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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
Recipe Type: entrée / dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Joe Stapleton
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
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.
Serving size: 1 breast Calories: 329 Fat: 13 Saturated fat: 6 Carbohydrates: 8 Sugar: 5.2 Fiber: 1.5 Protein: 35
3.2.2925

Buffalo Chicken and Egg Muffins

Hello everyone!

I wanted to share a delicious and simple recipe that I have been making to have as meals or snacks. These egg muffins are great as an afternoon pick me up. They fill you up with protein and the healthy fat from the eggs leaves you feeling satisfied. Just pack them up in your lunch box and you will be all set!

Here is a link for the silicone muffins cups that I mentioned in the instructions. They are so worth buying. I use them all the time and nothing ever sticks. They are also great to make your own Reese’s with. Just melt dark chocolate and place in the bottom of the muffin cup. Then add 1/2 tbsp peanut butter or almond butter and pour a little more chocolate on top. Place in the freezer and if you used those silicone cups they pop right out.

Have a great weekend!

Amanda

Buffalo Chicken Oregano and Egg Muffins
Recipe Type: Breakfast/Snack
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 5
Ingredients
  • .75lb of Organic Free Range Chicken Breast
  • 6 large Organic Free Range Eggs
  • 1/2 an Onion, chopped
  • 1/8 cup Frank’s Red Hot
  • 1 tbsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken breast seasoned with black pepper in a baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
  2. Once the chicken is done (or if you are using leftovers) place in a large bowl and shred with 2 forks or chop up with a knife.* Add your 1/8 cup of hot sauce to the chicken and mix until all pieces are coated.
  3. Whisk eggs in a small bowl and add garlic powder, oregano, and onions. Mix until even distributed.
  4. Fill silicone muffin cups halfway with egg mixture then fill the rest of the way with shredded buffalo chicken.
  5. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes. Check at 20 minutes to see if browned on top. Bake for a few more minutes if not.
Serving size: 1 muffin Calories: 76 Fat: 3g Carbohydrates: 1g Protein: 11g
Notes
*I usually end up using chicken that I had made in the beginning of the week. You could also prep chicken ahead of time in the crockpot and just add a little liquid (1/8 cup water, 1/8 cup Frank’s Red Hot). Then after 8 hours on low you have delicious shredded buffalo chicken.

PN News Segment on Better Connecticut: Healthy Summer Condiments

Hello everyone!

It’s finally summer and the weather is beautiful! This means a lot of fun weekends spent outdoors and a lot of cookouts! If you have been eating the Practical Nutrition way throughout the year, focusing on eating foods in their most natural form in a balanced state throughout the day, then you may feel that common summer condiments cannot be included in your daily diet. This is true for many of the common brands found at the grocery store that contain inflammatory ingredients such as vegetable oil and high fructose corn syrup, however, you can look out for good ingredients and even make your own at home with 5 ingredients or less! Ana and I discussed healthy summer condiments on Better Connecticut. Watch the 5 minute segment to learn more about what ingredients to avoid and healthy alternatives you can make yourself at home. And don’t forget to scroll down for 3 marinade/dressing recipes with 3-5 ingredients each!

WFSB 3 Connecticut

 

Take Away Points Video:

  • When reading a nutrition label for condiments, dressings, and marinades avoid the following: vegetable oil, canola oil, soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar/cane sugar, artificial colors/flavors/additives. These ingredients all contribute to inflammation, sugar cravings, weight gain, headaches, and fatigue.
  • When trying to find a healthy option for condiments/dressings/marinades look for the following beneficial ingredients: olive oil, walnut oil, sesame oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, organic honey, pure maple syrup, stevia, lemon juice, balsamic/apple cider vinegar, and herbs.

 

Maple Pepper Marinade
Recipe Type: Marinade
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add your favorite protein: chicken, fish, or beef. This recipe has been tested on all types of chicken, fish and beef and everything tastes great! Get creative and add more ingredients if you want or keep it simple and use this easy marinade to flavor your meals all summer long!

 

Homemade Creamy Ranch Dressing
Recipe Type: Dressing
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Chopped Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Dried Dill
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider or White Vinegar
  • Sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend for 30 seconds.
  2. Store in glass air tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week .

 

Homemade Balsamic Dressing
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp Italian Seasonings
  • sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend for 30-60 seconds until mixture has emulsified.
  2. Store in a glass, air tight container on the counter or in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 

Classic Cobb Salad (with a PN twist!)

Cobb salads are delicious and full of high protein, healthy ingredients! However, they are one of those foods you don’t really want to order at a restaurant. It’s hard to know that you’re getting  healthfully sourced ingredients, such an unprocessed, uncured bacon from humanely raised pigs, a dressing made without any vegetable/canola oil or fake mayo, and free range, organic eggs and chicken! Finding a restaurant that values the integrity of all of the main ingredients of a Cobb salad is tough- that’s why I love making these at home! The dressing is my favorite part…check out the recipe and let us know what you think!

 

Classic Cobb Salad (with a PN twist!)
Author: Ana
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 cups organic mixed greens
  • 4 slices all natural, uncured bacon (cooked crispy and crumbled into bits)
  • 2 organic hardboiled eggs (sliced into pieces)
  • 1 medium organic roma tomato
  • 1 medium organic chicken breast (you will need 1 TBLS coconut oil, 2 TBLS coconut flour, 4 TBLS coconut flakes, and 1 egg if you’re not using leftover chicken)
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 carrots (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 4 TBLS fresh dill (finely chopped)
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • Pinch sea salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 3 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. First cook your chicken breast, or slice some leftover chicken you have into strips. I like to cut mine into strips, batter it with 1 egg and 2 TBLS coconut flour and then sauté lightly in 1/2 TBLS coconut oil in a pan in coconut oil for about 4-5 minutes, or until brown. I then place the strips on a baking sheet on the other 1/2 TBLS coconut oil and top with coconut flakes and bake for about 10-15 minutes at 375 degrees (no longer because you don’t want the chicken to dry out). If you don’t like coconut chicken you can do this same process with olive oil and sea salt/pepper.
  2. Next, place the mixed greens on your plates and top with all of your vegetables, crumbled bacon, and sliced egg. I like to do it in rows, but you can do different style of layer depending on your visual preference.
  3. Lastly, to make the dressing simply mix all of the remaining ingredients together until well combined. Add a touch more oil and lemon juice if you like it thinner. When the chicken is done, place the strips on your salad while still warm, put the dressing on the side in a small bowl, and enjoy!
  4. PN RX (per salad): 4 free veggies, 1.5 protein, 3 fats

Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Whole Chicken

 

 

 

 

 

 

chicken

 

Before I made this recipe I had never actually cooked a whole chicken before. I always just got chicken breasts or thighs. It was fun making the entire chicken and it came out so moist! It was delicious as leftovers on salads and mixed into stir fries. Don’t let the fact that it is unfamiliar scare you. This recipe is very simple and was easy to prepare thanks to my slow cooker. Enjoy!

 

Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Whole Chicken
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 1 whole Organic Free Range Chicken (4-5lb)
  • For the rub:
  • 4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 3 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • For the slow cooker:
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 5 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, pealed and mashed
  • 2 lemons, quartered
Instructions
  1. Chop up vegetables and place them in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Rinse chicken then dry with a paper towel. Combine rub ingredients and rub garlic cloves all over chicken then rub with spices.
  3. Place lemons and garlic cloves inside chicken and place in slow cooker.
  4. Cook on low for 7 hours. If less than 5 pound chicken will take about 6 hours.
  5. Place in a glass baking dish and broil on high for 4-5 minutes to get a crispy skin.
Notes
You can add some chopped up sweet potatoes in the slow cooker with the chicken for some healthy carbs.

 

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings

spicy wings

 

I opened a wonderful email from my older sister the other day with this recipe inside. She said that these wings were to die for and that I had to make them. She was right! This recipe is a great substitution for fried hot wings. It is the perfect amount of sweet from the honey and spicy from the chipotle peppers. I made this the other night and they were gone in a day and a half! They are amazing. These would be great to bring to a party or family gathering. Enjoy!

 

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 3lb Organic Chicken Drumsticks
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Raw Honey
  • 1/2 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil or Butter
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Grated Ginger or 1tsp Dried Ginger
  • 2 Chipotle Peppers in adobo minced, plus 1 Tbsp of sauce
  • 1 tbsp Potato Starch
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Salt and pepper the chicken. Don’t go crazy with the salt, the sauce makes up for it.
  2. Place chicken in glass baking dish.
  3. While oven is preheating, combine all remaining ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer until it begins to thicken (about 15 minutes). If it does not thicken you can take 1 tbsp of Potato Starch and mix with 2 tbsp cold water then add to sauce and it will thicken right up.
  4. Toss the chicken in the sauce. You can let these marinate over night or cook right away.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes then flip and bake for another 25 minutes.
Notes
I had about 1/2-1 cup of sauce left over. You can add this to the chicken as it cooks or save it and make burgers out of it. I also marinated salmon in it and it came out very good! Get creative!

Quick and Tasty Wheat Free Pasta with Veggie Marinara

Sometimes I crave a good old pasta and marinara sauce dinner! It’s hard to find a recipe that is tasty AND health promoting. Having a bit of high quality protein, veggies, and healthy fat is the best way to make sure you leave a meal feeling energized and satisfied. Amanda and I  have been loving this Gluten Free Black Bean/Mung Bean Pasta lately (like most of our suggestions, you can find this pasta in the Gluten Free section at most major grocery stores). This pasta, combined with this clean and simple homemade high protein marinara sauce, is the perfect alternative to the typical “refined” white pasta you grew up on- and will taste better too! Enjoy!

Quick and Tasty Wheat Free Pasta with Veggie Marinara
Recipe Type: Dinner
Author: Ana
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Try this quick and easy pasta dish when you’re craving pasta or something with an Italian feel! Feel amazing and light after you eat it as it’s full of fiber, B Vitamins, and protein!
Ingredients
  • 1/2 Bag Black Bean Spaghetti*
  • Sauce:
  • 1/2 Bag Ming Bean Spaghetti*
  • 6 and 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Jar Organic, No Sugar Added Tomato Sauce (made with olive oil)
  • 1 Small Can (6 oz.) Organic Tomato Paste
  • 4 TBLS Italian Seasoning (We like the brand Frontier Organics)
  • 1/8 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Handfuls Organic Spinach
  • 1 Cup Raw Mushrooms
  • 2 TBLS Chopped Garlic (fresh or from the jar)
  • 1 Avocado (for garnish) and Pint Organic Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Pound Baked Free Range Chicken, Chunked
  • Any Other Vegetable You Love!
  • * Find Gluten Free Black Bean or Mung Bean Pasta at most major grocery stores or local health food store!
Instructions
  1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in medium pot. In the mean time, combine olive oil, garlic, tomato paste, and mushrooms in a medium sized skillet on the stove top at medium heat. Allow to sit on stove for about 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are slightly browned and softened. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, Italian seasoning, and spinach to the skillet. Once water is boiling, add dry Black Bean/Mung Bean pasta to the water and allow to boil for about 7-10 minutes until soft, “pasta like” consistency is reached. Drain the pasta when finished and set aside. Allow your sauce ingredients to simmer for about 10 more minutes or until mixture has come to a slow boil, and the spinach has cooked down/is well combined into sauce. Add chicken chunks (or other desired protein) to the sauce until they are warm throughout, and serve over the Black Bean/Mung Bean pasta. Top with chunks of avocado and cherry tomatoes- enjoy!
Notes
PN RX for 1/4 of the sauce and 1 Cup Pasta: 2 Carbs, 2 Fat, 1 Veggies, 1 Protein

Horseradish Almond Crusted Chicken

Chicken

This recipe was inspired by a mustard crusted chicken my Mom used to make when I was growing up. I think it had breadcrumbs and a bunch of other seasonings including ground mustard. I really wanted to replicate an even healthier, gluten-free version. This recipe is very simple and easy so even if you are new to cooking you will be able to handle it. It tasted good cold on a salad too! Enjoy!

 

Horseradish Almond Crusted Chicken
Recipe Type: Lunch/Dinner
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2lb Organic Chicken Breast Tenderloins
  • 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour
  • 4-5 Tbsp Horseradish (I like plain old Stop and Shop Brand)
  • 1.5 Tbsp Organic Butter/Coconut Oil
  • .5 Tbsp Garlic Powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Melt the organic butter or coconut oil (on stove top or microwave).
  2. Place your chicken in a large, glass baking dish and cover with butter/coconut oil.
  3. Now sprinkle the 1/2 cup of almond flour and garlic powder over each piece of chicken. Spread horseradish over each piece as well.
  4. I sprinkled everything on top then mixed it all together when I put the horseradish on top so everything is combined. You can do this with your fingers to make it easier.
  5. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until center is no longer pink.
Serving size: 4oz Fat: 6g Carbohydrates: 2g Protein: 28g

Chicken Parmesan With Mung Bean Fettuccini

It’s a snowy day in New England and on snowy days when I’m stuck at home I like to cook! I can remember growing up and every time we were stuck in the house because of the snow my Mom would start cooking up a storm of good food. I had some organic chicken that I got on sale, marinara sauce, and this Mung Bean Fettuccini so I decided to make chicken parmesan. It came out SO good! I used tapioca flour before I breaded them this time and it really made a huge difference. The breading didn’t fall off at all and they came out a lot crispier. The Mung Bean Pasta is from this brand Explore Asian. They have a ton of different types of pastas made from beans and seeds. They have very few ingredients (usually just the bean and water) and taste great! They also have a lot of protein and fiber in most of the different types, which is a plus. I definitely recommend trying some out! Enjoy the recipe!

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Chicken Parmesan With Mung Bean Fettucini
Recipe Type: Lunch/Dinner
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 13
Ingredients
  • 2.5-3lb Thinly Cut Chicken Breasts
  • 1 cup Almond Flour
  • 1/2 cup Tapioca Flour
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1.5 cups Rao’s Marinara Sauce*
  • 1Tbsp Basil
  • 1Tbsp Oregano
  • 1Tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2Tbsp Thyme
  • 4-5Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil
  • 1 Bag Mung Bean Fettuccini
  • Spinach to plate
  • Herb Goat cheese (or any other) to top with
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Prepare 3 bowls for dipping and breading chicken. Bowl 1: tapioca flour; Bowl 2: 2 eggs, whisked; Bowl 3: almond flour and rest of seasonings. Place a plate at the end of the bowl station. Then place a large glass baking dish next to that to put the chicken in after you pan fry them.
  3. Heat large pan with 2.5Tbsp of butter or coconut oil (so a total of about 5Tbsp for 2 batches). As soon as you turn your pan on start preparing the chicken strips.
  4. First, cover with tapioca flour, then dip in egg, then cover with almond flour mixture. You can place the chicken on the plate until the pan is ready.
  5. Fry chicken 2 minutes on each side. I did 2 batches of the chicken breasts in a large pan.Once the chicken is done browning on each side place in the large glass baking dish.
  6. Get a large pot and set up on stove. Fill pot with water to cook pasta in. Turn burner on high.When water boils at add pasta and lower heat to medium for 7-8 minutes.
  7. Bake chicken in oven for 15-20 minutes or until no longer pink inside.
  8. When pasta is done, strain in colander and set aside.
  9. To plate take about 2/3 cup pasta and place a handful of spinach on top. Then place 1 chicken strip or 1/13th of recipe (mine had 13 strips) on top of the spinach and top with your favorite cheese. I used about an ounce herb goat cheese that tasted delicious.
Calories: 527 Fat: 24 Carbohydrates: 26 Protein: 62
Notes
*You can use any pasta sauce you want. I just like the Rao’s Homemade Marinara that I found at Stew Leonard’s because it doesn’t have any sugar or vegetable oils in it.

Lemon Garlic and Herb Crockpot Chicken

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Here is another low maintenance and delicious meal! I had chicken breasts in the freezer and lemons in the fridge so I decided to make lemon chicken. I did not want to put a lot of energy into baking it or sautéing anything so I just threw it in the crock pot. It came out moist and full of flavor. I was very pleasantly surprised. I will definitely be making this again! I enjoyed it on a salad with some black beans and avocado. Enjoy!

 

Lemon Garlic and Herb Crockpot Chicken
Author: Amanda
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 6 Organic Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Lemon, thinly slices
  • 4 Cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2c water
  • Mrs. Dash Original Blend
  • Oregano
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
Instructions
  1. Place half of lemons and all of the garlic on the bottom of the crock pot.
  2. Place chicken breasts on top of the lemon and garlic. Cover in oregano and seasoning then turn over and add salt and pepper.
  3. Add 1/2c of water to protect crock pot.
  4. Heat on low for 7 hours.
Notes
4oz of chicken breasts= 1 Protein