Ever get stuck in a hotel room for the day nursing a case of altitude sickness? No? Just me? This recipe came about after this Floridian flew from sea level to Denver and drove up to 8,000 feet in the span of 24 hours. Apparently you’re not supposed to do that because some people (me) can get hit with the altitude hammer while halfway through a hike.
So stuck at the hotel while the husband and the teenager did some touristy things, I decided to make full use of the full kitchen in the room (Staybridge Suites is great if you want all the comforts of home — it even provides cookware and dishes). And after a couple days of airplane snacks and restaurant food, it felt great to make a “home”-cooked meal. I headed across the street to a Super Target to pick up provisions. I didn’t want to make the meal too labor intensive (we were on vacation, after all) so I picked up some precooked quinoa, seasoned chicken sausages, a clamshell of baby kale and fajita vegetables — sliced peppers, onions and a whole lime — packaged in a convenient container. I needed a little fat for the pan since it wasn’t non-stick and the smallest thing I could find was a stick of butter. Usually I do a skillet dish with olive oil but the last thing I wanted to do was drag a bottle of oil home, so I made good use of the butter and browned it in the pan to add a toasty flavor.
The hotel room didn’t have a spice rack, only tiny packets of salt and pepper so I needed something to spice up the dish. And that’s when I found a small bottle of smoked paprika for sale on the end cap (gotta love those end-cap sales!).
And with that, I came up with a meal that provided plenty of protein, fiber, color and antioxidants. (Hope the hotel maids enjoyed the leftover butter in the fridge.)