Coconut Chicken Strips

Groundhog's Day. Another way of saying winter is well under way and spring, more importantly, summer, is on its way. Now here in the North east, and many parts of the country, winter has barely reared its ugly head! Which is perfectly fine with me. Our box is not heated, which is usually great at the end of the workout when you're all hot and sweaty, sometimes it really stinks if it's cold out and my toes/fingers get crazy cold! So personally, I'm all about the mild weather.

Anyway, my lead into the change of seasons still several weeks away (6 weeks, according to Punxsutawney Phil!), is it's getting closer. Are you ready? Are you in the shape you want to be? How many of you started working out four weeks ago for a New Years Resolution, and stopped going to the gym 3 weeks ago? I hope not you.. BUT, if it is, that's okay. And in fact, if you are still going to a regular gym, I would like to challenge you. Are you really getting the results you want?

Chronic cardio, isolated muscle group machines, boring TV channels, lame radio, muscle heads that are probably overcompensating... Here is an idea- go out and do something FUN! Grab a few of your fellow gym-goers that are just as fed up, a football, and play a little game of touch. Sports not you thing, but you love the great outdoors? Go for a hike and get the hind-side of your dreams. Need a little competition without the team but with the commodore? Try out CrossFit. In fact, right now, drop and give me 20. That's right, 20 push ups. Go to your knees if you have to. Felt good, huh? We were built to move dynamically. So do it! It's the best way to get the beach body that'll stop people in their tracks.

But maybe the beach isn't your thing. Maybe being fit and healthy and in shape is your thing. Perhaps you just like summer and want to enjoy the food. Summer food to me means leisure. It means let's gather round and play with our food. Let's have fun. But it's not summer yet...

So let's go with another Southern Style dish. With a twist.

Fried chicken is a basic in the south. And for good reason. The crispyness of the coating, the juiciness of the center, the flavor, the fun... Well let's take a step back and make it actually healthy for you. Yes, chicken strips can be done in a much better way. Coconut, spices, almond meal... go ahead and get your hands dirty, dinner is waiting!

Coconut Chicken Strips
The Food
- 2 lbs chicken, either breast or thigh meat, boneless and skinless, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness and cut into strips
- 1 cup almond meal
- Mix of the following: cumin, salt, black pepper, allspice, ginger, dash of chili powder (all to taste, 1/4-1 tsp; remember cumin goes a long way)
- 2 eggs, whisked really well
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes
- Olive oil

The Prep
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Line a cookie sheet with either non-stick foil, or foil sprayed with olive oil
Set up your mixing stations in an assembly line fashion:
Add the first cup of almond meal and spices to one large, shallow dish
Add the whisked eggs to a second large, shallow dish
Add the second half cup of almond meal and coconut flakes to a third, shallow dish

The Method
Take several of the chicken strips and press into the first dish of almond meal, covering completely
Move them to the second dish and cover completely with the eggs
Move them to the third dish and press into the almond meal/coconut mix, covering completely
Place on a clean dish and repeating with remaining strips until all are coated
Heat a thin layer of olive oil over medium/medium-high heat
Sear chicken strips until golden, about 2 minutes per side
Place the strips on the foil lined cookie sheet
Baked about 20 minutes or until cooked through (165-170 for chicken)

Enjoy :)

We served with a homemade apricot glaze and some sauteed green beans and baby potatoes from the CSA. It would also be delicious with some baked sweet potato fries, sauteed broccoli raab, sliced over a bed of spring greens...

This post is part of The Nourishing Gourmet's Pennywise Platter and Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday.

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