Thursday, May 1, 2014

Zesty Stuffed Jalapeños with Crunchy popchips Topping

Thank you to popchips for sponsoring this post. Now I can experience love at first bite more often!


Last year when I started making better food choices, I quickly realized how difficult it was going to be for my children. It has been a challenge over the last 12 months to find recipes that are not only delicious, but use healthier ingredients. For them, it has definitely been a slower transition and I have sometimes had to sneak in the good stuff. 

We are also a family who loves hot and spicy foods. We keep jalapeños and hot sauce in the kitchen at all times, and in the Summer, I make a big batch of my homemade salsa no less than 3 times a week. And this year, I look forward to enjoying it with a variety of healthier options such as my homemade sweet potato chips or even with a bag of the sea salt potato popchips

These days, I am more aware when it comes to choosing foods I plan to cook with. I love scouring the produce section for fresh ingredients or finding items made with few and natural ingredients, then getting in the kitchen and putting together delicious recipes that are healthier than those prepackaged meals you find at the grocery store. This recipe for Zesty Stuffed Jalapeños was love at first bite in our house! My kids had no idea that I added some of their least favorite fresh ingredients... onions and avocado (who are these little people who dislike avocado? They just can't be my children!). 


I paired the stuffed jalapeños I made with a chicken, black beans, and brown rice dish for somewhat of a Mexican flair. We love us some Mexican food! However, these just got added to my list of foods to put out for holidays and The Super Bowl too.  

Zesty Stuffed Jalapeños

You will need:
  • 10 fresh jalapeños 
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (at room temp.)
  • 1/2 of an avocado
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 3 strips of thick cut bacon (baked to crispy and chopped up)
  • popchips (sea salt potato and/or barbeque potato)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

First you need to cut each jalapeño is half and remove the meat and seeds from inside each one.  Rinse them off and then set them aside. I typically use my hands when removing the insides of a jalapeño, but if this is your first time, be forewarned, your hands may feel a little "hot & spicy" later on.

Crush 1 cup of sea salt potato and 1 cup of barbeque potato popchips into one bowl and set those aside also. 

In a bowl, mash 1/2 of an avocado and then combine with cream cheese. Next, mix in the crumbled feta cheese, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, chopped green onion and bacon until combined well.  

Spoon mixture into each jalapeño half, then either sprinkle the popchips mixture on top, or do like I do and, dip each jalapeño into the popchips, making sure to cover the filling side nicely. 

Place on a baking sheet and into the oven for about 10-15 minutes. Let cool for 2-3 minutes before serving because the filling will be extremely hot. 


How about sharing your popchips love story?

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Since I also had some of my filling mixture left over, I placed it in the refrigerator for about an hour to firm up. Once the mixture was firm, I removed it from the refrigerator, rolled it into a ball, and rolled it in more of the crushed popchips to make a very tasty cheese ball. I will be serving it with some of their favorite veggies, like carrots and celery, and even more popchips. They are already excited about it, and will definitely have their own little popchips love story to tell. 

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