While we do almost always have fresh produce in our fridge, I want to take a risk here with you guys and say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with frozen vegetables. As a matter of fact, frozen veggies have a number of advantages over fresh ones. They’re not necessarily better, but they often offer more variety, fewer preservatives, and less food waste. They’re also typically cheaper and usually pre-chopped.
Have you ever wondered how it’s possible to get off-season fresh vegetables in your super market? I looked it up and it’s kind of gross. Frozen veggies, on the other hand, are normally a lot fresher at the time of freezing than anything you’ll find in the “fresh” aisle. This, surprisingly, can sometimes mean that the frozen option is more nutritious! By my count, that’s a win-win-win-win-win-win-win for frozen veggies.
The problem is that frozen vegetables often taste absolutely disgusting. For example, while growing up, my family would either microwave or boil our frozen veggies and then place them directly in the garbage due to them being gross. But we’re gathered here today to change all that because I’ve found a way to make those frozen veggies SING.
This dish originated when I nearly burnt my house down while trying to stir-fry vegetables and watch two children at once. Luckily, the delicious smell of burning veggies followed the billowing smoke wafting out of my kitchen… and a star was born.
We have Frozen Burnt Veggies at least three times a week. With a few tweaks, the recipe works with all kinds of frozen vegetable packs, but our favorite is the California Medley of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. (It’s from Aldi. I only shop at Aldi. Kelly likes Trader Joe’s, too, but that’s a little highfalutin for me.) I’m not kidding when I say I buy 15 bags of that stuff at a time. Shoutout to frozen corn, green beans and brussels sprouts for burning up very well, too.
The key to any great recipe is oil, salt and pepper and the same is true for these famous Burnt Frozen Vegetables. After spreading the frozen goods out on a sheet pan, I liberally drizzle a sturdy cooking oil along with an absurd amount of salt and pepper all over that stuff. I find that seasoning the vegetables before cooking allows for a more flavorful vegetable experience overall.
As the title of this post gives away, I cook the living daylights out of this dish. I’m looking to significantly overcook these veggies until they are thoroughly charred and essentially pulverized. If I have the time, 30-45 minutes in the broiler with a few occasional spatula flips gets the job done. In a pinch, a similar result can be achieved in a stove top skillet on a high flame.
The dish is, of course, delicious and the California Medley gives Emma and Kelly plenty of options for pickiness. Lucy and I devour what is left over because we eat everything. It’s a foolproof way to get the veggies down, I’ll tell you that much.
Burnt Frozen Vegetables
- Frozen California Medley including broccoli, cauliflower and carrots
- Vegetable Oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Evenly spread 24 oz of frozen vegetables on sheet pan.
- Liberally drizzle with oil, salt and pepper.
- Place in broiler on high for 30-45 minutes turning occassionally until desired char is achieved.