March is an exciting time. It’s National Frozen Food Month, and you’ve got a touch of madness with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations right in the middle. For many of us, we’re even starting to see early hints of spring. There is no better way to combine these festivities than with a delicious, simply prepared, green meal for you and your family.
My secret weapon to get my family through this month’s excitement is a freezer stocked with staple meals and starters. You’ll never face that sinking feeling when you are heading home and realize there’s no dinner plan in place, and better yet, you can drum up a festive holiday meal to bring some easy excitement to the table. Here are a couple of my favorite weekday staples.
With frozen broccoli and shrimp in the freezer, you can quickly put together nutritious (and green!) Garlicky Shrimp and Broccoli with Meyer Lemon. Need something good to pack for lunch? Salmon and Sweet Pea Salad comes together quickly, because you stocked up on frozen salmon filets and frozen sweet (green!) peas.
And, if St. Patrick’s Day – or any day of the year – calls for a pizza night, pull out your favorite frozen pizza, chopped onions, spinach and some turkey sausage crumbles – all from the freezer— to make yourself one seriously amazing pizza that no one will believe wasn’t delivered! I first came up with the recipe for Pizza with Turkey Sausage, Spinach and Pesto on a wintery weekend morning and didn’t feel like waiting until dinner to try it out. My family gladly took it on for brunch, and it’s now in the regular rotation for any time of day. Doctoring up a plain, frozen pizza in endless ways is so much fun and so easy with any variety of frozen veggies and proteins on hand. I am positive that unleashing my kids’ creativity is going to result in some pretty spectacular pizza nights to come. Try customizing with additional green ingredients such as kale, arugula, green peppers or olives for an added bonus on St. Patty’s Day.
The frozen food aisles today are more abundant and inspiring than ever, filled with wholesome, nutritious and delicious options for you and your family. Spend some time looking behind those glass doors, and you’ll be amazed by the range of available foods. Whatever items you use most often or choose to get creative with – like green vegetables for St. Patrick’s Day, pizzas, meatballs, berries and more, give them a whirl in honor of Frozen Food Month. If they turn utilizing your freezer into an Olympic sport, I plan to take the Gold!
Katie Workman is author of The Mom 100 Cookbook and creator of The Mom 100 blog. She’s all about cooking for family and friends and is so excited to be working with the National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA). Katie also sits on the board of City Harvest, New York’s leading food rescue nonprofit, and for the past 20 years has been an active supporter of Share Our Strength, a hunger relief organization dedicated to eradicating childhood hunger.