Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recipe Makeovers!

My kids love chicken nuggets.  And I gotta say, I do too!  Bite sized breaded chicken to dip in your favorite sauce...who doesn't like something like that?  (except maybe vegetarians, and I get that...)

In the past I've usually bought the jumbo bag of Dino Nuggets from Sam's Club for our quick fix chicken nugget meals.  Or, of course, there are always the drive thru's!

But alas, our new way of eating (as natural as possible) doesn't align well with the ingredient list for Dino Nuggets...and certainly is a far cry from the drive thru nugget fare.  What to do?

There is always the option of cutting out nuggets all together.  But who wants to do that?  Inspired by the Clean Eating for Families book that I am reading, I decided to scour my cupboards and see if I couldn't do a recipe makeover!  Now, this book does have a recipe for 'cleaned up' chicken nuggets, but I didn't have all the ingredients it called for.  So my recipe is inspired by the one from the book, but is not the same.

"Made-Over" Chickie Nugs
(click on the image to see it larger)

So here is the 'cleaned up' Chicken Nuggets recipe I came up with based on what I had in my cupboards last night...

Made-Over Chickie Nugs 

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts - thawed
1/4 c. of wheat germ
1/4 c. of ground flaxseed
1/4 c. of almond flour
1 t. of minced garlic
1 t. onion powder
dash of salt and pepper
2 eggs
2 T. water
olive oil (or oil of your choice)

Cut the boneless, skinless chicken breasts into cubes and set aside.  Mix together wheat germ through salt & pepper in a small bowl and set aside.  Crack both eggs into a different small bowl, add the water and beat together with a fork.  Put a skillet on the stovetop and pour in a liberal amount of oil (I used olive oil).  Heat the oil while you set up your assembly line.  Put the small bowl with the dry mixture closest to the skillet.  Next to that place the bowl with the egg mixture.  Next to that have your plate of chicken cubes.  I used tongs to transfer the nuggets from bowl to bowl to skillet, but you could use a fork or even your (clean!) fingers if you prefer.

Next transfer the nuggets a few at a time to the egg mixture.  Once coated transfer to the dry mixture.  Once coated, transfer to the skillet.  Continue until all the chicken is in the skillet.  Let the chicken cook and crisp up on one side for several minutes before flipping with a spatula to the other side for several minutes.  When done, remove nuggets and place on a plate covered with paper towels (to soak up the excess oil).  Then serve with your choice of veggie (we had steamed broccoli - yum!) and dip (the kids had ketchup, DH & I used our low-fat Caeser dressing.

I didn't tell the kids what I used to make the coating...I figured they may be scared off by terms like 'wheat germ' and 'flaxseed'.  But they LOVED the nuggets!  Devoured them all and asked for more...even my picky 5 year old!  DH and I loved them too!

I did have an extra chicken breast thawed out, so I cut that up and cooked it up in the skillet with no coating.  I'll keep these in the fridge so we can toss a few into salads for lunches.

Did my Biggest Loser 30-Day JumpStart 10 minute workout last night and got my 32 minute core workout with Jillian on the Wii this morning.  I'm definitely 'feeling it' in my muscles!  Had my steel cut oats with apples & cinnamon this morning...yum-a-licious!

Today is a 'home all day' day for homeschooling, which is kinda nice...but can make me lazy.  As in it is 10:30 and my kids are all dressed and working on school...but I am still in my workout clothes!  So...gonna get the kids started on a project and then get myself in the shower!


  1. yummmm I have made nuggets before with just the egg and some flour but this sounds much more flavorful and good for you. I will have to give it a try.

  2. These look amazing! Will be trying them!

  3. I agree with Deanna and Kat, gonna for sure try this. Back last year I tried going gluten free and bought Pamela's baking mix which has whole grain flours like brown rice and almond meal, and I'm wondering how that would work with home-made nuggets?? Adding in some ground flaxseed would make them super healthy I think! Thanks for the great idea!

  4. Thanks for your comments gals!

    If any of you DO try it out, leave me another comment and let me know how it turned out!

    It was very tasty...it had a kinda nutty taste.

    I bet it would work grat with your brown rice/almond meal Cheryl...yum! (PS I just bought brown rice flour to use in a homemade 7 grain bread I hope to make this weekend! Bought spelt flour too!)