On Forgetting About The Existence Of Frozen Vegetables

Earlier this week, I was desperate for some vegetables. An erratic schedule had prevented me from getting to the market, and my crisper drawer was practically empty, save for some shallots, herbs...and some mystery objects in bags that really need to go... My local produce purveyor was already closed, so I decided to hit my local super bodega (Sugar Deli on 36th and 9th...and it is a super bodega: not quite a full-fledged market, more than a bodega). They have a little refrigerated case that usually has a few overpriced veggies – which I tend to avoid – but I was desperate. The bag of spinach I chose wasn't really thrilling me...and then, as I walked towards the register, the cases of frozen food caught my eye. Of course! I could use frozen veggies! Duh!

I decided on a package of cut green beans, figuring I'd throw them in a stir fry with a chicken breast that had been hanging out in my freezer for a while (and Lord knows I have enough jars of Asian curries and spices in my fridge...). I must say, the dish turned out pretty damn well! I let the beans defrost on their own (there was still a little ice on them when I added them to the pan), and they ended up being hot, juicy, bright green, perfectly wonderful. And as leftovers, they were great!

From now on, I won't feel so desperate when I can't make it to my produce place...

Frozen Green Bean Stir Fry
• 1 box frozen cut green beans, mostly defrosted
• 1/2 pound chicken breast, cut into pieces
• 2 servings of the noodles of your choice
• 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
• 1 tablespoon Thai chili basil sauce
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce

For the noodles: Prepare according to package directions, aiming for them to be done just after you add the green beans to the chicken.

In a sauté pan or wok, heat the oil, then cook the chicken in the chili basil sauce until it's done. Add the beans, sauté for about a minute, then add the noodles and soy sauce. Sauté until the beans are bright green and done, which won't be long...maybe another minute.


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