kristen reNae

food

Cajun Chicken Stuffed with Pepper Jack Cheese and Spinach

I love adding spice to my life, especially in my food. (Yes, I am singing the Spice Girls song in my head) For me, the spicier, the better. However, Mike and I do not have similar taste buds. This recipe that was recommended by a friend (from Cooking Creation via Pinterest) sounded delicious, not to mention the picture made me drool. However, there was no warning label on how spicy this dish was…
Serves 4

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup fresh cooked spinach
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tbsp breadcrumbs (I use Italian style)
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Toothpicks
    • ¾ tbsp. paprika
    • ¾ tsp onion powder
    • ¾ tsp garlic powder
    • ¼ tsp black pepper
    • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
    • ¼ tsp cumin

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Flatten chicken to 1/4-inch thickness.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the pepper jack cheese, spinach, salt and pepper.
4. Combine the Cajun seasoning and breadcrumbs together in a small bowl.
5. Spoon and spread about 2-3 tablespoons of the spinach mixture onto each chicken breast. Roll each chicken breast tightly and fasten with several toothpicks.
6. Dip each chicken breast in the olive oil.  Sprinkle the Cajun seasoning mixture evenly over all.   Sprinkle remaining spinach and cheese on top of chicken.
7. Place the chicken seam-side up onto a tin foil-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
8. Remove the toothpicks before serving.

cajun chicken seasonings cajun chicken mix cajun chicken2 cajun chicken roll cajun chicken roll 2

Note: if you are not a fan of spice, I would highly recommending cutting the Cajun seasoning in half, if not more.

stuffed bell peppers

Eating chicken and vegetables through the week can get extremely boring. So, I will often pick up ingredients to make the stuffed bell peppers to mix things up. Mike just loves these peppers, and they make great leftovers! The last time I made these peppers I forgot to pick up brown rice, and only had quinoa in the pantry. This substitute turned out phenomenal! Not only does it add as a source of protein, but the quinoa soaks up the flavors, which make the leftovers even better!

(Makes 4-6 servings)

Ingredients:

4-6 large bell peppers, colors optional

1 cup rice or quinoa

2 cups water

1 lb. ground turkey meat

3/4 cup shredded cheese (I use the 4 cheese)

1 medium onion

2 tsp. olive oil

 

Directions:

  1. Start by cooking 1 cup of long grain brown rice or quinoa (quinoa takes 20 minutes where the brown rice takes about 45 minutes).
  2. Cut off the stem end of the pepper, but save them to dice up to cook later. Remove seeds and place in non-stick baking dish. empty peppers
  3. Chop up the pepper tops and the onion. peppers3
  4. Heat olive and saute peppers and onions for 4-5 minutes until they are soft. cooked peppers
  5. Remove peppers and add more olive oil, then add the ground turkey and brown.
  6. Add the sauteed vegetables to the cooked meat along with dry spices (I use oregano, thyme, salt & pepper). Saute 3 minutes to blend the flavors.
  7. Mix in the cooked rice (or quinoa) along with 1/2 cup of cheese. Turn off heat.
  8. Fill the peppers and press down so they are tightly packed. Top with more cheese. stuffed peppers2
  9. Fill the bottom of the pan with about a half inch of water (this will essentially steam your peppers to make them softer),
  10. Bake peppers at 375F for 30-40 minutes, until cheese on top is melted.
  11. Serve hot. Enjoy.

Nutritional Content (one pepper):

Calories: 294

Total Fat: 10 g

Saturated fats: 2 g

Trans Fats: 0 g

Cholesterol: 90 mg

Sodium: 145 mg

Potassium: 0 g

Carbohydrates: 19 g

Dietary fiber: 3 g

Sugars: 2 g

Protein: 26 g

cooked pepper2

 

PLEASE NOTE: This recipe was taken from multiple Pinterest pins and the provided nutritional information was estimated at MyFitnessPal.com. Data may not be accurate and is subject to the availability of specific food in their database. This information is for general reference only and is not exact.

my kitchen staples

I hate seeing fresh food go to waste, but I only want to grocery shop once a week as well. I don’t usually plan my menus out in advance, so every time I head to the store I tend to buy the same food each visit. My kitchen is stocked with these 10 versatile staples that are perfect for putting together several meals. As long as I have these ingredients on hand, I know I can whip up a tasty and nutritious meal any day of the week. Here’s a look:

  1. Quinoa is the healthiest and most versatile grain to have in your cupboard. It offers a complete protein and works well in any dish from breakfast to dinner, because it takes on the flavors it’s cooked with.quinoa
  2. Brown Rice offers about the same nutritional value as quinoa, minus a little protein. Overall, brown rice is still a better choice over white rice.
  3. Broccoli is my go-to vegetable that is loaded with essential nutrients. This green can be eaten raw, baked, or steamed to provide as a great side or snack. broccoli
  4. Chicken breasts are a perfect lean protein, low in fat and calories, ideal for weight management. What makes the breasts so ideal is that it is so versatile for so many recipes.
  5. Frozen Shrimp makes for a great appetizer or addition to many dishes. While they get a bad rap for being high in cholesterol, shrimp (in moderation) provides some nutritional value as well.
  6. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar are essential ingredients for any kitchen. Combined, they make the perfect salad dressing. Alone, they are great for cooking.oil and balsamic
  7. Rolled oats are a definite staple in my kitchen. From breakfast oats to no-bake energy snacks, this grain can be used in many ways.
  8. Garlic is a great ingredient to have on hand to add flavor to many dishes. To make things simpler, I buy the prepared, minced garlic. Easy to use and cook with.
  9. Greek Yogurt is perfect for a snack with granola or to be used in a dip instead of sour cream. This can be added to almost any dish for a little extra flavor or thickening.
  10. Canned tuna is rich in healthy amino acids and plenty of protein.

Other great staples include Canned tomatoes; canned artichoke hearts; angel hair pasta; canned beans; cherry tomatoes; mushrooms; chickpeas; black beans.

oats