LUNCH | DINNER: Gluten-free bread-less “breaded” Chicken Strips & Sweet-Potato Fries

My Kindergartner has been a trouper coming off of gluten, sugar, dairy, and corn. I didn’t realize how much he relied on foods that had a higher insulin response until I changed what we ate. So I made tonight’s dinner with my littles in mind. As I stared at my chicken thawing out on the counter I wondered, “What should I do with this chicken tonight?” And then I thought, something “breaded” but not breaded as a treat for the kids.

Tip: When I make almond milk, I take the left over almond bits and dry them on a sheet rack on a piece of parchment paper for several days. When the almond bits are good and dry, I run them thru my Cuisanart to make “flour” out of my almonds and then I store it in an airtight container for such an occasion as this. I share all that, not to burden you with more tasks, but to help you realize how when you make almond milk, you can also use the bits that are not utilized in almond milk for other things — like this great lunch or dinner! If you are short on time, a package of almond flour works perfectly fine, too!

Gluten-Free Chicken Strips

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I like to cut the chicken into strips when it is still slightly frozen in the center. It holds it shape and you just slice right thru it easy peasy. Try and cut your chicken fingers into equally-sized strips so they will cook uniformly. The sweet potato fries were from the freezer section at our grocery store and took about the same time it took to cook the chicken strips. If you don’t want your chicken strips a yellow-tinge, just skip the tumeric in your coating mix. I added it, because I like to sneak in beneficial herbs, spices (and even some iodine with the kelp) where possible. Every little bit helps as you change your life for the better, one bite at a time.

— Erin

PS: Here’s my son’s seal of approval …

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Gluten Free Breaded-but-without-bread Chicken Strips

  • Servings: 5-7
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

PCOSbites
Gluten-Free Chicken Strips

INGREDIENTS:
Coating Mix:
• 2 c almond flour
• 1 c. grated Parmesan Cheese
• 1 TBSP garlic powder
• 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
• 1 tsp pepper
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 TBSP kelp granules
• 1 tsp thyme
• 1/2 tsp turmeric (optional)
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1 TBSP ground flax
• 2 TBSP freshly chopped parsley


 

Note: If you want to make this dairy-free, just skip the parmesan cheese and add a 1/2 cup of almond flour.


 

Main Ingredient:
• 7 pcs Chicken breasts, skinless (frozen)

Egg Bath:
• 2 Eggs

Other kitchen tools:
• Bowl for egg bath
• Larger bowl for coating mix
• Cookie sheet
• Parchment baking paper
• Tongs

DIRECTIONS:
1. You’ll want to cut your chicken into strips when it is thawed on the outside and still slightly frozen (not rock solid but partly thawed) in the center. It will cut easily and clean thru. Try and keep pieces uniform in size so that they cook at equal rates.

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2. Take 2 eggs and whip them in a bowl and set aside.

3. In another larger bowl, combine all the ingredients for the coating mix and combine well with a whisk until everything looks incorporated.

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4. Finally, take your cooking sheet and line it with parchment paper.

5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

6. Create an assembly line order, left to right, with your chicken strips near your egg bath. Your coating mix next to the egg bath. And finally, your cookie sheet lined with parchment paper next to the coating mix.

7. Using a set on tongs, pick up several strips of cut raw chicken and put them into the egg bath. One-by-one, coat each piece of raw chicken with raw egg and transfer into the coating mix. Coat entire strip of chicken and using the tongs, transfer the coated chicken to the cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Continue process, leaving space between each chicken finger until cookie sheet is full.
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8. Place in heated oven and set timer for 20-25 minutes or until fully cooked.

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9. Remove from heat and serve with your choice of sides (like sweet potato fries).

 

This recipe is refined-sugar free, gluten-free, and corn-free.

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How a Chick-fil-a salad saved the day…

I was struggling with my day of not being able to have the foods that I was use to eating. I had been strong for two weeks and on this particular day, I was still eating what I should and studying recipes, but I did so begrudgingly.

My husband had planned to take me out that evening to meet at a Starbucks to purchase some old doorknobs we needed for a home project and I just became more surly as I declined having him get anything from Starbucks for me. So, he got his door knobs and coffee and I sat there feeling hungry. Again.

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Saw this funny Instagram photo from the Rosepepper and it fit the way the day had been going that I had to laugh!  Laughing is good for the soul!

So, I asked if we could grab something to eat – that I needed to get a salad because I needed more vegetables to log for my day. We decided to try Chick-fil-A and as I stood and looked at the menu screens, I quickly realized that I couldn’t eat some things in many of the salads. “Your salads are probably homemade, aren’t they?” I asked the Clark who stood at the register. “Yes, Ma’am.” I turned to my husband and I said, “Well, I can’t have the cabbage, (because of how the lectins will react in my body.) I can’t have the bacon (because that’s pork.) And I can’t have the corn, (because I’m allergic to corn.)” So, Clark, quickly responded saying, “Oh, we can make the salad however you’d like!” I thanked him and he responded, “My pleasure.”Music to my ears!

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So, I waited a few short moments for my salad to be made and chose a dressing that fit my eating profile and gobbled it up. And I felt better. Something about having a salad made that I didn’t have to pick apart felt great. And it did fill me up.

We decided to stop at a grocery store on the way home and check out their gluten free section (yeah, we’re pretty wild on our date nights – haha) and after a 40 minute shopping trip putting great stuff in our cart, we pull up behind the coupon lady. She was dressed in blue scrubs and it was evident she was a health professional who had recently gotten off work. She was ringing multiple like items together and paying only 11 cents and 10 cents for 6 Minute-Maids and other radome sugar-laden foods. (Her last purchase, they paid her 65 cents!)  My cart rang up for $165.  It became quickly evident that there was a disconnect between good food and junk food. The manufacturers are to blame for this as they are willing to give away their free sugar-laden foods in hopes of getting someone hooked on their sweet treat. They are sugar-crack dealers. And I just thought it was a bit of irony that the coupon clipping “health” professional was feeding her family JUNK and the obese woman with the expensive cart was buying the healthy food!

On the way home, I thought about my choices and how the day had gone. I was thankful for my supportive husband. I was thankful I had money to buy the foods I needed to eat. and I realized that my attitude had improved. It was a great reminder to me that at any time, we can hit the reset button with our attitude. Change is a daily choice to make even just one area of our lives better. When we are trying to make changes for ourself as well as our family, that’s a lot. It’s a reminder that I have a relationship with sugar-laden food and we are breaking up. And that’s OK. There are other better choices out there (like my Chick-fil-A salad) that I can make and feel GREAT!