Here’s a really simple dinner idea that takes advantage of the last of the summer’s peppers. Who wants to be in the kitchen laboring over a complicated recipe when you can be outside enjoying a glass of wine in the cooler evening air? That said, simple doesn’t have to mean bland. If you love peppers, you’ll love this simple little saute. Chicken provides some texture and protein to this dish, but you could substitute tofu or shrimp or even cannellini beans if you prefer. This is good over pasta or brown rice or quinoa – you just need a neutral grain that will soak up the juice.
A word or two about peppers since I often get questions about peppers during the Nourish Grocery Store Tour. Here’s the scoop. Green, yellow, orange, and red bell peppers all come from the same plant. The colors are each picked at different levels of ripeness (Green is least ripe, red is the most). This gives each color a different level of sweetness (Green is least sweet, red is the most), despite coming from the same plant. Red, yellow, and orange peppers require more time in the ground before harvest which is why they are more expensive. And I recently learned that their different colors give them different nutritional benefits, too, so it’s wise to eat a variety. Green peppers have an abundance of chlorophyll and twice the vitamin C of an orange! Yellow peppers have more of the lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids. Orange peppers have more alpha-, beta-, and gamma-carotene. Red peppers have more lycopene and astaxanthin, two other important carotenoids. And now you know!
Chicken & Bell Pepper Medley
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 – 1 1/2 lb boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced onion
4 assorted bell peppers, thinly sliced – yellow, red, orange, or green
1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Allow to heat for 1 minute and then add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan.
2. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the onion and chicken. Cook until the onion wilts and is translucent and the chicken is almost cooked through – about 5 minutes. Do not let the onion burn.
3. Add the garlic, bell peppers, and salt. Turn the heat down to medium after 1 minute. Cook and stir (tongs work well for this) for about 5 minutes longer. The peppers should be barely cooked.
4. Serve over hot pasta tossed with olive oil or brown rice.