Jamie says: I began my dietetic internship this week! This two-semester internship is the last component of my program (along with two additional evening courses) before I can graduate, take the RD exam, and become a registered dietitian (RD). I start off at WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) for a month and then move to other rotations (more info to come in future blog posts). I have already learned a lot. It’s a whole new experience entering the “working world” and not being on campus. To help fit my new lifestyle, Kathryn and I came up with a new dinner cooking schedule for this semester. Tonight was my night to cook. My inspiration for chicken nuggets came from a baked popcorn chicken recipe from the Sun-Sentinel newspaper. Here’s my spin on it:
Chicken Nuggets with Mushroom Spread & Zucchini Strips
- 1 1/3 lb zucchini
- 1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt, coarse
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 omega-3 egg, large
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs (Ian’s)
- 1 lb chicken breast
- 8 oz baby bella sliced mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp Smart Balance Extra Virgin Olive Oil Buttery Spread
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1 Tbsp parmesan cheese, shredded
- 5 black olives, small
- non-stick cooking spray (PAM)
- 1/2 cup Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce (Bull’s Eye)
- Zucchini Strips: Preheat oven to 450° F. Wash zucchini. On a cutting board, cut each in half lengthwise. Lay halves flat, and cut each half into strips. Place zucchini strips on a baking sheet and coat with extra virgin olive oil. Toss with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake for about 18 minutes or until done.
- Chicken Nuggets: Meanwhile, crack an egg into a small bowl. Add Dijon mustard and salt. Mix well. On a medium-sized plate (to the right of the bowl), pour breadcrumbs. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray (place it next to the breadcrumbs). Rinse chicken, place on a cutting board (to the left of the egg bowl), and cut into 1-inch pieces. Dip chicken pieces into the egg and then roll in the breadcrumbs. Place breaded chicken on the baking sheet and repeat with the other pieces of chicken. Cook at 450° F for about 13 minutes or until done.
- Mushroom Paste: Meanwhile, rinse mushrooms. Heat a large saute pan on medium heat. Mince garlic. Melt buttery spread in pan. Add garlic to pan. When garlic is lightly brown, add mushrooms and thyme. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked and soft. In a small food processor, add mushrooms, parmesan cheese, and black olives. Blend for about 5 seconds or until mushrooms are in small pieces.
- Serve zucchini strips, mushroom spread, and chicken strips on a plate with BBQ sauce. Serves: 2. Prep time: ~20 minutes. Enjoy!
Delicious and quite quick! We mixed the mushroom spread in with the zucchini. The crunch of the chicken nuggets was a nice contrast to the smooth vegetables.
Nutrition note: Chicken nuggets from restaurants are often deep-fried, made with different parts of the chicken (including fatty pieces), and use breadcrumbs with trans fats and no whole grains. These chicken nuggets are made with chicken breasts, whole wheat breadcrumbs, and omega-3 eggs, and they’re trans fat free!