Embrace the Freezer Aisle: 3 Frozen Foods to Always Have on Hand

Learn how to shop the freeze aisle, and find out what three frozen foods you shouldn’t be without.

If you love home cooking but think you don’t have time for it on busy weeknights, guess again. The solution is simpler than you think: your supermarket’s frozen food aisle.

Veggies: Most vegetables are quickly blanched (plunged into boiling water, then immersed in cold water to stop the cooking process) before being frozen. The reason for this step is to stop the enzymes from breaking down, which results in loss of flavor, color and texture. So those bags of frozen veggies are comparable to their fresh counterparts, and in some cases, they're a better choice if the vegetable you’re craving isn’t in season.

Pizza Dough: This is another staple in my house. You can stock up on your favorite brand from the supermarket, or make a few batches and store it in zip-top bags. All it needs is a little advance planning to thaw in the fridge overnight, and you’re ready for a quick weeknight meal. These doughnuts from Giada De Laurentiis, while not quite dinner, are on my to-make list too.

Puff Pastry: My other secret swap-in for busy nights is frozen puff pastry. I prefer a brand that uses all butter, as it produces the best flavor, so read your labels closely. Puff pastry is a great shortcut for making both savory and sweet picks, like Ina Garten's ham-and-cheese beauty or Marcela Valladolid's berry creation, respectively.

Here are a few more ideas for using frozen veggies to get you started:

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