or a food stylist and photographer. This is just me, being a mom who has to feed a family everyday!!! These two recipes are ones that even I can make – using items that I usually have around the house anyway!
Crustless Quiche (serves 4)
- 5 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbs vegetable oil or butter
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 packet of McCain chopped frozen onions or 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 packet of McCain frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 100g feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
The spinach can be substituted for other McCain frozen veggie options such as brocoli florets, sweetcorn, diced peppers and peas which work especially well with bacon or ham.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C or Gas Mark 5.
- Put a 20cm oven-proof quiche dish in the oven on a baking tray while the oven heats up.
- On the stove top, saute garlic and onion in a pan with a little butter or oil until lightly browned
- Stir in spinach, feta and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Combine the egg mixture to the spinach mixture.
- Take the quiche dish out of the oven using oven gloves, swirl oil over the base and sides.
- Pour the combined mixture into dish
- Bake in preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes, until set in center. Cover top with foil if it starts to get too brown.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese over the top and bake for another 5 minutes
- Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.
- Cut into wedges to serve.
Egg Fried Rice (serves 4)
- 2 cups cooked white rice (even day old leftover rice can work!)
- 2 tbs sesame seed oil
- 1 cup frozen McCain peas, carrots and corn (thawed)
- 1 packed McCain diced onions or small chopped onion
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1/4 cup soya sauce
- OPTIONAL: 1 cup cooked bacon or ham
- On medium high heat the oil in a large pan or wok
- Add the vegetable mix, onion and garlic
- Stir fry until tender
- Lower the heat to medium low and push the mixture to one side
- Pour in the eggs on the other side and fry until scrambled
- Add the rice and soya sauce (and bacon if required) and blend all together well
- Stir fry until heated through
See what I mean these two recipes couldn’t be easier!
But if you’re still not convinced that the frozen aisle deserves a visit, then here are a few tips on how to make the most of frozen vegetables…
Steam, don’t boil: The quickest way to mess up a batch of frozen vegetables is to boil them. Use a steamer basket over boiling water or put them in the microwave with a little water – just make sure that your water doesn’t touch the veggies.
Avoid cooking before: Frozen veg cooks so quickly that keeping them frozen until you need to add them to your dish will help prevent them from turning to mush in your mouth. For most recipes you can even add them in frozen at the required time especially in dishes such as stir-fry, casseroles and pastas.
Use in meals: Frozen vegetables are flash frozen at the peak of freshness but if overcooked they don’t always taste as great as fresh veg so the best bet is to rather use them as additions to meals that contain many ingredients and avoid using them on their own.
Season: You can’t go wrong with the tried and tested combo of Salt + Pepper + Butter but another great combo to try on your frozen veggies is Chilli Flakes + Honey + Lemon Juice. Just sprinkle, sauté and serve.