Jalapeno Popper Chicken - Low Carb

So, after making this recipe a few times, and absolutely loving it every time, I finally took my time to make it AND take pictures to post and share! (Thank you Erica for letting me use your kitchen as a background while I was visiting <3 )

This might be one of my favorite meals, and as Matthew puts it, "This stuff changes your life." That being said, I think one of my favorite parts about eating low-carb is that "good foods" like bacon and cheeses are still on the menu. It takes some getting used to, but if you give it an honest effort and give Pinterest a good look over, this is a way of eating that doesn't have to be bland or boring which makes it a more sustainable diet than some others you may have seen. (I use the term diet here as "the way a person eats" definition rather than "eating habits to lose weight" definition.)

A little warning here, the "breading" or topping is made out of pork rinds, which deters some away from it, but just try it! If you're not on board the low-carb/keto-train that's fine, this is still delicious and you can easily switch out the pork rinds for a bread crumb of your choice. Or modify any of the ingredients to fit your style for that matter. 

What you need:

  • 4-6 chicken breasts
  • 5-7 slices of bacon
  • 1/4 cup jalapeno slices
  • 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 oz bag of pork skins
  • 4 TBSP butter

 

First things first, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put the chicken in a 9x13 pan and bake. Suggested use for this recipe is 6 chicken breasts, but I find that using 4 makes for a better chicken to cheesy jalapeno mixture ratio.

I usually cook the chicken for 20 minutes on one side, flip and season it, and 20 minutes on the other side. Feel free to use whatever seasonings you wish but for this dish, most of the time I just use salt and pepper.

Next thing to do is cook up the bacon. The original recipe called for 5 slices, but we like bacon, so sometimes it ends up being closer to 7... As far as cooking, it doesn't really matter how you do it, until recently I used an indoor electric grill but recently switched to just throwing it in the oven for a few minutes with the chicken. Or you can go a completely different route and cook it on the stove top. However you decide to do it, cook it and let it cool so that you can have it cut and ready to mix in with the other deliciousness.

The next thing to do is to make sure you get your jalapenos cut and cream cheese softened because those are going in next.

Mix together the diced bacon slices, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, jalapenos, mayonnaise and half of the parmesan cheese (half cup).

Once that is well blended, crush the bag of pork skins, melt the butter and mix those two things in a separate bowl with the rest of the Parmesan cheese.

By this time the chicken should be getting close to being done. Once it is cooked through, take the chicken out of the oven and turn the temperature down to 350 degrees.

Spread the cheese mixture on top of each chicken breast. After that, add the pork rind topping. Put the chicken back in the oven for 15 minutes or so to let everything warm up and the topping brown a bit.

And boom! Finished! One of the greatest things that may ever enter your mouth! ENJOY!

 

Jalapeno Popper Chicken - Low Carb

How Am I Eating These Days (March 2016) : Primal, Paleo, Ketosis, Intermittent Fasting

Hey! It's Monday and I'm ready to get this week started!

So, those of you that have followed this blog from the beginning may have noticed that I like to experiment with the way I eat. I went the vegetarian route for 6 months, I gave up coffee for a month, I tried to give up alcohol for a while, and I talked about the importance of giving up sugar. So now what am I up to....?! Well, here's just a brief overview. (I might go into more detail in later posts, )

I've recently been working on changing things up a little bit and it includes a little bit of the following...primal, paleo, ketosis, and intermittent fasting. Let me breakdown each of these terms and kind of share how I'm using each. (Keep in mind I'm not following any of these to their exact technical definition.)

PRIMAL BLUEPRINT

The Primal Blueprint is a program created by Mark Sisson that is closely related to the paleo diet.

The basics of the Primal Blueprint are these 10 "laws":

  1. Eat Plants and Animals - Eat natural, satisfying foods
  2. Avoid Poisonous Things - aka processed foods (trans and partially hydrogenated oils, sugars, and grains.
  3. Move Frequently at a Slow Pace - enhance fat metabolism and avoid burnout
  4. Lift Heavy Things - Brief, intense sessions of functional full-body movements
  5. Sprint Once in a While - optimal gene expression and beneficial hormone flow
  6. Get Adequate Sleep - align circadian rhythm with sun for optimal immune, brain, and endocrine function
  7. Play - balance stress, physical fun; brief breaks or hours can increase mental and physical well-being
  8. Get Adequate Sunlight - GO OUTSIDE, help synthesize vitamin D for healthy cell function
  9. Avoid Stupid Mistakes - risk management
  10. Use Your Brain - engage in creative and stimulating activities to nurture mental and over all health

For now, I'm really concentrating on the eating side of this program and focusing on low-carb and replacing those carbs in my diet with fats. Basically, lots of avocados...haha.

So far, what I've read about this whole lifestyle is quite intriguing and seems like a good way to do life.

I'm working on reading the book now, I definitely recommend it for anyone interested in healthy lifestyles. Get it through Amazon below.

 

PALEO

The Paleo diet and the Primal Blueprint share many of the same features but vary slightly. The role of saturated fats in the diet and how much they are encouraged is a major difference between the two, or at least it was. Now that difference in the two diets based on fats has diminished by Paleo now including the saturated fats. Another difference that is still apparent is consumption of dairy products. These are included in Primal diets, but not in some Paleo. Then again, it all depends on the individual take on the diet. Really, these two are quite similar, the Primal Blueprint, however, does offer more of a full lifestyle program rather than just the diet guidelines.

You can find comparisons here and here.

KETOSIS

The state of your body being in ketosis occurs when the body uses fat for a primary fuel source rather than carbohydrates.

Here's an idea from the Primal Blueprint resources as to how many carbs daily is associated with weight gain, maintenance, loss, and ketosis.

This curve will vary depending how many totally calories you're eating and how much fat you intake as well. I usually remain at or just below the 100g mark.

Exogenous ketones are one way to increase the process of ketosis (that process and explanation could get pretty lengthy, so I'll safe it for another day). Here is a product that I just recently started using a few days ago. I'm not sure if its working yet, but I haven't had any negative side effects which is a huge plus. Find it below on Amazon.

 

I by no means believe that I am in full ketosis or know that I will be anytime soon. It's not easy to get there. Although, I do feel as though my body is using the fat I intake and other fat stores efficiently as fuel.

INTERMITTENT FASTING

The article listed here is a great explanation of intermittent fasting and where I heard about the idea of doing so. Laura Williams was featured on the Onnit Total Human Optimization podcast where she mentioned how to partake in this type of fasting. The podcast can be found here.

Intermittent fasting is a way to encourage ketosis. I don't do full day or every other day fasts but rather participate in giving myself an "eating window" that is about 10 hours a day. I tend to work late or eat late so I eat between the hours of noon and 10pm. I know, I know, I'm skipping breakfast, the most important meal of the day. I'm breaking all the rules, yeah I get it. BUT, even though I fast throughout the morning I don't let myself eat unhealthy foods as some type of "reward" and I don't over eat for my first meal. I feel that many people skip breakfast and are so hungry by the time that they get to that first meal that they eat too much. I'm no scientist and I can't prove anything, but I do know that it is part of a plan that is working for me, so I can't knock it too much.

 

I hope to be posting examples of meals and foods I've been eating in the next few weeks to give more insight. Some may be featured on the Instagram page, so stay updated!

Please post any questions or comments below!

Have a great week!