Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Champion Nutrition Recipe of the Week - Almond Chicken Fingers

You're training hard, you're eating clean. Whether you're bulking or leaning, chances are... you're eating a whole lotta chicken.

This week, I had a tray of raw chicken breast in my fridge. Sitting there. Staring at me every time I opened the door. What to do?

My diet is pretty restrictive right now, and my options for adding character to my chicken are... well, limited.  So I started digging around. Freezer, pantry, fridge. Damn that chicken! Mocking me in it's plainness. Then I had a thought (yes, it did hurt a bit).

I started madly mixing, spraying, coating, then sitting outside  the oven door (yes, outside - it's way too hot inside) staring - willing it to cook. Finally, the timer dinged and I whipped out my experiment. It smelled good. It looked good. With Mad-Scientist glee, I plated it and served it to my family, alongside Newman's Own Sockarooni Sauce and servings of steamed veggies. And I waited. And waited.

No one said a word.

"How is it?" I asked.
"Fine." (never a good response)
"Does it taste ok?"
"Sure." (uh-oh.)

So I bit in. And I have to say... my family was quite kind to me. You know that saying, "there's no such thing as too much spice"?  WRONG. OMG. So very wrong. I looked back over my recipe and saw where I'd gone (so very) wrong. Recipe Fail.

I made adjustments and fixed my fail. ;-)  Now, the recipe is not only palatable, but tasty, too ;-)

Here is the (revised - you can thank me later) recipe for my competition diet friendly...

Almond Chicken Fingers
Serves 1

4 oz raw chicken (skinless, boneless)*
2 Tbsp ground almond (like Bob's Red Mill Almond Meal)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp Mrs Dash Tomato, Basil & Garlic**
dash of sea-salt
Spray Oil
1/4 cup Clean Marinara Sauce (like Newman's Own Sockarooni Sauce)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray a baking sheet with cooking oil.
Slice chicken breast into 'fingers', about 1" wide (or use pre-cut tenders).
On a plate, mix together the ground almonds, Mrs Dash, and sea salt.
Spray both sides of chicken pieces with oil and roll in the seasoning mix.
Lay chicken pieces on cooking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center.

OPTION: spread a flavored mustard over the raw chicken pieces (instead of spray oil) and sprinkle the seasoning mix on top.

NUTRITION: 277 calories; 34 grams protein, 9 grams carbs, 12 grams fat, 2 grams fiber. 7 net carbs.

*increase amount of chicken per your individual needs.
**use any flavor of unsalted seasoning for a different taste.

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