Since being on a plant based diet I’ve really found that my passion for cooking has come back and I love not only finding new recipes but also new tips and hacks to make cooking as quick and simple as possible! Don’t get me wrong, when I’m really in the mood to cook I could spend hours creating something scrummy but with two whirlwind toddlers running around and a busy work/life schedule to contend with, quick and simple are high on my priorities – along with healthy, and delicious of course!
Last week I was invited along to a fun cooking event at L’Atelier Des Chefs with the Asda team and some lovely bloggers and social media influencers and we were guided through some amazing recipes for all the family with one major #mumhack in mind – frozen ingredients; oh and even more amazingly – pre-cut frozen ingredients!
The whole concept of the event was #MealsMadeFreezy. Each meal that we made was healthy, scrumptious, quick, easy and amazingly created using frozen ingredients! Asda have a whole new range of pre-cut frozen vegetables including onions and garlic – a life saver I know! They also have mixes like the Mediterranean veg mix and stir fry mixes and also a huge range of frozen pre-cut herbs and spices. They are an absolute game changer and make cooking with children at your feet and the countdown to bedtime ever looming so much quicker and more stress-free!
Of the meals that we made there was one vegan dish which everyone just loved! It was a mushroom stroganoff and oh so delicious! The herbs, spices and mushrooms were all pre-cut straight from the freezer bag so it was an amazingly quick meal and one that everyone said they’d be making again! I don’t have the exact recipe on me but once I get it I’ll be sharing it on here along with my other go-to vegan family dinners!
The Asda chefs Mark and Andrew then went on to demonstrate three more amazing family meals; a One Pot Spanish Chicken Bake, Chicken, Ham & Sweet Potato Pie and Grilled Seabass with Italian Squash, Chilli and Garlic dressing. They gave so many amazing tips for us to use in the kitchen and I just loved watching them cook.
After each demonstration we were then paired up to recreate each dish. I was with the lovely Lorna from @MrsHHaywood on instagram and she was just so friendly and hilarious! We had the recipes as well as all of the ingredients laid out and of course the professions a hand to give us some guidance should we need it but if I’m honest the only help we needed was the typical mum brain induced ones like ‘where are the chopping boards?’ (which were right there under our stations) rather than anything to do with the cooking itself!
After making all of the dishes we got to sit down and enjoy the fruits of our labour! I did admittedly try some of the meat during the demonstrations but for lunch I had the mushroom stroganoff and it was just incredible! I also had the veggie parts of other meals like the sweet potato from the pie and the chilli and garlic dressing from the seabass dish which was insanely good!
During the event I got to discuss with the chefs the kinds of alternatives you could use if you do have someone in your family who has different dietary requirements. My boys love the vegans dishes that I make but I know that with a lot of families it’s hard to cater to everyones needs so it’s great to think of ways to make just one dish at dinnertime but with a couple of slight variations to cater to everyone!
With the One Pot Spanish Chicken Bake I would simply set aside the veggies before adding the chicken and chorizzo, there were plenty to be filling enough for a meal and tasted so delicious! As for the Chicken, Ham & Sweet Potato Pie I would definitely make up the same filling in a separate pot and instead of adding chicken and ham I’d add in some mushrooms and use a vegan pastry for the top. Finally for the Grilled Seabass with Italian Squash, Chilli and Garlic dressing I would create the same squash and edamame mix and chilli and garlic dressing but use it with a stuffed roasted pepper!
I had such a wonderful time at the Meals Made Easy event and have already been putting my skills to good use! Last night I made a scrummy Quorn bolognese using the scratch cook chopped garlic, Italian herb mix and sliced mushrooms, peppers and onions! Asda’s Frozen Meals Made Easy range really is such a game changer for cooking. Everything is frozen fresh so you’re not compromising on quality but you are making up on time and convenience. It gives us mamas a chance to get creative in the kitchen without all the time spent chopping and slicing plus it means less washing up afterwards and less wastage!
Do you cook using frozen ingredients very often? If so will you be giving the scratch cook range a try? Never having to chop an onion again, it’s like Christmas has come early!
Thanks for reading!