Baked Chicken w/ Roasted Apples, Raisins & Walnuts
Wow, did you know that there are about seventy-five hundred varieties of apples grown around the world? Well, it's true and about 2,500 hundred of them grow right here in the U.S! The chances are you won't run across that many of them throughout your day but I thought it was a pretty interesting fact! Do keep your eye out for those rare beauties though, they all have a little bit different flavor and could keep you coming back for more and we all know what they say, 'an apple a day'
- 5 cups Braeburn apple or any baking apple, unpeeled & chopped into medium chunks
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided Cooking spray
- 2 lbs. chicken thighs, skinned
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
In a large bowl, combine first 8 ingredients, toss well to coat apples. Spread apple mixture evenly on the bottom of an 8 x 10 inch baking dish coated w/ nonstick cooking spray.
Sprinkle chicken with salt & pepper, and then arrange chicken on top of apple mixture.
Bake at 475 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is done and apples are tender. Place chicken on a bed of apples, sprinkle with parsley, and serve w/ your favorite harvest vegetable.
Good-quality Braeburn apples will be firm with smooth, clean skin and have good color for the variety. Test the firmness of the apple by holding it in the palm of your hand. (Do not push with your thumb). A good apple should feel solid and heavy, not soft and light. Always avoid any apples with soft or dark spots. If the skin wrinkles when you rub your thumb across it then the apple has probably been in cold storage way too long or has not been kept cool enough.
Apple & Raisin Bread Stuffing
If you're looking for a great stuffing, try this one! Mmmmm!
- 14 to 16 slices white or wheat bread
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons margarine
- 1 cup apple, peeled & diced
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning or sage
- 1 teaspoon thyme (fresh if possible)
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon butter-flavored sprinkles
- 1/2 teaspoon instant chicken bouillon granules
- Non-stick spray coating
- Cut bread into 1/2 inch cubes.
- Spread into a single layer in a shallow baking pan.
Bake in oven at 300 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, or until dry, stirring twice or simply let bread cubes stand covered at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.
- In a small saucepan, cook the celery and onion in margarine until tender.
- Remove from heat and stir in apple, raisins, poultry seasoning or sage, thyme and pepper.
- Place the dried bread cubes in a mixing bowl and add the onion and apple mixture.
Combine water, butter-flavored sprinkles and bouillon granules then drizzle over bread mixture and toss lightly to moisten.
Next, spray a 2-quart casserole with non-stick coating, spoon stuffing into casserole and bake stuffing, covered for approximately 50 to 55 minutes.
Healthy Recipes For Health Nuts PDF (114 KB)
Avoid Post-Holiday Blues!
Did you know that a person's typical Thanksgiving or Christmas Day calorie intake could reach nearly 5,000 calories and up and over half of them derived from fat? This year, avoid those post-holiday blues by lowering the calorie count by making simple substitutions in your holiday fare.
- Instead of chips and dip or crackers and cheese as an appetizer, offer raw vegetables with salsa or a homemade dip using low-fat yogurt or sour cream.
Instead of candied sweet potatoes, substitute plain sweet potatoes, butternut, or acorn squash and then sweeten with a drizzling of maple syrup.
- Serve steamed green beans or broccoli with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese instead of butter.
In place of creamed onions, prepare a combination of whole pearl onions and steamed Brussels sprouts or substitute low-fat sour cream when making your sauce.
For go canned cranberry sauce which contains a lot of sugar, instead make your own version cooking fresh cranberries with apples or pears then simmering them in apple juice instead of water. Add orange zest, fresh ginger, and spices to sweeten the flavor.
For mashed potatoes use non-fat sour cream, yogurt, skim milk, or butter sprinkles instead of butter and milk. Low-fat flavored cream cheese works great also!
For dessert, try a healthy fruit crisp topped w/ granola and low fat whipped cream. Or try a healthy pumpkin pie substituting evaporated skim milk for the cream, use 3 egg whites for every 2 whole eggs and use a graham cracker crust to cut the fat and the calories.
Be Weary Of 'Grazing' At Those Holiday Parties This Year!
Have you ever found yourself at a party and you can't seem to pull your self away from the buffet table or you find your self reaching for one more puff pastry as it dances by you? If you're one of those that can resist those tantalizing temptations then you are among the elite and deserve a two thumbs up! However, if you are among the popular and find it hard to resist then that will explain one reason we find ourselves packing on those unwanted pounds at holiday time!
We all wind up wandering around that ever-so-popular buffet table from time to time eating until we're so stuffed that we need to unbutton that top pant button or loosen that skirt! I like to refer to this as 'holiday grazing'! It's when mouthwatering cocktail meatballs are everywhere, coconut shrimp robust, dips and chips, crackers and cheese are being inhaled left and right, the dessert table is calling your name and your taste buds are screaming more!
Am I making you hungry? Everything looks so unbelievably tempting and to top it all off, all your friends are overindulging and of course, devil-egging you on! So, how do you avoid the AB burster this year?
Well, first off, when you find yourself at one of those high-calorie catered affairs start yourself off with a large glass of water to help fill the void before diving into the deviled eggs. Next, fix yourself a plate of all your favorite dishes, find a seat, preferably away from the food trough and eat slowly, savoring each bite, eating only what you put on your plate!
Be sure to get everything you'd like to try the first time around and don't overflow your plate, fill it just enough so that you can satisfy those taste buds and try a 'little-bit' of everything. Follow with another large glass of water and be aware of your calorie intake!
So, this year before you find yourself falling head first into a food frenzy simply remind your self of all that hard work you put into that body of yours and what it took to get there! Then take a good look around you and be aware of the 'grazing' factor and if that doesn't do it, remember that spring is not that far away and your efforts could be undone virtually overnight!
Don't make your New Year resolution "to take off all those unwanted holiday pounds" this year! Make it to be in the best shape of your life before spring! Have a healthy & happy gourmet holiday this year.