Inspiration strikes in unusual ways sometimes and most recently it was with a bag of Broccoli and Cheese Sauce by Green Giant. You see, my son has been raving about the broccoli and cheese soup he gets occasionally after school at Panera bread. He’s been asking if I can create something similar at home to satisfy his craving. And since I was asked to review Green Giant Steamer vegetables anyway, I thought what a great use for these fresh frozen, low fat and very tender and slightly cheesy broccoli florets. Now I’ve made broccoli soup before but never with frozen broccoli so I was a bit nervous about the outcome. But I honestly have to say that it turned out creamy without the fat and bursting with broccoli flavor. There’s no way you could tell that I used frozen broccoli! In fact, it may actually even taste better. We’ll have to see what my hungry teen has to say when he gets home from school. (Of course I’ll have to serve it to him in a bread bowl like they do at Panera bread but I’ll do what it takes to please my kids!)
Now you know I buy fresh vegetables when possible and I’m a big fan of farmers’ markets, but I’m also an advocate (and consumer) of some frozen vegetables which can often times can be better than what’s sold as “fresh” in the grocery stores, especially in the off season. I regularly use corn, petit peas, butternut squash, onions and leeks and keep a variety of these vegetables on hand in my freezer. Green Giant, a company founded more than 100 years ago in Minnesota, prides itself on offering a wide range of frozen vegetables that are as nutritious as freshly picked veggies. The most convenient and versatile are the steamers, which allow home cooks the ease of cooking flavorful side dishes in a matter of minutes in the microwave. Or, you can use these flavor packed vegetables as the base in so many different meals which they feature on their website.
Here’s a link to some of Green Giant’s recipe suggestions to make your holiday simple, delicious and more enjoyable:
”¢ Cheesy Broccoli Puffs with Sriracha sauce
”¢ Turkey and Veggie Alfredo Pot Pie
”¢ Garden Vegetables with Lemon-Scented Quinoa
”¢ Broccoli and Artichoke Party Dip
”¢ Roasted Potato and Sausage Quiche
All in all, Green Giant’s hope is a kind and humble one, to bring the “best, most raved-about dishes to our holiday parties.” Their aim is to minimize your time in the kitchen with these five simple and delicious holiday recipes. These quick recipes will leave you more time for last minute shopping, planning and relishing the time spent with friends and family this holiday. So, if you’re looking to save some time in the kitchen this holiday, browse the frozen food section of your grocery store and see which kinds of Green Giant Veggies work for you and your entertaining style.
Leave a comment by the end of the day Friday for your chance to win 10 FREE coupons for Green Giant Steamer Veggies. That’s a substantial amount of money you’ll save on your next shopping trip!
For now, here’s the delicious Creamy Broccoli Soup recipe I developed using Green Giant Broccoli and Cheese Sauce.
Green Giant Broccoli & Cheese Sauce Soup
Makes 3 quarts
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
2 bags of Broccoli & Cheese Sauce Green Giant Steamers
1 12 ounce bag of Green Giant Broccoli Florets
1 Yukon Gold potato, peeled and sliced
1 cup extra sharp shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
6 cups of chicken stock
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil for a minute. Add the garlic and onions and sauté for about 7 minutes. Add the broccoli and potato and cover with the stock. Bring to a boil and cook for about 12 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Blend until smooth using an immersion blender if you have one, otherwise transfer to a blender and carefully blend in batches. Add the shredded cheddar cheese and season with salt and pepper. Serve with chopped fresh parsley and a big hunk of bread or croutons.
DISCLOSURE: I RECEIVED AN ASSORTMENT OF GREEN GIANT PRODUCTS FOR FREE AND ALSO RECEIVED MONETARY COMPENSATION TO REVIEW THIS PRODUCT ON MY BLOG