Helping families eat healthier for less

Helping families eat healthier for less

Friday, June 21, 2013

Stuffed Mushrooms with Hemp Seeds

Stuffed Mushrooms with Hemp Seeds

The theme for Recipe Redux for June is Sowing Seasonal Seeds. Thanks to Sanaa @Fit & Fancy for this theme inspiration. Seeds for this month’s feature can be sesame seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, or any kind of seed. Our task is to develop and share a recipe using seeds reflecting the season in our part of the world.

I live just a few miles from Kennett Square, known as the mushroom capital of the country. This includes many varieties of exotic mushrooms, as well as the more traditional white button mushroom. For this month’s challenge, I decided to create a stuffed mushroom appetizer and to use hemp seeds as part of the filling. Hemp seeds add a nutty texture to foods.

I am fairly new to using hemp seeds. Other than adding them to my oatmeal some mornings, I haven’t used them much in cooking. I recently bought a large bag of hemp seeds from my local Costco. Hemp Hearts (brand name) are raw, shelled hemp seeds from Canada.

Package of Hemp Hearts from Canada

According to the Nutrition Facts panel on the package, one serving is 3 tablespoons and provides the following:

170 calories

13 g fat

1.5 g saturated fat

10 g polyunsaturated fat

1.5 g monounsaturated fat

3 g carbohydrate

3 g fiber

10 g protein

110% manganese

45% magnesium

25% thiamin

20% iron

20% zinc


So, you can see than hemp seeds can help boost your intake of several important fatty acids and good fats, protein, and several minerals.


Try using hemp hearts in a variety of foods:

·         Blend in smoothies

·         Add to hot or cold cereals

·         Sprinkle on salads, yogurt, soups and ice cream

·         Add to baked goods

·         Use them in a trail mix

·         Use as you would sesame seeds

Fun Fact: Hemp is an extremely versatile plant used for: Nutrition, construction material, clothes, paper, jewelry and alternative fuel.

 For 100 hemp recipes, visit:

Here’s my recipe:


Stuffed Mushrooms With Hemp Seeds


1 10-oz package baby portobello mushrooms (about 12 small mushrooms)

1 Tbsp butter

3 Tbsp finely chopped onion

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

1/4 cup reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 Tbsp raw shelled hemp seeds (such as Hemp Hearts)

1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves

1 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, finely chopped



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Carefully remove stems from mushrooms. Place mushroom caps in single layer in baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Finely chop the mushroom stems. Melt butter in large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add chopped mushroom stems, onions, and garlic and cook for 4 minutes, or until onions are soft. Add feta cheese and vinegar, stirring until well blended. Remove from heat. Stir in hemp seeds, thyme and basil. Carefully spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Makes 12 stuffed mushrooms.

Note: White button mushrooms can also be used in place of portobello mushrooms, if desired.

Nutrition Information (1/12th of recipe):

38 calories, 2.6 g total fat, 1.0 g saturated fat, 3.5 mg cholesterol, 0.8 g dietary fiber, 2.2 g protein, and  46.3 mg sodium.

Cost per Mushroom Serving: $0.42 each (or about $5.08 for whole recipe)

Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices except mushrooms were on sale for $3.49 per package.

 Here are some photos of the preparation of the stuffed mushrooms.
Top: Remove stems w/ strawberry huller; Middle: hemp mixture; Bottom: mushrooms in pan before baking.

Click here to download and print a copy of this recipe.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Honey Sweet & Spicy Chicken Great for Easy Entertaining

Honey Sweet & Spicy Chicken

Disclaimer: By posting this recipe (below) I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by National Honey Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I received a gift card to offset the expense of my ingredients.

Honey adds a wonderful sweetness to this recipe. Additionally, honey makes a perfect thick rub when combined with several flavorful spices that adheres to the chicken. The honey provides balance to this main course dish, countering the hotness from the dry ginger and chipotle and chili powders. Because honey attracts and holds moisture, it makes the cooked chicken breasts very moist and tasty.

This recipe is perfect for entertaining as it can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated up to a day ahead. It goes together very quickly. Once assembled, you then put it in the oven for a carefree, main course. It’s perfect for entertaining when you want to be able to spend more time with your guests. And the recipe can be doubled or tripled to feed a hungry crowd.

I was inspired to make this recipe from a honey-paprika chicken with roasted oranges recipe developed by J.M. Hirsch that I read about last May in my local newspaper. I differed from Hirsch’s recipe in several ways. I used two large chicken breasts with skin and ribs instead of boneless chicken thighs, half as many oranges, sweet paprika instead of smoked paprika, less salt, replaced the cumin with ground chipotle pepper, and used chicken broth instead of white wine or orange juice.

The National Honey Board has made it easy to find honey varietals in your area. Click on to find the varieties in your region.

Here is the full recipe.

Honey Sweet & Spicy Chicken
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 to 45 minutes

Non-stick cooking spray
2 navel oranges
1/4 cup sweet paprika
2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground dry ginger
1/2 tsp ground chipotle pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp low sodium chicken broth
2 large chicken breasts with skin and ribs (2-1/2 to 3 lbs total)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a roasting pan with non-stick cooking spray. Slice off and discard the ends of each orange. Cut each unpeeled orange crosswise into 3 thick slices. Arrange slices in a single layer on bottom of roasting pan. In a small bowl, combine paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, ginger, chipotle pepper, and salt. Stir in honey and broth to form a thick paste. Spread paste thickly and completely over all sides of chicken breasts. Place coated breasts directly on top of orange slices. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Cut each chicken breast in half. Carefully squeeze cooked orange slices over chicken using tongs.

Makes 4 servings.

Note: Recipe can be doubled or tripled to yield more servings.

Nutrition Information per Serving: 269 calories, 4 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 76 mg cholesterol, 5 g dietary fiber, 28 g protein, and 313 mg sodium. One serving of this low cost recipe provides an excellent source of vitamins A, C, niacin, and B-6, protein and fiber.

Cost per Serving: $1.99 Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices except chicken breasts which were on sale for $1.99 per pound and oranges were on sale for $3.99 for a 4-pound bag.

Click here to download and print a copy of this recipe.

Be sure to check out these other honey-inspired dishes.