One thing most parents know they can fall back on when struggling with what to feed kids is ‘Chicken Nuggets’.
I tried this particular recipe inspired from a fellow blogger while compiling a selection of recipes that are almost a sure shot hit with fussy eaters. And this particular recipe was one of them.
My love for chicken nuggets started much before I had kids. Having my kids meant that I had an excuse to eat them more often and call it ‘a kid’s happy dinner’!
I am not ashamed to confess that I order a happy meal for myself too 🙂
Why Substitute Breadcrumbs with Quinoa Coating
The traditional coating for nuggets is breadcrumbs which I am sure will always be the preferred choice of coating.
But why then substitute breadcrumbs with quinoa?
One of the main reasons being that breadcrumbs have less nutritional value when compared to quinoa.
The other is that the calorie content of breadcrumbs is way high than quinoa.
Two good reasons to try this better healthier version of Crispy Quinoa Coated Chicken Nuggets recipe.
Tips To Use Quinoa as a Coating
Quinoa can replace breadcrumbs when it comes to coating, breading or using it as a binding agent. However once needs to know the right way of using it.
Whole grains like quinoa, bulgar, polenta etc don’t quite behave the same way as breadcrumbs when used as a substitute.
You need to use the grains in its right form to achieve the results you wish to when replacing it with other conventional ingredients like flour, breadcrumbs or cornstarch.
A note to remember is that the finished product may not taste the same as the original but you get the additional benefits.
Few points to remember when replacing breadcrumbs with quinoa are:
- Used boiled, dried and crisp quinoa as a coating for this chicken nuggets recipe or to substitute breadcrumbs coating for any recipe.
- To make the quinoa dry and crisp, spread a thin layer of boiled quinoa on a baking tray and bake on low temp until it becomes crispy. Normally 15 to 20 minutes. Store in an airtight container for easy access.
- If the quinoa grains are too big then break or crush them into thick crumbs that resemble breadcrumbs or cornmeal.
- You can also grind uncooked quinoa grains in a food processor to resemble breadcrumbs and use it to coat as well. ( this tends to make the nuggets a bit too crunchy if baked)
I used the cooked method here as I wanted to bake the nuggets and not make the coating too crunchy and dry.
Here’s the recipe for it.
QUINOA COATED CHICKEN NUGGETS
- 500 gms Boneless chicken strips or pieces - 500 gms
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper powder
- 1 beaten Egg
- 3/4 cup Flour
- 1 1/2 cup Cooked quinoa
- 1 -2 tbsp Dried Parsley or Mixed Herbs
- 4 tbsp Olive oil or any unsaturated oil
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees C.
Take the chicken strips. You can choose to slice them to cubes or use a single large strip.
Add salt and pepper to the chicken and rub it in well.
Crush the cooked and dried quinoa and add dried herbs and mix well.
Set up 3 bowls for preparing the coating : flour, egg and quinoa.
Begin with a first coat of flour and shake off the excess.
Next dip the chicken in the egg then shake off the excess.
Lastly, coat the chicken with the quinoa pressing it lightly into the plate or bowl to make the quinoa stick to the chicken.
Line a baking pan lined with parchment paper, and drizzle some oilive oil on to the parchment pepper and spread it evenly.
Place the chicken nuggets side by side without over crowding it. Drizzle each nugget with few drops of olive oil.
Bake in the oven between 30 - 40 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
Serve with your favorite sauce or dip.