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coconut cashew chicken tenders

Ever have one of those moments where you refuse to give up something as good as say, chicken tenders? In our house, we have had to eliminate a record number of foods over the past 5 years (since diagnosis). And we are better for it. Our guts are stronger. We are healthier. The tough part? We are still working on it. Being healthy and strong doesn’t happen overnight. It happens one meal at a time. One day at a time. One thing is for sure, it certainly hasn’t been the easiest road. We’ve hit some bumps along the way but we are committed to making every single bite count nutritionally speaking. In our house, we try not to talk about the food we can’t eat. Instead, we celebrate the hundreds of things we CAN eat. As such, I am constantly reevaluating, reassessing, reinventing recipes that suit our current dietary concerns. Necessity is the mother of invention, right?

Speaking about new things on the block , there’s a recently-launched website to tell you about. It’s called The Balanced Platter (TBP) and it serves as a one-stop shop for balanced, healthy gluten-free living. The site will offer ideas from your favorite gluten free bloggers about how to live well on a gluten-free diet  – anything from recipes to tips, from how-to’s to product reviews.

The site is the brainchild of Amy Green of Simply Sugar and Gluten-free and Maggie Savage of She Let Them Eat Cake. Throughout the year, perhaps you’ll even see guests posts over that way from yours truly. In the meantime, however, Amy and Maggie are kicking off their new site in style. Each day in January, a different gluten free blogger will be posting/sharing a healthy gluten free recipe. For a complete list of who is posting when, please click here. You can also find TBP on Facebook or by following @balancedplatter on Twitter. As a celebratory round-up, TBP will be giving away a baking gift pack to one lucky reader on February 1st. Many thanks to Amy and Maggie!

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No matter the main course, we try to have a side of greens with our dinner each day. We’ll take all the calcium we can get. If we’re having a salad, I typically incorporate a combination of three kinds of lettuce, depending on the season. I almost always sneak in some kale ribbons (kale leaves stacked, halved lengthwise, then sliced cross-wise super thinly). This cancer fighting vegetable is pretty nutrient dense. Did you know one cup of kale has more calcium than one cup of milk?  It’s great for your liver too.  Much to my surprise, all three of my children actually eat salad made with kale ribbons in it. Which makes me a happy mama. Both coconut and kale are warming foods – perfect for this time of year.  Even though the coconut is unsweetened, it has an ever-so-slight sweetness to it. They gobbled these tenders right up. Start to finish, you could have this meal on your plate in 30 minutes. Perfect for a busy weeknight.

coconut cashew chicken tenders

3-4 organic chicken breasts
1 1/4 cups raw cashews (unsalted)
1 1/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut (I used Let’s Do Organic)
1 tsp sea salt (I use Real Salt)

1.) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.) Place one chicken breast between 2 pieces of parchment paper. Using a meat tenderizer (mine is still in a box somewhere since our move 6 months ag0 – - so I just used the side of a pint glass) pound the chicken to a thickness of 1/3 inch. Repeat this step for each chicken breast.
3.) Cut each chicken breast into 2 inch strips (for each breast, you’ll likely have on/about 4 tenders).
4.) In the bowl of a food processor fitted with an “S” blade, place the coconut, cashews and salt. Process for about 20 seconds, until the mixture resembles large crumbs. Transfer mixture to a shallow plate/dish.
5.) Using a fork, press to coat each tender entirely with coconut/cashew mixture. Flip onto other side and press to coat there too. Transfer to baking sheet.
6.) Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven. Using tongs or a clean fork, flip the tenders over and bake another 9-10 minutes.

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11 responses to “coconut cashew chicken tenders”

  1. Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free said:

    This is definitely going in my bookmarks for recipes to make. It’s so simple & healthy with only 4 ingredients, too. It’s a great recipe to use for kids so they’re getting healthy chicken nuggets without knowing it.

    We’re so grateful for your support of TBP! Thank you!!


  2. Shirley @ gfe said:

    What a simple and wonderful recipe, Stephanie! I love it! I’ve done coconut chicken tenders, and almond-crusted chicken tenders before, I’ve not mixed the two, so this recipe will be great to try. I do love chicken tenders. ;-)


  3. cheryl yesberger said:

    this looks delicious…and will work with my diet..thank you for sharing!

  4. Stephanie said:


    You are most welcome – it’s my pleasure. And thank you for the opportunity to be a part of it.

    I am forever on the hunt for child-friendly recipes. And it’s a tough one. One week they’ll eat ‘em, the next week they barely touch them. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. And that’s ok. When I stumble upon something they’ll nosh – it joins the ranks of the regular rotation. And the fact that I can get it on the table with our crazy schedule of school, kids activities and homework is a huge bonus!


  5. Stephanie said:


    Chicken tenders are quite yummy! Almond crusted tenders sound wonderful. Sad for us, we’re off almonds at the moment. Until I can reintroduce them, I’ll be pining….yum!

  6. Stephanie said:

    Hi Cheryl,

    Thanks so much for stopping by…and you are welcome!

    I presume this recipe could work for quite a few people (unless of course you’re nut free). Please do let me know what you think of them if you give them a try!

  7. Maggie said:

    Stephanie thank you so much for this! It’s such a versatile recipe, I think you could even make a vegetarian version with tofu! Maybe one additional ingredient since tofu won’t be as wet. Anyway, I digress :) I love your attitude about celebrating all of the foods you CAN eat. Sounds like your kids are doing super-awesome with the kale ribbons. I just bought some kale today, my kids are getting some salad for dinner tonight! Thanks for the inspiration, and for supporting the launch of TBP.

  8. Stephanie said:

    Hello there, Maggie

    You are most welcome – It was my pleasure and so much fun to be a part of TBP kick-off! Thanks for allowing me to take part.

    So curious to hear about how your kiddos did with the kale ribbons. I find it adds such a nice texture to the salad. Even my hubby – who is rather particular – eats it. But, I do grate some raw carrots and dice some avocado in there and dress it with some EVOO and salt and pepper. I guess what they don’t know won’t hurt them, right?


  9. mary said:

    steph! this sounds so yummy! it’s going on my menu list next week. thank you!

  10. Stephanie said:

    Hi Mary!

    It’s so wonderful to see you here :)

    So glad you like the recipe. I sure hope your boys like it! Let me know how it comes out, my dear. Mwah!

  11. Peddler's Choice said:

    A wonderful recipe that looks very tasty! Thank you for this post.

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