Amazing Almond Crusted Chicken Nuggets

Chicken nuggets gag me.

Except occasionally from Chick- fil- A, those are tasty – just not great for your body.

Chicken nuggets that are made from pieces and parts and are extruded to special shapes gag me.

They also gag my children, especially when they get a chewy part.  You know what I’m talking about. We call those parts chicken toe nails. Ewwww! It is so nasty to get a bite of chicken with the texture of a toenail blended in.

I have spent the last 3 months revamping how we eat due to the c diff colitis infection our 15 year old is battling.  One of the things we have done is to make sure she gets plenty of healthy sources of protein to help her body heal.

Whenever you are sick, your body needs more protein to repair.

Chicken nuggets are a classic go-to for easy fast and yummy. When they are homemade they do take more time BUT you eliminate the gag factor.

One of our new favorite dinner recipes is a chicken nugget you don’t have to fear because you know where the chicken comes from.

The coating is gluten-free and super delicious.

We love it because it doesn’t call for breadcrumbs. We have almost eliminated all bread from my daughter’s diet - simple highly processed foods (she won’t eat 100% whole wheat bread) make bacteria thrive. We want c diff to die not thrive!

If you are trying to EAT less processed foods, FEWER carbs and more WHOLE FOODS, this recipe is for you! Bonus – it’s super tasty, especially with a slice of fresh squeezed lemon across the top.

Amazing Almond Crusted Chicken Nuggets!

Amazing Almond Crusted Chicken Nuggets!

Awesome Almond Crusted Chicken Nuggets

  • 1 pound chicken tenders or chicken breast (sliced in ¼ inch chunks)
  • 1 cup almond meal (flour) (Costco has the best price I’ve found)
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • Pepper
  • 2 large eggs

Set oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.

Combine almond meal, parmesan, paprika and pepper in a small bowl. Beat eggs in separate bowl. Dip chicken pieces in egg then almond mixture and place on prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with a squeeze of lemon. It’s like a burst of warm sunshine….so tasty!

Thanks for reading! Give this recipe a try, your body and your taste buds will appreciate it!


Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Simple Crock Pot Green Chile Chicken with Masa Dumplings: FAST FOOD Part 2 of 3

Simple Crock Pot Green Chile Chicken with Masa Dumplings

Imagine your busiest day of the week filled with all things nutso where you are stretched as thin as silly putty about to snap. Then add something else to your to-do list. Like eat. Eating isn’t all bad, especially when it’s something fabulous and easy and delicious and good for your team.

Enchilada sauce, chicken, black beans and masa.  BAM! That is it my friends.

Masa? Que Paso? Masa is corn flour used to make corn tortillas and tamales. We LOVE homemade corn tortillas and tamales but again….labor of muy loco love cuz they are a crazy amount of work to make. To be fair to tortillas though, we make them several times a month and those bad boys are so worth the effort! Just not on those days when life is super nuts.

Back to masa and why it is so spectacular. Masa harina is a whole grain and because it comes from corn, it’s gluten free if that matters to you. If you need it gluten free certified make sure it’s on the label (like Bob’s Redmill). Otherwise masa is a cinch to work with and it’s super delicious, its good for you without tasting like liquid alfalfa. Sold right?

You will find it on the bottom shelf at the grocery store in the Hispanic section.


We invented these masa dumplings when we had no time to make honest to goodness real homemade corn tortillas, fill them with the chicken and bake…I needed to simplify crazy delicious enchiladas. This recipe does that.

Back to dinner on the craziest day of the week.

FOUR ingredients, whole grain, whole foods….AWESOME!


This recipe also has 3 different levels of difficulty based on how much time you have.

Simple Crock Pot Green Chili Chicken with Masa Dumplings

  • 1 28 oz can green chili enchilada sauce
  • ¼ can water added to the green chili enchilada can, swirled around
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pound chicken (pork would work too)- I only thaw it in the fridge overnight (when I remember) so it’s still pretty frozen in the morning

Use a crock-pot liner, spray with oil or do nothing at all (that’s how I do it) to the inside of the crock pot. Place enchilada sauce, water, black beans and chicken. Dial crock pot to low and let it go to work while you attack your day. I usually start this meal at 7 am, when I get home at 3 I shred the chicken and add the masa.

***EASY LEVEL ALERT*** need things simpler? Don’t add the extra water, once the chicken has cooked all day, shred it and scoop the shredded chicken into flour tortillas or corn shells. BAM…Dinner ready

***MEDIUM LEVEL ALERT *** If you have an extra hour before dinner add this step:

  • 1 2/3 cups masa (whole grain corn flour used to make tamales – you find it in the Hispanic section)
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • Pinch of salt

Measure masa, add salt and blend. Add water to form dough, similar to biscuit consistency. If it’s a little sticky and wet it’s ok. If it’s so sticky you can’t get it off your fingers add a little more masa. Corn flour has no gluten so you can’t really over mix it with negative consequences.

Scoop golf ball sized globs and pat flat - about ¼ inch thick in the palm of your hand or your fingertips and drop into fully cooked shredded chicken goop in the crock pot. Spread the masa around (we push the layers of masa down with a fork) until all the masa dumplings are submerged. Crank the crockpot to high for one hour and your masterpiece will be inhaled shortly.

Serve atop fresh spinach with a side of tomatoes or summer squash. My kids love to dollop with sour cream.

Muy delicioso!


 ***HARDEST LEVEL BASED ON TIME AND ENERGY*** Should you feel super energetic and prefer homemade green Chile tomatillo sauce, this is what I use. We grow tomatillos in the garden and literally have 2 – 5 gallon buckets of tomatillos. I love homegrown, homemade sauce so I freeze it in 4-5 cup portions and use that instead of the cans of enchilada sauce from the store.


Quick Green Chile Tomatillo Sauce


  • 5 pounds of husked tomatillos
  • 10-12 jalapenos, remove seeds and ribs if you prefer less heat
  • 2 big pinches of salt

Add enough water to cover tomatillos and jalapenos, bring to a boil and boil 10 minutes. Drain in a colander.

In your blender add:

  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 medium onion, course chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Salt to taste

Scoop enough cooked tomatillos and jalapenos into the blender to fill about 2/3 the way. Add a cup or two of the broth so things swirl and grind to your smoothness liking.

 Add olive oil to bottom of stock pot, enough to coat.

Pour blender filled with pureed goodness back into the stock pot you used to boil the tomatillos. Blend in batches remaining broth, tomatillos and jalapenos until smooth. Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 min to 1 hour.  Yields 14 cups.