It is finally starting to feel like fall here in Texas with the suddenly crisp breeze and cold air that make me run back inside for my sweater and instantly bring to mind memories of and excitement for football, fall sports, holidays, decorating, parties and tradition. With these new temps and memories and excitement also comes a change in the foods we see in magazines and on tables and in new recipes that pop up. I love it - a new season with new star fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. Of course, my schedule doesn't change and, like most of you I am sure, it gets even busier (for all of the reasons mentioned above) so my need for fairly quick and simple recipes stays constant.
As fall and cooler weather rolls in, so does my desire for something a little heartier. This time of year makes me crave those soups and stews, hot gooey grilled sandwiches, bowls of warm roasted vegetables, and sliced tenderloin or pan seared chicken, cooked in the skillet with lots of spices and sauces. The challenge here is always - "how do you get heartier while still still feeling energized to tackle the day"? Well, that's what I want to continue to discover and share with you this season. My goal is to bring you some of the classics you love and some new ideas that you might love. I hope you find simple & delicious recipes that satisfy that fall or winter craving but that leave you energized to tackle your day or fueled for your run or workout. Follow along and, even if you don't actually try a recipe (which I certainly hope you do!), I hope that the meals & recipes you see inspire you to try something new, think outside of the box, or stick to the health, wellness and / or training goals that you have created for yourself this year.
To kick things off, I'm starting with these Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Tenders. I think cooking chicken and turning it into a recipe that people really love can be tough. Chicken can be bland and tough if not cooked just right. This recipe was the result of: (1) wanting a new chicken recipe that could be used for various dishes throughout the week, (2) making something kids might enjoy and (3) lightening up a hearty favorite, fried chicken. The first time I made these a good friend was my test subject, hehe, and she loved them! I, however, always my worst critic, thought there was room for improvement. So I adjusted a few components here and there and came up with the recipe I'm sharing today. Paired with a little prepared or homemade Tangy Honey Mustard it is a winning combo if you ask me. So, I hope you enjoy these and that they make an appearance on kitchen tables, at tailgates, in lunch boxes and on party trays this season.
CRISPY OVEN BAKED CHICKEN TENDERS
1 pound raw boneless skinless chicken tenders (already pre-cut in the package as shown in pic)
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 egg white
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Line a medium sized baking dish with foil or parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the buttermilk, Dijon mustard, and egg white.
3. In a shallow bowl or baking dish (I usually use a baking dish) add the breadcrumbs, salt and Italian Seasoning.
4. Dip each chicken tenderloin into the buttermilk mixture.
5. Then dredge it in the breadcrumb mixture until entirely coated in breadcrumbs.
6. Place each coated chicken tender on the lined baking sheet.
7. Bake tenders in preheated oven for about 15 - 20 minutes (depending on size & thickness of your chicken tenders).
8. After done baking, remove chicken tenders from oven, turn broiler to high and place chicken tenders back under broiler for about 2 minutes to brown the tops.
9. Remove and serve plain or with honey mustard dressing and enjoy!
(And I served mine with mac & cheese cups, a recipe to come on the blog, and a side mixed greens salad)