Best McFree Chicken Nuggets. GF, DF

You know that if you are limited to eating healthy, home made meals, you will do anything to help make life tastier and happier for your kids!

When I saw this recipe from Danielle Walker, I knew right then, that I was “all in”! The next day I hit the grocery store(like I do everyday)but I was on a mission to get these made. I wanted to be that amazing Dad that recreated McNuggets at home!

I picked up the best chicken thighs that I could get and headed for my kitchen. Little did I realize that this recipe would put my Vitamix to the ultimate test as well as the chef. Woops!

I didn’t think that I needed to get ground chicken and I was already “all in”, so I had to McGyver this into submission. I am that guy!

Naive and excited to make, I threw all 2 lbs of thighs right into the ‘ol Vitamix and hit the ON switch. It chewed up pretty good for about 30 seconds and then just stopped. (I thought these things were indestructible??) After calling the company and getting put on hold, I realized it just needed a rest during the GRINDING OF THE CHICKEN! (It turns out that you might need to grind the chicken in smaller batches)

Well, I was so excited to make these and I thought, if I’m going to go the trouble of making these, I should just make a bunch.  I had at least a double batch, cause I made close to 80 nuggets.

When I do a recipe, I use it as a guide for the most part and wing it from there.(makes life a little exciting)

I only used dark meat and it turned out great. I also only used the flours that I had on hand. I used almond and coconut flour for the batter. My batter was a lot thicker than I thought it would be, but it worked out really well even though it didn’t look like it was going to.

This is a bit of work, but totally worth it. My whole family, nearly gave me a standing ovation at supper! They all loved them, so much! Both girls wanted them for lunch the next day.

I hope you give it a go. It really is nice to have an old favorite, but in a healthy way:)

Stay healthy!

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AUTHOR: Danielle Walker – AgainstAllGrain.com

SERVES: 20 nuggets

CUISINE: Kids

PREP TIME: 25 mins

COOK TIME: 20 mins TOTAL TIME: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups organic palm shortening, lard, tallow or duck fat for frying
  • 1/2 pound ground dark meat chicken (preferably organic and if possible pastured)
  • 1/2 pound ground white meat chicken
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted chicken stock
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Batter

*note these will likely work without the egg for egg-free, but will probably be less crispy. 

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a deep pot over medium high heat. Bring the oil to 350°F then reduce the heat on the stove to keep a constant temperature. The oil should be about 2-inches high in the pot.
  2. Combine the chicken, chicken stock, 3/4 teaspoon salt, ground mustard, and garlic powder in a bowl.
  3. In a shallow and wide dish, whisk together the bean flour, arrowroot, 1/2 teaspoon salt and baking powder. Add the egg and sparking water and stir until just combined and smooth.
  4. Roll small portions of the meat mixture between your palms to create a nugget shape, then dip them in the batter. Shake off the excess batter and place them in the hot oil, working in batches of 6-8 nuggets. Cook on each side 3 to 4 minutes, until the batter has puffed up and is golden brown.
  5. Remove the nuggets with a mesh skimmer and place them on a rack lined with a paper towel to cool. Continue working in batches until you have finished the meat and batter.

Alternatively – these nuggets can be baked all at once, but they do not get nearly as crispy as they do when fried. After dipping the chicken in the batter and shaking off the excess liquid, place them on a baking sheet and baked for 16 minutes at 400°F.

To Freeze and Reheat

Cool the nuggets completely then freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Transfer them to an airtight container and store for up to 3 months. To reheat, place the nuggets on a baking sheet and cook at 400°F for or 12 minutes or 8 minutes on convection.

Best Chicken Nuggets, Danielle Walker

Review Caesar Salad from Hot for Food Blog

I saw this really cute couple on the news the other day talking about their love of food and had to look up the website to check it out. As promised, their blog was sexy and sleek and the recipes sounded phenomenal. The caesar salad caught my eye, as the dressing that I found recently is dairy free and good, but I was looking for phenomenal!

Needless to say, I had to try it. Once I thought I had the ingredients and was needing some dressing, I flew through my kitchen, looking for all the tools needed.

I quickly realized that my cashews needed 3 hours of soaking and when you are feeding a family and in a hurry, 3 hours just won’t do. I got the water boiling and pour that over the cashews. Whew! That should do the job.

I’m interested but not looking for vegan recipes, so I made my salads with lots of meat. This recipe looks delish!

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My salad was kale, sunflower sprouts, organic baby cucumbers,  organic cherry tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, salami and bacon.

caesar dressing ingredients (16 oz of dressing):

3/4 C raw cashews (soaked for a min. of 3 hrs)

3/4 C water

1 bulb of roasted garlic (approx. 7-9 cloves. Feel free to do more/less depending on your taste)

1 pitted medjool date

1 tsp lemon zest

1 lemon, juiced

3 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground pepper

Drain the soaked cashews and rinse with more water until it runs clear. Place all the ingredients in a vita-mix or high powered blender and mix on high until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving on your salad.

I felt like a hack, making this dressing. I was in a hurry, so I didn’t do it exactly as the recipe says, but boy was I happy with the results!!

I love, love this dressing so much! Thank you!

Dairy Free Vegan Caesar Salad

All Purpose, Healthy, Orange/Vinegar Cleaner

I saw this recipe recently and I am sorry, I can’t remember where I saw it!
This is so easy and healthy.
Why are we convinced that those large chemical companies care about us enough to not poison us?

Get a large jar with a good sealing lid. I love the look of this jar!
Depending on how much you want to make, peel some oranges and put the peels into the jar.
Fill the jar with vinegar and set it in the counter for about 2 weeks. Make sure the peels are covered by vinegar or they will spoil.
Remove the peels and strain if you wish.
Pour into a spray bottle and use 50/50 with water.
This makes a great all purpose cleaner without the poisons!
Happy cleaning:)

Citrus Cleaner

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Organic Carrot and Chicken Soup

This has become a family favorite and I want to share it with you.
I started making this when we learned that our daughter had leaky gut syndrome. This was keeping her sick even after being gluten free for 2 years. The recipe I started with was the basis for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.
I have made it so many times and customized it along the way. I’m sure you will appreciate the the final product.

Grocery list for wonderful soup:
6-8 skin on chicken thighs(depending on size)
1 lb chicken sausage(I use organic from Sunworks)
8-10 good size carrots(for the soup in the picture, I found thumbelina carrots for a change)
2-3 cups of chicken stock(I prefer to make my own)
1 1/2 yellow onion
1 handful of fresh cilantro
1 handful fresh parsley
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste

This soup is purposely sparse on spices, to aid in healing, but adjust it to your tastes.

Peel carrots and cut 3/4 into large pieces and the remaining carrots into bite sized pieces. (You will need to easily pull out larger ones so that you can blend them up.)

Cut onion into larger pieces.

In a large pot, place chicken, carrots, onion, cilantro, parsley and chicken stock. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with water and slow boil for 3 hours. While soup is boiling, brown chicken sausage and break into small pieces.

After 3 hours, the carrots are very soft(great for easy digestion). Separate the chicken and vegetables from the stock. If you have an immersion blender, then blend the large pieces of carrot and some of the onion to create a more cloudy soup. If you are blending in a blender or Vitamix, put vegetables and some stock into the blender and slowly blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into the stock and stir into a nice soup. Carefully remove all bones and skin from the chicken thighs.(I then use the skin and bones again to make chicken stock)

Cut chicken into small pieces and prepare to put back into the soup.  Add the browned chicken sausage at this time. You have a portion of carrots and onions to put back into the soup. Continue to simmer on low and season to taste.

This makes enough soup for a few days and it makes a great school lunch item. You can freeze the soup and if stored correctly, it will be good for quite some time. It usually doesn’t last that long though.

 

 

 

Coconut Milk Yogurt Review

Going dairy free, grain free a few years ago, I had tried to make coconut milk yogurt soon after making the switch. FAIL! I tried it twice and failed both times. Yucky grey mold. (insert blechk face!)I had given up and my Yogourmet sat silently on the shelf waiting for the next opportunity to give it another go. Thanks to Danielle Walker and her recipe, I felt confident enough to give it a go.

I tried another recipe that didn’t use gelatin when I failed and that may have been the difference for me. You will have to try it for yourself and see.

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Ingredients needed:

2-14 oz cans of coconut cream/milk

3 tbls unflavoured gelatin

2 tbls honey

1-50-billion IU probiotic capsule or 1 dairy free probiotic yogurt starter kit

  1. Place 1/4 cup of the coconut milk in a bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over it and set aside to bloom for 10 minutes.photo 3
  2. Heat the remaining coconut milk in a saucepan over medium heat until it reaches 150 degrees F, about 10 minutes.photo 2 (2)
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in the softened gelatin and the honey until dissolved.
  4. Allow milk to cool to 110 degrees F, then whisk in the contents of 1-50 billion IU probiotic capsule or the yogurt starter.
  5. Pour the mixture through a  mesh sieve into sterilized jars and screw on the lids.
  6. Place the jars in a yogurt maker and ferment for 18-24 hours, or ferment in a dehydrator without the trays on 120 degrees F for the same time.photo 1 (3)
  7. The yogurt will still be liquid and the coconut cream may have separated at this point. Place the jars in the refridgerator for 4 hours to allow the gelatin to set and the yogurt to thicken. Once set, whisk vigorously to blend the yogurt or pulse in a blender a few times for an ultra-smooth consistency.

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