Monday, January 19, 2015

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

Someone posted a recipe for Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Chicken Breast.  It looked delicious.  But it also looked calorie laden.  I am always making healthier versions of recipes I see.  So this is my version of Jalapeño Popper Chicken. 

Ingredients (serves 4)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup quick oats

2 oz of cheddar (I use full fat, to reduce the fat feel free to use reduced fat if that is your thing)

2 oz of goat cheese (you can use Neufchatel cheese (like a low fat cream cheese).  I used it for my boy's chicken but I opted for goat cheese for mine and hubby's since it was the same calories/fat but it has more protein and I like the tang)

2 Tbs jalapeños, diced. I use fresh roasted but you can use pickled or fresh

1/3 tsp coconut oil or olive oil

The original version used bread crumbs, eggs, way more cheese.  Yes, I am sure it was delicious but really, all of that was unnecessary.  My chicken has less fat, calories and still tastes delicious!  

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. First split your chicken breasts in half and pound them thin.  But not too thin that they tear.    I like to use a piece of saran wrap when I pound the chicken to prevent splatter. 

In a small dish spread the mustard and in another dish add the oats. Oil your baking dish.  A little goes a long way so I only use about 1/3 Tbs and spread with a pastry brush. 

Take your first piece of chicken and add about 1/5th of the cheddar and 1/4th of the goat/Neufchatel cheese and 1/2 Tbs of the jalapeños.  Use more if you like.  You do not want to over stuff your chicken since it will leak out when cooking.  Carefully roll up the chicken and dip all sides into the mustard.  You do not taste the mustard after cooking but it helps the oats stick without added fat.  Then press oats onto all sides of the rolled chicken and place in baking dish.  It won't be all covered.  But you don't need it to be all covered.  Just a little bit of oats add flavor and texture. You can add toothpicks to keep it closed if your chicken does not overlap.  I was able to place the chicken with the overlapping side face down.  They were fine. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.  I place the remaining cheddar on top of each of the rolled chicken breasts about 10 minutes before its done.  Cook for about 35 minutes at 400 degrees.  Cook it unit it reaches the appropriate internal temperature. If you want it to brown more, you could even broil it for a bit.

This has 217 calories, 10 grams of fat (only half saturated), 8.5 grams of carbs and 20 grams of protein. 

I usually don't count calories or fat.  I follow the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan or the P90X3 nutrition plan as a guid and I know I don't have to count calories, points or weigh anything and it keeps me with appropriate ratio of nutrients. This recipe works with the 21 Day Fix too.  It works out to be 1 Red, 1 Blue, then roughly 1/2 Yellow and I don't count the teaspoon because it is split over 4 servings but you could say about 1/2 teaspoon if you are being very careful.  I do not use cooking spray but if that is your thing, you can spray the pan instead. 

I served this with roasted veggies: sweet potatoes and beets and some broccoli (frozen, not fresh).  So I had 1 Yellow (I filled just under since I used oats) and 1 Green. I know the beets didn't really go with this meal...but I have a lot of them from my CSA and needed to use them up....and I love beets!

I will admit, mine does not look at beautiful as the one in the original post but my family loved it.  Well, my 9 year old didn't love it but he ate it. You could skip the goat cheese/Neufchatel and just use cheddar for kids and even leave out the peppers if they don't like them!  Feel free to add a teaspoon of salsa inside instead! He just wasn't into dinner since he was waiting to watch the last Harry Potter movie.  

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