Balsamic Chicken with Pears


6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 to 4 ounces) each)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red onion, minced
2 medium Bosc or Bartlett pears; peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth or stock
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup dried tart cherries


Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Place each breast between two sheets of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, pound to a uniform thickness of about 1/2 inch. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and sauté, turning once, 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove from heat and transfer to a platter; cover and keep warm.

To same pan, add onion and sauté over medium-high heat 2 minutes or until soft; decrease heat to medium and add pears. Continue sautéing, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, until pears are soft and golden brown.

In a small bowl, combine chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, sugar and cornstarch. Pour sauce over pear mixture and add cherries. Increase heat to high and simmer, stirring frequently, 6 to 8 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly.

Return chicken and any juices to pan. Bring mixture back to a simmer and decrease heat to medium. Cook 10 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (juices will run clear when cut with the tip of a knife). Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Remove chicken from heat and place on individual serving plates or a large platter. Using a slotted spoon, mound fruit over top. Spoon sauce over fruit and around chicken. Serve immediately.

Other Info

Serves: 6

Nutritional Information per serving: calories 208, total fat 3.6 g, saturated fat 0.4 g carbo 21.5 g, total sugars 15.2 g, protein 22.5 g, dietary fiber 2.1 g, sodium 37 mg, cholesterol 54.9 mg

Recipe source: “The Anti-Cancer Cookbook” by Dr. Julia Freer (Sunset River Press, 2008)

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Pears, Wild Rice, Walnuts


3 acorn or dumpling squash 
Freshly ground pepper 
Freshly ground nutmeg 
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
 ¾ cup wild rice 
1 ½ cups canned low-sodium chicken broth 
 ¼ teaspoon salt, plus extra to taste 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped 
1 large clove garlic, minced 
1 large rib celery, finely chopped 
2 firm Bosc or Anjou Pears, peeled, halved lengthwise, cored, and cut into ½-inch dice 
2 teaspoons minced fresh sage 
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves 
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley 
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see Cook’s Note) 
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries


Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Cut each squash in half crosswise. Scoop out and discard the seeds and strings. If necessary, trim the top and bottom so that the squash will sit level, and place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle each half with a little salt, pepper, and nutmeg, to taste. Using 3 tablespoons of the butter, dot each half with some butter. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake the squash just until moist and tender, about 45 minutes. 

Meanwhile, combine the rice, chicken broth, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 2 cups of water, in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer, partially cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 40 minutes. When the rice is done most of the water should be evaporated. 

In a 10-inch saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Swirl to coat the pan and saute the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the pears and saute 2 minutes longer. Cover the pan, adjust the heat to medium-low, and cook the vegetables until crisp-tender, 3 minutes longer. Add the sage, thyme, and parsley and saute 1 more minute. Remove from the heat. 

In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice, sauteed vegetables and pears, walnuts and dried cranberries. Taste and add salt and pepper, if desired. Mound the rice mixture into the squash halves, dividing it evenly. Cut the remaining tablespoon of butter into small pieces. Dot each stuffed squash with butter. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees F until heated through, about 20 minutes.

Other Info

Toasting Nuts 
Toasting nuts brings out their full, rich flavor. Place the nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven until lightly browned, about 5 to 8 minutes. Alternatively, the nuts can be browned in a microwave. Place the nuts in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate, and microwave on high power for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Watch carefully that they don’t burn.

Serves 6

Pear Dutch Baby


1 cup flour 
1 cup milk 
2 eggs 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/4 cup butter or margarine, divided in half
1/2 pound pork link sausage 
2 USA Bosc pears 
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Combine flour, milk, eggs and salt; beat until smooth in blender or with rotary beater. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 9 x 9 x 7 or 11-inch baking dish; pour batter into dish. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes. Brown sausages in skillet; drain. Remove drippings from pan; add 2 tablespoon butter. Slice pears into 1/2-inch thick slices; sauté in butter 2 or 3 minutes over medium heat. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Arrange pear slices and sausages on top of partially baked shell; bake additional 5 to 10 minutes or until browned. Serve immediately.

Pear Turkey and Cheese Sandwich


2 slices multi-grain or rye sandwich bread 
2 tsp. Dijon-style mustard 
2 slices (1 oz. each) cooked or smoked turkey 
1 USA winter pear, cored and thinly sliced 
1/4 cup shredded low fat mozzarella cheese 
Coarsely ground pepper


Spread each slice of bread with 1 teaspoon mustard. Place one slice turkey on each slice of bread. Arrange pear slices on turkey and sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons cheese. Sprinkle with pepper. Broil, 4 to 6 inches from heat, 2 to 3 minutes or until turkey and pears are warm and cheese melts. Cut each sandwich in half and serve open face.