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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken Breasts

There are endless possibilities when it comes to stuffing chicken breasts; Meats, cheeses, herbs and spices, there are so many things you can do to spruce up this white meat.  This recipe came about simply because this is what I had left in my fridge and I was in the mood for something spicy! I opted out of using cream cheese like you find in some jalapeno poppers to cut down on the fat. If you aren't a pork eater you can substitute in turkey bacon.  The rolls are rather large so I only ate half a roll with a side salad.  But at only 240 calories per serving, you can indulge in a whole breast and stay under 500 calories!


2-10oz chicken breasts
1 cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese - divided
4 tbsp diced jalapenos - divided
6 slices of bacon
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Servings: 4 • Size: 1/2 roll • Calories: 240 • Fat: 9.4 g • Carbs: 0 g • Fiber: 0 g • Protein 40 g • Sugar: 0 g


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Butterfly your chicken breasts and if needed, pound until about an inch thin.  Sprinkle both sides of the breasts generously with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. 

Spread 2 tbsp of jalapenos on the inside of each breast. Next, top each breast with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. 

Roll the chicken breasts up tightly and wrap each breast using the bacon strips, being sure to cover the breast completely. (You may have to secure the bacon to the breast using toothpicks; check frequently while cooking) Place them in a baking dish.

Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until cooked chicken is cooked through and bacon is crisp. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cajun Grilled Tilapia and Cheese Grits

I remember a time in the not so recent past when I could not cook grits to save my life!  They always came out too gritty, or I burned the pot trying to cook them.  Now I couldn't imagine a weekend breakfast without them.  This recipe calls for heavy cream to make the grits, well, creamy, and pairs wonderfully with the cajun flavors of the fish.  If you aren't a tilapia fan you can sub in another flaky white fish like whiting or catfish, or even use shrimp!


2 cups fat free chicken broth
1 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grits
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/3 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp season salt
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 tilapia fillets
1 tbsp EVOO
1 tbsp cajun seasoning - I used Weber's
2 cloves garlic, minced and divided
1 tsp Old bay seasoning
2 tsp parsley, divided
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp butter


Rinse your fillets and pat them dry using a paper towel.  Brush both sides of the fillets with olive oil. 

Combine all of your dry seasonings in a bowl and mix well.  Sprinkle half of the minced garlic over one side of the fillets and then coat well with the seasoning mixture.  Flip the fillets and repeat the same process (garlic then seasoning mixture). 

In a large saucepan combine the water, chicken broth, and heavy cream and bring it to a boil.  Slowly add in the grits, vigorously whisking so lumps do not form.  Cover the pot and turn the temperature to low.  Cook the grits 12-15 minutes or until smooth and creamy, stirring occasionally.  (Note:  If your grits appear to be cooking out the liquid too quickly add more HOT chicken broth or water and stir)

While your grits are cooking, heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.  Spray generously with cooking spray and melt 1 tbsp butter over the grates.  Place the fillets on the grill and cook 2-3 minutes.  Flip and cook for another 3 minutes or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.  Place in aluminum foil and wrap tightly to keep warm. 

When your grits have finished cooking, remove them from the heat and stir in the seasonings. 

Next stir in the butter, followed by the cheese.  Taste and adjust your seasonings as necessary.  Serve the grits immediately topped with the tilapia filet.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Smothered Turkey Wings

Growing up I hated eating turkey.  The meat was always so dry and tasteless that I even avoided it at holiday time.  As an adult I found out it wasn't actually turkey I hated, but the way it was being prepared.  Turkey can be a rather tasteless meat if it's not flavored and prepared properly.  This turkey wing recipe has a wonderfully savory flavor and goes great paired with white rice and a side of cabbage. 


6 Turkey wings
1 tbsp EVOO
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp McCormick's Chicken seasoning
1 tbsp onion powder

.5 cup butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic salt
1.5 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
7 tbsp all purpose flour
4 cups fat free chicken broth
1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes


Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Rinse the turkey wings under lukewarm water and pat dry using a paper towl.  Place the wings in a large baking dish, at least 1.5 inches apart.  Brush both sides of the wings with olive oil.  Stir together all of the seasonings for the wings and sprinkle them generously, coating both sides.

It's ok it you have some leftover, I did!  Place the wings in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, flipping over halway through the cooking time. 

About mid-way through your wings cooking you can begin making the gravy.  Melt the butter in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan.  Add the tomatoes and chopped onions and cook over medium-low heat until the onion are soft. 

Stir in your thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, black pepper, and seasoned salt.  Cook for 1 minute.  Add the flour, stirring constantly and until light brown, roughly 5-6 minutes.  Slowly whisk in the broth followed by the Worcestershire sauce.  Heat the gravy to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you timed it correctly, your wings should be ready to come out of the oven.  They should be nice and browned, like this.

Drain the juices from the bottom of the pan and add it to the gravy, stirring to incorporate.  Add the onion powder and garlic salt and continue to simmer uncovered for an additional 5 minutes. 

Pour the gravy into the glass pan, coating the bottom of the pan and the wings. 

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees.  Cover the pan tightly with foil and cook the wings another 45 minutes, or until tender.  Remove the wings from the oven and serve over white rice. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Fajita Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Stuffing chicken breasts has become one of my favorite things to do.  Not only are the possiblilites ENDLESS, its always a great surprise to see fresh veggies and cheeses stuffed inside a protein packed chicken breast.  The inspiration for these fajita stuffed chicken breasts came from my undying love for Mexican food.  I was trying to find another way to incorporate the mexican spices and peppers into my diet but without the carbs included in a tortilla.  Wrapping all of these ingredients in a chicken breasts gives me plenty of protein  and is very filling!  Enjoy these with a fresh salad or with my One-Pot Black Beans and Rice!

Servings: 4  Serving Size: 1 chicken breast with 1/4 cup enchilada sauce Calories: 419Fat: 18 g  Protein: 44 g Carb: 28 g  Fiber: 4 g  Sugars:  7 g


4 Chicken breasts
1 red pepper - thinly sliced
1 medium green pepper - thinly sliced
1 medium red onion - thinly sliced
1 tbsp Homemade Taco Seasoning - Recipe to follow
1 cup low-fat Mexican Cheese - divided
1 cup crushed Tortilla Chips

Enchilada Sauce

1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup fat free chicken broth
2 garlic cloves - minced
2 tbsp chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Housemade Taco Seasoning

1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1/2 to 1 tsp sea salt (more or less to taste)
1 tsp black pepper


Combine all of your taco seasonings in an airtight container and mix well.  Store in a cool, dry area for up to 2 months.

Place a saucepan over medium heat and coat liberally with cooking spray.  Cook the garlic until fragrant.  Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, chipotle chilis, and seasoning and bring to a boil. 

 Reduce heat to low and simmer 8-10 minutes.  Remove the large chipotle chilis from the sauce and chop them into bite sized pieces, then add them back to the pot.  Set aside until you are ready to use.

In a medium pan over high heat saute the peppers and onions until just beginning to turn soft. 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Butterfly the chicken breasts, being very careful not to completely cut through the breasts.  Generously coat each breast in the enchilada sauce (do not dip the uncooked meat into the sauce, you will be using it later!) and then sprinkle with approximately 1/4 tbsp of taco seasoning.  Top with peppers, onion, and 1/4 cup cheese. 

Tightly roll the each breast, securing with toothpicks as needed.  Place the crushed tortilla chips on a plate and roll the chicken breasts on the chips, coating each breast thoroughly.  Lay the breasts into a cooking pan coated with with non-stick cooking spray. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Once you remove the breasts from the oven you can drizzle them with the leftover enchilada sauce and serve any leftover peppers and onions you have on the side.