Pantry Essentials: Roasted Red Peppers from Trader Joe's

Raise your hand if you've ever been caught on a weeknight with no fresh veggies in the fridge. Or if the veggies you thought were fresh turn out to be...not so fresh. Meet your new best friend: jarred roasted red peppers from Trader Joe's.

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Each 12-ounce jar usually contains one very large or two smaller red peppers and costs about $1.99, which is really no more than how much fresh peppers often cost at our market! They're roasted, seeded, and packed in water along with a bit of sugar, salt, and citric acid (a natural preservative).

Far from the limp tasteless specimens we normally think of when it comes to canned vegetables, these peppers are really good! They're thick and meaty, holding their natural shape and texture. In fact, getting them out of the jar in one piece is sometimes a trick! The flavor is simply red pepper, with a little bit of sweetness from the roasting.

We chop them up and use them in a lot of our quick weeknight dishes. They're excellent in frittatas and fajitas, on pizzas, with stir fries, and even thrown into a quick soup. They're already cooked, so we usually add the red peppers as the very last ingredient and cook them just enough so they're warmed through. We also rinse the peppers in cool water before using them.

What other canned or jarred vegetables do you like from Trader Joe's?

Related: Eating Light: Frozen Vegetables Are Your Friends

(Images: Emma Christensen)

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