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Curious about what to serve with my favorite Shish Kebabs, I did a bit of searching. I came across a mixture of vegetables, I’d call it a salad, Ezme. Bell Peppers, Tomatoes, Green Onion. Rooting around my cupboards, though, I took a few liberties and came up with this Salad: A bit sweet, a bit tangy, this is one of those dishes that makes one come back for more.

Tomato & Bell Pepper Salad

Tomato & Bell Pepper Salad

This is a salad that seems to go over equally well with children and adults…so simple to prepare it took just minutes. Like many mixtures, I did find it improved a bit as it sat, so this is a perfect do-ahead side. Feel free to adjust the flavors to your palate -

.Bell Pepper and Tomato Salad, serves 4

  • 1 large Bell Pepper, preferably yellow or orange, or a half of each
  • 3 plum tomatoes or about the equivalent amount of what ever is on sale.
  • 2 green onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Sweet Chili sauce
  • Salt and Pepper

Cut peppers and tomatoes into bite sized chunks and place in a bowl. Thinly slice green onion and add. Mix the sauce from the rest of ingredients and pour over the vegetables. Mix and chill for an hour or overnight.

Note:

  • Green Onion may be added just before serving, if preferred, to protect their color and crunch.
  • This salad may be chopped finely and used as a condiment.

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my Strategies – You’ll see them all explained on the upper left tab of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read below for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Strategies Applied

  • Bell Pepper:  There are two types of sales, per pound or per pepper. I usually look for the per pepper pricing; in my area it’s generally cheaper – I’ll then buy the biggest, most gorgeous ones I can find. The peppers are often bagged and sold by a unit price, too. A really good price in our area is about a fifty to seventy 75 cents a pepper for the red, yellow or orange ones, and 40 to 75 cents for the green bell. This one ran about 70 cents.
  • Tomatoes, fresh: These vary in price (and quality) according to season, and a good price here in Minnesota is between 69 and 99 cents a pound. In the winter, I often look for plum tomatoes because they seem to taste better. Don’t be swayed by the outside of the tomato – some of the best have imperfections, especially if they’re vine ripened. Never refrigerate your tomatoes if you can help it. An old farm wife’s trick? Add a sprinkle of salt and sugar if your tomatoes are tasteless. If tomatoes are a great price, I’ll sometimes buy some perfectly ripe and others not so ripe and put them in my windowsill to ripen. Cost 70 cent
  • Tomato Paste:  Another item I generally don’t pay for with coupons and sales – keep it in a Ziploc bag in your freezer and thaw for a few minutes to use. Cost 0
  • Green OnionI try to buy on sale for about 50 cents a bunch (usually during Holidays) then put the white tips in a jar of water in a sunny window to regrow. Kids love taking ownership of the project. I only need to replenish every few months. Cost is so minimal that I don’t even count it.
  • Other ingredients:  I alway use coupons and watch for sales for condiments – the other ingredients are really nominal in such small amounts. Look for Asian ingredients like the Chili Sauce to on sale after New Years when the Chinese New Year is approaching. Vinegar is often on sale around Easter and during the summer.

Nutrition:

Cal 68, % fr fat 47; tot fat 4g; sat fat .51g; chol 0; sod 39mg; tot carb 9g; fib 2g; sug 4g; prot 2g

Put Your own Spin on It:

  • You couldn’t go wrong with a bit of lemon or lime on this salad.
  • A hot pepper of any kind would be good, finely diced.
  • This would be a perfect salad mixed with a grain:  couscous, quinoa, bulgar or rice.  (Make a little extra sauce!)

Tomato and Bell Pepper Salad made May 2012 for $1.35, remade and repriced March 2014 for about $1.40.

To slice any round object, place on a lid with a lip, top with something flat

To slice any round object, place on a lid with a lip, top with something flat

Press down on the top and slice through with a sharp knife

Press down on the top and slice through with a sharp knife

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