A Little Fresh and a Lot Frozen Goes a Long Way

It wasn’t milk and bread, and it was delicious. And that’s not coming from me. Bernadette is usually unimpressed with me generally, but I usually make up for it when I cook food that most people would scoff at when they see how it starts out. See for yourself:

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Frozen spinach, peas, ravioli, and dried mushrooms?

Just last week, we were snowed in from one of the worst storms to hit this region in quite a long time. Many people did not heed the warnings to stock up on essential food, since driving would be treacherous and many stores would be shut down. For us, we had enough food for a few days, but very little fresh food. So like you frugal fashionistas out there, we had to make the most of what we had.. in our freezer. The additional culprits for our frozen food throw down:

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As a meat-lover, I had to use some of the best pork sausages I’ve ever tasted that we kept frozen for use on occasions like this. We supported a small business and local farm, Belle Terra Farms, when they attended the Shop Micro Small business expo at the end of November in Charlotte. We’ve used these in other dishes, and if you want good sausage, go to the local farms, like Belle Terra. We used 1 link of the farm-raised sausage along with the following staples kept in the kitchen:

Garlic (1/2 tsp), fresh parsley (sprig chopped), dried basil (1/2 tbsp), and extra-virgin olive oil (2 tbsp) (of course the fresher the better and salt and pepper to taste).

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Sautee the sausage and garlic while the ravioli (12 oz.) boils for 7-8 minutes. I then added the dried mushrooms in the last two minutes with the ravioli to re-saturate them. I microwaved the creamed spinach to get it ready to toss in. Just before al dente, I retrieved the ravioli and added it to the cooked sausage. I tossed in the steaming creamed spinach and added 1 cup of frozen peas, since they just need to defrost and warm. I cooked everything together on low heat for an additional 2-3 minutes and added the olive oil, parsley, and basil to combine all the flavors.

With these simple ingredients, we quickly turned a normally bland group of frozen food into a hearty “home-cooked” meal to keep us warm and bellies full while the snow fell outside.

As you can see, adding a little fresh to a lot frozen can take flavor and your money a long way.  We know how cheap you can get generic brand frozen food but with a little effort, anyone can make them delicious. Let your creativity go, and turn even a simple bag of fresh or frozen spinach into a gourmet dinner!

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Bon appetit!

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2 thoughts on “A Little Fresh and a Lot Frozen Goes a Long Way

  1. Looks delicious–nice work! I also love the challenge of creating a substantial meal out of whatever’s in your pantry/fridge/freezer.

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