Cheddar and Apple Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Apple Cheddar Stuffed Chicken - bordered

Hey there gang, it’s Joe Stapleton here again with another post and recipe! I came across this one while digging through some old cookbooks, and after trying it just have to share it with you all! I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to make un-breaded chicken breasts more appetizing without going overboard on the calories, and this one certainly fit the bill. It’s essentially a lower carbohydrate version of chicken Kiev, with a prosciutto wrap replacing the breading. Even with the prosciutto wrap it still ends up being about half the calories, carbs, and fat of chicken Kiev, with more protein!. The real fun is on the inside though, where it just screams New England! It’s stuffed with a blend of shallot, cheddar cheese, and green apple, yum!

What little carbs are in this entrée come from the Granny Smith apple, so they’re the kind of carbs we like over here at Practical Nutrition. You know, the ones that come from fruits or vegetables, can be organically and locally sourced, and that come with a myriad of health benefits along for the ride! Believe it or not, that old adage popularized by Benjamin Franklin ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ isn’t all that far from the truth! Apples are high in fiber, which can increase your satiety, keeping you full longer. They are rich in vitamin C and flavonoids, both of which are powerful antioxidants that can lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Green apples have two extra benefits over their more commonly consumed red cousins: the first being their potassium content. Granny Smith apples have even more potassium than other apples, which can further reduce risk of heart disease and help to stabilize your heart rhythm! Lastly, while both red and green apples can help your teeth if you can’t brush after a meal, green apples are even better at this job! Both varieties stimulate saliva production from chewing their tough, fibrous skins, but the tart flavor of a green apple stimulates this even more, and saliva is our first line of defense against cavity causing bacteria in our mouths! Just remember to have a glass of water after an apple to wash away the sugar and acid leftover from your delicious treat!

Let’s get back to the real reason you’re reading though, the recipe! When we prepared this dish last weekend we made it with gratin dauphinoise (French scalloped potatoes) and grilled asparagus, paired with a nice Italian trebbiano and some hopeful wishes of melting snow and warmer weather. (Given the fact that it’s been beautiful all week and some actual honest-to-goodness grass is peeking out of the snow, it looks like someone out there answered our prayers, so you’re welcome!)

Oh, and for anyone using PN Rx for their macronutrient counts, one full stuffed chicken breast equals roughly 2 proteins, 2.5 fats, and only 0.5 carbohydrates. The full nutritional breakdown is in the recipe. Enjoy!

Cheddar and Apple Stuffed Chicken Breasts
 
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Recipe type: entrée / dinner
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 4 thick skinless boneless organic chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp. virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots or 1 small onion
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp. dried sage
  • 1 granny smith apple, cored and diced
  • 1 cup shredded Vermont sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 6 slices of prosciutto
  • sea salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly oil a small roasting pan.
  2. Put a chicken breast on a cutting board, rounded side up. Use a small, sharp knife to cut a pocket along the length of the chicken breast, cutting as deep as you can without cutting through to the other side of the ends. Repeat with the remaining breasts, then cover and transfer to the refrigerator.
  3. To make the stuffing, heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, celery, and sage and sauté, stirring, for 3-5 minutes, or until soft. Stir in the apple and cook for 2 minutes, or until soft but not falling apart. Stir in the cheese and parsley and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Divide the stuffing among the chicken pockets. Wrap one and a half slices of prosciutto around each breast. Then rub the tops with the remaining oil and sprinkle with pepper.
  5. Transfer the chicken to the prepared pan and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices are piping hot with steam rising and run clean with no sign of pink when the tip of a sharp knife is inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and let stand for 3-5 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 breast Calories: 329 Fat: 13 Saturated fat: 6 Carbohydrates: 8 Sugar: 5.2 Fiber: 1.5 Protein: 35

Gluten/Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Covered Rice Cakes

It’s a pretty snow day here on the east coast….which in my mind automatically translates  into “stay in my PJs all day and taste test some yummy new recipes!” Even though it’s not February yet (national chocolate month, and national heart health month!), I was looking to make something chocolatey that I would feel really good about eating (and give me some extra energy to shovel the 24 inches of snow off the walkway!).

These dark chocolate covered rice cakes really hit the spot…I used Lily’s baking chips, which contain no sugar, are certified organic, and absolutely delicious! Here in CT you can get them at TFC Health Foods in Farmington for a great price.  I also used Lundberg’s brown rice cakes, which also are certified organic, and a super “clean” grain that gives this treat a nice crunchy texture. We don’t do tons of grains here at PN, but when we do have them we like to make sure they’re gluten free, as unprocessed as possible, and consumed in a moderate portion.

When I have a treat I avoid eating something that will drain my energy or cause me to “crash” 15 minutes later- that’s why I love having unsweetened dark chocolate and treats with no refined, white sugar in them.  Having a way to nip the sweet tooth in the bud  is important…that’s why I’m planning on keeping a few of these chocolate covered rice cakes in baggies at my desk as a mid day pick me up, sure to help beat the winter blues!

Enjoy a sweet little indulgence…have an amazing week!

Ana and Amanda :)

Gluten/Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Covered Rice Cakes
 
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Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • 10 Brown Rice Cakes (we use Lundberg brand)
  • 4 TBLS Coconut Oil
  • 1 Package Unsweetened Dark Baking Chips (we use Lily's brand)
  • Toppings as desired (sea salt, coconut flakes, nuts/seeds, cacao nibs, etc.)
Instructions
  1. Line a baking pan with wax paper.
  2. Put the coconut oil and chocolate chips in a medium sized pot on medium/high heat. Stir continually until the chocolate is melted and well combined (take off of the heat as soon as it is melted).
  3. Use tongs to dip each rice cake into the chocolate sauce and lay on the wax paper lined baking pan (I broke each rice cake in half so make more servings- this is up to you).
  4. Sprinkle toppings on top as desired (I used coconut flakes)
  5. Allow to cool in fridge for about 2 hours, and then store in a plastic baggy or container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  6. Sampling while making these IS permitted.
  7. Enjoy!
Notes
PN Rx:
2 fats and 1 carb per ½ cake

 

 

Lemon Cookies (Gluten Free/Dairy Free/Sugar Free/Soy Free)

lemon cookies

Are you looking for a healthy holiday treat to share with family and friends that isn’t packed with sugar? I recently made these AMAZING lemon cookies. I grew up eating the lemon squares made from the box that were absolutely delicious so I have always had a soft spot for lemon desserts. I decided to attempt a lemon cookie using almond flour, eggs, and lemon juice/zest and couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. I brought these cookies as a dessert on Christmas Eve and my entire family loved them. Not to mention they are super simple and easy to make. These will definitely be a holiday staple! Enjoy!

 

Lemon Cookies (Gluten Free/Dairy Free/Sugar Free/Soy Free)
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12 cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Almond Flour
  • 2 large Organic Eggs
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • ¼ cup Xylitol
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • Juice and Zest of 1 Lemon
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add all ingredients into a large bowl and mix until combined. It will make a thick cookie dough-type batter.
  3. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and separate batter into 12 cookies. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  4. Store in airtight container in fridge or freezer.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cookie Calories: 130 Fat: 11g Carbohydrates: 4g Protein: 5g

 

Shepherd’s Pie

Hi Everyone!

I  have gotten a lot of requests for a Shepherd’s Pie recipe after I posted a picture of it last week so here it is! This recipe is definitely under the comfort foods category. It has tons of flavor and is a deep, warm dish. The best part is that because I used mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes it leaves you feeling light and satisfied.

 

Enjoy!

Amanda

 

shep pie 2

Shepherd's Pie
 
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Recipe type: Comfort
Ingredients
  • 3lb Organic Grassfed Beef (www.tfchealthfoods.com has great discount meat)
  • 5 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 1 large Onion, chopped
  • 5 large Carrots (I like the multi-colored carrots from Trader Joe's)
  • 4 stalks Celery, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped Green Beans
  • 1 large head of Cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp Organic Butter
  • ½ cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ cup Trader Joe's Chili Pepper Sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add in all of your chopped vegetables and cook covered until the carrots are soft. Place vegetables in a large glass baking dish (9"x13").
  3. While the vegetables are cooking, fill the bottom of a large sauce pan with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil.
  4. Chop up your head of cauliflower (I like to do this over a sink because it is SUCH a mess) and place inside of a steaming basket in the large sauce pan. Steam for 5-8 minutes or until soft.
  5. Add your meat to the large pan and cook until beef is no longer pink. Drain the fat from the pan and add beef to vegetable mixture in glass baking dish.
  6. Once cauliflower is done steaming, grab your blender/food processor and in 1-2 batches (depending on the size of your machine) add cauliflower, butter, almond milk, and salt and pepper. Blend until you get a thick, creamy mixture.
  7. Before adding the mashed cauliflower to your beef and veggie mixture, add ½ a cup of Trader Joe's Chili Pepper sauce and mix until everything is coated.
  8. Spread your mashed cauliflower on top of the meat and veggie mixture. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until your cauliflower is slightly browned.

Red Curry Meatballs (Crockpot)

Tonight I will be hosting a holiday potluck at Talcott Family Chiropractic at 6:45pm. Everyone is welcome to join and bring a healthy, tasty dish. We have some people bringing dishes like beef stew, organic salad, and apple crisp to name a few. We will be talking about how to stay healthy during the holidays and sharing good food. I made these delicious Red Curry Meatballs. They are very low maintenance but absolutely delightful.

Holiday Potluck at Talcott Family Chiropractic

Location: 230 Farmington Ave Farmington, CT 06032

Time: 6:45pm-7:45pm

Everyone is welcome!

Red Curry Meatballs (Crockpot)
 
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Recipe type: Lunch/Dinner
Ingredients
  • For the Meatballs:
  • 3lb Organic Grassfed Beef
  • 2 tbsp Ground Curry Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 large Organic Egg
  • 1 large Onion, diced
  • Sea Salt
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 6oz can Organic Tomato Paste
  • 1 14oz can Coconut Milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tbsp Curry Powder
  • Juice of 1 lemon
Instructions
  1. Heat a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add all ingredients for the sauce. Bring to a simmer then lower the heat.
  2. Combine all ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl (except for the meat) and mix well. Add in your ground beef and mix with your hands until fully incorporated.
  3. Form the meat mixture into small meatballs and place inside a crockpot.
  4. Pour sauce on top of meatballs and cook on low for 8 hours.

 

“Party Perfect” Hemp Hummus

It’s getting to be that time of year where you’re asked to “bring something” to a get together. Whenever I’m asked this question, I always make sure that it’s something that will be a “safety” food for me- meaning that if there aren’t a lot of other healthy options at the party, I know I can eat what I bring. This hemp hummus is huge hit at parties and get togethers. The hemp seeds add some Omega 3’s, provides fiber and healthy fat to reduce sugar cravings, and adds a delicious nutty flavor to the hummus. We love this hummus because of it’s unique flavor profile, simple instructions, and health promoting ingredients. Check out the recipe below- and be sure to make some extra because this tasty, fiber packed snack keeps in the fridge for up to 10 days!

To learn more about hemp seeds, click here! 

 

"Party Perfect" Hemp Hummus
 
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Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ Cup Garbanzo Beans
  • ½ tsp. Sea Salt
  • ⅓ and 3 Tbsp Cup Lemon Juice
  • 4 Tbsp Hemp Seeds
  • 3 Tbsp Tahini (Sesame Seed Paste)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 Tbsp oregano
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into the food processor or blender and process/blend at high speed until a smooth, creamy consistency is reached.
  2. Add more lemon juice or tahini if hummus is not combining well. Add more garlic and sea salt to taste.
  3. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and serve with fresh sliced veggies, whole grain or rice crackers, or use as a spread in a wrap or sandwich.
Notes
PN Rx= .5 protein, 1 fat and .5 carb per serving

Red Pumpkin Curry

I saw some recipes for a red thai curry that I have made before and then decided to combine two of my favorite things: curry and pumpkin. Because why not?! It’s getting a little cooler out and I have found that soups are extremely convenient for quick meals. They are a great way to switch it up from salads. I heat up the soup on the stove then add in shredded chicken that I make at the beginning of every week and veggies. My favorite veggies to add to curries/soups are kale and shaved brussel sprouts. They give it great texture and are packed with important vitamins and minerals. This recipe is the perfect amount of spicy and sweet. Enjoy!

 

Red Pumpkin Curry
 
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Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 7-8
Ingredients
  • 1 can Trader Joe's Light Coconut Milk
  • 4 cups Organic Chicken Broth
  • 2 tbsp Red Curry Paste
  • 2 tbsp Roasted Curry Powder
  • ½ tbsp Red Boat Fish Sauce
  • ½ tbsp Ginger
  • ½ tbsp Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 cups Roasted Pumpkin or 1½ cup Organic Pumpkin Puree
Instructions
  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add in coconut milk, broth and curry paste. Mix until paste is completely incorporated.
  2. Add in all of your spices now then your fish sauce, garlic and onion.
  3. Add in the roasted pumpkin and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Now get out your blender and pour the mixture in there in a few batches. Puree everything so you get a nice smooth texture.
  5. Once you have pureed your soup now is the perfect time to add in some leftover protein (chicken, ground beef, white fish) and veggies.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 70 Fat: 3 Carbohydrates: 9 Protein: 2

Fast and Filling Fall Snacks!

Hi everyone!

Happy September! Fall is closing in on us quickly…along with the beautiful foliage and harvest foods comes a busier schedule. For most people, running kids around to sports, rushing through meals, and having less time to meal prep on the weekends means their food choices become less healthy. Fortunately, we came up with some easy, tasty, and healthy snacks for the fall. It’s important to make sure you snacks include protein (whey protein powder or eggs), fiber (fruits/vegetables), and healthy fat (avocado or coconut oil) to make sure your blood sugar is nice and steady. By eating a combination of the right nutrients every 3-4 hours, you’ll experience increased energy levels, less sugar cravings, and a better overall mood. Most importantly, you prevent “hanger” (anger brought on by hunger) and keep everyone around you happier as well!

Check out this quick video of some easy snack ideas and have a wonderful start to the new season! Click here for a copy of the recipes featured in the video.

Have a great week!

Ana and Amanda

WFSB 3 Connecticut

Orange Fudge Bites (No-Bake/Sugar Free/Gluten Free/Dairy Free)

Need a healthy dessert to bring to a holiday party? These Orange Fudge Bites will be a hit! My Mom is famous for her “Modeen Fudge Brownies” that include a lot of sugar and cream cheese. She makes them for all holiday and birthday parties and they certainly are delicious. I wanted to come up with a healthier type of fudge recipe that didn’t have a ton of ingredients. This recipe is simple and only requires a blender so there is very little clean up. It also contains cacao powder, coconut oil and coconut butter, as well as whey protein, which are all nutritionally beneficial. I used xylitol as a sweetener in this recipe. It is very comparable to sugar. It has about the same sweetness but very few calories or carbs. Xylitol is naturally occurring in the fiber of many fruit and vegetables such as berries, oats, and mushrooms. Xylitol has been shown to help stop the production of tooth-decaying acid. This means bacteria cannot create acid in your mouth throughout the day and cause cavities. Another sugar substitution for this recipe would be stevia, which is another natural sweetener. Remember, these are a healthy alternative to a regular dessert but they are still a treat and should be enjoyed in moderation. Enjoy!

 

Fudge

 

Orange Fudge Bites (No-Bake/Sugar Free/Gluten Free/Dairy Free)
 
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Ingredients
  • 2 scoop Grassfed Whey Protein (Vanilla or Chocolate)
  • 4 Tbsp Cacao Powder
  • 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Butter
  • 1-2 Tbsp Xylitol
  • Juice of 1 Medium Orange
  • Sea Salt (sprinkle on top)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until you get a thick, pudding-like consistency.
  2. Grab an empty ice tray and spoon the fudge batter into the tray filling each cube to the top.
  3. Place in freezer for 2 hours or overnight.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 squares Calories: 132 Fat: 10g Carbohydrates: 6g Sugar: 1g Protein: 6g

Peach Zucchini Bread (Gluten/Dairy/Soy/Nut/Sugar Free)

Hi Everyone!

I have been fortunate enough to get a number of giant zucchinis from a friend’s garden, which has lead to a lot of zucchini recipes. I previously made a delicious zoodles and meatballs recipe here.  This time I decided to make a light zucchini bread and added peaches since I had some I needed to use. It came out fantastic! I hope that anyone that has an abundance of zucchini is getting some use out of these recipes for healthy ways to use it all. I love zucchini bread but it often contains a lot of sugar. Even if it is a healthier option such as raw honey or pure maple syrup, it still all breaks down to sugar and can lead to cravings later on. If you are struggling with sugar cravings or find yourself wanting carbohydrate heavy foods often try taking sugar completely out of your diet. In this recipe I used Stevia, which is actually an herb often called sweet leaf. I only had to use 1 tsp for the entire recipe. You can eat a serving and then be satisfied rather than wanting to eat the whole loaf! I also made mini muffins out of this too, you just cut the cook time in half. Enjoy!

Be well,

Amanda

zucchini bread

Peach Zucchini Bread (Gluten/Dairy/Soy/Nut/Sugar Free)
 
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Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups zucchini, grated
  • 2 peaches, chopped
  • 1 small banana, mashed
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp stevia, powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
  • 4 pasture-raised eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine eggs, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and fruit and mix well. Add in dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Make sure the coconut flour mixes in and break up all those little chunks that form.
  3. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil or use a non stick silicone pan. Clean up is super easy and the bread never sticks.
  4. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 35-45 minutes. I made a small loaf and some mini muffins out of mine. Bake muffins for 15-20 minutes.
Notes
⅛th of loaf PN Rx: 1 fat, ½ carb