Baked Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapeno poppers are one of my most favorite things it the world. They are my go to dive bar food. I get them EVERY time I go to Sonic. I simply can’t get enough. So when I started to watch my diet, I knew right away I wouldn’t last long without these little bites of awesomeness in my mouth. The problem? The traditional jalapeno popper is a calorie laden, deep fried mess. So my mission was to create something as delicious as possible without dunking it oil.

Click here for a printable version!

Makes 8 servings (2 poppers each): 75 calories | 5g carbs | 4g protein | 4g fat

Here’s what you need!

8 jalapeno peppers

4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese or mexican blend (I used a 2% milk cheese)

1 scallion, minced

4 egg whites

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (you only use about half, but the extra makes coating easier)

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp powdered ranch dressing mix

1/4 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, ground to bits

Here’s what you do!

1. While wearing gloves, slice the tops of each jalapeno, then slice down the middle so you have two even pieces. Use your fingers to remove the seeds and other random things from the center of the peppers

2. In a bowl, combine cream cheese, shredded cheese and scallion until well mixed. Fill each pepper with the mixture.

3. Combine panko bread crumbs, garlic powder, ranch mix, paprika, chili powder, and crushed red pepper. Add a little salt and pepper if you feel like it… you can never go wrong with some salt and pepper.

4. Roll each popper in the egg white, then in the panko mixture. Be sure to shake up the panko mixture after each popper to break up any clumps and to make sure the spices don’t sink to the bottom.

 5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bread crumbs are golden brown and filling is hot and bubbly.

Happy noshing!!

Advertisements

Roasted Red Pepper and Chicken Quesadilla

For the longest time I could not, for the life of me figure out how to make a quesadilla without either burning the tortilla or making a complete mess. I eventually figured out the not burning the tortilla part worked and realized that the mess does not matter! This quesadilla, featuring roasted red pepper, is sure to not disappoint… in both messiness and tastiness!

Nutritional Breakdown

Makes 2 servings: 350 calories | 31g carbs | 37g protein | 9g fat

Here’s what you need:

1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 small red pepper, or 1/2 large red pepper

1/4 c diced red onion

1-2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes to taste

1/2 c shredded mexican cheese blend (I use a 2% reduced fat blend)

2 medium flour tortillas

——————————————————————————————–

To roast your red pepper:

1. You can do this on an open flame, the grill or in a broiler.. whichever you have. In a nutshell, apply heat to the pepper until the skin is super charred.

2. Place the pepper into an airtight container and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes. Generally, I roast my peppers well ahead of time and then forget about them. Eventually I say “oh yea.. I have a pepper in there” and then I take care of it. This is for the best, because otherwise I’d be too excited about the pepper, try to handle it too soon and burn my fingers.

3. Peel the charred skin off of your pepper. This should be pretty east to accomplish. Cut the pepper open and remove all the innards (seeds and whatnot). It will be a juicy mess. Enjoy it.

4. Dice your wonderful tasty red pepper!

——————————————————————————————-

Making your filling:

1. Cut your chicken breast into teeny tiny pieces. Alternatively, you could cook the chicken whole and cut it after, but it cooks faster in tiny bits.

2. Cook chicken in a pan over medium(ish) heat. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

3. Combine chicken, red pepper, red onion and cilantro in bowl

4. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flake to taste (I like things a little spicy)

———————————————————————————————

1. Heat a pan to medium low heat. The pan should be large enough that the tortilla will lay flat. You could also use a griddle.

2. Spray a little cooking spray on the pan and lay one tortilla down. Spread half of the cheese (1/4 c) over the tortilla.

3. When the cheese begins to melt, place half of the chicken/ red pepper mixture on one half of the tortilla. Carefully fold the empty side of the tortilla over the mixture.

4. Continue to cook the quesadilla until slightly brown. Gently flip it over and allow the other side to brown. It’s totally ok if some of the feeling spills out…just pile it back on the plate to eat on the side! Repeat for second quesadilla

Serve with guacamole, sour cream, your favorite salsa, or whatever your beautiful heart desires!

This filling also tastes great in a taco salad! Simply combine some salad lettuce, the filling, cheese, and maybe some tortilla chips. I use salsa as dressing for the salad. Absolutely amazing!

Happy noshing!!