Frugal Tuesdays: Kale Potato Gratin & How to Freeze Bell Peppers

First up today on Frugal Tuesdays….Kale and Potato Gratin from Apartment Therapy. 

Kale Potato Gratin

I like the simplicity of this recipe…just kale and potatoes, the simplest of seasonings, plus breadcrumbs and optional cheese. (Though, let’s be honest, I’d have to be pretty hard up to leave out cheese…).

I also wanted to share one of my favorite frugal food-saving tips this week. It’s no secret that I love bell peppers. Love them. And one year, when we lived in an apartment with a kitchen the size of your left shoe, I tried roasting peppers to freeze them, and I ended up clogging the kitchen drain, and pepper water was all over the floor, and the peppers were soggy and gross, and I pretty much wasted 9 hours of my life and never really ate them.

                                       photo from makeandtakes.com

And then I found out you could straight-up freeze bell peppers without cooking them…and have delicious bell peppers to put in stews and soups and curries all winter long without paying $19 per pepper in the middle of January.

Here’s how.
Buy a bushel of bell peppers.
Wash them. Dry them.
Cut them open and remove the seeds and veins.
Chop them. Or Slice them. However you like to use them.
Place them on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper.
Freeze them for several hours.
Then place them in a ziplock bag. (I put a ton in a gallon-sized bag and take out a handful at at time.

If you’re new to freezing veggies, this is the place to start. Simple.

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7 thoughts on “Frugal Tuesdays: Kale Potato Gratin & How to Freeze Bell Peppers

  1. I just recently froze peppers from my garden……poblano, banana, green, purple and red peppers. It’s so handy to grab the frozen chopped peppers out of the freezer, especially in the winter months when you don’t want to travel to the grocery store in subzero weather!

    • Way to go! I’ve frozen far less this year than last…partly because I’ve been trying to freeze some food for the baby, and there’s only so much time in the day. But I couldn’t imagine a winter without peppers!

  2. We just did this on Saturday! We’ve been freezing bell peppers for years, but this year I got a large supply from the farmers market and we now have 17 C of diced bell peppers in the freezer. Perfect for casseroles all winter long.

    This dish, by the way, looks delightful. Makes me wish I had purchased kale this weekend too.

  3. Hey Liz!
    Freezers truly are a produce lover’s BFF. Thanks for the inspiration. I’ll be stocking up at the Farmers Market this weekend for sure!
    Have you ever tried freezing squash? I’m thinking I could do this if I cubed it up first. Then, it would also be quick to throw into any meal. I love squash, but sometimes am deterred by the process of preparing it. Thoughts?
    Have a great day!
    Erin

    • Are you asking about how to prepare it for freezing?
      If so…
      I’ve frozen it in puree form for baby food (though you could do it this way for soups and pies, too)…a quick method is to cut the squash in half and remove the seeds and pulp. Then cut it into large chunks or quarters. Place in a bowl in the microwave with about a 1/2 inch of water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave about 15 minutes on high or until squash is fork tender.
      or
      I think you’ll get better flavor, however, if you place your seeded squash cut-side down in a pan with about a 1/4 inch of water. Roast at 350* until fork tender (around 45 mins. depending on size), checking on water levels to make sure squash isn’t scorching.

      Once your squash is cooked (by microwaving or roasting), peel the skin off with your fingers, then puree it. Then, I like to let it drain in a colander lined with overlapping coffee filters for a few hours in the fridge before bagging it in ziplocs and freezing it.

      I’ve pureed the squash to use as baby food, and the microwaving method has worked well for me.

      For freezing CUBED squash, check out this article. which tells you how to blanch cubed squash before freezing. I’ve also read that you can peel and cube uncooked squash, place cubes on a tray, and freeze the individual cubes. I have not tried freeze cubed squash EITHER way, so I can’t personally tell you how well it turns out.
      -
      Let me know if that answers your question at all or if I totally missed it. Let us bring an end to the longest comment in history…now. :)

      • So much good info! Yes, indeed what I was looking for (side note: I love that you make your own baby food). Never frozen squash before and now feel 110% prepared.
        Thanks Liz!

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