As many of you know, I am currently following a diet and fitness plan in a bid to a better, brighter me. This of course means that I am catered for – but what about Ross and Grace? Ross is pretty good at cooking for himself but he also has a bigger workload than me and I am the child carer when Grace finishes school. So, it is only fair that I am mainly responsible for the meals in our house.
When BritMums included me in the #Coolcookery project with the British Frozen Food Federation and asked me to cook a recipe from frozen (no, not that frozen!), I was up for the challenge.
Frozen foods are extremely valuable to our diet for a number of reasons. They help to reduce waste, they last longer in the freezer and, the part that surprised me, they often retain nutrition better than products which are sold as fresh!
Frozen food is not just fish fingers and chips! The product range stretches into a variety of quick-frozen vegetables, fruits, fish, and meats as well as herbs and spices – which I discovered to my delight. The herbs I buy regularly go off far too quickly! The quick-freezing locks in the freshness and nutritional goodness within hours of harvest, catch or slaughter.
I took a trip to my local Waitrose and found lots of products on offer so I decided upon a Cottage Pie recipe for my family – and it is probably the quickest and easiest pie I have ever made!
The frozen ingredients I chose were these:
Added to these was a small pack of grated cheese, a tin of tomatoes, some tomato puree and a dash of Worcestershire sauce.
I put half the bag of onions and mince into a saucepan and browned off the mince. Then I added a generous sprinkling of the herbs and garlic, the tomatoes and a fair sized portion of the mixed vegetables into the pan and mixed this together. Whilst this was heating, I put three quarters of the bag of the frozen mash into a bowl and then into the microwave, as directed, to defrost it. Once this was done, I added the grated cheese.
The mince mixture then went into a baking dish and I sprinkled some Worcestershire sauce over the top and seasoned with salt and pepper. I then spread the mashed potato and cheese across the top and placed the dish into the oven on Gas Mark 7 (200° C) for 40 minutes.
The result? Wonderful! Ross and Grace both devoured it and Ross told me that he was apprehensive about how it would taste – but he assured me that it was far better than he had thought it would be. Despite the fact that I am on a diet, I had to at least have a spoonful of what I had made and Ross wasn’t wrong!
I’m working with BritMums and Coolcookery.co.uk highlighting the versatility, economy and nutritional benefits of cooking with frozen food. All opinions are my own. For recipes and ideas visit: http://bit.ly/coolcookery
I received financial compensation for this post.