Baked Chicken Fingers ~ Gluten-Free

Tonight I had chicken on the menu and wanted to make chicken fingers out of the chicken, but didn’t really want to deep fry or even pan fry them.  I didn’t have any breadcrumbs, but did have Rice Chex and had seen that people had suggested using those in place of breadcrumbs.  I decided to give it a try. 

4 chicken breasts

My breading mix:

1.5 cups of crushed Rice Chex cereal

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp basil

1/2 tsp oregano

Liquid for dipping:

2 egg whites

1/2 cup to 1 cup of milk

Method:

Heat oven to 350 or 375.  Cut chicken breasts into strips.  Crush cereal & mix the rest of breading mixture together in a large ziplock bag or bowl.  Dip chicken strips in milk/egg mixture and then roll around, toss, shake & shimmy them in the breading mixture.  Place them on a baking sheet.  **I used a baking sheet that was covered in foil, then placed cooling racks on top & sprayed with Pam.  I did this so that the chicken fingers would not get soggy when cooking.  Repeat until finished.  Bake for 15-25 minutes, keeping a close eye.  The thicker your strips, the longer it will take to cook through.  You may broil on low at the end to brown up a bit if need be, then flip & do the same.  I would say 1-2 min. max. 

I served these with sweet potato hash browns & corn on the cob.  The kids & Aaron absolutely raved about these!  They said they tasted just like Wendy’s chicken nuggets (not sure if that is a compliment or not ;) ).  I will say that Jon & Aaron were using dipping sauces from Wendy’s that Hannah didn’t use the other day, so maybe that is why.  LOL!  I didn’t get a picture because they literally ate them faster than I could plate them up.  Jon has requested that we have these again tomorrow night!  LOL!  Maybe not that soon, but definitely a weekly menu item. 

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Did Someone Say Chocolate?

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I love chocolate in any shape or form.  I can’t tell you the last time I turned something with chocolate away (unless it had gluten in it).  ;)  The wonderful people over at Endangered Species Chocolate contacted me a couple weeks back to let me know that all of their chocolate is gluten-free!!!  How cool is that?  Not only that, but would I like to try some samples.  Ummm…….let me think about it.  HECK YEAH!!!  Yesterday when I got home from the craziness of the morning, I found a nice package on my doorstep.  Inside were 3-3oz chocolate bars (2 supreme dark 72% cocoa and 1 milk chocolate w/almonds) and 4-.35 oz chocolate treats (2 dark chocolate mint & 2 dark chocolate). 

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Endangered Species Choc0late donates 10% of their profit to help support species, habitat & humanity.  You can read their story here.  Their mission is:

Empowering individuals to create solutions that sustain species, habitat & humanity.

My most favorite statement on their brochure?  Savor chocolate.  Save the planet.  Well said. 

I decided to spread the love with my chocolate.  Yes, chocolate is very good when you can have it all to yourself, but not only do you end up over-indulging then, but your friends might not appreciate watching you scarf down a whole bar and not sharing the love.  So, I broke out my dark chocolate & milk chocolate w/almond bars after dining with 2 of my BFFs the other night.  We all were in love at first taste!  Really, how can you go back to Hershey’s (sorry, Special Dark & Dove) you know I love you, but seriously, this stuff is like solid gold (I was going to say liquid gold, but that doesn’t really make a lot of sense if the chocolate isn’t melted, does it?  LOL!  Such intense flavors, thick bar, amazing aftertaste.  It helps that I had 2 other people try is so you all don’t accuse me of liking everything that I try.  Yes, I like food and chocolate, especially, but I pride myself on being honest.  I know how hard it is to find good, gluten-free foods.   

My son, Jon tried the Dark Chocolate & Mint, as I am not a fan of mint.  Yes, there is a chocolate that I don’t care for.  It is okay, don’t worry.  There is plenty of other chocolate to indulge in.  Jon ooohed & ahhhhed over this chocolate.  He seriously did not shut up the whole time it was in his mouth.  He did mention that there was an odd aftertaste.  I may have to try it now to see what he is referring to.  He may not be used to good chocolate!  LOL!!  He is your 3 Musketeers Mint Bar dude!  ;) 

I love this product & will be making sure to keep supporting such a wonderful company.  Thank you for the samples & allowing me the chance to review your product!  :) 

I am editing to add that Endangered Species Chocolate is giving away a year’s worth of free chocolate!  Just complete their short survey here

Weekly Menu Plan ~ June 28, 2009

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The hot, dog days of summer are here.  Humidity is crazy!  Feels like you are swimming through the air as you walk.  Great pool days, though.  :)  The kids are loving the daily swimming lessons.  I guess the one benefit to this heat is that there are no cold mornings for swimming.  Which means no purple lips or chattering teeth! 

Celiac Family is hosting the Gluten-Free Menu Swap this week and chose the ingredient: balsamic vinegar. I love balsamic vinegar & use it for many different things in my house.  I will sometimes use balsamic vinegar alone for my salads.  I marinate my chicken breasts in a mix of balsamic, olive oil, basil, oregano, garlic, salt & pepper, then grill.  I saute mushrooms in balsamic vinegar.  I could go on & on.  Oh, one of my favorites is Caprese Salad with a balsamic gastrique (just balsamic & a touch of brown sugar stirred up & drizzled over the salad).  Thanks for hosting!

Onto the menu:

Sunday ~ Baked Parmesan Chicken Fingers, sweet potato hash browns, broccoli & salad

Monday ~ Salmon (Agave & Lime), brown rice, green beans & salad

Tuesday ~ Homemade Mac & cheese, baked beans, veggies & fruit (didn’t get to this last week)

Wednesday ~ Shrimp Scampi, asparagus & Caprese Salad w/Balsamic Gastrique

Thursday~ Spinach & Feta Turkey Burgers, roasted butternut squash, sauteed okra medley  & salad

Friday~ Homemade Veggie Pizza & salad

Saturday~ Breakfast for dinner (spinach & tomato frittata), sweet potato hash browns & fruit bowl

Baked Goods

Bread

Betty Crocker’s Yellow Cake Mix

Test another bread

Don’t forget to check out Orgjunkie for lots more menu plans.  :)

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