Cooking for myself and a toddler (while my husband is deployed) is SO different than cooking for all 3 of us. Especially since my husband takes leftovers to work for lunch. So I’ve been focusing on trying to make 3 categories of dinners for Anneliese and myself, to avoid eating the same leftovers for a week straight.
- Simple foods that we won’t have leftovers of at all.
- Foods that I love the leftovers of, which will provide about 1-2 extra meals of leftover.
- Bulk cooking foods that will freeze well and reheat easily later.
So I’m going to be writing up “Freezer Friday” posts each week. These posts might include…
- freeze-able recipes
- reporting back to you on how well (or not) something reheated.
- freezer maintenance
- freezer organization
- food storage
- reviews of freezer-related/storage-related products
The first Freezer Friday, today, I’m sharing a recipe with you that I made up to satisfy a nostalgic craving.
You know the processed chicken nuggets you loved as a kid, but which you won’t buy now? Maybe they have soy or bread fillers inside them… no doubt they’re filled with vegetable oil and tons of sodium. They might even have corn syrup in them. Well, these fill that gap (is that a gap?) in your healthy diet.
One recipe will make about 3 dozen nuggets, and your nugget cravings will be covered for a while!
These are grain free, gluten free, and primal (or Paleo-plus-dairy).
They’re only made of real food, and you control exactly how much of everything goes into them. I’ll give you my measurements, but feel free to change them to suit your taste, or add other seasonings.
- boneless skinless chicken, cut into small chunks — about 4 breasts, or 6 thighs (or a mixture). I used breasts only
- 1 cup of buttermilk, or milk plus a tablespoon of vinegar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 Tablespoons dried parsley
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese.
- 2 teaspoons Frank’s Red Hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- coconut flour — about a cup
- 4 more eggs
- almond flour — 2-3 cups
- Marinate the chicken in the buttermilk at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- Drain the chicken and discard the buttermilk. Put chicken into a food processor with 1 egg, onion powder, parsley, cheese, hot sauce, salt and pepper.
- Blend ingredients with the regular blade, until a paste is formed and all ingredients are combined.
- Sprinkle coconut flour on a cookie sheet, and drop chicken mixture onto it. I used my cookie scoop to make evenly sized blobs.
- Flatten each blob with your fingers, and flip over so that all sides get covered with the coconut flour.
- Beat the other 4 eggs in a bowl, and dredge each nugget in the egg wash, then coat in almond flour. I find it easiest to do the almond flour step by putting the almond flour in a gallon zip lock bag, then tossing in a few egg-covered nuggets at a time, shaking to coat. (Please put them on a different baking sheet, instead of plopping them back on top of the coconut flour like I did. It’s annoying to have the coconut flour on the outside!)
- Bake in a preheated oven (350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 12-15 minutes. Check to make sure a fat one is cooked all the way through.
- Freeze on a cookie sheet, then vacuum-seal to save for later.
If you’re planning to enjoy some right away, you can cook those in a pan with expeller-pressed coconut oil (which is the one that has NO coconut flavor) over medium-high heat, turning every couple of minutes, for about 8 minutes total.
When reheating from the freezer, microwave until heated through. If you want your outsides more crispy, then you can lightly fry in a pan with coconut oil after microwaving. If you ask me, it’s worth the extra step.
The almond flour gives a breadcrumb-like coating, but if you prefer a more “fluffy” breading, you can use a gluten-free flour mix (like bob’s red mill) which won’t be grain-free, but will still be gluten-free. If you want a more panko-like coating, substitute pork rind crumbs (put plain pork rinds into a food processor and pulse until they’re like sand).
Are you looking forward to next week’s Freezer Friday post? What sorts of things are you hoping to see in this feature?
Just stumbled upon your site the other day and can’t choose what to make first. This definitely sounds great for when my boyfriends son comes to stay, his mother wants him to be gluten free. Going to store some of these in my freezer for when we’re in need of a quick dinner. Just wondering if they would bake fine in the oven, I try to stay away from microwaving things as much as possible. Thanks!!!
They’ll bake fine. 🙂 Just make sure not to dry them out by overcooking. I would thaw them first, then just bake to heat them… not bake from frozen.
Those above nuggets are really very much yummy. I like the recipe for made this nuggets.Nuggets always a favorite food for my kids. They really like this. That’s why your above article is help me very much.
love all your recipes and your blog!
These sound amazing! My kiddos are SO not on board with the healthy changes my hubby and I are making, so I’m looking forward to them trying these 🙂
[…] Chicken NuggetsÂ (included cheese) […]
Making these tomorrow! I have been slacking on the primal and find that lunch is the hardest time for me to find something nutritious to eat. I can’t wait to have something I can just grab and heat. I was addicted to your zucchini boats for awhile but now they’re out of season so I need something else! Looking forward to this week’s. 🙂
This is so great! Excited to start compiling these recipe ideas. I love that you’ll be letting us know how well things reheat, too. That’s what I always wonder about when I’m considering making extra to freeze.
[…] Primal/Paleo lifestyle and we are trying to also go that way so when she shared this great Recipe Paleo Chicken Nuggetstoday I just had to give it a go. I made a couple of changes and they came out great, one of my kids […]
oh Emily YUMMO, I made these for my kids today, they loved them, we are slowly going over to Paleo/grain free and my biggest challange has been getting my kids on board with it. I am going to make a huge batch of these for packed lunches as well. I added some extra Veggies to mine and they worked great too, I am blogging about them and linking to you today ;o))
Great Series can’t wait to see what else you come up with ;o))
I’m going to love this series, Emily!! This sounds like such a yummy recipe. What can I do to make this dairy-free? I can skip the cheese. What would be a good alternative for the buttermilk?
I just did a quick google and it looks like you can do the milk+vinegar trick to make buttermilk with “alternative” milks too. So, almond or coconut (unsweetened/unflavored obviously) would be a good bet!
Thanks. I need more toddler friendly recipes and freezer ideas. I agree it is totally different cooking while hubby is deployed. I’m blessed when he is home because he loves to cook. I’m finding it challenging to cook for myself and a two year old keeping processed foods to a minimum. I also have a 6mo old who is not really interested in eating solid foods yet. So they keep me pretty busy..:)
Love this idea! Have you tried reheating them without a microwave? I am hoping our microwave will die soon and I don’t plan on replacing it.
I am looking forward to Freezer Fridays, I need to put some quick meals in the freezer for the crazy days. 🙂
I love that you’re doing these now, so when I need to set up my freezer stash in March there will be tons of new goodies to try!
These look so yum!
Looks good but they aren’t dairy free. You have milk and cheese in there.
Lol you’re right. I don’t know what I was thinking. Blame the baby/toddler-brain. Ill edit later today.
Yum! I didn’t do a freezer full of food for when Clara was born, and I really should have. Hubby is a good cook, but he needs specific instructions or he feels lost…and I don’t think I’ll have time for specifics with a newborn and 2 year old! We will definitely give these a try, and then probably have a weekend of intensive cooking in December to fill the freezer with everything we want to have on hand 🙂 So keep the freezer posts coming!
Freezer Friday is a really great idea 🙂
Think i need more food like this in my frezer (and in my belly)! Looks good!