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Chicken Tacos with California Prunes Salsa

As picky little kids who’d only eat our beloved PB&J sandwiches, you’d probably be surprised to know that when asked where we’d like to go to eat for our birthday dinner that we’d pick a Mexican restaurant—spices and all. We’d always order a taco salad and just loved it. So now, as girls who love the rich spices in all ethnic foods, we’re not surprised that by the time we got to college and were cooking our own meals, that one of our favorite go-tos were chicken tacos. They were easy to make, delicious and healthy and at least once a week we’d meet one of our best friends to make them with her (although we loved them so much we would have eaten them nightly!)

In fact, our love for tacos, inspired these scrumptious, waist-line friendly numbers!:

Gluten-Free Tilapia Tacos with Zucchini Tortillas

Mediterranean Fish Tacos

Avocado & Lentil Vegan Tacos

Spicy Tuna Tacos

Salmon Tacos

And now, our taco love affair has inspired a new yum-ster. And we’re especially excited about these because you can make them from scratch, or have the ingredients pre-portioned and ready to cook right at your house!

We’re so excited to have teamed up with Chef’d and California Prunes to create some amazing meals you can make at home without even having to go to the grocery store! Chef’d is an amazing home meal delivery service, known for delivering fresh pre-portioned ingredients right to your door so you can make incredible home-cooked meals with ease (you don’t even need to sign up for a subscription!). Since we love easy meals and sweet, antioxidant-rich California Prunes, our Chef’d recipes are a match made in heaven! So many of our clients have asked us when we’re going to start delivering our mouthwatering, waistline-friendly recipes to their door – and the answer is now! We’re so excited for you to get to enjoy easy-to-prepare, pre-portioned meals knowing that they meet all of our nutrition criteria to keep you satisfied, energized, and beach-ready!

In addition to getting all the convenience of Chef’d meal delivery, our Chef’d recipes come packed with health benefits thanks to one of our favorite ingredients, California Prunes. California Prunes are the sweetest and juiciest prunes out there, making them the best way to beat a sugar craving! Plus, they’re packed with these health benefits:

  • A serving of four to five dried plums packs 3 full grams of fiber. About half of that is soluble fiber, which helps improve satiety, lower cholesterol, and regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Research shows that eating 5-6 prunes a day may help support healthy bones and help maintain good digestive health.
  • Prunes are loaded with polyphenols, antioxidants that support your immune system, heart and eye health, memory, and more.
  • California Prune growers provide the highest quality prunes in the world.
  • A serving has just 100 calories and no fat, sodium, or cholesterol.

 

Ready to get cooking? Here’s one of our three recipes! You can follow the recipe below to make it at home from scratch, or you can have all of these ingredients prepped, pre-portioned, and delivered straight to your door by Chef’d! What could be better?! Order yours here!

  • Chicken Tacos with California Prunes Salsa
     
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    This twist on classic chicken tacos explodes with sweet and savory flavors! Chili powder and cumin add a savory warmth to the baked chicken breasts, while California prunes add sweetness to an easy, fresh salsa. The combination of spiced chicken, sweet prunes, fresh tomatoes and cilantro, and zing from lime juice all wrapped up in a tortilla creates a fiesta with every bite! The refried black beans also got a healthy upgrade: we cut back on the fat while bumping up the flavor with spices, fresh cilantro and lime juice for a flavorful side dish that’s low in fat and high in protein and fiber. This dinner is hearty and filling, yet light enough to feel good about serving any night of the week.
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish
    Cuisine: Mexican
    Serves: 2 servings
    Ingredients
    • 1 Roasted poblano
    • 3.5 oz Black beans
    • 1 Roma tomato
    • 2oz California prunes
    • 2 Shallots
    • ¼ oz Fresh cilantro
    • 1 Lime
    • 2 Chicken breasts (4oz)
    • 2 tsp Cumin spice blend (equal parts cumin & chili powder)
    • 2 oz Roasted corn
    • 4 Corn tortillas
    Instructions
    1. STEP ONE
    2. Preheat the oven to 350°.
    3. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.
    4. Thinly slice the poblano and set aside.
    5. Drain and rinse the black beans.
    6. Cut the prunes into ¼-inch pieces. Place the prunes in a small bowl.
    7. STEP TWO
    8. Cut the tomato and shallots into ¼-inch pieces. Add HALF of tomato and shallots to the bowl with the prunes; reserve the remaining shallot for step 4 and tomatoes for step 5.
    9. Remove and discard the stems from cilantro, rough chop leaves and add only HALF to the bowl.
    10. Cut the lime in half. Squeeze HALF the lime into the small bowl. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper. Toss well and set aside. Set aside remaining lime for step 5.
    11. STEP 3
    12. Pat dry chicken with paper towels. Add to a medium bowl. Add ONLY 1 teaspoon cumin spice blend, ½ teaspoon olive oil, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss well and place the chicken on the prepared sheet pan.
    13. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until cooked through.
    14. Heat a small nonstick sauté pan, over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray, add the poblano and roasted corn and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes until warmed through. Set aside for plating
    15. STEP 4
    16. Heat a medium nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the tortillas one at a time and heat for 1 minute on each side. Set aside and keep warm for plating.
    17. In the same pan over medium-high heat, spray lightly with olive oil in a spray bottle. When hot, add remaining shallot and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until softened.
    18. STEP 5
    19. Add the drained black beans and remaining cumin spice blend. Cook for an additional 1 minute.
    20. Reduce heat to medium-low, add 2 tablespoons of water and lightly mash beans with a fork. Cook until the water has been evaporated then add remaining chopped tomato. Add remaining cilantro, juice from the remaining lime, to the beans. Stir to combine, season to taste, and keep warm for serving.
    21. STEP 6
    22. Cut the chicken into ¼-inch pieces.
    23. Place two tortillas each on two plates.
    24. Divide the chicken and poblano and corn mixture between the tortillas.
    25. Top with the prune salsa and serve the tacos with refried beans on the side.
    26. Enjoy!
    Nutrition Information
    Serving size: 2 tacos Calories: 430 Fat: 6 g Saturated fat: 5 Carbohydrates: 63 Sugar: 8 Sodium: 450 mg Fiber: 11 Protein: 34

Chicken Tacos with California Prune Salsa | The Nutrition Twins

 

Moroccan Spiced Shrimp Skewers with Toasted Chickpeas, and California Prunes & Quinoa Salad

You’ve probably figured out by reading our blog that we love our home cooked meals. After all, our website wouldn’t be packed with thousands of recipes if we didn’t!  As registered dietitian nutritionists and personal trainers, we love the flavor we create and how good we feel while we eat them—and how great we feel after—completely satisfied, yet light and energized.  And there’s an added sense of happiness and satisfaction knowing that our recipes meet our nutritious, waistline friendly standards and we know exactly what is going in them. What’s probably not so obvious is that as much as we love cooking, there are many times when we’d rather not bother with the meal prep that is required.  Yup, sometimes, we’d like our yummy, wholesome meals without having to do a thing except assemble the ingredients.  In fact, many of our clients have asked for just that, our meals in delivery kits dropped off right at their doorstep. And that’s why we’re so excited to share with you the launch of 3 of our meals that you can fully enjoy in the comfort of your own home, knowing that they meet all of our nutrition criteria to keep you fueled, beach-ready and completely satisfied.

We’ve teamed up with Chef’d, the awesome home meal delivery service known for delivering fresh, pre-portioned ingredients to make amazing recipes right to your door (you never even need to sign up for a subscription!) and with California Prunes, the sweet, antioxidant-packed fruit we grew up loving, to create these scrumptious meals that will make your taste buds sing and your waistline look like you’ve danced the night away.

An added bonus-

Prunes (We used California prunes because we find them to be the sweetest and juiciest):

Our mom always kept a jar of stewed prunes in the fridge when we we’re growing up and anytime we were craving something sweet, we’d reach for them.  They’re the best way to bust a sugar craving!  Who knew we were also getting these benefits:

  • Research shows that eating 5-6 prunes a day may help support healthy bones and help maintain good digestive health.
  • Prunes are packed with antioxidants called polyphenols, which help keep many parts of your body healthy– ranging from your heart to your eyes to your memory and your immune system.
  •  California Prune growers provide the highest quality prunes in the world.
  • A serving has 3 grams of fiber and contains no fat, sodium or cholesterol at just 100 calories.

Without further ado, here’s one of our three recipes…you could make it at home from scratch, but better yet, you can have all these ingredients, prepped and pre-portioned and delivered from Chef’d straight to your door!  Order yours here!

Moroccan Spiced Shrimp Skewers with Toasted Chickpeas, and California Prunes & Quinoa Salad
 
This simple dish is packed with flavor thanks to all the Moroccan-inspired spices! Smoked paprika, cumin, and a hint of cinnamon spice up the shrimp skewers, which are so quick to cook. The quinoa salad still takes on traditional flavors thanks to the combination of spices, dried fruit, parsley, and lemon, but we added a few fun twists! Traditional Moroccan cuisine uses a lot of couscous and dates, but we swapped those ingredients out for gluten-free, high-protein quinoa and fiber rich California prunes. This dish is filling, flavorful, and unbelievably easy - perfect for any weeknight! EQUIPMENT: -- Rimmed sheet pan -- Small sauce pot with lid -- Medium bowl -- Strainer -- 2 Small bowls -- aluminum foil --4 bamboo skewers
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • INGREDIENTS:
  • Olive oil (in a spray container)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 shallot
  • 1½ oz Matchstick carrots
  • 1 oz Red quinoa
  • 2 oz White quinoa
  • 2 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp Ground cumin
  • ½t sp Ground cinnamon
  • 12 Jumbo shrimp
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 oz California prunes
  • ¼ can Chickpeas
  • ½ oz Fresh parsley
  • ¼ oz Fresh basil
  • ¼ oz Fresh cilantro
  • 1 Garlic clove
Instructions
  1. STEP ONE
  2. Preheat the broiler to high.
  3. Line a rimmed sheet pan with foil.
  4. Finely chop the shallot and chop the carrots into ⅛-inch pieces.
  5. In a small sauce pot with lid, heat 1 teaspoons of olive oil for 1 minute. Add the shallot and carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Add the quinoa and stir for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of water and ONLY 1 teaspoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of cumin, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Stir and bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Pat dry shrimp with paper towels.
  7. Cut the lemon in half. Add the juice of HALF a lemon to a medium bowl, discarding any seeds.
  8. Rinse and pat dry produce prior to use.
  9. STEP TWO
  10. Recommendations for salt and pepper are optional. Please season to taste.
  11. Add remaining paprika, cumin, and cinnamon, and a pinch each of salt and pepper to the medium bowl. Stir to make a loose paste. Add the shrimp; toss well.
  12. Cut the prunes into¼-inch pieces; set aside.
  13. Drain ONLY half the can of chickpeas and pat dry with paper towels. Store remaining chickpeas in a separate container for personal use.
  14. Remove and discard stems from parsley. Finely chop the leaves and place HALF of the leaves in a small bowl. Set aside remaining leaves for step 3.
  15. Remove and discard the stems from the basil and cilantro. Finely chop the herbs and add to the bowl. Add garlic, juice of remaining lemon, discarding any seeds, and 1 teaspoons of olive oil and a pinch each salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.
  16. STEP THREE
  17. In a small bowl, combine the drained chickpeas, 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Place chickpeas onto the prepared baking sheet and broil for 4 to 5 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside for plating.
  18. Thread 3 shrimp each per skewer and wrap the ends of each skewer with a small piece of foil. Place on the same sheet pan and broil for 4 to 5 minutes. Stir prunes and remaining parsley into the quinoa.
  19. (FDA recommends cooking shrimp to a minimum 145°F)
  20. STEP FOUR
  21. Divide the quinoa between two plates.
  22. Top with the toasted chickpeas and lay the shrimp skewers on top.
  23. Serve with the herb sauce on the side.
  24. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 servings Calories: 460 Fat: 9 g Sodium: 290 mg Protein: 32 g

We are honored to have partnered with Chef’d and California prunes to create these meals!

Raspberry Ginger Lime Soda – DIY- Make-Your-Own Natural Soda

Woohoo!! We’re so excited about this!!  After our last newsletter with our Nutrition Twins’ Do Your Body Good Challenge of the Week, with the goal to drink more water and to try to replace soda with some of our “detox” drinks and “flushes” that you’ve requested (hello Orange-Lime Sparkling Refresher, Lemon Mint Detox Drink, Morning Detox Shot,  Sparkling Cucumber Detox and Refresher,  Citrus Reboot and Detox Flush, and Kale Recharge Smoothie)—you know, the ones that we typically suggest to help you to get your mind and body back on the healthy track after overdoing it–and to get there ASAP…

It dawned on us…

With so many people trying to get healthier and cut or cut out all the sugary and artificially sweetened sodas—or at least cut back on them– and with all the DIY sodas trending on pinterest, why don’t we create sodas from our detox drinks?!

This way, our DIY- sodas not only are free of anything artificial and are not loaded with sugar, they’re also healthy for you and have anti-bloat, toxin flushing properties too! And we’ve become quite obsessed with our creations! The cool thing is we simply change the concentration of our “detox” drink to make the concentrate for the soda (yup, we take all the anti-inflammatory goodies to include in the soda!) and from there, we mix the concentrate to create our sodas—and our stars are born!  We hope you love our Raspberry Ginger Lime Soda as much as we do!

 

 

This drink was originally inspired by a cocktail at NYC’s trendy Standard Hotel’s Biergarten. The drink was super delish and had so many components that help to fight inflammation and the damage from too much overindulgence.  Plus it had anti-bloat ingredients and even a few potential fat-burning advantages–minus the splash of vodka that was in that drink, of course 😉—that we knew we had to make it for ourselves!

Why we love this drink and how it works it’s magic

The concentrate contains the same powerful ingredients that are in our Raspberry Ginger Lime Detox Drink, helping you to feel light and bloat-free so it:

1.It instantly gets your mind and body on the healthy track–i.e.- you’ll feel clean, lean & healthy and want to do less damage when you’ve just done something to get healthy!😉

…and sometimes, the most important piece is just getting your mind on the healthy track–even if aren’t able to make this drink, at least drink a huge glass of water–because  just knowing you are starting your day by doing something good for your body can help set the tone for the entire day!

 

  1. It helps to fill your stomach so you eat less when you get to your next meal. Yes!–Drink this so you don’t show up at a meal ravenous and can avoid downing bread at the table, hourderves– and the loads of calories (and the bloat!) that comes with those salty, high calorie numbers!

 

  1. This drink counteracts sodium and the puffiness and bloat that comes with it, so you’ll feel lighter. We’re the first to admit we don’t enjoy feeling bloated from having too much salt or being constipated. That’s why you better believe this drink both hydrates and provides potassium to help you to flush out bloating sodium from your body, “de-puffing” you by restoring normal hydration status.

—-and when you stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluid, you’ll get your digestive tract moving and prevent any bloat from constipation! Who’s got your back…and your belly, baby? We do! 😉

Benefits you’ll get from:

The vitamin C:

It’s coming from the raspberries, lime and from the mint and will make your skin glow by promoting collagen formation. (Plus being hydrated from this drink helps your skin to glow and you can kiss goodbye to a puffy face and eyes as it flushes bloating salt). 🙂

It acts as an immune-booster to help strengthen your body to prepare it for any havoc it may go through.

 

The lime:

We love lemons and limes and really spritz them over everything! They are a great flavor sub for salt too. Pssst…careful when you open Lyssie’s fridge–a lime from the packed cold-zone may drop out on your toe!

  • The ideal flushing food–packed with potassium and water to restore normal fluid balance and flush out any bloating salt that may be causing you to store water and puffiness.
  • Great source of vitamin C

The Ginger:

By now you know, this is one of our faves, especially Lyssie, who tosses it in everything she eats, she must think it’s candy! (healthy candy, of course!  )  Ginger soothes the stomach and intestinal tract, and has anti-inflammatory properties that protect cells from harmful free radicals. Ginger is ideal to help you to reset your body so you can arrive at the event with a calm, intestinal tract, free of tummy troubles and bloat.

 

The Mint:

We like to think of mint as a peace maker in the body 😉 It eases indigestion and calms the stomach, possibly by improving the flow of bile through the stomach, which helps to speed and ease digestion. Thanks in part to it’s anti-inflammatory antioxidant rosmarinic acid, it “calms your insides” to ease the havoc inside your body!

 

The Raspberries:

Research suggests they actually may assist in weight loss (yahoo!) because they contain the phytochemical C3G that may increase production of both adiponectin (which enhances fat metabolism) and leptin (which suppresses appetite).  Plus, raspberries powerful, anti-aging and disease-fighting phytonutrients arm your body for any assault coming it’s way! Oh yeah!

 

Raspberry Ginger Lime Soda- DIY- Make-Your-Own Natural Soda

What we’ve done here is we’ve taken all the goodies from our Raspberry Ginger Lime “Detox” Drink and made a concentrate to use for making the soda to give you all the healing properties in a 20-calorie natural soda!

 

Makes 1 cup concentrate, 4 cups of soda.

Ingredients:

Raspberry Ginger Lime Concentrate:

¼ cup frozen raspberries

½ lime, sliced

1 tsp chopped or sliced ginger

3 mint leaves

1 cup water

 

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a pitcher or large jar and smash them with the back of a wooden spoon to release juices.
  2. Add the water and stir.
  3. Let infuse in the fridge overnight, then strain.
  4. To make soda: combine ¼ cup concentrate with ¾ cup seltzer water and 1 tsp simple syrup (recipe below)

 

Simple Syrup Ingredients:

1 cup water

1 cup sugar (organic, preferably); you can use honey if you prefer.

Directions:

Simmer the water and sugar, stirring occasionally until completely dissolved.  Let cool.

Note: Start by adding a teaspoon of syrup to your natural soda and slowly add more, if needed.  Each teaspoon simple syrup has approximately 15 calories and 4 grams of carbs (sugar).

Nutrition info per 8-oz serving of soda with 1 teaspoon simple syrup: 20 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg sodium, 3 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 0.2 g protein

 

Raspberry Ginger Lime Soda - DIY- Make-Your-Own Natural Soda
 
Makes 1 cup concentrate, 4 cups of soda.
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • Raspberry Ginger Lime Concentrate:
  • ¼ cup frozen raspberries
  • ½ lime, sliced
  • 1 tsp chopped or sliced ginger
  • 3 mint leaves
  • 1 cup water
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a pitcher or large jar and smash them with the back of a wooden spoon to release juices.
  2. Add the water and stir.
  3. Let infuse in the fridge overnight, then strain.
  4. To make soda:
  5. combine ¼ cup concentrate with ¾ cup seltzer water and 1 tsp simple syrup (recipe below)
  6. Simple Syrup Ingredients:
  7. cup water
  8. cup sugar (organic, preferably); you can use honey if you prefer.
  9. Simmer the water and sugar, stirring occasionally until completely dissolved.  Let cool.
  10. Note: Start by adding a teaspoon of syrup to your natural soda and slowly add more, if needed.
  11. Each teaspoon simple syrup has approximately 15 calories and 4 grams of carbs (sugar).
  12. Nutrition info per 8-oz serving of soda with 1 teaspoon simple syrup: 20 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg sodium, 3 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 0.2 g protein

Creamy Peppermint Patty Smoothie

It’s no joke.  These veggie-loving registered dietitians have a serious sweet tooth.  We work hard to keep them in check and we’re always concocting different creations that tantalize the taste buds without putting health and waistlines at risk.  This lil’ number was inspired by our love of Peppermint patty’s, which we pretty much only used to have at Halloween, but the delicious memory of it makes our mouths water all year long! 🙂  Yep, this low-calorie refreshing smoothie squashes chocolate cravings and flushes bloat and is a throwback to one of our favorite childhood candies…

 

Growing up in a healthy household, Halloween was the one time of year where we actually had candy in the house—and we were allowed to have one piece for dessert each night, until we ran out. We were certain to make the most of our Halloween candy since we wouldn’t be so lucky for another year—so after we’d go trick-or-treating, we’d have candy trading sessions with our friends where we’d trade off least favorite candy for ones that included chocolate. Turns out that one of our all -time favorite candies back then, is surprisingly one that as registered dietitians, we consider a better option—peppermint patties! The calories and fat are fairly low compared to most candies and mint is refreshing and satisfying and chocolate hits the spot. And we’ve found that any recipe that includes either of these ingredients is very satisfying—like our Oreo No-Bake Mint Balls, Homemade Skinny Strawberry Mint Ice Cream and our Thin Mint Dip and now this hit!

This Creamy Peppermint Patty Smoothie is refreshing and satisfies chocolate cravings all while flushing bloat! The banana and avocado not only make this smoothie rich and creamy, they also provide a good source of potassium. Potassium helps to decrease bloat by flushing excess water the body is holding on to in order to dilute large amounts of sodium. The fiber in this smoothie helps to keep you regular, preventing waste from staying in your digestive tract, so it also helps alleviate bloating. And avocado is one of the better sources of glutathione which is key in detoxification in the small intestine and in boosting the health of the digestive system. So when you want a tasty treat that will squash cravings and beat the bloat too, blend up this waistline-friendly drink!

Creamy Peppermint Patty Smoothie

This Creamy Peppermint Patty Smoothie is a perfect dessert or afternoon pick-me-up when you’re craving something sweet and refreshing that won’t leave you feeling drowsy. Carob powder is a great alternative to chocolate–it has a mildly sweet, nutty flavor and is high in minerals and fiber.¹ If you don’t have carob powder on hand, or prefer a stronger chocolate flavor, feel free to use cocoa powder or raw cacao powder instead.

 

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients
1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk

1 very ripe medium banana,* sliced and frozen

1/2 scoop organic chocolate protein powder *optional (approximately 60 calories & 10 grams of protein); this is optional but without it, the smoothie won’t be as satisfying

1/4 avocado

1 1/2 cup ice cubes

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 Tbs. raw carob powder (OK to use cacao or cocoa powder)

1/4 tsp. peppermint extract or a small handful of fresh mint leaves

Directions:
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!
*If your banana isn’t that ripe, and you’d like a sweeter smoothie, you can add a little stevia or honey to taste. Note that honey will add some calories to the nutrition facts below.

Nutrition Facts: 185 Calories, 4 g Fat, 0 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 83 mg Sodium, 22 g Carbohydrate, 5 g Fiber, 11 g Sugar, 12 g Protein

 

Creamy Peppermint Patty Smoothie
 
Author:
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 very ripe medium banana,* sliced and frozen
  • ¼ avocado
  • 1½ cup ice cubes
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs. raw carob powder (OK to use cacao or cocoa powder)
  • ¼ tsp. peppermint extract or a small handful of fresh mint leaves
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!
  2. *If your banana isn't that ripe, and you’d like a sweeter smoothie, you can add a little stevia or honey to taste. Note that honey will add some calories to the nutrition facts below.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 serving Calories: 125 Fat: 4 Saturated fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 22 g Fiber: 5 g Protein: 2 g

 

Download Your Free Avocado e-Recipe Book!

If you’ve read our blog, you know that we’re girls who love our avocados!  We’ve whipped them up from everything from chocolate mousse to smoothies– and of course everything in between.  We’re obsessed with the creamy, deliciousness of avocados, and of course as registered dietitians, we love that avocados are superstars when it comes to good-for-your-heart monounsaturated fat and disease-fighting antioxidants.  Plus, avocados are what we like to call nutrient-boosters– and they boost nutrients in a major way.  The fat in the avocado helps you to absorb fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. So if you’re eating a salad, add a little avocado and suddenly you’re better able to absorb the beta carotene from the bell peppers and tomatoes.  Yep, it’s that easy!

If you love avocados as much as we do, you’ll be so excited about this free recipe book from Avocados from Mexico, who we partnered with for this awesome giveaway!  Simply follow this link for your free recipe book!

 

You’ll get recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner– and everything green in between! 🙂

 

 

We’ve proudly partnered with Avocados from Mexico for this giveaway!

 

Hummus Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers

We’re always up for a challenge—and especially when it comes to anything physical—or anything in the kitchen.  (If you saw us on the Food Network’s show Chopped, you know we mean business! 😉 ) Thankfully, in our family, we’re not short on either kind of challenge.  This time, Tammy’s husband requested healthy jalapeno poppers for the upcoming big Super Bowl game–but realizing that wasn’t so much of a challenge– he knew that these twin sister registered dietitians wouldn’t serve anything less than healthy 😉 , so he upped the ante.  He also requested them to be sweet, crunchy, creamy and spicy (he LOVES spicy!) — so we put our chef hats on.  Game on!  We created these Hummus Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers– and they take it two steps further– not only are they waistline friendly, they’re little healthy powerhouses– packed with nutrients, antioxidants and health benefits galore. 🙂

 

Psst… want more jalapeno poppers?  Try our Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers.

If you think that just because we’re registered dietitians we don’t love creamy, crunchy, sweet & spicy comfort food, you’ve got the wrong girls!  😉 In fact, many of you probably know from reading our blog that we love sweets!  And, let’s face it,  of course who doesn’t love creamy and crunchy food–so the request for these poppers is so up our alley! And we love spicy food too.  Ever since we were little girls and our dad lovingly teased us and said that eating spicy food made you stronger and more “manly” (yep, we were tomboys and daddy’s little girls –and being like him–and more “manly” was strangely quite attractive to us in those days!), we were sold! We’d load our food with hot red pepper flakes, and enjoy every bite of it!

 

 

These poppers are perfect for enjoying while tailgating or serving as a healthy appetizer before a party, they’re the ideal healthy comfort food! Filled with hummus, tomatoes, California prunes, and feta cheese and walnuts, you can get your appetizer fix without getting all that extra fat and calories—and at 50 calories a serving, you really can’t go wrong.

(Psst… looking for more lightened up recipes? Please feel free to search this site! And here are a few to try…
Skinny Potato Skins
Skinny Mash
Comfort Food Reinvented Apple Pie
Microwave Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies )

Aside from tantalizing your taste buds, here are a few other reasons you can feel good about eating these lil’ bursts of yum!   They’re truly nutrient powerhouses!

 

 

They’re meat-free and packed with flavor, so they’re perfect if you’re serving vegetarian guests or trying to cut back on meat and fearful that you have to cut out all the flavorful stuff!

 

Chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans)/ all pulses: these reside in our apartments year-round and are a great source of protein and fiber and can help lower your cholesterol.

• All pulses (the delicious, protein-packed, sustainable foods you know as dried peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas), contain both fiber & protein: If you’ve spent any time on our blog, you know that this magical combination helps to keep you satisfied, keep your energy on an even keel and keep your blood sugar level stable.

  • If you’ve ever tried black bean humus, that works great in these poppers too!

• Pssst….fun fact: 2016 was declared International Year of Pulses (IYP) by the United Nations.

• Research show that pulses (like chickpeas), aid in weight loss even when calories aren’t restricted. Check out this 2016 study, that found that it was just 3/4 cup of pulses per day that worked!

 

Prunes (We used California prunes because we find them to be the sweetest and juiciest):

Our mom kept always kept a jar of stewed prunes in the fridge when we we’re growing up and anytime we were craving something sweet, we’d reach for them.  They were the best way to bust a sugar craving!  Who knew we were also getting these benefits:

  • Research shows that eating 5-6 prunes a day may help support healthy bones and help maintain good digestive health
  • Prunes are packed with antioxidants called polyphenols, which help keep many parts of your body healthy– ranging from your heart to your eyes to your memory and your immune system.

 

Tomatoes: 

  • Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, which not only helps to fight cancer, but also keeps your skin youthful by acting as a natural sunblock.

 

Walnuts:

  • Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids: most of us don’t get enough omega- 3’s in our life and need more because they help lower the risk of heart disease, depression, dementia, and arthritis and they help contribute to, gorgeous, moisturized skin!

 

Hummus Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers

Makes 8 Servings (16 poppers)

Ingredients: 

For Hummus (Note: If you don’t have time to make hummus from scratch, choose your favorite store bought variety):

1 can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained (19 0z)

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp red pepper

1/4 cup water

1 lemon

(Use about half of the hummus for the stuffed jalapenos and save the rest!)

Jalapeno:

8 Jalapenos, sliced in half, seeds removed (we suggest using gloves if jalapenos typically burn your skin)

Oil in a spray container (we used avocado oil)

5-6 grape tomatoes, finely chopped

1/8 cup feta cheese

5-6 California prunes, finely chopped (we munched on the extras)

2 tsp. chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Line baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper* (using tin foil will give you a crunchier jalapeno, but after cooking with it for years, we’ve been avoiding doing so to lower our exposure to aluminum). Spray lightly with oil in spray jar.
  3. Place jalapenos sliced side down on parchment paper (or tin foil) and very lightly spray/ mist with oil.  Bake 10 minutes. Then remove and put on parchment paper.
  4. Meanwhile, while the jalapenos are cooking, add the beans, garlic, cayenne pepper, red pepper, and water to a food processor and blend. Cut the lemon in half, and squeeze the juice of each half into the food processor.
  5. Mix the ingredients together until smooth.
  6. Place the hummus in a Ziploc baggie, clip a corner and use that to pipe the hummus into the cooled jalapeños.. (Alternatively, use a small spoon to stuff the hummus in the peppers.)
  7. Fill each jalapeno shell completely with hummus and top with prunes, tomatoes, walnuts and feta! Enjoy!

 

*We prefer using unbleached parchment paper over aluminum foil due to possible health concern that foil use might contribute to the buildup of aluminum found in the brains of some Alzheimer’s patient as well as contribute to osteoporosis—and our family is no stranger to either of these diseases, so we prefer not to take chances!

Nutrition Information per serving (2 poppers):

50 Calories; 8 g carbohydrate; 1.5 g fat; 3 g protein; 115 mg sodium: 3 g sugar; 2 .5 g fiber

Hummus Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers
 
Author:
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • Makes 8 Servings (16 poppers)
  • Ingredients:
  • For Hummus (Note: If you don't have time to make hummus from scratch, choose your favorite store bought variety):
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained (19 0z)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp red pepper
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 lemon
  • (Use about half of the hummus for the stuffed jalapenos and save the rest!)
  • Jalapeno:
  • 8 Jalapenos, sliced in half, seeds removed (we suggest using gloves if jalapenos typically burn your skin)
  • Oil in a spray container (we used avocado oil)
  • 5-6 grape tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ⅛ cup feta cheese
  • 5-6 California prunes, finely chopped (we munched on the extras)
  • 2 tsp. chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Directions:
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Line baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper* (using tin foil will give you a crunchier jalapeno, but after cooking with it for years, we’ve been avoiding doing so to lower our exposure to aluminum). Spray lightly with oil in spray jar.
  4. Place jalapenos sliced side down on parchment paper (or tin foil) and very lightly spray/ mist with oil. Bake 10 minutes. Then remove and put on parchment paper.
  5. Meanwhile, while the jalapenos are cooking, add the beans, garlic, cayenne pepper, red pepper, and water to a food processor and blend. Cut the lemon in half, and squeeze the juice of each half into the food processor.
  6. Mix the ingredients together until smooth.
  7. Place the hummus in a Ziploc baggie, clip a corner and use that to pipe the hummus into the cooled jalapeños.. (Alternatively, use a small spoon to stuff the hummus in the peppers.)
  8. Fill each jalapeno shell completely with hummus and top with prunes, tomatoes, walnuts and feta! Enjoy!
  9. *We prefer using unbleached parchment paper over aluminum foil due to possible health concern that foil use might contribute to the buildup of aluminum found in the brains of some Alzheimer's patient as well as contribute to osteoporosis—and our family is no stranger to either of these diseases, so we prefer not to take chances!
  10. Nutrition Information per serving (2 poppers):
  11. Calories; 8 g carbohydrate; 1.5 g fat; 3 g protein; 115 mg sodium: 3 g sugar; 2 .5 g fiber
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 Poppers Calories: 50 calories Fat: 1.5 g Carbohydrates: 8 g Sodium: 115 mg Fiber: 2.5 g Protein: 3 g