Old, wrinkly peppers are still fine for consumption.
#100daysofcooking, Recipes

Day 64: Would Peter Piper pick these imperfect peppers?

Chicken or Beef Fajitas

In the last couple of years, ugly vegetables have became a thing in Canadian supermarkets.

For those of us who have vegetable gardens (or who have worked in a Saskatchewan newsroom in late summer), ugly vegetables have always been a thing. Lumpy tomatoes, potatoes that got gouged by the pitchfork, carrots that look like … well, here are some images that come up when you Google the term “weird looking vegetables.”

An assortment of odd shaped fruits and vegetables from the Internet.
An assortment of oddly shaped fruits and vegetables from the Internet.

To be fair, I applaud the movement to introduce imperfect fruits and vegetables to the supermarket, though it’s a darn shame they were ever banned in the first place. They are definitely less expensive; a peek at the Superstore website shows its imperfect peppers ringing in at $5.40 per kg, whereas picking very perfect peppers will cost $8.77 per kg.

But in many cases, you can’t buy just one. Imperfect pepper, that is. They are bagged into value packs and next thing you know, there are four or five or six imperfect peppers in the refrigerator produce bin. Where they are getting more imperfect by the day.

These are some ugly vegetables.

The ugly peppers I stumbled upon (they were in the fruit drawer, which perturbed me for a minute before I realized that I must actually be a terrible person to live with) were in full wrinkle stage but they weren’t mouldy or spongy or wet. Therefore, still edible. Just perhaps not in a salad.

But sliced, sauteed, smothered with spicy chicken, cheese and salsa inside a tortilla? Now we are talking.

Call it a perfect solution to an imperfect situation.

Kitchen Castoffs Used

Very old peppers (2 red, 1/2 green, 1 jalapeno)

Sauteed imperfect peppers are the perfect addition to chicken or beef fajitas.
Sauteed imperfect peppers are the perfect addition to chicken or beef fajitas.

This is how we did it


  • 1 – 1½ lb chicken or beef, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 – 3 peppers, any colour, sliced into thin strips
  • ½ – 1 onion (red, white or cooking) sliced into thin strips
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp each sugar, chili powder and dried oregano
  • ½ tsp each garlic powder, salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • Large tortillas
  • Topping options: grated cheese, salsa, chopped tomatoes, sliced avocados or guacamole, sour cream


Mix the oil, vinegar, spices and sugar together in a large bowl, then add the meat and stir to coat. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Heat two frying pans with a bit of oil in each. Into one, place the peppers and onion and stir occasionally under the vegetables are tender. Into the other, add the chicken and cook. You can use some of the marinade in the bowl to add to the peppers while they cook.

When the meat and vegetables are cooked, scoop a bit of each into a tortilla, add toppings, then roll it up into a burrito type wrap.

Curious about my “Kitchen Castoffs” concept? Here’s the explainer describing my 100-day project.

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