Lately my seven-year-old has been on strike from eating foods that don’t start with “grilled” and end in “cheese.” Meal times have been a roller coaster ride, with H.T. claiming he ate 5 minutes ago, is sick to his stomach, or – new- is concerned that X, Y or Z causes sudden death from cancer. This maneuvering is complicated by the fact that he does have a relatively recently developed allergy to some tree nuts and has outgrown allergies to soy and eggs. I have learned to be vigilant for signs of new allergies to old foods, and H.T. knows this. He’s appealing to my God-given need to keep him from harm, and while I respect the emotional intelligence it requires for him to manipulate me with such finesse, I am ready for him to just FLIPPING STOP IT.
On a more cheerful note, can I say how happy I am to see fresh greens again? Summer has been tough for growing kale or collard greens. The curly kale and swiss chard on my back deck has been sulking because of the hot weather for the last couple of months, and our CSA deliveries over the summer have been light on the greens. With the cooler weather in the last couple of days, our little garden on the deck appears to be recovering, and our last 2 veggie boxes from Lancaster Farm Fresh have included some beautiful mailbar spinach, tatsoi, dinosaur kale, and lettuces. It’s funny how fatigued of greens I was back in spring – when nothing else would grow – and how glad I am to see them again after doing without.
To celebrate this bounty, I’m making a lot of salads and stir-fry recipes this week, starting with this one for Chicken Basil Stir Fry with Walnuts, a quick, healthy weeknight meal featuring whole ingredients and the superfood nutrition of walnuts (never on the menu for H.T. but perfect for J and me, as we’re hitting the gym hard lately).
Adapted from Charity Ferreira’s book, “Eat Well, Eat Happy,” this recipe hits every mark for a health conscious cook – it’s gluten-free, paleo-friendly and easy to make. Ferreira’s book is a favorite. I love her approach to balanced eating as a part of balanced living, and her recipes for Sweet Frites with Garlic and Sea Salt and Seared Duck Breast with Zinfandel-Braised Red Cabbage are favorites of mine.
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 3 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce or, for paleo option, coconut aminos
- 2 Red bell peppers
- 1¼ pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil, divided
- ½ cup thinly sliced shallots
- ½ cup torn basil leaves + more for garnish
- ½ cup walnut pieces
- 8 cups of torn kale leaves or other greens for serving
- Mix the lime juice with the honey and the soy sauce or coconut aminos - set aside. Core, seed, and thinly slice bell peppers. Cut chicken across the grain into ¾ inch-wide slices.
- Heat ½ Tablespoon of the coconut oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat.
- Add the bell pepper and cook until slightly soft, about 2 minutes - transfer to a plate.
- Add the remaining ½ Tablespoon of coconut oil to the pan. Add the shallots and cook until brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Add the chicken and cook until down all the way through, 3-4 minutes. About half way through cooking, I recommend pouring any liquids or fat off into a bowl to allow the chicken to brown rather than stew.
- When the chicken finishes cooking, return the bell pepper to the pan and stir in the lime juice mixture, basil, and walnuts. Cook for about 1 minutes and serve in four bowls over the torn kale leaves or other greens.
Want to see more gluten-free, paleo-friendly recipes from Three Beans on a String? Try these:
- Smoky Grilled Chicken with Zucchini Ramen Noodles
- Roasted Tomato Basil Soup Made with Fresh Tomatoes
- Grilled Sirloin Salad with Fresh Herbs and Thai Dressing
- Baby Hakurei Turnips with Apples
- Grilled Country Style Pork Ribs