Balsamic Peppers and Chicken

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What to do when a little bit of everything lingers in the fridge from the previous few days…

Get creative.

Well, I like to think of myself as somewhat creative anyway, but just throwing things together for something fast and easy truly is the key to the kitchen somedays.

A leftover golden bell pepper was winking at me from the crisper.

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A tad bit of broccoli slaw was squinting and beckoning.

And, the last bit of shredded chicken began to whisper for some use.

Balsamic Peppers and Chicken

1 Tbs. coconut oil
1 large orange bell pepper, sliced
1/2 cup broccoli slaw
sea salt and pepper
1 shredded chicken breast (seasoned with salt and pepper when cooked)
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and slaw and sauté until soft. Reduce heat to low and add the salt and pepper. Stir. Remove from heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar. Plate and top with the shredded chicken.

Easy peasy. – And the fridge is feelin’ pleased as punch to be vacated as well.

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Perfectly Pickled Seeds

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Pickles are one of those things you really love or you hate, I think.

And, I think you really need to be in the mood for a pickle ~ you need to be in a “pickle,” as they say.

At one point in my life, I had the idea of creating a little company of my own – yes, I’m a little entrepreneur at heart – “Two Girls in a Pickle” (for the amazing pickles I envision) and “Two Girls in a Jam” for the phenomenal jams and preserves I’ve concocted. All I need another crazy little girl to join me!

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Love or hate aside, everyone adores a little secret. And, apparently, “pickled seeds” are one of the great coveted and clandestine flavor enhancers of the best chefs in the world.

We shall see…

bon appétit claims it to be:

pickledseeds

 

In this amazing “two for one” concoction, I had to play it by ear and let be what was to be. Meaning, I received this tip via email from my precious mama, and was so excited, I simply scoured the cupboards for whatever seeds were on hand, creating my own uber delicious version of the above.

Perfectly Pickled Seeds

1 Tbs. Himalayan sea salt, coarsely ground
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup filtered water

1 Tbs. fennel seeds
1 Tbs. brown mustard seeds
1 Tbs. whole allspice

In a small sauce pan, bring the salt, vinegar, and water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow the salt to dissolve.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the seeds until fragrant and beginning to “pop.” 

Transfer the toasted seeds to the simmering brine and continue to simmer for about 35 minutes, until soft. Cool and transfer to an airtight container. Store chilled.

I simply cannot wait to give this delicious mess a try ~ well, other than by the spoonful. An added bam to veggies, meats and more…what shall I do with it first? Hmm…the thinker is thinking…

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***FYI – the kitchen will become filled with the spicy wonderfulness of the seeds, but be forewarned, the vinegar fragrance in this dealio is STRONG!

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A Little Mac and a Little “Cheese”

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A little Mac, a little “cheese,” and even a little bit of chicken.

Throw in some cilantro and sprinkle with some crispy pancetta

… and you’ve got yourself more than a meal!

Don’t get me wrong, I love cheese. I adore it, in fact.
But sometimes, a girl needs an alternative.
So with a bit of vegan curiosity and creativity, our bellies are filled with a vegan and grain-free version of the traditional mac n’ cheese we all remember from childhood, but also topped with the sustenance of slowly cooked pulled chicken, the salty sweet deliciousness of pancetta “chips,” and, of course, the delightful dealio of cilantro.

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Paleo Mac n’ Cheese with Chicken and Pancetta Chips

2 Tbs. butter (or coconut butter for the vegan version)
1 large parsnip, peeled and shredded
1 large yellow squash, shredded
2 cups broccoli slaw
sea salt and pepper

2 cups cooked butternut squash
1 cup veggie broth
2 Tbs. nutritional yeast
sea salt and pepper

2 large chicken breasts, simmered in veggie broth and shredded
2-3 oz. Oven Crispy Pancetta chips (recipe here)
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter or oil. Add the veggies and stir. Cover and cook until soft and wonderful. Add additional butter or oil, if necessary.

Meanwhile, in a medium stock pot, bring the squash and veggie broth to a simmer, reducing until the squash really begins to break down. Transfer to a high speed blender or using an immersion blender, whir until smooth. Add the yeast and salt and pepper, creating the “cheese” flavor and silky smooth sauciness. Add a little butter too, if you’d like.

Once the veggies are soft, pour the cheesy sauce over and thoroughly mix.

If you dare to venture beyond the vegan venture, this is the time to top with the moist and juicy shredded chicken, cilantro, and Oven Crispy Pancetta chips!

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