Healthy Baked Chicken Fingers



I have to say that after creating my superfood-spiked morning oatmeal I have begun feeling inspired to create other meals using said superfoods. One of the biggest challenges I seem to face when trying to overhaul my normal diet (of hot chocolate, cookies and cake) is that I cannot seem to get enough fiber into my diet without having to manufacture it. I can eat copious amounts of low-carb tortillas which are high fiber. But it feels like fake, manufactured fiber to me–not fiber found in nature. Honestly, sometimes I will eat three low-carb tortillas in one day just to fit fiber into my diet.

I’m usually fine at sneaking fiber into my breakfast via smoothies. But I get sick of smoothies real fast. Plus I figured I needed to start sneaking fiber into my lunches and dinners (sans low-carb tortillas, that is). Also, my goal is to have slightly indulgent but still healthy foods. So I figured that baked chicken strips made with healthy seeds and nuts instead of flour and breadcrumbs and dunked in real ranch dressing would fit all the qualifications I am looking for in a meal.

There are several versions of seed-crusted chicken strips on the internet but the one at Gimme Some Oven seemed most tantalizing to me. I based my recipe off Ali’s  hemp-crusted version.

ingredients.

  • 1/4 c. hemp seeds
  • 2 T. chia seeds
  • 2 T. ground flax seed
  • 1/4 c. ground almonds or almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • pinch of ancho or cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1/4-inch thick strips
  • 2 large eggs
  • cooking spray (or you can also use olive oil in a Misto)

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directions.

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together seeds, almond flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper and ancho (or cayenne) pepper until evenly combined.
  3. Pile the chicken strips in a bowl or on a plate. Whisk eggs in a bowl and set next to the flour concoction.You need an assembly line here.
  4. Dip a chicken strip in the eggs until completely covered, then shake to let any extra egg drip off. Add the chicken strip to the flour mixture, and gently toss until the chicken strip is completely covered. Remove and transfer the chicken strip to the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pieces of chicken.img_1247
  5. Lightly spray the chicken strips with cooking spray or mist with olive oil. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, turning once halfway through, until the chicken is cooked and no longer pink inside. I broiled my chicken for the last few minutes attempting to brown the outside. (It didn’t work all that well.)
  6. Remove and serve warm with your desired dipping sauce.

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I’m never one to claim that one of my recipes is the best recipe ever … unless it really is. This recipe is not one of the best recipes ever. The chicken strips looked anemic because they never browned. The chicken seemed a bit rubbery to me (could have been the quality chicken I bought?). And the “breading” didn’t completely stick though more breading stuck than the stuff that didn’t. But I will tell you this: this is an excellent recipe if you’re trying to mimic deep fried breaded chicken fingers and you want to make them healthy, healthy, healthy. I dipped mine in real ranch dressing (not vegan, not low-fat) and it was divine.

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