Almond Meal Crusted (Baked!) Chicken Nuggets

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Ingredients:

  • 8 oz chicken breast or chicken tenders
  • 1 egg (beaten) or 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • Spices - 1 tsp of each:
    • Paprika
    • Garlic powder
    • Onion powder
    • Salt
    • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Prepare crust mixture by combining almond meal and spice mixture.
  3. Cut chicken breast into two inch thick pieces.
  4. Lightly coat the chicken pieces in egg whites or egg
  5. Cover in the crust mixture.
  6. Place nuggets on a baking sheet (use parchment paper to avoid stickiness) and bake for around 20-30 minutes or until chicken is done cooking.

Easy Coconut Chia Pudding

I’m a big believer in finding out what foods work best for your body. Nutritional science isn’t binary–it’s actually quite complex and will vary depending on the individual. Having made the decision to experiment with a ketogenic diet (high fat, low carbohydrate diet), I have been incorporating chia seeds into many of my meals. Chia seeds are packed with healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Since their carbohydrate content consists primarily of fiber, they have a low net carbohydrate value and are great for incorporating into lower carbohydrate diets. In general, dietary fiber is not a significant source of usable energy in the body because it cannot be digested and therefore does not impact blood glucose levels. Importantly, fiber delays gastric emptying, which effectively increases and prolongs satiety — we feel fuller for longer periods of time.

You can mix them in with smoothies, oatmeal or yogurt, or sprinkle them on top of salads. There are multiple types of chia seed concoctions, but pudding is one of my favorites. Best yet–it only takes minimal ingredients and preparation to make this delicious dessert!

INGREDIENTS

// 3-4 tbsp Chia seeds

// 1/2 cup coconut milk

// Stevia to taste

DIRECTIONS

1. Combine chia seeds with coconut milk and stevia. Mix well and let the chia seeds soak up the liquid in the fridge for around 2 hours. The longer they’re soaking, the more chia seed goodness will get absorbed.




Crispy Kale Chips

kalechips

Easy, low calorie, and nutrient dense snack that will satisfy any salty cravings!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 tbsp pure olive oil (or olive oil spray)
  • Sea salt, for sprinkling 
  • Garlic powder (optional)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  3. Remove kale leaves from the stem. Wash and dry thoroughly (otherwise wet kale will get soggy).
  4. Spray olive oil on kale or toss 1 tbsp olive oil with kale.
  5. Sprinkle sea salt and/or garlic powder on top of olive oil + kale mixture.
  6. Bake until the edges are brown, but aren't burnt. Around 10-15 minutes. 

 

4 Ingredient Zucchini Meatballs

zucchinimeatballs

The easiest meatballs you'll ever make - four ingredients and minimal prep/cook time! These meatballs go great with 1/2-1 avocado and roasted vegetables for a quick and healthy lunch or dinner. 

I was able to limit the number of ingredients without sacrificing taste because I am not cooking with lean cuts of meat. Fat has been demonized by the United States, and conventional wisdom has taught us that eating fat will make us fat. Interestingly, there is a growing body of literature which suggests that the effect is actually quite the opposite. For all the science nerds out there, here's what researcher's Volek and Phinney had to say:

On it’s surface, this looks like a paradox.  But with a little thought, it actually makes sense.  A high carbohydrate intake has two effects in the body that promote higher levels of saturated fat.  First, carbohydrates stimulate the body to make more insulin, which inhibits the oxidation of saturated fat.  Thus, when insulin levels are high, saturated fat tends to be stored rather than burned as fuel.  Second, a high carbohydrate intake promotes the synthesis of saturated fat in the liver. This is particularly problematic for individuals with insulin resistance (characterized as ‘carbohydrate intolerance’ in our recent book [17]).This combination of decreased oxidation and increased synthesis of saturated fat therefore results in accumulation of saturated fats in the blood and tissues.

Dietary saturated fat intake is unrelated to risk for chronic disease, but rather higher saturated fat levels in the blood do appear to pose a problem.The culprit then is clearly not dietary saturated fat per se, but rather consumption of more carbohydrate than an individual’s body can efficiently manage. (The Sad Saga of Saturated Fat)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb grass fed ground beef (85/15)
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup shredded zucchini (sometimes I also add in bell peppers or mushrooms too!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Grate 1/3 cup of zucchini. If you don't have a food grater, you can also dice the zucchini into small pieces.
  3. In a large bowl, combine 1 lb grass fed ground beef, 1/3 cup shredded zucchini, 1 egg, and 1/4 cup almond meal. Mix well.
  4. Form into 1 tablespoon sized meatballs (about 1 oz per meatball).
  5. Place meatballs onto a greased baking sheet (I use coconut oil) and bake for 30 minutes, or until well done. I prefer 

Macros:

This recipe makes around 25 meatballs, with 1 serving (5 meatballs) being: 233 calories, 17 g of fat, 1 g of carb, and 19 g of protein.

 

Note: Nutritional sciences is not binary - it's very complex and varies among individuals. I'm not a nutritionist, but someone who just likes to read papers and experiment with nutrition. 

Easy Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

coconutchiapudding.png

Since making the decision to experiment with a ketogenic diet, I have been incorporating chia seeds into many of my meals. Chia seeds are packed with healthy omega 3 FA, and since they're carbohydrate content is primarily fiber, they have a low net carbohydrate value. In general, dietary fiber is not a significant source of usable energy in the body because fiber resists hydrolysis by digestive enzymes. Fiber doesn't provide energy to the body in the form of glucose, but will provide calories in the form of usable short-chain FAs as a byproduct of fermentation in the colon.  Fiber delays gastric emptying which effectively increases and prolongs satiety -- we feel fuller for longer periods of time.

You can mix them in with smoothies, oatmeal or yogurt, or sprinkle them on top of salads. There are multiple modes of chia seed concoctions, but pudding is amongst my favorite. 

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 tbsp Chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • Stevia to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine chia seeds with coconut milk and stevia. Mix well and let the chia seeds soak up the liquid in the fridge for around 2 hours. The longer they're soaking, the more chia seed goodness will get absorbed. 

For more information on the benefits of fiber, visit Mark's Daily Apple