Spicy Garlic Refrigerator Pickles

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These babies were made from the kirby cucumbers that Dan and I handpicked at Linvilla Orchards (yes, I’m still talking about Linvilla). I figured that it was time to post about them given that I’ve recently moved on to my second jar. This recipe is oh-so-simple, requiring no fancy canning tools. Simply allow them to marinate in the fridge for several days and you’re good to go.

You know those days in which you want to do something productive in the kitchen, but not really? Well, refrigerator pickles are your solution. From start to finish, preparing this recipe should take no longer than 15 minutes. Even better, the options for which veggies you choose to pickle, as well as the spices and herbs that you use to season them, are endless. Happy pickling!

Note: this recipe yield two large mason jars of pickles.

What you’ll need:

  • 3 kirby cucumbers, sliced (you can select the cucumber variety of your choice, I just prefer kirbies because, in my opinion, they pack a lot more crunch than other cucumbers)
  • 1 Anaheim pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 sprigs of fresh dill weed
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup pure cane sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 1 tsp. mustard seed

What you’ll do:

  • Split the cucumbers, Anaheim pepper, red onion, garlic, and dill between two large mason jars
  • Combine the remaining ingredients in a sauce pan; bring to a boil and cook for another 1-2 minutes
  • Pour the concoction over the veggies and allow to cool before applying the lids
  • Allow to marinate in the fridge for 5 days before eating

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Quinoa and Bison Stuffed Peppers

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I’ve never heard of anyone not liking stuffed peppers, but I think it’s safe to say that everyone has their own take on the classic. While my mom’s recipe is delicious, I wanted to craft a recipe of my own. As mentioned in my previous post, I served them with my very own slow cooker heirloom tomato sauce, which definitely introduced a whole new level of flavor.

Also, to make my stuffed peppers extra healthy and nutrient-dense, I opted for bison as the meat and quinoa as the grain. At this point, I think most people recognize just how awesome quinoa is in the realm of health food; however, it shocks me how few people are familiar with bison. It’s as lean as poultry, yet as flavorful as beef. It’s truly a win-win. Furthermore, it is illegal to add growth hormones to bison, and the majority of bison are both grass fed and free of antibiotics. Of course, with all these benefits comes a higher price tag; yet, in my humble opinion, I think the splurge is worth every penny.

What you’ll need:

  • 4 bell peppers, sliced in half vertically (from the stem downwards)
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup grape seed oil
  • 1/2 a Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1/2 a pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 lb. ground bison
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Cracked black pepper and Himalayan salt to taste
  • 1 jar tomato sauce (my recipe here)
  • 1 cup mozzarella, shredded

What you’ll do:

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F
  • To make the perfect quinoa: combine the quinoa and water in a small pot, bring to a rolling boil, turn the heat to its lowest setting, apply the lid, cook on low heat for 15 minutes, remove from heat, allow to sit for 5 minutes, remove the lid, and fluff with a fork
  • While the quinoa is cooking, combine the onion, tomatoes, and 2 tbsp. of grape seed oil in a large frying pan; sauté over medium heat until soft
  • Meanwhile, combine the bison and another 2 tbsp. of grape seed oil in a medium-sized frying pan; cook over medium heat until browned
  • Combine the quinoa, onion, tomatoes, bison, basil, and desired amount of salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl; mix thoroughly
  • Pour the jar of tomato sauce into a rectangular, glass baking dish; spoon the quinoa and bison mixture into the peppers; arrange the stuffed peppers in the baking dish as pictured; bake in the oven for 40 minutes
  • Remove the baking dish from the oven and sprinkle the mozzarella over the peppers; bake in the oven for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted

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