Meijer Cooks during Frozen Food Month

Melissa Hehmann from the Meijer Stores joined us Friday, March 20th with great ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner -- right from your freezer -- your freezer ISN'T just for ice cream anymore!

March is National Frozen Food Month -- and it's time to think about the freezer in a whole new way!

It's time to think about the freezer aisle in a fresh way.

1.    Nutrition: There's no better known means of preserving food than by freezing. Commercial rapid-freezing processes maintain nutritional quality of products without chemical preservatives. And food quick-frozen and properly stored keep their high nutritional value.

2.    Freshness: Freezing foods seals in freshness. Foods designed for the freezer are selected at their peak of nutrition and flavor, quickly processed and frozen within hours, before there has been any deterioration in quality.

3.    Convenience: Frozen foods are truly convenient. The cleaning, picking, dicing, chopping and squeezing has been done.

4.    No portion distortion: Frozen food packages tell you what you're eating. Packages have ingredient and nutrition labeling. If you're health conscious, counting calories or on doctor's orders, frozen foods can help.

Frozen for Breakfast

•    The average person consumes 44% of their protein at dinner, but it's been suggested that an ideal eating plan includes 30 grams of high quality protein at each meal throughout the day.

•    Did you know that higher protein eating plans may make you feel full longer?  One study found that people on higher protein eating plans ate 200-400 less calories per day.

Turkey Breakfast Burritos Jar

Serves 4

4 JENNIE-O® Fully Cooked Turkey Breakfast Sausage Patties, cooked and crumbled

1 teaspoon butter

1½ cup egg substitute or 6 eggs, beaten

1 cup cooked brown rice or cooked quinoa

4 (½-pint) canning jars with lids

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup LA VICTORIA® Thick' N Chunky Salsa

1 cup shredded Mexican cheese Blend

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1.    In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add eggs. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until eggs are almost cooked, stirring occasionally. Fold in turkey sausage.

2.    Spoon ¼ cup rice into each jar. Add one-quarter of black beans, egg mixture, salsa and cheese into each jar. Top with cilantro. Replace lids. Serve warm or refrigerate up to 2 days.

Per serving: 390 calories, 20g fat, 20g carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 34g protein.

Source: Jennie-O

Get more veggies with Frozen

Add more nutrition and taste to meals with frozen vegetables – add to soups, smoothies, tacos, stir-fry's, etc. So many possibilities.

Tortellini Vegetable Soup

Serves 4

1 16-oz. bag frozen cheese tortellini

3 15-oz. cans vegetable stock

1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes

2 tsp. garlic salt

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables

Hot sauce to taste

Pinch of sugar

Parmesan cheese, grated

1.    In a large pot, heat the vegetable stock, tomatoes, spices, and vegetables on medium high for 5 minutes. Add the tortellini and cook until tender (4-6 minutes).

2.    Add hot sauce and sugar to taste. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Per serving: 365 calories, 6g fat, 62g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 16g protein.

Source: Easy Home Meals

Frozen for Dinner

Chicken and Pepper Fajitas

Serves 6

11/2 lbs frozen grilled and ready chicken strips, thawed

3/4 cup favorite store-bought fajita marinade

1 16-oz. pkg. frozen pepper stir-fry vegetable combination

8 flour tortillas, warmed

Salsa, cheddar cheese, sour cream, guacamole (optional)

1.    Marinate chicken in fajita marinade for approximately 30 minutes.

2.    In a skillet, cook mixture over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes. Stir in vegetables and continue cooking approx. 5-6 minutes (stirring occasionally), until vegetables are cooked, hot and crisply tender.

3.    Serve in warm tortillas, topped with salsa, cheddar cheese and/or sour cream.

Per serving: 345 calories, 7g fat, 41g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 24g protein.

Source: Easy Home Meals