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?