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South Williamsport, PA
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A Healthier New Year

I’ll be honest. In an effort to support small business and help local restaurants stay afloat during the awfulness that was 2020, and seems to be continuing to 2021, I have spent a bit too much time eating. Eating carbs and other unhealthy food to be specific. So, it’s time to reel that back in

I’ll be honest. In an effort to support small business and help local restaurants stay afloat during the awfulness that was 2020, and seems to be continuing to 2021, I have spent a bit too much time eating. Eating carbs and other unhealthy food to be specific.

So, it’s time to reel that back in and get my diet back in some semblance of control.

I’ve always been a believer that you can’t eat 100 percent clean, 100 percent of the time. So my goal is to eat clean through the week and then leave some — let’s say wiggle room — on the weekends. Now, I’m not going to use the weekends as an excuse to binge eat, but I will definitely give myself more leeway on the weekends.

I’ve also picked back up working out, so between the two I’m hoping to get back to a healthier, happier with myself, me soon!

So, why am I telling you all this? Well, because eating lower carb meals can get a little stagnant. You can only eat so many salads, or chicken and steamed veggie dinners, before you get bored. And boredom leads to cheating.

I thought I would share a couple of recipes that I have on the horizon that look amazing and like a great way to break up the old stand-bys to keep dinner interesting and tasty!

Antipasto Stuffed Chicken

Ingredients:

• 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
• 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tsp. dried oregano
• 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
• Kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 lb. deli ham
• 1/4 lb. salami
• 4 slices provolone, halved
• 1 c. drained and sliced pepperoncini
• 1/3 c. chopped assorted olives
• 1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan
• Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Place chicken on a cutting board and make 5 slits in each breast, being careful not to cut through completely. Transfer to a baking sheet.

Drizzle olive oil over chicken and season with oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. 

Stuff each chicken breast with ham, salami, provolone, and pepperoncini, then sprinkle with olives and Parmesan. 

Bake until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, about 25 minutes. 

Garnish with parsley before serving.

Chicken Taco Avocados

Ingredients:

For the Filling:
• 1 c. black beans, cooked
• 1 c. canned corn
• 1 4-oz. can green chiles, divided
• 1 c. shredded rotisserie chicken
• 1 c. shredded Cheddar, plus more for topping
• 1 package taco seasoning
• 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, plus more for topping
• 3 ripe avocados
For the Dressing
• 1 c. ranch dressing
• 1/4 c. lime juice
• 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro
• 1 tsp. kosher salt
• 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Directions:

Heat broiler. Make filling: In a large bowl, combine black beans, corn, 1/2 can green chiles, shredded chicken, Cheddar, taco seasoning, and fresh cilantro. Stir until combined.
Halve and separate three avocados, removing pit and hollowing out insides. Mash insides in a small bowl and set aside.

Place avocado boats face up and fill each with 1/3 cup of filling. Sprinkle with more Cheddar and more fresh cilantro, then broil until cheese is melty, about 2 minutes.

Make dressing: In a medium bowl, combine ranch dressing, lime juice, remaining green chiles, cilantro, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Fold in mashed avocados and mix until smooth.
Remove avocado boats from oven and transfer to serving dish. Drizzle with dressing and garnish with more cilantro, if desired. Serve immediately.

I am also going to play around with stuffed peppers. Cheesesteak, buffalo chicken, there’s a bunch of great options for a variety of stuffed peppers without the carbs!

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