Pecan-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Roasted Red Pepper Dipping Sauce

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Maybe it has something to do with sensory development or something, but seriously what is it about  finger foods and kids? I'm not complaining, I'm just wondering why my children opt to use their hands to eat instead of their forks (and I'm not just talking about my 1 year old). Most of the time I demand table manners and the use of modern eating utensils, but to curb whatever primal need they have to use their hands to eat, I make finger food. 

Over the last several years we've come a long way in teaching our children how to make good, healthy food choices. (Here is our family's 5 Philosophies for Raising Healthy Eaters). No more mystery meat chicken nuggets or bleached wheat flour pizza dripping with cheese. Now-a-days I make made-from-scratch, gluten free finger food that tastes good and is good for you too! Having fun eating it is a bonus ;)

nut-crusted-chicken-tenders
 

Pecan-Crusted Chicken Tenders
1 lb. organic chicken tenders, rinsed and patted dry

1 cup pecans, pulsed in food processor (You can use any nut you love - almond, cashew, or hazelnut would work too.)

1/2 cup coconut flour or tapioca flour

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. ground mustard

1/2 tbsp. dried parsley

1-2 eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 425. Get out three small pans or large shallow bowls. In the first combine the salt, pepper, ground mustard, and parsley with the tapioca or coconut flour. The middle bowl will have the beaten eggs and the last bowl will be for the ground pecans. Dredge chicken tenders through the tapioca mixture. Dip in the beaten eggs and finely, roll them through the ground pecans until they are coated. Lay on a foil lined and lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes turning over halfway through the cooking time. 
Roasted Red Pepper Marinara Sauce
Roasted red peppers, about 3-4 pieces + a few onions from the jar (Jeff's Naturals Red Pepper Caramelized Onions is my favorite gluten free brand)

1/4 cup organic tomato paste

1 cloves garlic

3 basil leaves

1tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

splash of water if too thick

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until it's smooth and creamy. Warm in a saucepan. Pour into little bowls for everyone to dip and double dip their chicken to their heart's content.

Enjoy!

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Sunday, 24 June 2018

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Melissa Cornwall has spent years researching and implementing nutritionally-based approaches to health and wellness. Her lifelong love of food and health evolved from a hobby to a passion when her daughter was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease.

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