Main Dish

Crunchy Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders

Have you ever thought about the elements of a meal that provide you with satisfaction? Because listen up, ya’ll, it’s not only about the taste.

Disclosure: This recipe was created through my partnership with Barbara’s Bakery and I was provided compensation for sharing this recipe. All words and opinions are my own.

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Yes, food that tastes delicious is usually much more enjoyable to eat, but let’s not forget the other elements of satisfaction, such as the way a plate of food looks visually, how it smells, how it feels in your mouth, and even what temperature the dish is. When we strive to satisfy our senses with food we are better able to take the focus off of only the nutrition or health-benefits, which can often lead to preoccupation and worry when eating. It’s all too easy to overlook to pleasure nourishing food can bring us, but my recipe today is challenging you to take back the satisfaction factor!

My husband and I looove making peach salad in the summer. It started from an actual recipe, but now we have adapted it to our own tastes and ingredients we have on hand. The salad is usually a combination of tender salad greens, raw or grilled onion, crumbled cheese, and slices or chunks of yellow peach. For more satisfaction we add a source of protein, which is usually simply grilled salt and pepper chicken. The chicken is good, but it’s not great or mindblowing.

Wanting to not settle and eat another “just pleasing” salad, I got to thinking of how to jazz up my chicken. When I asked myself what I truly wanted, I landed on honey mustard. And I knew I wanted something crunchy. A few minutes later and these Crunchy Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders using Barbara’s Bakery Spoonfuls Cereal were born!

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Seriously, these chicken tenders are SO satisfying, and they respected and honored my taste buds in every which way. So, the next time you’re questioning what you truly want, I encourage you to ask yourself some of these questions:

Think about a salty or sweet food. Does it feel right to you at this moment?

Would you like the crunch of a baby carrot or a potato chip right now?

Is the aroma of pizza appealing you to right now?

Do you want something airy or more filling and sustaining?

OKAY, now on to the recipe!

Crunchy Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders- serves 2

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound chicken tenders

  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard

  • 3 teaspoons honey

  • 1 1/4 cup finely crushed Barbara’s Bakery Spoonfuls cereal

  • Fresh ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard and honey and set aside. Place the crushed cereal on a large plate and spread in an even layer.

  3. One at a time, dip a chicken tender into the honey mustard mix, coating all sides, and then dredge in the crushed cereal, firmly pressing the crumbs in any spots not coated.

  4. Lay the chicken tenders on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

  5. Serve tenders with some fresh cracked black pepper and lay over a bed of arugula and pea shoots, with a chopped peach, sliced red onion, crumbled feta cheese, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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Scallops from The Easy 5 Ingredient Pescatarian Cookbook

Cooking fish at home is not necessarily my forte. I can cook a pretty mean skillet seared salmon and I feel quite confident with a shrimp saute, but when it comes to thinking outside of the box and taking seafood to the next creative level I sometimes get stumped!

Luckily, when I need a dinner idea to satisfy our twice a week seafood goal I can turn to the newly released cookbook The Easy 5 Ingredient Pescatarian Cookbook from my friend and dietitian colleague, Andy DeSantis.

When a cookbook title highlights the limited number of ingredients you’ll need I am totally game, and I couldn’t wait to try out some of the recipes. Before getting to the recipes though, Andy does a fabulous job outlining the benefits of a pescatarian diet and how it can impact your overall health. He expertly highlights how fish is high in nutrients that promote heart and brain health, as well as weight loss and reduced inflammation.

The book also helps calm the nerves of anyone who’s not familiar with seafood shopping and provides guidance on wild vs. farmed fish, fresh vs. canned, and all the tools you’ll need to stock your pescatarian kitchen. This guide is comprehensive and a delight to read, so if you’re looking to incorporate more seafood, as well as other nutrient-dense produce and foods into your diet, you must pick up your own copy!

I truly had a difficult time deciding which recipe to make first, but after paging through the entree section I landed on scallops. Tired of always doing a simple sear, I went with the Pistachio Encrusted Scallops that provided a fun twist on a simple, elegant piece of seafood. However, seeing as Danny is allergic to pistachios, I adapted and used ground walnuts- the recipe tip even suggests making this sort of swap to suit your needs! We served these golden brown bites with some oven roasted asparagus and lemon kissed quinoa for a mighty delicious meal for two.

I’m giving you a sneak peak of the recipe- with my own adaptations and scaled down for two- but seriously, you need to order this cookbook for yourself!

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Walnut Encrusted Scallops- serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound sea scallops, cleaned

  • sea salt and black pepper for seasoning

  • 1/2 cup crushed walnuts

  • 2 tbsp grass fed butter

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Directions

  1. Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel and season them lightly on all sides with salt and pepper.

  2. Place the walnuts in a large bowl and dredge the scallops in the crushed nuts, making sure to coat all sides.

  3. In a large skillet, heat the butter over high heat.

  4. Sear the scallops until they are golden brown, about 2 minutes, and then turn them over and cook for another 3 minutes.

  5. Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon juice alongside roasted asparagus with garlic, and fluffy quinoa flavored with lemon zest, salt, and pepper.

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Black Lentil Curry Meatballs

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Are you a lentil lover?

I really love lentils, but lentils don’t always love me back. Whenever I make a salad or grain bowl and add in a cup of cooked brown/green/black lentils as my protein source you can bet my stomach will be singing a tune not long after lunch. My co-worker jokes that it’s “concert time” because my digestive system is hard at work! Does this happen to anyone else?

These sounds and movements, however, are music to my dietitian ears because it reminds me of the powerhouse nutrition they are packed with. Lentils are naturally gluten-free and so can please many diners, they are low on the glycemic index and actualy aid in blood sugar control, and they are naturally low in fat but definitely help provide belly-filling satisfaction. To get a little more nerdy, a serving of lentils contains:

  • 26 grams of protein (the same amount of beef contains 27 grams)

  • 72% of your daily fiber needs (a whopping 18 grams!)

  • copious amounts of folate and iron (which is tough to get from non-animal food sources)

So, despite some gurgling and normal passing of these high-fiber legumes, I truly love including lentils in my plant-based eats for their nutritional benefit. Plus, they taste delicious and are so easy to cook! Determined to continue including them, but with less digestive distress, I have played around with different cooking methods and have been pleasantly surprised to learn that processing lentils, by first soaking them well and then blending or pureeing them, lessens the post-meal concert- hurray!

Lentil “meatballs” or as I’ve just thought of, “plantballs”, have become my new favorite meal prep and protein addition to lunches and dinners. I originally got the idea for these gluten-free and vegan lentil balls from my friend Gena Hamshaw of The Full Helping. I had the pleasure of hosting Gena as a dietetic intern and during our time together I became an avid follower of her blog and have since made many delicious recipes from her book, which she graciously gifted me. Her passion for all things plant-based is approachable and non-judgmental, making it easy for anyone to feel more comfortable incorporating more vegan meals into their eating habits.

I happily served these meatballs straight from the fridge over a green salad with plenty of fresh summer veggies, but they would also work well heated up with some brown rice and steamed or sauteed broccoli and cauliflower, or roasted carrots and cabbage.

I hope you fall in love with this recipe!

Black Lentil Curry Meatballs- makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried black lentils

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews

  • 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons water

Directions

  1. In a medium pot, bring the lentils and 2 cups of water to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and add cooled lentils to a food processor.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a medium baking tray with parchment paper.

  3. To the bowl of the food processor add the oats, cashews, curry powder, turmeric, black pepper, salt, and red wine vinegar. Process for a few second until a coarse mixture is formed. Add in the water and pulse again until the mixture starts to stick together. A touch more water or olive oil might be needed, but 2 tablespoons worked well for me.

  4. Use your clean hands to form the mixture into 12 equal meatballs. Set the meatballs on the baking tray and place tray in the oven to cook for 10-12 minutes until the outsides start to turn golden.

  5. Serve lentil meatballs warm or cold as suggested above. Meatballs will keep fresh in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days and in the freezer for 2-3 months.

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