Flashfood Inspirations

Flashfood: Sweet Bell Peppers

The Flashfood App enables frugal grocery purchases while also promoting sustainability by diverting food that was destined for the landfill. This app links consumers looking for grocery deals with stores looking to sell nearly expired foods. And it’s also a great way to try out new foods and challenge yourself to experiment with recipes! Find out about the app here: Introduction to Flashood

Flashfood Find: Sweet (bell) peppers

Regular Price $10.00
Flashfood Price $5.00
Total Savings $5.00

Menu Inspiration

I use peppers in quite a few of the meals that I cook so when I saw this box of peppers for only $5.00 I bought it right away! My plan was to chop them to the size I would normally use for chili or burritos and freeze them in a reusable bag. I wasn’t sure how long it would take to use them (or even if I would remember to use them, or if they would be at all good after being frozen) and to my surprise I used them really quickly!

This turned out to be so useful in reducing my food preparation time for a few meals that I even did the same with raw onions. I’ve heard from others that you can even pre-cook onions and then freeze them, so I’m planning to try that at some point as well.

But back to peppers – I didn’t find the texture after freezing to be a problem. One of my concerns was that the change in texture would be noticeable, but I didn’t even notice in meals where the peppers are cooked. You definitely wouldn’t want to use them raw, like in a salad, though!

Recipe

I’ve used this recipe for about 10 years (and have been unable to locate the original source, unfortunately) and am pretty sure I make it differently every time! I think that’s one of the great things about chili or soup: you can use up many different ingredients that might be in your fridge and reduce food waste while cooking up a quick and healthy meal.

Vegetarian Chili
1 tablespoon oil (olive, avocado, vegetable, whatever you have on hand)
1 onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups vegetables (recipe calls for 1 cup of carrots and 1 green pepper but I’ve used sweet potatoes, celery, kale, use up what you have!)
1 can crushed tomatoes 796 mL
2 1/2 cups beans (recipe calls for kidney beans but I’ve used up leftover black beans, chickpeas, white beans, lentils)
1 cup water
1 cup corn kernels
1/3 cup bulgur
4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano

Ingredient notes: I often use onion powder and garlic powder if I’m short on time or ingredients. I usually don’t measure my spices, but rather add them to taste. I also often add a pinch of salt, part of a bullion cube, and some smoked paprika along with the spices stated in the recipe.

Stove Top Instructions:
1) Heat oil and add onion, garlic, vegetables and saute for about five minutes
2) Add tomatoes, kidney beans, water, corn, bulgur and spices
3) Simmer for 30 mins

Bonus Speedy Meal Prep Version:
I used to make this in the morning before work and leave it in the slow cooker for the day – but I generally didn’t have a lot of time to prep the ingredients. I found the quickest way to throw this together was to toss all ingredients except for onion and bulgur into the slow cooker on low for 8 hours and then add the bulgur with about 30 -60 mins left to cook at the end of the day. I personally don’t like onions in this recipe that haven’t been sauteed first, so I would either omit them and use onion powder, or saute them and add at the end of cooking if you don’t have time to cook them first.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

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