Since my son could run around I have been planning my outings based on whether or not a restaurant has a kiddies’ menu and a play area – something I didn’t quite grasp before I had a child of my own.
Like most parents, I find it frustrating that the kiddies’ meal choices at most places, are generally the greasiest and most nutritionally-empty dishes around: leaving you weighing up whether the pizza or hot dog is the ‘healthier’ choice for your little one (sounds a little crazy but hey…we don’t have much to work with!).
There is a reason that chicken strips are on every kiddies’ menu I have ever come into contact with: it is because pretty much all kids LOVE them (and most crumbed things for that matter). It is the same reason that crumbed chicken can be found in most home freezers across the world, ready for parents to serve up to their children in a matter of minutes.
The problem with some crumbed frozen chicken, meat and fish is that they tend to be loaded with sodium for added flavour. They are also regarded as ‘processed meat’ which should be limited in your child’s diet given that processed foods have been linked to Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease. I’m not suggesting you need to steer clear of these family favourites (I am no stranger to keeping a supply in the freezer for a quick and easy meal) but it is important to remember that processed meat should be served to your little ones in moderation.
In an effort to create my own healthier rendition of the famous chicken strip, I decided to get cooking with the healthiest ingredients.
The key to this recipe is to ensure that you use a good quality non-stick pan (or you will have a bunch of batter stuck to it!) and to use enough oil at a time. That’s not to say you should be deep frying the strips at all, but rather using just enough oil to coat the pan when frying.
You could use this batter to crumb meat, chicken or even zucchini! You’ll just need to adapt the cooking time accodingly.
What you’ll need:
- 5-6 free-range, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1 tsp celery salt/ Herbamare
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 3 Tbs spring onion, very finely diced
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 3 free-range eggs
- 1 cup milk (any milk of your choice)
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2-3 Tbs olive oil for frying
- Beat the egg in a medium-sized bowl. Combine with the milk and lemon and set aside.
- In another medium-sized bowl combine the flour, spring onion, spices and sesame seeds. Set aside.
- Using a sharp knife, cut each chicken breast into three strips. Giving you around 15-18 strips in total (some pieces may be larger than others).
- Heat 1 Tbs of the olive oil in a non-stick pan on a medium-high heat.
- Then take each strip at a time and coat it in the egg wash and then roll it in the flour mixture until totally coated. Place it onto the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes a side (depending on the thickness of the chicken strip).
- Fry strips in batches of 5 strips at a time (to avoid over-crowding the pan).
- Once each strip is finished cooking, place it onto a clean plate with roller towel to drain any excess oil.
- Add another Tbs olive oil to the pan for each batch of chicken strips. Continue until all the strips have been used.
- Serve with sweet-potato fries and homemade tomato sauce (or any choice of sides).
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within three days.
* The above recipe will need to be adapted if your child has an allergy to any of the ingredients mentioned. Never leave your child unsupervised when eating.