Multi-tasking Bell Pepper Prep: Chop Once, Eat Later | Cooking at Home with Stretching a Buck

by Marcy on June 25, 2013 · 0 comments

multi tasking pepper prep bulk cooking menu plan

Chop Once, eat later – do you do this? Recently I shared with you the method I have been using for saving money on snacks by prepping ahead. And yesterday I mentioned that I am back in the menu planning saddle after taking about a month off due to vacation and other travel.

I’m always looking for ways to save time in the kitchen while reducing waste, so when I reviewed my menu plan for the week and saw that I planned to have bell peppers for 3 different meals, I decided to chop the peppers once and store them in zipper bags for later. I thought this tip might be helpful to some of you when your home gardens starts to produce tons of peppers and you don’t know what to do with all of them, so I’m going to share.

This method can be used with any kind of bell peppers. Please note that peppers freeze great – even in marinade! Don’t let those peppers go to waste – chop them all at once and freeze what you aren’t planning to use within the week.

I used 3 bell peppers for this example – 1 red, 1 yellow and 1 orange. These meals fed 2 adults.

The 3 meals that I prepped these peppers for were:

  • Side dish – Foil Pepper Packets (for the grill)
  • Chicken and Pepper Kabobs (also for the grill)
  • Beef Fajitas

First I washed the peppers and dried them with a paper towel. Then I sliced off the tops and bottoms and cleaned out the seeds. I cut the peppers in half and then cut the halves into quarters. I reserved one quarter of each pepper for the kabob “squares” and thinly sliced the remaining pepper. I added a small amount of pepper strips to the foil packet side dish (seen in the photo above) and placed the rest of the pepper strips in a zipper bag (which I later added onions and marinade to). I cut the remaining pepper into bite sized “squares” and placed those in a zipper bag for use on my chicken kabobs.

Sometimes I find a great sale on bell peppers at Costco (during winter months) and I’ll do this same thing – freezing peppers for chili, sloppy joe, fajitas and more. I also like to dice them up for use in My Favorite Summer Salad. I store the diced peppers in small glass bowls with lids and add them to my salads each day. When I keep the salad components separate I feel that everything stays fresher longer. But that’s a post for another day. :-)

Eventually I’ll get the hang of food photography and will upload some more images here for you. In the meantime, what questions do you have for me? I would love to hear how you multi-task in the kitchen to save yourself time on future meals!


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