Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Clean Eating Crockpot Cornish Games Hens with Apple Almond Whole Wheat Stuffing

Makes 6 Servings
This past Sunday I sat in my hotel room and skinned chickens. As I was doing this I wondered if anyone else in the world was skinning chickens in their hotel room at that time. I think the answer is probably no :) But right now we are living in a hotel in Japan while we wait to move into our house. We still want a home-cooked meal every night but I have no car yet so I am limited to what I can buy at the minimart next door. The only meat options at the minimart are hotdogs, bacon, breakfast sausage, and Cornish game hens. I have no idea why they sell Cornish game hens at the minimart but I was actually pretty excited to see them since I wasn't about to buy the hotdogs.

This was so easy to make and tasted great! I cook a whole chicken in the crockpot about once a week (you know, when I'm not living in a hotel in a foreign country) so I knew I would get nice, tender,  fall-off-the-bone meat. But I wanted a side to go with it without having to do much extra work. Stuffing was an obvious choice and this particular combo was no fuss and easy to toss together. 

Our three-year-old, who is going through the typical phase of insisting that he doesn't like anything I cook (even though he still clears his plate every night anyway), actually said, "Ooooooh, this is yummy.... I love this... Can we have it again?" Big compliments! And yes, we will definitely be having it again :)

  • Medium-sized apple, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter (of course you could use olive oil but I'm okay with butter every now and again since it is technically clean)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 slices of whole wheat bread cut into cubes, about 3 cups
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth, divided
  • 2 Cornish game hens, giblets removed and rinsed clean (I also skinned mine because I don't like the idea of them cooking in their own fat all day. Also the skin doesn't crisp in the crockpot like it does in the oven which makes it not worth the extra fat and calories to me. But you can leave the skin on if you prefer.)
ONE: Melt butter in a pan and saute apples, almonds, onions, and celery for 5 minutes until onions begin to soften. Toss the bread cubes in a bowl with the raisins, cinnamon, poultry seasoning, and salt.

TWO: Add the sauteed apple mixture into the bread cube mixture and mix well. Add 1/3 cup of broth and stir to moisten.

THREE: Spoon the stuffing mixture into the chickens and fold the legs together to hold it in. Place chickens in crockpot and sprinkle remaining stuffing mixture around the outside. Pour the remaining 1/3 cup broth over the chickens, making sure that the stuffing sprinkled around the chickens is nice and moist.

FOUR: Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours or until chicken is cooked through. I used a slotted spoon to scoop the extra stuffing out of the crockpot once I took the chickens out because I didn't want my stuffing to be too soggy. If I was not living in a hotel with limited ingredients I would have cut up some kale really small and mixed it into the raw stuffing. It would look like parsley and no one would know :)

One chicken fed me, my husband, and our two toddlers. The adult serving size for the stuffing was about 2/3 cup. To freeze the leftovers I would suggest removing the chicken from the bones and freezing it in usable portions in ziploc baggies, such as 1/2 or 1 cup portions. Freeze any leftover stuffing in 2/3 cup portions using the medium large portions method.


Per 1/3 of a chicken and 2/3 cup stuffing - 278 Calories (110 Calories from Fat), 12g Fat, 3.6g Saturated Fat, 49mg Cholesterol, 253mg Sodium, 31g Carbohydrates, 6g Dietary Fiber, 13g Sugar, 15g Protein, 4%DV Vit A, 5%DV Vit C, 8%DV Calcium, 10%DV Iron


Monday, October 15, 2012

We made it!... and a call for HELP!

Kon'nichiwa!! We made it safely to Japan! :) We've been here about 2 weeks now. I can't tell you much about the country yet because we arrived in the middle of a typhoon so we couldn't see anything on the bus ride to our new base (never a boring day with this family). We were sleeping anyway because we had been traveling for almost 24 hours at that point... with two toddlers and a newborn. Fun.

We haven't had much time for exploring yet. However, in the short time we've been here, we managed to find a really cool house and we are hoping to get to moved in by the end of the month. In the meantime, we are living in a hotel.... with the toddlers and the baby. Also fun.

Our room technically has a kitchen area but it is VERY basic considering we will probably be living here for at least a month. I have two burners,  a microwave, a sink, a mini-fridge, and a toaster. No oven. I never realized just how much I relied on my oven until I was faced with trying to feed a family of five with no oven (okay technically the baby doesn't eat table food but family of five sounds more dramatic). I will admit, I cheated and borrowed my friend's crockpot.

Here is our "kitchen":

And here are all of the tools I have to work with:

You may be asking yourself, can you eat healthy living in a hotel room in a foreign country? I am determined for the answer to be yes and that we will still eat three healthy meals a day even though I have no freezer to fall back on. (I've discovered that you can also cloth diaper a newborn and homeschool a Kindergartener and First Grader in a hotel room but that's a post for another day.) It will take some planning, though. In addition to the small kitchen and minimal tools, we have no car yet so I am limited to what's available at the minimart next door or what I can carry from the commissary on the bus by myself with the three kids. And it should be pretty easy to throw together because I'm slightly insane by the end of the day when I'm supposed to be cooking since I'm living in a tiny hotel room with all of my kids. But at least I will be a well-fed insane person. (Insert maniacal laughter).

So here's where the call for help part comes in. I would love any suggestions you have for simple but healthy stove top meals with minimal ingredients. Even if it's not clean, post it in the comments or email it to me anyway and I'll clean it up. Here is what we have eaten so far (notice it's mainly crockpot. Seriously, I need stove-top meal help!):

Whole grain pasta with all natural spaghetti sauce
Black Bean Salsa Soup (un-pureed since I have no immersion blender)
Crockpot Cornish Game Hens with Apple Almond Stuffing
Chicken and Asparagus Brown Rice Risotto
Mahi Mahi Coconut Soup