Tonight’s challenge, should we choose to accept it, is to try something completely new – i.e. Brussels Sprouts. This is not as easy as it seems since we must first overcome our inherent dislike of the little cabbages! However, we’re going to give it a try, pairing them up with some chicken bites and pineapple/cucumber/red onion salsa. So, let’s see what happens when we put these lovely ingredients in the same space …

a lime for zesting, cucumber, red onion, Brussels sprouts, salt & pepper, pineapple, chicken bites, olive oil, and butter (melted and not shown). Shall we start with the Brussels sprouts? Simply trim them and cut them in half, then put them in a bowl with the melted butter. Sprinkle it all with a little salt & pepper and stir to coat.

Not too appetizing in my mind, but soldiering on. Spread the sprouts on a baking sheet in a single layer and stick the pan in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

Now it’s time to start the chicken. I’ve cut four chicken breasts into bite size pieces which will a) make them cook faster, and b) ensure that they cook all the way through without drying out.

Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and then add the chicken. I’m doing mine in two batches because I don’t want to crowd the pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and

sear it for about 4 minutes a side. By sear, I mean put the chicken in the pan and DO NOT TOUCH it for the next 4 minutes. Really, leave it alone. I mean it! Step away from the pan!! To keep yourself from interfering with the chicken, why not peel the cucumber, then slice it in half and take a small spoon to scrape out the seeds. I never thought about taking out the seeds before but you don’t want the salsa to be too wet.

Look, little cucumber canoes:) Okay, 4 minutes should have passed so it’s time to turn over the chicken. See that gorgeous golden color? That’s what I’m talking about!

Okay, 4 minutes on the other side. Remember how nicely it turned out when you left it alone? Good, don’t go near it for the next …. let’s see ….. 3 1/2 minutes. Instead, why not dice the cucumbers?

And then you can dice the pineapple and put them both into a bowl.

Okay, the flip side of the chicken should be done now. Put those pieces on a plate and cover with foil to keep them warm. Add the 2nd batch to the pan and repeat. Now, finely chop the red onion and add it to the pile.

Last but not least, zest the lime and add it to … you guessed it, the bowl.

Mix it all together, add a touch of salt for seasoning, and make sure it tastes okay. Hey, you don’t want to poison your family, do you? Safety first, people!

It’s really, really good so try very hard not to eat the entire lot straight from the bowl. Don’t forget, we’ve got those yummy Brussels Sprouts to look forward to:} Now, if the planets are aligned correctly, the chicken and the Brussels sprouts should also be finished. Pull out the sprouts and put them either in a serving bowl or straight onto the plates. We’re really laid back when it’s just the two of us, so we don’t dirty bowls unnecessarily. Besides, I dirty enough dishes when I cook – I don’t need to add to the pile.

Add some of the chicken , with salsa scooped on top. Doesn’t that look yummy? Well, the right side of the plate does at least. Does anyone else think that this plate looks ridiculously healthy? There isn’t anything bad for you on it! Even the butter for the sprouts is minimal. Actually, I better make sure I’m in the right house because this isn’t what we’re used to.

Final verdict:

Okay, I’m totally shocked to be saying this, but these Brussels Sprouts are pretty damned good! Hats off to you, Paula. You took something I never thought I’d eat if it weren’t smothered in cheese, and made it not only edible, but very good.

The chicken and the salsa are divine together. The salsa is very cool and refreshing, with just a hint of a bite (from the onion) and go really well with the simply cooked chicken. And the Brussels Sprouts have a nutty flavor from the roasting. Must say, overall – very high marks on this one.


  1. amanda Says:

    That looks divine. must try it. The boy loves brussel sprouts…

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