11 January 2013

Healthy Chicken Nuggets and Fries

Kids love chicken nuggets and fries - it's pretty much a fact.  

If I ever ask Mariah what she wants for dinner the answer is always the same: 

"Chicken & Nuggets!" "Oh, and fries too, Mom!"

With all those images a while back with the "pink slime" I try my best to avoid fast food unless we are desperate.  We buy the freezer chicken nuggets sometimes, too, but that has been through all sorts of processing as well.

We randomly bought Corn Flakes last week at the grocery store, and as I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner the other night it clicked - Corn Flake Crusted Chicken!  I remember making that a time or two when I was younger, and it was always good!

Corn Flake Crusted Chicken Nuggets
Adapted from Martha Stewart

3 Skinless uncooked chicken breasts, cut into strips or cubes
1 Large Egg
2 Cups Crushed Corn Flakes
1 TBSP Olive Oil
1/4 TSP Cayenne Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Season chicken strips with salt or pepper.
2. In a bowl, whisk egg with 1 TBSP water - set aside
3. In a large bowl mix corn flakes, oil and cayenne pepper
4. Work one strip at a time - dip in egg mixture and then roll in corn flake mixture to coat
5. Set strips on rimmed baking sheet with space between each piece
6. Bake 25 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

I've never seen two kids enjoy chicken more!  They gobbled these down quicker than I could cut them!    And I feel much better knowing what went into these "nuggets"!

Now for the fries.

Sweet potato fries are usually my go-to for a healthier take on the regular potato fry.  But I wanted something a little different.

I searched through the fridge and spotted a huge bag of carrots.  Hmmm.... carrot fries?  Could this work?  I did a quick search and what did I find - carrot fries are a real thing!

Carrot Fries

Large Carrots
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Begin by washing the carrots thoroughly and pat dry.  You can peel the carrots if you prefer, but I leave the peel on because it has the most flavor.  Cut into fry shapes, keeping them as close to the same size as possible (so they cook evenly).  Once cut, toss the carrots in a bowl and pour olive oil to coat.  Add salt according to your preference.

Line a baking sheet with foil laying fries flat and not overlapping.  Bake for 15 minutes, flip fries with spatula and return to oven for another 15 minutes.

This was another winner at our house! These fries were addicting.

They of course didn't TASTE like fries - they tasted like REALLY good carrots and the fry shape tricked the kids into eating them.

Such a fun way to give kids (and adults!) what they want, yet the peace of mind that they aren't eating processed who-knows-what! :)

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