Growing up, I was a big believer that there was pretty much one edible meal: chicken nuggets. I didn't particularly care where they came from, but if we were going out to eat, fast food or otherwise, I wanted chicken nuggets.
For that matter, I still get chicken at most restaurants. Go figure.
But that's beside the point.
The point is that chicken nuggets is always a pretty safe bet for a tasty meal. Except it's normally not something I'd throw in the particularly healthy category. A lot of recipes for them require a deep fryer and powdered sugar.
Whut. There's sugar in my chicken nuggets?? No wonder I love( ahem, loved--you knew what I meant) them!
The other significant piece of information for this post is that my grocery shopping day is Friday. And, I shopped on Wednesday last week due to odd circumstances
, so I'm getting to the scraping the bottom of the barrel for meals stage by yesterday and today. When thinking about dinner yesterday, I opened my fridge and took stock.
Broccoli? Nope, used the last of it Monday.
Cauliflower? Finished it off Tuesday.
Zucchini? Forget it, I mixed it with tomatoes and basil for a snack for the kids the other afternoon.
Cucumber? I have one. One. What the gravy am I going to do to feed four people their veggies with one cucumber?? Pointless.
Bell peppers? Onions? Bananas? Cheddar cheese? ---seriously?? I'm out of cheese??
I did have carrots, though, which is kind of a plus. I say "kind of" because it's one of the few veggies the girls outright refuse to eat. Hence, it's survival in the fridge.
So, after much thought, I took to Pinterest and searched for something I could do with the ingredients I had. And, lo and behold:
Chicken nuggets. Seriously. I was going back to my roots. Chicken nuggets for dinner. The more I thought about it, the more I liked it.
I went through quite a few recipes until I found one that fit our fairly low carb, low sodium, no processed sugar needs. And, guys.
You can't even understand. You've got to try these. ASAP.
Not kidding. These will change your life. Here's the link:
Of course, I omitted the salt and replaced it with a little more garlic powder. Honestly, you could probably cut it out without any replacement and not notice. Parmesan cheese is PACKED with sodium, so it doesn't really need any extra help in the salt department.
These things got GONE. In record time. And, since there was no added salt, no added sugar, it wasn't super high in carbs, it wasn't something I felt even remotely bad about feeding my family.
(Even if we skimp on watching the carbs and sugar, salt has a huge impact on Lilah-Bear. We have to be super careful about it. If she eats too much sodium--which is in everything, if you read your labels--she swells the next day like a water balloon. And it takes a couple days of REALLY watching and increased water intake to get her back to her normal self.)
Ooh, one more little side note about those: I knew I wouldn't have time to chop up the chicken, do all the dredge work, etc. in the afternoon, so I did all the prep work while the kids napped and stored them in a Ziploc gallon bag until we were ready to cook them. I didn't cook them six at a time, either; I just dumped half a bag in at a time and did it in two batches. Coconut or olive oil either one works beautifully to cook them in. Once we got ready to cook them, dinner was ready in about ten minutes. This is a great prep-ahead meal. Great.
Now. What to do for a side? I've never really cared one way or the other about sides, but Matt really loves them. He doesn't believe a meal is complete without a side. I returned to the fridge and stared at it until inspiration struck.
What goes with chicken nuggets?
French fries, obviously. Delicious, high sodium, starchy french fries... I nearly drooled thinking about it.
It's probably just as well that I didn't have any potatoes on hand, honestly...but, I did have...carrots? Could it be? Pinterest assured me that carrot fries were, in fact, a thing. Score!
And, the Nutrition Twins gave me a good introduction to them!
Again, here's your link:
We liked them, but a couple quick notes: First, these are not crunchy. If you're looking for crunchy, well...don't look here. They're cooked carrot. So, they're tender. And delightful for dipping and we didn't have any of those left either, I didn't even get a good picture. But, not crunchy. Consider yourself warned.
Secondly, they have a little bit of an afterburn. I mean, we're a family who's two year old bit into a habanero and did ok with it. So, we liked that. But, check these ingredients: chili powder and cayenne pepper. It's got some burn. But, they were super tasty, and come highly recommended!!
Especially if you look in your fridge and you only have carrots left...
But, seriously, guys, this was a rockin'-gone-in-no-time with no left overs at all kind of meal. Give it a go, and tell me what you think!!