Not only are we going to use a ton of vegetables, but I also thought to add in the leg and thigh meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken–the kind without any added sugar, hormones or preservatives. Such a find for us primal folks…
This dinner is great because it cooks up fast, is loaded with all things good and serves a practical purpose using up the last of those veggies. The convenience of the chicken is also a biggie. Either pick up a precooked chicken or use whatever leftovers you happen to have on hand. This is more a method than a recipe!
Here’s what I ended up using last night for the filling:
- leg and thigh meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken
- 1 carrot
- 1 parsnip
- 1 red onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 4 mini sweet bell peppers
- 1/2 bunch of spinach
- 1/2 head of broccoli
- 1/2 zucchini
- celtic sea salt
- black pepper
- bacon fat
Roasted portobellos are super duper simple:
- 4 portobello caps
- extra virgin olive oil
- celtic sea salt and fresh black pepper
First things first. Prep the portobellos by removing the stem and scraping out the gills. Put in a non-stick roasting pan, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with celtic sea salt and fresh black pepper. I like the flavor that celtic sea salt gives, but you could use anything. Think quality! These roast in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes. The perfect amount of time to prepare the topping.
Onto the filling. The lesson to be learned with cooking a variety of vegetables is to understand timing. Spinach obviously cooks in seconds whereas carrots and parsnips are gonna need a few minutes. Keep this in mind when you start peeling, chopping and dicing. Set out two bowls for your veggies: slow cooking and fast cooking.
My slow cooking bowl was filled with onions, carrots, parsnips and zucchini. Garlic, bell peppers, spinach and broccoli filled the fast cooking bowl (I don’t like mushy broccoli, that’s why it’s in this bowl). Harvest the chicken meat from the bird, chop and set aside in its own little lonely place.
Heat a heaping spoonful of bacon fat into a large skillet or saute pan to about medium-high. Our goal is to build as much flavor as we can with our humble ingredients and, well, what better way to do that than with a bunch of bacon fat?? If you are opposed to this idea, ghee would make a good substitute.
When the pan and fat are hot, add your bowl of slow cooking veggies. Sprinkle on a pinch of celtic sea salt and a few grinds of pepper. Mix it up and let it cook out. Don’t walk away, but don’t stand at the stove staring at it either. At the half way cooked mark, dump in the fast cooking veggies and mix them all together. When everything looks nearly done, add the chicken, season again with a little more salt and pepper if needed, and maybe a pinch of red chili flakes if you feel like it. When the chicken is warm through and the carrots are soft (that’ll be your best veggies to check for doneness), then pull the pan from the heat.
The portobellos should be out of the oven and waiting for you. Time to assemble dinner… which couldn’t easier. Pop a mushroom on your plate and load it with the veggie-chicken topping. Done.
Thankfully there’s room to innovate here. Got any Paleo-friendly sauces on hand? Add it! Ok with eating certain cheeses? Add it! Make this your own!
Now, onto the bonus recipe. Though the recipe above feeds four well, I only needed to feed two with it. So I saved half of the veggie-chicken topping so that I could make this frittata the next day!
Add bacon fat to a hot pan, reheat the filling, add 6 scrambled eggs and mix to evenly distribute the filling. Reduce the heat to low, cover and let cook for just a few minutes… maybe 3-4. Remove the lid and transfer the pan to the oven, under the broiler on high for a couple minutes. If you are comfortable with eating cheese, add a little bit of feta or whatever you prefer before it goes in the oven–yum! It will only take a couple minutes for the top to set. Remove from the oven and pop the lid back on for 2-3 minutes. The steam will help pull the egg away from the pan, making it a breeze to slide or lift your frittata from the pan. Two meals, easy as pie! Ok, well, much easier than pie, but you get what I’m saying…