Tag Archives: entree

Whole Wheat Flax Baked Chicken Fingers

This whole wheat flax baked chicken fingers recipe is a healthy twist on your childhood favourite. This delicious dinner is sure to be a hit with your whole family!

Whole wheat flax baked chicken fingers - a healthy twist on your childhood favourite. This delicious dinner is sure to be a hit with your whole family!

As a dietitian, I’m used to getting a lot of resistance to healthy eating.

“It’s boring.”

“It doesn’t taste good.”

“It’s bland.”

It’s then that I have to do a little deeper digging to find out exactly what their perception of healthy eating is – because healthy eating as I know it is far from boring! But it turns out a lot of people think healthy food means plain baked chicken with plain steamed vegetables, or something along those lines.

Well… that sounds boring to me too!

But luckily healthy eating doesn’t have to be like that. Healthy eating doesn’t even have to mean giving up your favourite foods – it just means tweaking them a little, like I did with these whole wheat flax baked chicken fingers.

Whole wheat flax baked chicken fingers - a healthy twist on your childhood favourite. This delicious dinner is sure to be a hit with your whole family!

I remember back in my university days I used to love the chicken fingers at the evening snack bar. So a few years ago I gave myself the challenge of creating a healthier version that still satisfied me like those cafeteria chicken fingers did. I swapped out the deep frying for baking, replaced the white breading with whole wheat breadcrumbs and flax, and probably cut down on the sodium by more than 75%! The result was these whole wheat flax baked chicken fingers that were a hit on all my taste testers!

On my chicken finger quest, I also discovered the secret to making them truly delicious: buttermilk. Buttermilk helps to tenderize the meat, giving it this wonderfully soft texture like all the best chicken fingers have. If you don’t have buttermilk, a combination of Greek yogurt mixed with milk works just as well. Either way, don’t skip this step.

The tender meat and crispy coating come together to make these whole wheat flax baked chicken fingers reminiscent of the fast food ones from your childhood but with a healthy twist. This is how I like to do healthy food – and it’s far from boring!

Whole wheat flax baked chicken fingers - a healthy twist on your childhood favourite. This delicious dinner is sure to be a hit with your whole family!

Whole Wheat Flax Baked Chicken Fingers
 
Prep time
Cook time
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These whole wheat flax baked chicken fingers are a healthy twist on your childhood favourite. A great recipe sure to please your whole family!
Author:
Yield: 2-3 servings
Ingredients
  • Two 5-6 oz chicken breasts
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
Instructions
  1. Cut your chicken breasts into 3-4 long strips. Place in a large Ziploc bag with 1 cup of buttermilk and let soak in the fridge for about 3-4 hours.
  2. Mix together the bread crumbs, ground flaxseed, garlic powder, chili powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Whisk the egg in another bowl and put the flour in a third bowl.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°F and get out a large baking sheet and spray it with olive oil, or whatever cooking spray you have on hand.
  5. Remove a chicken strip from the bag and shake off any excess buttermilk. Place in the flour bowl and turn it over so it gets coated. Then dip it in the egg and turn it over so that it gets coated. Shake off any excess egg then coat it in the breadcrumb-flax mixture. Place it on the baking sheet then repeat with the rest of the strips.
  6. When all the chicken strips are on the baking sheet, place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Flip over all the pieces then bake for another 10 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 165°F.
  7. Serve your chicken fingers with ketchup or your favourite dipping sauce!

What’s your favourite recipe that’s a healthier version of a not-so-healthy dish? 

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Mediterranean Millet Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

This Mediterranean millet salad is a healthy vegetarian side dish or main course filled with delicious Greek flavours! Gluten free with a vegan option.

This Mediterranean millet salad is a healthy vegetarian side dish or main course filled with delicious Greek flavours! Gluten free with a vegan option.

I have been on a huge Mediterranean kick this past month!

It might have something to do with the fact that I spent some time recently planning a Mediterranean themed class that I’m teaching a few times this month. Browsing through recipes of tabbouleh, fresh salads, and hummus gave me a huge craving for the fresh and salty flavours of Mediterranean cuisine!

And it doesn’t hurt that Mediterranean foods often boost huge health benefits. All of those healthy fats like nuts, olive oil, and fish and the fibre-rich fruits, vegetables, and legumes make the Mediterranean style of eating an extremely healthy one. It has been associated with lower cholesterol levels, reduced risk of heart disease, improved markers of inflammation in metabolic syndrome, and possibly even reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s and Parkison’s disease. All good reasons to eat more Mediterranean foods!

But I like to consider Mediterranean eating as less of a diet and more of an inspiration. I think we all know diets don’t work – plus who wants to feel like they have to adhere rigidly to a food plan? Instead I like to encourage clients to draw inspiration from the Mediterranean diet and incorporate meals centred around whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, seafood, nuts and seeds, and olive oil into their lifestyle.

This Mediterranean millet salad is a healthy vegetarian side dish or main course filled with delicious Greek flavours! Gluten free with a vegan option.

This Mediterranean millet salad is a fantastic dish with many of the hallmarks of Mediterranean cuisine: whole grain millet, plant protein from the chickpeas, fresh herbs for flavour, sun dried tomatoes and olives, and of course olive oil to bring it all together. It makes a wonderful addition to any summer meal and the leftovers are great for lunches. It’s also a bit hit at barbecues – alongside the traditional burgers and potato salad, of course. Because it’s not about dieting, it’s about adding in healthy Mediterranean inspired foods where you can!

This Mediterranean millet salad is a healthy vegetarian side dish or main course filled with delicious Greek flavours! Gluten free with a vegan option.

Mediterranean Millet Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This Mediterranean millet salad is a healthy vegetarian side dish or main course filled with delicious Greek flavours!
Author:
Yield: 3-4 servings
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup dry millet
  • 1 (19-oz) can chickpeas, drained
  • ⅓ cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced
  • ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
  • 1.5 cups fresh chopped Italian parsley
  • ⅓ cup crumbled soft goat cheese
  • 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring 1-1/3 cups water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Once it is boiling, add the dry millet, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool, then place in fridge for 1 to 24 hours.
  2. In a large bowl combine the cooled millet, chickpeas, olives, sun dried tomatoes, parsley, and goat cheese. Mix all together.
  3. Then whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper in a small dish and pour over the salad. Stir until it is mixed in.
  4. Serve immediately or cover with seran wrap and store in the fridge for 4-5 days.

What are your favourite Mediterranean foods/dishes? 

Looking for more whole grain vegetarian recipes? You might like…

Tempeh Quinoa Power Bowl

This tempeh quinoa power bowl drizzled with a dreamy lemon tahini sauce is a healthy meal packed with vegan protein!

Black Bean Rice Bowl

A vegetarian and gluten free black bean rice bowl packed with fresh Mexican flavours.

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Black Bean and Mango Quinoa Salad

Disclaimer: This post was written as a part of the GoodLife Fitness Ambassador program. All opinions expressed are my own.

So how about a job update, eh?

Well, I am loving it. It’s exactly what I’ve always said I want to do ever since entering the dietetic profession: combine nutrition with cooking. I just love that this job takes such a food focus because like I always say: we eat food, not nutrients. People need practical, realistic tips for buying and cooking healthy food in order to eat healthily. So I’m thrilled to be in a job where I can help people do that!

Life is busy though. My days at work right now are filled with planning, meetings, and more planning (and they’ll soon be filled with cooking classes, grocery store tours, and nutrition sessions!). I also have a 45 minute commute to work on most days of the week (I work out of two grocery stores in two different cities), making my work day more like 9.5 hours rather than 8. And when you add  regular 6 am workouts at GoodLife Fitness with my boyfriend, you can see why I have little free time left!

This black bean and mango quinoa salad is a healthy vegetarian side dish or main course that's bursting with fresh flavour! It is also gluten free and easily adapted to be vegan.

Needless to say, food prep has been a life saver. I tend to spend several hours in the kitchen on one of my days off cooking up enough food to cover lunches and dinners for the week. When I was browsing for lunch ideas the other day I remembered this black bean and mango quinoa salad that I posted here years ago. That was in the dinosaur years of this blog though, so I decided to dust off the recipe and polish it up for reposting.

After making it again, this black bean and mango quinoa salad has renewed itself as one of my favourite recipes. It has that sweet and salty combination going on with the mango and feta, which I just love (please ignore the fact that there is no feta in these pictures – I forgot to add it and was far too lazy to do a reshoot)! Also I’m really digging its summer vibes. It would be perfect for summer picnics and barbecues. Ahhh just saying that is making me anxious. Summer, hurry up and get here sooner please?

This black bean and mango quinoa salad is a healthy vegetarian side dish or main course that's bursting with fresh flavour! It is also gluten free and easily adapted to be vegan.

Black Bean and Mango Quinoa Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This black bean and mango quinoa salad is a healthy vegetarian side dish or main course that's bursting with fresh flavour! It is also gluten free and easily adapted to be vegan.
Author:
Yield: 3-4 servings
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup dry quinoa
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • ½ barely ripe mango, diced
  • ⅔ cup diced cucumber
  • ½ red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 5-6 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ⅛ tsp salt or more to taste
Instructions
  1. Rinse the quinoa in a sieve, then combine with 1.5 cups cold water in a small pot with a lid. Bring to a boil then simmer covered for about 12-15 minutes. Once it's done, fluff with a fork and let cool completely (at least 1 hour).
  2. Combine the quinoa with the black beans, mango, cucumber, red pepper, cherry tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, and feta cheese.
  3. In a small dish whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, cumin, and salt. Add to the quinoa salad and stir well before serving.

This black bean and mango quinoa salad is a healthy vegetarian side dish or main course that's bursting with fresh flavour! It is also gluten free and easily adapted to be vegan.

What is something you used to make all the time that you haven’t made in a while?

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