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WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU STILL HAVE ROSY RED TOMATOES GROWING IN OCTOBER?
We still have tomatoes, red and happy from our community greenhouse. But they are not as luscious as they were in the height of our hot summer. Using “pretty good” heirloom tomatoes in cooking is more fitting this time of year than highlighting them on a plate, as we do when they’re at their prime. And we can still get organic red bell peppers from our organic vegetable supplier; (we own a gut-healing cafe and buy these items in bulk). Perfect, because frankly, I am not over tomatoes and peppers yet.
It is, therefore, a fun fall meal to stuff them!
WHAT TO STUFF THEM WITH?
Chicken salad makes a great filling, especially when it’s made with fresh herbs and homemade aioli. Here’s a favorite recipe, a yummy Mexican preparation, as well as four ways to enjoy the salad, two hot, two cold.
Cilantro Chicken Salad Recipe
If you make bone broth or have a crock pot, here’s an easy way to prepare the chicken.
1 whole, raw chicken, sustainably-sourced; (or use leftover chicken, shredded or cubed)
1 T. + 1 tsp. sea salt
1 small bunch scallions, thinly sliced, (whites not used for those on a Low-FODMAP Diet)
1 bunch fresh watercress, (for plating the chicken salad this makes an excellent spicy green)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped finely
1/2 cup homemade aioli (recipe below); (or cultured dairy, such as grass-fed sour cream or yogurt, for those who are allergic to eggs)
1 T. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. cumin
1/4-1/2 tsp. sea salt, to taste
1/4 tsp. chipotle chili pepper
freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Place the whole chicken into a crock pot or large saucepan.
- Fill with water just to cover the chicken and add the 1 T. + 1 tsp. sea salt.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer. Cook until the chicken is tender and falling from the bones, about 40-45 minutes, not including the time it takes to bring the water to a simmer.
- Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid and allow it to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the skin and strip the meat from the bones, keeping the skin for a bisque puree (see how-to and why here) and the bones for a healing bone broth. (Keep the cooking water too; you can use it to make the bone broth once the meat is stripped off.)
- Reserve the meat.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients, allowing the chicken to cool more fully while you do this step.
- Shred or chop the meat from the entire chicken, according to your preference.
- Add the chicken to the mixing bowl and combine the ingredients well.
PREPARATION #1- STUFFED BAKED TOMATOES
PREPARATION #2- STUFFED BAKED PEPPERS
PREPARATION #3- STUFFED TOMATOES WITH EXTRA AIOLI FOR DIPPING
For my daughter with a dairy allergy, I make a lovely homemade aioli, from extra-virgin olive oil and bacon fat (YUM!), since she can’t enjoy the melted cheese preparation. She can dip the tomato “bowl” pieces into the extra aioli and feel like she is feasting, even without the melted cheese.
PREPARATION #4- A COMPOSED SALAD: FRESH WATERCRESS, FERMENTED VEGGIES, AGED CHEESE AND GRAIN-FREE CRACKERS…a wedge of lime and fresh avocado are great too.
Serve heaping portions of salad on top of the watercress leaves, with fermented veggies for good digestion and immune support. Add aged cheese on the side: white cheddar and gouda make great additions to the chicken salad flavors. Stay tuned for my grain-free cracker recipe, coming soon!
This is an easy recipe that can be whipped up in 5 minutes! It is absolute decadence! The grass-fed egg yolks will make the aioli a beautiful yellow color; and the saturated fat and cholesterol should be embraced and enjoyed. Use it lavishly to help abate other cravings.
Place 4 grass-fed egg yolks into a blender. Add ¼ tsp. sea salt. Turn the blender on. In a very thin, slow, constant drizzle, add in ½ cup extra virgin olive oil and then add to it an additional ½ cup melted rendered meat fat like lamb, duck, or bacon, with the blade turning on a low speed the whole time.
The aioli will thicken and set up more in the fridge. Use for sandwiches, or thin with more olive oil or apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to use as a salad dressing. Add more sea salt, mustard powder, citrus juice, or herbs, as desired.