I'm always on the lookout for easy recipes since my life is full. full. full. And since Hamburger Helper isn't on the menu for this whole foodie family (though this healthy version is) anymore, I have to figure out alternative ways to get dinner on the table in a flash.
If you struggle like that, and you're tempted to go through a drive through when time is tough, then this gluten-free chicken nuggets recipe is for you! It's a super easy recipe that you can put together in almost no time flat that will make your family feel like you really went out of your way for them.
Recently we've been so busy that our meals have gotten a bit blase. Meat, eggs, or beans, a grain and a veggie. Good, but a bit boring.
Truly, a highlight for my kids would be when I served them healthy no-nitrate, no antibiotic hot dogs :-).
But the other night I pulled out some thawed chicken breast out of the fridge and served up this great chicken recipe for yummy chicken chunks and well, you should have seen the smiles on my kids' (and my husband's) faces.
You know by now that my criteria for a great recipe is one that is:
- tasty and
With all of that being true about this recipe, this just might be the best chicken recipe ever.
Not that fried chicken is necessarily unhealthy (I think it depends on the type of chicken and the fat that you fry in), but instead of deep fried chicken, you can make this easy recipe for healthy baked chicken chunks (and it's less messy than fried chicken too :-)!)
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To start with, here is where this recipe came from……I found the inspiration for this recipe in Simple Choices for Healthier Eating, a cookbook that was recommended to my by Linda, the owner of Whole Approach.
Whole Approach focuses on providing products and resources for those suffering from systemic candida. Unfortunately (:-)), I became acquainted with Whole Approach about 3 years ago when it became quite clear that candida had a pretty bad hold on me.
I had to move on from Whole Approach when it was obvious that I had more going on than candida, but I have stayed pretty close to some form of the candida diet since then, and one of my boys has as well. Most likely another will be joining us soon as we have seen the effects of too many carbs on him.
In any case, Linda told me what a great book this is — filled with simple, tasty, and pleasing dishes. I couldn't agree more.
Making Healthy Changes
I'd has a sugar problem my whole life, but didn't want to talk about it or face how bad it had become. In fact, there was one day that I was standing listening to some friends of mine talking about some health issues and how they were related to sugar intake.
I basically almost covered my ears with my hands and walked away because I didn't want to think about what changes might lie ahead.
But….eventually I faced the music and had to do something.
It was one of the big turning points for our family's health as several of us had to deal with sugar problems head on.
The first change we made was going sugar-free, and we also went gluten-free.
As time has progressed, we have eaten more and more low carb, and on and off I have dabbled with the AIP diet to address autoimmune issues.
UPDATE 12/15: I just updated this post to be AIP (autoimmune protocol) since I have done that diet on and off and have found it to be very helpful. The flours and the spices are different. Still delicious!
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
- ¼ cup flour (almond flour or whole grain gluten-free preferred. I used my “thrown together GF blend” – see notes. Use coconut flour or tiger nut flour for AIP.)
- ¾ tsp salt (I recommend Real Salt. Add a tad more if using coconut flour if desired.)
- 1 tsp garlic powder (See Easy Homemade Garlic Powder)
- 1 tsp paprika (use onion powder for AIP)
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper (optional - omit for AIP)
- ⅛ tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
- avocado oil (or other fat suitable for high heat. Use amount desired. About ¼ cup should be enough.)
- Cut chicken into small chunks, about 1 – 1½ inch chunks. Place in bowl.
- Mix flour with seasonings.
- Sprinkle flour and seasoning mixture over chicken and mix well to coat thoroughly.
- Melt coconut oil. Drizzle over chicken and mix to coat lightly.
- Bake in preheated oven (425 degrees for convection / 450 for conventional) until chicken’s internal temperature reaches 180 degrees (about 10 minutes for a convection oven [I love my Hamilton Beach convection oven] and 14 for conventional).
2. The original recipe recommended a spray bottle for the oil to coat the chicken. I recommend using a solid oil like coconut for this recipe as its smoke point is higher and you will not be creating free radicals by cooking at a high temperature.
3. Experiment with the cayenne and pepper to adjust the “spicy-ness” to your taste.
4. For even faster meal prep, cut up chicken into chunks, coat and store in small plastic bags in the freezer. Just take out of the freezer and bake in the oven for a ready-in-a-flash meal! The chunks will only take about 5 minutes longer to cook.
5. I am not an “iron chef” when it comes to flour choice most of the time. I typically use a blend of mostly sweet brown rice, some millet, some buckwheat and sometimes GF oats. Especially with a recipe like this where the flour is just a coating, it will work just fine!
Serve with rice, in pitas, grain of choice and with or without a dipping sauce. These would also taste great with the homemade barbecue sauce from my Oven Barbecued Chicken! And I’m working on a Ranch Dip that would be great as well. So stay tuned for that!
You can serve these alone or serve with dipping sauces.
I mentioned the Homemade Vegan Ranch Dip in the recipe itself but this Easy Marinara Sauce would make a great dip as well.
This AIP Guacamole is another great option.
More “Ready in a Flash” Recipes:
Or something that your kids are guaranteed to love?
Try Pakistani Kima (ground beef curry). My kids ask for this all the time. Enjoy!
How about you? Do you have a quick and healthy “treat your family” meal?