Cooking with Frozen and Canned Vegetables
Vegetables are an important food group that should be emphasized in our diet. Ideally, half of our plate at each meal should be filled with vegetables. Regrettably, fresh vegetables are not always the most affordable.
Why choose frozen or canned vegetables:
There are many reasons why one may choose to cook with canned or frozen vegetables including:
Affordability compared to fresh vegetables
Convenience (just requires heating before eating!)
Tips when using Frozen or Canned Vegetables:
Choose canned and frozen vegetables whose package states low in sodium or no salt added
Always check the best before date to ensure the food is safe to eat
Add frozen vegetables to your recipes and let them heat up with the rest of the dish; there is no need to thaw frozen vegetables!
Frozen and canned vegetables are often preserved within hours of being harvested. Therefore, frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh vegetables! Canned vegetables may be slightly lower in some nutrients, like water-soluble vitamins like Vitamin C or B Vitamins, due to the heat involved in the canning process. However, the rest of the nutrients remain unchanged during the canning process, still making canned produce a good source of vegetables.
Try incorporating canned and frozen vegetables to your diet by:
Adding them to pasta or pasta sauces
Combining with rice, quinoa, couscous or other grains
Having the vegetables on their own as a side dish
Tossing vegetables in with any soup, stew or chili
Egg and Vegetable Fried Rice
Perfect for a quick meal that the whole family will enjoy! Add a source of protein like tofu, meat or beans to make it a complete meal!
4 cups brown rice, cooked
2 cups frozen or canned vegetables (like carrots, peas, corn, green beans, broccoli)
2 tablespoon canola oil
Soy sauce, to taste
Sesame oil, to taste (optional)
Oyster sauce, to taste (optional)
Cook rice as instructed on your package to yield approximately 4 cups of rice.
In a large sauce pan or wok, heat canola oil. Add vegetables to pan and cook for 30-60 seconds.
Crack eggs and stir in quickly to scramble the eggs with the vegetables.
Break up egg into little piece once scrambled. Add cooked rice to the pan.
Add desired quantities of soy sauce, sesame oil and oyster sauce and stir to combine.
Once desired flavour is reached and rice and vegetables are warm, serve.
Chunky Homemade Tomato Sauce
Use this homemade tomato sauce for your pastas, pizzas or served with your vegetables or grains. Add canned or frozen vegetables to the sauce to give some extra flavour.
3 tablespoon olive or canola oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cans (28 ounce each) diced tomatoes
½ teaspoon dried thyme or Italian seasoning
Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook until softened, roughly 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes with their juiced and thyme or Italian seasoning. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Add more salt and pepper as desired.
Green Pea Masala
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon cumin seed
1 large onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 cups water
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon garam masala
Salt, to taste
¼ – ½ teaspoon chili powder
2 cups green peas, frozen or canned
¼ cup milk
1 tablespoon cilantro leaf, for garnish if desired
Heat oil and add cumin seed. As soon as it sputters, add onion and cook about 5 minutes, until translucent.
Add tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes
Add water, turmeric, garam masala, salt and chili powder. Boil for 5 minutes.
Add peas and cook until tender, about 7 minutes for frozen peas.
Add milk and cook 3 min more.
Serve, with cilantro leaf if desired.