All mixed up


Famartin, Wikimedia Commons

Poke your fork into a serving of homemade chicken pot pie, made with frozen mixed vegetables.

 

There are some things I keep in my freezer as basic necessities of meal preparation. One item is frozen mixed vegetables.


Usually, the bags contain peas, carrots, corn and green beans. Sometimes the mixture includes lima beans. The frozen veggies are very versatile and can be used in many different ways. They also are great time savers.


There are many different kinds of mixed vegetables, depending on what meal you want to make. Some are great for stews, some for pot pies and some for various types of stir-fry meals.


The following recipes make use of the traditional peas, carrots, corn, green beans and maybe limas. I hope something here becomes a family favorite for you.


Quick chicken and dumplings


1 1/2 cups milk


1 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed


2 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken


1 can (10 3/4-oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted


1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning


Dumplings:


1 cup biscuit/baking mix


1/3 cup french-fried onions, coarsely chopped


7 tablespoons milk


1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


1. In a Dutch oven, combine milk, vegetables, chicken, soup, garlic powder and poultry seasoning. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.


2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine biscuit mix, onions, milk and parsley just until moistened. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto simmering chicken and vegetable mixture. Cook, uncovered, about 10 minutes.


3. Cover and simmer an additional 10 to 12 minutes longer or until a toothpick inserted into a dumpling comes out clean. Makes 6 servings.


Veggie bean soup with cornmeal dumplings


2 cans (14 1/2-oz. each) chicken broth


1 package (16-oz.) frozen mixed vegetables


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


1 can (15-oz.) pinto beans, rinsed and drained


1 can (14 1/2-oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained


1 medium onion, chopped


1 tablespoon chili powder


1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro


4 garlic cloves, minced


1/4 teaspoon pepper


Cornmeal dumplings:


1/2 cup flour


1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


1/3 cup cornmeal


1 tablespoon sugar


1 teaspoon baking powder


1 large egg


2 tablespoons milk


2 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil


1. In a 5-quart slow cooker, combine chicken broth, mixed vegetables, black beans, pinto beans, tomatoes, onions, chili powder, cilantro, garlic and pepper. Cover and cook on low until vegetables are tender, 6 to 8 hours.


2. For dumplings: combine the flour, cheese, cornmeal, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the egg, milk and oil; add to dry ingredients just until moistened (batter will be stiff).


3. Drop mixture by heaping tablespoons onto soup. Cover and cook on high (without lifting cover) until a toothpick inserted into a dumpling comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Makes 6 servings.


Chicken pot pie


3 cups frozen mixed vegetables (about 16 ounces), thawed


2 1/4 cups cubed cooked chicken


1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed


1 jar (4 1/2-oz.) sliced mushrooms, drained


1/4 cup butter


1/4 cup flour


3/4 teaspoon dried thyme


1 can (14 1/2-oz.) chicken broth


2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules (I like Knorr)


Dough for single-crust pie (recipe follows)


1. Preheat oven to 425. In a greased deep 2 1/2-quart baking dish, combine mixed vegetables, chicken, onions and mushrooms.


2. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and thyme until blended; gradually whisk in broth and bouillon granules. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Pour over vegetable mixture.


3. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to fit top of dish; place over filling. Trim and flute edge. Cut slits in top.


4. Bake until golden brown and filling is heated through, 18 to 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.


Pastry dough


1. Combine 1 1/4 cups flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cut in 1/2 cup cold butter until crumbly.


2. Gradually add 3 to 5 tablespoons ice water, tossing with a fork until dough holds together when pressed. Shape into a disk; wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.


Cheesy vegetable gratin


2 packages (12-oz. each) frozen mixed vegetables


1 can (10 3/4-oz.) cream of celery soup


2 green onions, thinly sliced


1/2 cup mayonnaise


2 ounces diced pimiento


4 tablespoons butter, melted


2 teaspoons Mrs. Dash Original


1 teaspoon garlic salt


1/2 teaspoon black pepper


2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided


Topping:


20 round buttery crackers (such as Ritz), crushed


2 tablespoons butter, melted


1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter or spray a 9-by-9 or 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.


2. Steam vegetables per package directions, slightly under cooking.


3. Add to a mixing bowl with the soup, sliced green onions, mayonnaise, pimiento, melted butter, Mrs. Dash, garlic salt and pepper. Mix well.


4. Add 1 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese. Mix until blended, then pour evenly into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup shredded cheese.


5. For topping: toss together cracker crumbs and melted butter until evenly mixed; sprinkle over cheese.


6. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden and bubbly. Makes 8 to 9 servings.

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