How to make frozen stored veggies taste good? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 01-08-2011, 05:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I par-steamed tons of summer greens - swiss chard,beet greens, kale, and spinach.

they tased good before being frozen, but now that it is winter and we want to eat them they are so gross, and limp, nasty, and rubbery and tough- especially the stems.  I think that unless we can get them to taste good and have a decent texture my kids (or me either) , wont touch them.  I may have about 30 bags for the compost.  Help!

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#2 of 9 Old 01-08-2011, 08:28 AM
 
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We put up a LOT of frozen vegetables each year, and use them all winter.

How are you using them?

If you're trying to eat them "raw," or plain, there may be no hope.
Frozen vegetables will never have the same texture as fresh, although it does help to be sure you're following the most current recommendations on freezing technique. I remove the stems before freezing, for instance.

But we use our frozen greens in recipes-- in sauces and smoothies and casseroles and mashed potatoes and stir fries. It helps to chop them really finely, and to cook them until they're tender, and to season them well.

Add them to the recipe still frozen-- don't thaw first. The only vegetable I thaw before cooking is corn on the cob, mostly because that helps it cook faster. If you need them chopped, just take the bag of frozen greens and whack it with the back end of a heavy spoon, and it'll fall into little bits.

I tend to just take out a bag every day, and dice it really finely, and slide it into whatever else we're eating. Even the stronger-tasting greens will vanish into a tomato sauce, for instance, if you season the sauce highly, and add a bit more tomato paste to thicken the sauce back up. Chopped chard is lovely in a lemon sauce, over pasta. Spinach will go nicely in a creamy sauce, or in soups or stews. And we love kale in lentil casseroles, or really finely chopped in stuffed potatoes or mashed potatoes (season them with garlic and add some cheese--- YUM). And I have a great vegan gumbo recipe, if you're interested, that uses a LOT of greens.


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#3 of 9 Old 01-08-2011, 08:33 AM
 
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I'd cook them, like southern greens. And typically you remove the stems of many greens before doing so. Get out the ham hocks LOL.

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#4 of 9 Old 01-08-2011, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So since the stems are on still can I still use them as there is no removing stems now?

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#5 of 9 Old 01-08-2011, 03:08 PM
 
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Thaw them somewhat (e.g. pour boiling water on) and take off the largest stem pieces you can see. Those'll be the most bitter and tough and horrible.

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#6 of 9 Old 01-09-2011, 03:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post


I tend to just take out a bag every day, and dice it really finely, and slide it into whatever else we're eating. Even the stronger-tasting greens will vanish into a tomato sauce, for instance, if you season the sauce highly, and add a bit more tomato paste to thicken the sauce back up. Chopped chard is lovely in a lemon sauce, over pasta. Spinach will go nicely in a creamy sauce, or in soups or stews. And we love kale in lentil casseroles, or really finely chopped in stuffed potatoes or mashed potatoes (season them with garlic and add some cheese--- YUM). And I have a great vegan gumbo recipe, if you're interested, that uses a LOT of greens.
 


I am planning on cooking the greens, the only one I have frozen and eaten raw is the spinach
( in smoothies).

 

Llyra, would you share the lentil casserole and the vegan gumbo?

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#7 of 9 Old 01-09-2011, 06:36 AM
 
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I'll share the lentil casserole right now. It's not mine-- I got it from an MDC mama, years and years ago. I think it's done the rounds here at MDC a thousand times. I've made some changes to it, myself, over the years, but it's still basically the same.

MDC Honey Baked Lentils

Put in a casserole dish:
1 cup of brown lentils
2 cups of cold water
a tablespoon of fat (olive oil works nicely, or sesame, or whatever you have)
a tablespoon of soy sauce (or vinegar mixed with molasses, if you can't eat soy, like us.)
a tablespoon of honey (you can put more, if you're trying to get picky LOs to eat it)
a small onion, diced
a clove of garlic, minced
a pinch of ginger (about a quarter teaspoon dried)
veggies-- I use a stalk of celery, chopped small, one large carrot, chopped small, and a big handful of chopped greens. You can really use any veg you want here, though.

Bake at 350 for about an hour and a half, or until the water is almost all gone, but before the lentils scorch. Stir the greens in before you serve it-- they'll sometimes be all up on top when it's first out of the oven.

We eat it served over rice, with a green salad. Put a bit of soy sauce and some ginger in the water, when you cook the rice, and the flavors will go together nicely. But it's lovely in all different ways.

****
The vegan gumbo I've got to go look up-- I've got it in a notebook upstairs, and DS is sleeping in that room. So I'll post it later on.
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#8 of 9 Old 01-10-2011, 02:37 PM
 
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How about as a thin layer in lasagna? I love a layer of swiss chard in lasagna!

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#9 of 9 Old 01-11-2011, 03:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks llyra for the recipe.

 

I love spinach in lasagna, so I will give swiss chard a try next...  Oh those stems, why did I keep them on?

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