The inspiration for this make ahead comes from this new blog that I discovered via Pinterest. This lady is a champ at make ahead ideas. I got a bunch of new ideas just from here one post. She showed how she cooked up ground beef with onions, carrots and peppers and then froze it in baggies to pull out and warm up for tacos or nachos or whatever. I love that idea but I am not fond of the taste of rewarmed beef. I do however add onions, carrots and some times peppers to a lot of dishes I make. So instead I decided to make veggie packs to freeze instead.
Since I almost always add chopped onion and garlic to most meat mixtures I for sure wanted to use those. I also add shredded carrots (and I will show you what I mean by shredded below) to anything that it might be disguised in like taco meat, spaghetti sauce, beef stew or chili. So I decided to include that too. And since I add peppers to anything with a Mexican flare or chili I make some packets with those. The idea is that instead of chopping all these things every time I am cooking I could just go to the freezer and grab a bag of all my "extras" and toss them all in at once...saving me a little time.
So I took one afternoon and chopped up a bunch of onions, peppers, and carrots. I chopped/shredded all of these in my food processor. I wanted everything in small fine pieces (in hopes that one or two might just slip down into my kids tummies without them even noticing). I put everything on trays first and then divided it up by 1/2 cup portions (1/2 cup of each veggie per bag).
Here are my peppers and onions
Here are my carrots (I shredded these but also left the chopping blade in my food processor too so they got double chopped in the process).
I wasn't sure about freezing carrots without blanching them so I sauteed my carrots in a little butter just until they were warmed through before I froze them. Peppers and onions I have frozen without any problem.
These are my bags. The Mexican ones have onions, carrots, garlic and peppers. The soup ones have onions, carrots and garlic (but these I have been using so far in spaghetti sauce and taco meat to which I add a can of tomatoes and kidney beans so they help disguise the carrots).
These would be great to make with fresh garden produce. But if you don't have any or it is not the right season I found this 5 lb bag of carrots at Winco foods for $3.98. I thought that was a steal and they are huge. I would have added celery to some too if I had it on hand.