Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken

Happy Friday everybody! It’s been a while since I’ve thrown some sort of healthy “bar food” twist at you.

Now, we love spicy in our house – as if you couldn’t tell from the bajillion buffalo flavored recipes I’ve thrown at you. But seriously, we have quite the collection of hot sauces in the refrigerator and always seem to be out of Tabasco even though I know I just bought the big giant bottle last week!

Well, over the 4th of July I tried a new jalapeno popper recipe and it was pretty much amazing. I’d made jalapeno poppers before and had never had issues with burning hands or anything from scooping out seeds even when I dissected like, 24 jalapenos! I always read people saying “use gloves” and think , “psh, wimps.” Um, I don’t know if I got my hands on a super potent batch or what, but the next day driving to work – my hands felt like they were on fire. I poured rubbing alcohol on them later that day because I read that would help! Ugh, I vowed to take jalapenos seriously from that point on!

I still love jalapenos even if they were cruel to me, so I decided to approach them very humbly. By mixing them with cheese, stuffing them in chicken and savoring every delicious bite. We are friends again thanks to the delicious jalapeno popper stuffed chicken recipe I came across on one of my favorite cooking blogs! I promise this isn’t too spicy as long as you (very carefully, might I add) remove the seeds and membrane. Leave some of it if you feel like living on the edge – but whatever you do, make this!

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken (serves 2/10 WW pts. – adapted from SkinnyTaste)

2 chicken breasts (12 oz. total)

1 medium jalapeno, diced

1 slice turkey bacon, cooked

2 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

2 wedges, Laughing Cow Garlic and Herb cheese

1 Tbsp. scallions, chopped

1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1/4 cup bread crumbs (I used Panko)

2 tsp. white whole-wheat flour

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 450.

Mix together cheeses, bacon, scallions and jalapeno in a small bowl.

In a shallow bowl, whisk together lime juice and olive oil.

On a plate, mix together bread crumbs and flour.

Now, trim chicken of any nasty bits (I’m a freak about this) and lay between two pieces of wax paper. Using a meat mallet (or wine bottle, rolling-pin, etc.) pound chicken until flattened to about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thickness. Set some toothpicks out.

Spread half of the cheese/jalapeno mixture in the center of the chicken, working your way out. Leave a small border without the cheese. Begin rolling your chicken (I start with the bigger end) and secure with toothpicks in the center. Seal the ends with toothpicks as well. It is okay if some filling comes out while baking…especially because it creates yummy burnt cheese!

Salt and pepper your chicken and dip in the olive oil and lime juice mixture.

Next, dredge in the crumb mixture. With the toothpicks, it’s a little tough – so you can press the crumbs into the chicken by hand.

Add chicken breasts to a non-stick baking dish and bake for 22-25 minutes.

Don’t forget to remove your toothpicks – but you might want to wait until after it cools a little!

Then it’s time to dig in. I may be a nerd, but my favorite part was cutting into the chicken to see this delicious pocket of cheesy, jalapeno-y (why not?) awesomeness…

That’s a thing of beauty my friends!

Hope y’all have a great weekend!

 

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Bacon-Cheese Chicken

So it’s the beginning of the month aaaand I am in desperate need of a grocery run. But the playoffs are on tonight – so I needed to get home and cook something quick!

I had some chicken and was trying to think of something new to do with it. But my brain is fried – so I really couldn’t come up with anything. I was ready to just do the good old standby of Georgia Baked Chicken. But when I opened the fridge, I saw cheese. And bacon.

So why not throw those on top of some chicken?

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Evil. Genius.

Bacon-Cheese Chicken (serves 2)

2- 4 oz. chicken breasts

2 tsp. smoked paprika (regular works too)

2 Tbsp. chicken broth

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

3 slices turkey bacon, cooked

1/4 cup fat-free shredded cheddar cheese

Heat a medium skillet to medium. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with paprika.

Cook chicken in skilled for 4-5 minutes on each side until lightly browned on each side. Add chicken broth to pan to keep chicken from drying out and cook another 5-7 minutes, flipping chicken once.

Once chicken is cooked through, spread 1 tsp. Dijon mustard on tops of each.

Then, break apart pieces of bacon to coat the top of the chicken.

Top the bacon with cheese.

Cover the skillet and turn heat to low. Once cheese has melted, you’re ready to serve.

This was just a quick dish to throw together – and it’s also healthy too. If you use the ingredients as stated above, we’re talking 5 WW points for a chicken breast.

Like I said, evil genius…

Squash Boats

I love fresh produce. There is something about walking into a grocery store and surveying all of the yummy, crisp and bright fruits and vegetables. Often times I’ll have a list of things I know I need, but I leave the “produce” section of my list with a few T.B.D.spaces.

Obviously I like to go the store with a purpose…otherwise, I have a lot of fresh fruits vegetables that are not so appealing a week later. So I’ve kind of trained myself to only buy veggies for a week or so at a time. Meal planning has not been my forte in the past, but I have certainly gotten much better about it! I just think it’s fun to go in and see what looks fresh and imagine some delicious side dishes I can make or veggies I can throw into a main course to add some flavor and some color. Too much planning can be disappointing – sometimes the selection isn’t great or it’s completely out (I’ve had kale on my list multiple times and had to find a “plan B”).

Well, one of our absolute favorite side dishes (which is also incredibly WW friendly) involves a lot of vegetables! And cheese. And bacon. And butter. Okay, so I use the light versions of those three ingredients – but still, it’s amazing. These are also really easy to prepare ahead of time – and your guests (or spouse) will be thoroughly impressed with this fancy looking side dish!

Squash Boats (serves 4)

Pretend there is a red bell pepper here...and bacon. =)

2 medium to large yellow squash

1/2 cup chopped tomato

1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced

1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. white pepper

2 Tbsp. fat-free shredded Cheddar

2 slices turkey bacon

Butter spray

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add squash. Cook 10-12 minutes.

Cut up your tomato, bell peppers and onion. Add cheese, salt and pepper. Mix and refrigerate until ready to use.

Cook bacon until crisp. Crumble and set aside.

Heat your oven to 350.

Slice squash in half. You may need to let it cool so that you don’t burn your hands! Scoop out the “flesh” (aka seeds and string).

Set hollowed squash halves in a lightly greased baking dish.

Add crumbled bacon to vegetable mixture. (I just ended up using some Bacon Bits). Spoon mixture into squash halves and spray with some butter spray.

Bake for 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and boats are heated through.

You can easily adapt these – I leave cheese off one or two when my sister is dining with me. I’m sure you can add some other veggies and make them your own! I made some cold ones a while back with avocado, cucumber, tomato, onion and a lime vinaigrette!

These are SO good for you that you can even make this into just 2 servings…nothing wrong with eating your veggies!

Thanks for reading!