Light Jalapeno Poppers with Sausage

Jalapeno Poppers with Sausage5
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Last Saturday we spent the day at a BBQ on Glen Island celebrating the first birthday of our good friends’ son. They grilled up a storm  and had a ton of food set out.  When we came home from the party we stuffed from all the great food they had and couldn’t imagine cooking a full dinner. Because we didn’t get home until close to 6:00, we knew that we would want something light before the end of the day. After some back and forth we decided to make over our favorite appetizer, Jalapeno Poppers with Sausage.

Our inspiration for this recipe comes from Taste of Home. Their Sausage-Stuffed Jalapeno recipe is already a lighter than Jalapeno Poppers that are filled with cheese, breaded and fried. However, the pork sausage and full fat cream cheese in this recipe kills you if you are trying to eat light, so we had an opportunity to lighten it up. To make our Jalapeno Poppers with Sausage we had to make chicken sausage. Zack isn’t a huge fan of the chicken sausage you can buy at the grocery store. It’s usually funky flavors like sun-dried tomato and always precooked. Instead, we used ground chicken breast and seasoned it similarly to regular sausage with spices like fennel, coriander, rosemary, and thyme . This cut out most of the fat and left all of the flavor.

Did you know that Jalapenos contain Capsaicin? Capsaicin has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism and act as an appetite suppressant.

These Light Jalapeno Poppers with Sausage are not only great for a light meal but also are wonderful when you are entertaining or hosting a tailgate. The lightened up version is only 1 PP for two poppers which makes it a delightful and guilt free snack.

ps. If you don’t love spicy foods don’t worry about the Jalapenos being too spicy. By baking the Jalapenos  in step three some of the spice “cooks out”.

 

Light Jalapeno Poppers with Sausage

Light Jalapeno Poppers with Sausage

Ingredients

  • 16 Jalapeno Peppers, they should be big enough to stuff.
  • 1 lb Ground Chicken Breast
  • 1 onion chopped finely
  • 2 t Coriander Seed
  • 2 t Fennel Seed
  • 1 T Rosemary (fresh or dried will work)
  • 1 T Oregano
  • 1/2 t Celery Salt
  • 1/2 t Thyme
  • 1 t Sea Salt
  • 1 t Pepper
  • 2 T Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
  • 2 Wedges of Laughing Cow Light Cheese ( I used Garlic and Herb because that's what we had on hand but I bet the Chipotle one would be great as well)

Instructions

  1. Preheat Oven to 375
  2. Cut jalapenos in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and membrane inside, I've found using a grapefruit spoon to be best. Note: you may want to wear gloves when you do this.
  3. Place jalapenos on a cookie sheet and bake in oven for 10-15 minutes.
  4. While jalapenos are baking, heat skillet over medium heat and spray with olive oil or non-stick spray. Place chopped onion and ground chicken into skillet and break up finely using spatula.
  5. While chicken is cooking, measure out spices into bowl. Once chicken is mostly cooked, add spices to skillet.
  6. When chicken is fully cooked, turn skillet down to low heat and add laughing cow and cream cheese, stirring until melted and evenly distributed.
  7. Remove Jalapenos from oven.
  8. Stuff each Jalapeno with mixture. This will be roughly .5 ounce per Jalapeno.
  9. Return stuffed Jalapenos to oven and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  10. Before serving the Light Jalapeno Poppers with Sausage you can lightly grate Parmesan cheese over them if you wish.
  11. Enjoy!
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