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Stuffed Chicken Breasts In A Lemon Garlic Wine Sauce

Transitioning from winter to spring in Colorado is always an adventure.  The days will be warm and sunny but the early mornings and evenings are still pretty chilly.  Sometimes we’ll have the occasional snow storm to keep us on our toes.  I wanted to create a meal that was light and fitting for spring but still hearty enough to stand up to those random snow days.

I decided on cream cheese stuffed chicken breasts and made a lovely sauce to go on top using 2014 Cultivar Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc.  The dish came out beautifully!

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with a Lemon Garlic Sauce

Andrea’s Stuffed Chicken Breasts In A Lemon Garlic Wine Sauce

  • 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 4 oz Herb/Chive Cream Cheese (I used Kite Hill Almond Milk Cream Cheese)
  • 1/2 TBSP Garlic Blend Seasoning* (See note at bottom)
  • 1 TBSP Light Olive Oil or Melted Ghee
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • Zest of 1 Small Lemon
  • 1 TBSP Ghee or Butter
  • 2 TBSP Chopped Parsley
  • 1/2 C White Wine
  • Juice of 1/2 a Small Lemon
  • Toothpicks

Preheat oven to 4oo degrees.  Add in 1 TBSP of oil or Melted Ghee to a oven proof skillet, set aside.

Pound out the chicken breasts until they are about 1/2 – 1/4 inch thin. Thin enough to be able to roll them but not so thin that they fall apart.

Sprinkle some of the garlic seasoning blend on each side of the chicken breasts.  Divide the cream cheese into half ( 2 oz portions) and spread 2 oz on one of the chicken breasts.  Roll up the chicken and secure with toothpicks.  Repeat with the other chicken.

Place the stuffed chicken breasts in the skillet and place in the oven.  Cook for about 15 minutes or until cooked all the way through.  Remove the skillet from the oven and place the chicken on plates allowing to rest as you make the sauce.

In the same skillet that you used to cook the chicken, heat over medium heat and add in the ghee or butter.  Then add in the parsley, garlic, and lemon zest.  Stir and cook for 1 minute, then add in the wine.  Allow to simmer for three minutes and then add in the lemon juice.  Cook for an additional minute and then pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.

This makes a good bit of sauce so there will be extra for serving!

* I used Flavor God’s Garlic Lover’s seasoning but you can use any garlic blend you like.  Or you can season simply with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Pan sauces with meats is one of my favorite combinations so I tend to make a good bit of sauce because I like having extra for dipping or drizzling on some greens or broccoli.

The 2014 Cultivar Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc  brought this dish to life. The clean crispness of the wine lightened the decadent cream cheese while the bright citrus notes complimented the lemon and made this dish pop.

This chicken is perfect for those early spring days when it’s starting to be light out longer but the evenings remind us that winter is still there in the background.

If you’d like to try Cultivar Wine , they are offering a special promotion to my readers. Use the code CultivarWineFoodEmbrace when you order and you’ll receive 10 percent off your purchase.

Disclosure: I’m required to disclose a sponsored partnership between our site, Food Embrace, and Cultivar Wine. I have been compensated in exchange for this post in the form of product. All opinions presented are my own. I receive wine from Cultivar Wine as a member of the Cultivar Wine Bloggers group.

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Review: Sun Basket Meal Delivery Service

I was recently contacted by Sun Basket, which is a meal delivery service, to test out their program in exchange for a review.  As I’m currently still learning how to balance life with two jobs, this opportunity came at just the right time.

Meal planning is a big deal when you have two jobs and work weekends (I’ll dive deeper into this in another post) and while I try to have everything set each week, sometimes it doesn’t happen.  I’m not perfect and that’s the reality of life.

This is why I was willing to try Sun Basket and their meals.  I would have a plan, all the ingredients, plus the recipe to put the meals together as soon as I got home from work.  Sun Basket’s philosophy towards food mirrors my own, they focus on organic and sustainable ingredients along with organic and naturally raised meats.  They have several dietary options including Paleo, Vegetarian, and Gluten-Free.  Since I eat a mostly Primal/Paleo diet, I appreciated this attention to detail.

Sun Basket Meal Delivery Service

I signed up for three of their Paleo meals and the box arrived a few days later.  Everything was in it’s own package (for the picture, I double bagged the meat/fish), clearly labeled, and included the recipe cards.  Plus full instructions on how to return the box and shipping materials so they can be recycled and reused.

There was a nice variety of proteins and veggies with each meal.  The meals for that week were:

  • Seared steaks with porcini pan sauce and sauteed chard with sweet potato.
  • Pan-seared salmon with fennel, capers, and olives.
  • Chicken salmoriglio with charred broccolini.

Each meal is pretty substantial in size, easily serving both my husband and myself.  Two portions of protein were included for each meal along with veggies to create a side dish.  The only meal that didn’t have as much of a veggie side was the salmon so we had to supplement that with a side salad.  Not a big deal, that was easy and quick to put together.

What I liked most about these dishes were the creative use of vegetables along with creating pan sauces to go with the proteins.  It gave me some ideas to use for future meals along with introducing in some veggies that I haven’t had much of before, such as fennel and broccolini.

The meals are easy to put together and some of them can be turned into one pot meals, which when you just got off work and it’s late, these are greatly appreciated.

Sun Basket Chicken Salmoriglio with Broccolini

Currently Sun Basket offers free delivery to CA, WA, CO, UT, OR, AZ, NV, and ID.  The price start at $11.49 per meal and as I mentioned, each meal can either feed two people or provide leftovers for the next day.  Honestly, that’s a pretty great deal for meal delivery service.  You can pick a meal plan or create your own by picking individual meals you’d like delivered.

If you’re considering meal delivery service or are interested in learning more, definitely check out Sun Basket and see what they have to offer.  I think you’ll be pleased with the service and quality of the meals.

 

Disclaimer: Sun Basket reached out and offered me meals in exchange for a review. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions are my own.

 

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Maple Bacon Wrapped Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates

I wanted to make a snack that would be the perfect little bite. Something that could go before a meal or be a nice treat after. I had some dates and decided to stuff those with creamy earthy goat cheese then wrap them in savory smokey bacon.  These turned out better than I could have hoped and paired so well with the 2013 Calistoga Cabernet Sauvignon that Cultivar Wine recently sent me.

Cultivar Wine with Stuffed Dates

 

My husband is a HUGE fan of these little dates.  He basically wants them available at all times so he can enjoy a date or two in the evenings. This is very high praise, he doesn’t usually request things to have on hand.

They are super simple to make but give the illusion of being very fancy. Their decadent taste certainly helps support the hype. Perfect for get-togethers and special occasions.  Or just because it’s Tuesday, your choice. No judging from me.

Andrea’s Maple Bacon Wrapped Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates

  • 12 Dates, split and pitted (**See Note)
  • 6 Slices of Bacon, cut in half
  • 4 oz Goat Cheese
  • 1 TBSP Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Light Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 375 and line a small baking sheet with foil, brush the olive oil all over the foil. Make sure the dates are not cut in half but just split down the middle lengthwise.  Fill each date with some goat cheese (about 1/2 tsp each) and then wrap in bacon. Make sure the seam side is down when you place the dates on the baking sheet.  Continue until all dates are stuffed and wrapped.

Place baking sheet in oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Watch to be sure the bacon doesn’t burn. Right before removing the dates from the oven, brush each date with maple syrup.  Continue to bake for another two minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Serve immediately or can be stored in the fridge in an air tight container.

**I used regular dates but you can use medjool dates if preferred. Those are larger so you may need more goat cheese for the filling.

You can get even fancier and used bourbon barrel aged maple syrup if you like.

I highly recommend making a big batch of these if you will be having them at a gathering because they will go quickly! One batch is perfect for date night but you’ll need more for a bigger crowd.

Since these guys are on the sweeter side I decided to pair them with Cultivar Wine’s 2013 Calistoga Cabernet Sauvignon which worked beautifully.  The black pepper and tobacco notes brought out the smokiness of the bacon and maple syrup while the dryer finish helped balance out the sweetness.  The wine also accentuated the creaminess of the goat cheese and complimented its earthy flavor.

You can also make these dates ahead of time and then gently reheat them at 350 for about 5 minutes before serving.

If you’d like to try Cultivar Wine , they are offering a special promotion to my readers. Use the code CultivarWineFoodEmbrace when you order and you’ll receive 10 percent off your purchase.

Disclosure: I’m required to disclose a sponsored partnership between our site, Food Embrace, and Cultivar Wine. I have been compensated in exchange for this post in the form of product. All opinions presented are my own. I receive wine from Cultivar Wine as a member of the Cultivar Wine Bloggers group. 

 

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My Whole 30 Experience

Mini Squash

Going into the Whole 30, I wasn’t really expecting to learn much of anything.  In fact, I wasn’t expecting anything about myself to change at all regarding food.  We eat really well and already eat a mostly primal diet with a few treats here and there.  I thought I knew everything about myself and the Whole 30 showed me that I was wrong.

I went into this challenge to start the year off by eating super clean and to work on losing the bloat and the few pounds I gained over the last few months. (A beer job means you have to drink beer which means that needs to be balanced out somehow. Lesson learned.)

Spoiler Alert: It worked.  Really well.

But during these 30 days I learned a lot about myself and how food affects so many different things aside from my waistline.  I’m already pretty intuitive when it comes to food and how it makes me feel.  The Whole 30 multiplied that by 100.  I’m in awe and completely inspired.  Here are just a few things that I’m coming away with from doing this challenge:

Take It Black

I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that I’m now drinking my coffee black, this is still the case. I have no desire for any sweetened almond milk added to my coffee.  The craziest I get is adding a little ground spice to the ground beans and brewing for a little extra flavor.

Added Sugar Is Everywhere

It was hard to find things like deli meats and sausages that did not have some form of added sugar to them.  While the amount is small, it is not allowed during the challenge.  This was my biggest frustration because we love sausages and eat them often.  I did find some compliant ones and they were alright.  I don’t want to see another chicken and apple sausage for a very long time though.

Cheese? What Is Cheese?

I was talking with another challenger about missing bacon and she mentioned that she missed cheese. This stopped me dead in my tracks because up until that point I hadn’t even given cheese a second thought. I did not miss it or even thought about it once during this challenge.  WHOA  I had considered myself a lover of cheese yet I completely forgot about it. I’ve had a nibble since the end of the challenge and it was – OK.  Just OK.  I’m currently questioning who I am and the meaning of life at this point.

Yogurt Is In

Yogurt I can handle in small amounts and I’m OK with that.  I do love yogurt and it’s also one of the things I missed during this challenge.  I’m happy to have it back in my life.

Sleep Is Amazing

My sleep, which had been spotty for a while now (and by while, I mean years), has returned to normal. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I can easily fall back asleep.  I’m not restless and I don’t have night sweats (which I get from wheat and alcohol).

Energy

I had plenty of energy and was able to handle working out just fine.  I felt a little tired towards the end of the day but in a natural, I’m-Ready-For-Bed way and not from feeling run down.

Empty Food Is Empty

I’ve had a few snack items, like some chips and they were completely unsatisfying. They didn’t even taste as good as they used to.  It’s completely true that in 1 month you can change your approach, taste, and relationship with food.  I don’t want to reach for junk because it does not satisfy and does not provide my body with anything good.  I’d much rather have real food.

Meal planning and prepping has also become a part of my regular routine.  This has helped so much during the busy work week that I don’t know why I didn’t start this sooner.

Even my husband’s tastes and attitude towards food has changed and for the better.  Aside from a few items added back in we’ll be sticking with a mostly paleo/primal diet.  There were times I got really annoyed and frustrated with this challenge but in the end I’m so glad that we did it.  I walked away learning that much more about food, nutrition, and my own body.

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Whole 30 Week 2 and 3 Recap

Tuna salad in a collard wrap with side salad.

 

I just wrapped up Week 3 of the Whole 30 Challenge.  So far things have been going really well.  The diet isn’t that hard to maintain and while it seems restrictive, the reality is that this challenge is not that hard. Fill your plate with veggies and some protein, that’s the basic concept.  That’s pretty easy when you can simplify it like that.

Things that I’ve learned so far during Week 2 and Week 3:

Prepping Protein Is Important

With my work schedule and busy off days, having protein ready to go for lunch is an important meal prepping step. There were a few times where I didn’t have any ready so carving out time to make some put me behind schedule.  Lesson learned, I need to have lots of protein prepped and in the fridge.

Re-heatable Breakfasts Is Key

Making a large fritatta to have ready for the week is also an important step for my schedule.  I did not make one this week and on the days I worked, having to make breakfast for myself and Scott put me a little behind schedule as well.

Prep Dinner The Night Before

On the days I work, I have to take dinner with me.  Leftovers are the easiest thing for me to pack up and take to work. I need to make sure that the night before I pack up my dinner so that it’s ready to go the next day. If I have to spend time packing it up before I leave for work that cuts into my schedule when I could be doing something else.

The biggest lesson these past two weeks has been to make sure that I meal plan and prep for the coming week.  Otherwise I’m scrambling to get stuff made for meals and that takes away from time I could be spending on other things that need my attention.  For this last week, I fully plan on prepping and planning a great deal this weekend so that the 4th week is successful.

I’ve learned a lot along the way and I’ll be sharing all about that when the challenge is completed.