This month Becoming Center members enjoyed and learned to make Pecan Breaded Chicken and Poached Pears with Nutritionist John Fairchild and Chef Gary Sugalski. Here are the recipes, and some nutrition tips from John

Pecan Breaded Chicken:

Ingredients (serves 4)

• 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (1-1 1/4 pounds), trimmed
• 1/2 cup pecan halves or pieces
• 1/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
• 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 large egg white
• 2 tablespoons water
• 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine bread crumbs, seasoning and pecans. Toss chicken in crumb mixture to evenly coat. Lightly spray a pan with cooking spray, and bake for 18 minutes, or until internal temperature is at least 165 degrees.

Nutritional Profile per Serving: Calories 180, Carbs 6, Fat 9, Protein 19

Poached Pears


  • 4 Bosc or Conference pears (they hold up better when cooked)
  • 1 Cup fruity white wine (Riesling, blackberry, sangria or holiday spice) – use cider for a non-alcoholic variation
  • 1 Cup water
  • ¼ cup honey or turbinado sugar
  • A few cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tsp. cloves
  • Orange zest, a few strips on each
  • A touch of vanilla or 1 split vanilla bean
  • ¼ cup Dried sour cherries or dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash, peel (keep top on) and cut bottom of pear flat so they can sit up. Whisk wine, honey, water. Add cinnamon, vanilla, orange peel and cloves to liquid. Place pears in a pie dish and pour liquid over top making sure to run liquid over entire pear. Place in middle of oven basting often for 45 minutes -1 hour. Remove using a slotted spoon and transfer to plate. Transfer liquid to a small sauce pan. Bring to a gentle boil until it thickens to a syrup consistency. Remove from heat, add cherries and let sit for 5 minutes. Pour over pears and serve warm.

Nutritional Profile per serving: Calories: 180, Carb: 40g, Fat: 0g, Protein: 1.5g

About Pears:

In season Sept-Dec.

Health Benefits:

Recent studies have shown that the skin of pears contains at least three to four times as many phytonutrients as the flesh. These phytonutrients include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory flavonoids, and potentially anti-cancer phytonutrients. The skin of the pear has also been show to contain about half of the pear’s total dietary fiber.

Pears provide numerous health benefits including:

• Antioxidant support
• Anti-inflammatory benefits
• Decreased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease
• Reduced Cancer Risk
• Pears are a very good source of heart-healthy dietary fiber and a good source of immune-supportive vitamin C and bone-building vitamin K.

Click here for pictures!