In the dead of winter it is so easy to reach for those rich, hearty, unhealthy comfort foods but now that Spring has arrived, I’m trying to make some healthy swaps for those calorie-laden dishes but still feel full and satisfied. Because, you know, bathing suit season is quickly approaching.
Enter the coconut macadamia nut chicken tender. I have said before that if I could choose my last meal, it would be fried chicken. Well, I would eat it everyday if I could get away with it. But that’s just not realistic so I decided to swap out the all-purpose flour for coconut flour along with some sweet, nutritious additions to create a tropical twist on my favorite food. Coconut flour is high in fiber and protein which makes it incredibly filling. Plus, it’s low in carbohydrates and gluten-free so you can pretty much satisfy any lifestyle with it. I love the slight sweetness it adds to any recipe without any sugar.
The shredded, toasted coconut and macadamia nuts add a nice texture to the chicken tenders and boost the health benefits. I also love the tropical, summery flavors to help pull us out of this cold, dreary spring.
These chicken fingers are browned in a little olive oil to brown and crisp the coating then transferred to the oven to cook through. This saves a lot of fat and calories over the traditional fried version.
If you are looking for a sweet coconut flour recipe, make sure to check out these bad boys, also known as our new favorite breakfast.
Coconut Macadamia Nut Chicken Tenders
1 lb. chicken tenderloins
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, toasted
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 cup coconut flour
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Nonstick coconut oil spray
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1. In a ziplock bag, marinate the chicken in the buttermilk for 4 hours, or up to overnight.
2. Place macadamia nuts in a blender or food processor and pulse until they resemble wet sand. Combine the ground nuts, coconut, coconut flour, salt, pepper and parika in a shallow pie plate. Remove chicken from buttermilk and allow excess buttermilk to drip off. Coat chicken in the coconut mixture then place on a plate. Continue until all the chicken has been coated.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place chicken in a single layer in the skillet and brown, 2 minute per side. You are not cooking the chicken through at this point, just getting some nice color on it. Generously spray a baking rack with coconut oil spray and place on a baking sheet. Remove the chicken from the skillet and place on the prepared baking rack. Bake chicken for 5-7 minutes or until cooked through. Whisk together the honey and mustard and serve on the side for dipping.