Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Coconut Cashew Crusted Chicken

If you are a gluten-free, dairy-free momma like me you may be looking for some extra protein to get you through breast feeding, sleep deprivation and loosing extra pregnancy pounds. I do not eat meat every day, or sometimes not every week, but I do know when my body needs some. It seems more common lately that my body is aching for higher amounts of protein. I have noticed that with breast feeding that my baby seems to be happier and less gassy as well, so maybe the protein is getting to him to help him grow stronger. My body type also thrives on a high protein diet, so I focus on getting as much whole grain, and whole plant food protein as possible, but sometimes I admit I just feel my best when I get a serving of chicken or salmon. It just does my body good. It is a bit more expensive to add organic or free range hormone free meat to your plate, but when you only eat it a few days a week it isn't as expensive and it is more about quality than quantity in this case.
I don't ever want to come off preachy about 'to eat meat' or 'not to eat meat'. I truly 100% believe that is all about what makes your body feel best.

And balance. Extremism has never been good for anyone.

Yet, I do know that the American diet over eats meat like crazy. We eat meat and dairy like we have endless amounts, and I guess in America it is some of the easiest food to buy. Still, imagine if you had to get your own dairy and meat from your own animal or farm in your backyard- I guarantee you would not be eating steak every night. You wouldn't be eating cheese at every meal either. Mostly because you now how much time and energy it would take to make a nice quality slab of cheese. It's a treat and a delicacy for sure!

If you had your own farm, you would have a more balanced approach to how much animal protein you were consuming. If you had that one cow or a few chickens you would make sure you didn't kill them only after a week of having them. Not to mention- after killing and cleaning a chicken you may have a different mindset all together about eating too much meat and what that all entails.

Basically, I think my approach now is to be more connected to where my food is coming from and not engage in the mass-producing-factory growing-meat market. That means if I am going to be a meat eater, I need to be a conscious buyer and know where my meat is not being fed chemicals and hormones. Buying from not only healthy, sustainable farms, but ones that care about God's world and environment.

I share all of this because I truly think it is important to think about. Consider the options and decided what is best for you and your family. I do enjoy a chicken meal when I make one because it seems more like a special occasion or feast to be enjoyed instead of an everyday occurrence. I like feeling that way. Like it should be something to be more thankful for in a grateful sort of way. Every food and every meal is a gift. Lest we forget!
So, with all of that said, here is one of my newest and most favorite recipes to make with some quality chicken. And if you are GF like me, you will enjoy this recipe more than the average person. Mainly because it is like a crispy chicken strip recipe that you may have not enjoyed since becoming GF. It is crunchy and then with the Thai seasonings you will be in heaven!
Coconut Cashew Crusted Chicken Recipe

1 pound of quality chicken cuts (boneless breast or thigh meat)

2 cups of coconut milk beverage (or other non-dairy milk)
2 TB of fresh lemon juice, about the juice of one lemon
pinch of sea salt and pepper

Wash, clean and cut the chicken into strip sized pieces. I usually get about 6 pieces from one breast and if you have 2-3 breasts with a pound of meat then you should get about 12-18 strips of chicken. Soak the raw chicken in a bowl with the non-dairy milk, lemon juice and TB of red curry paste. Mix all together and set aside for 30-60 minutes in the fridge to marinate and season.

Then mix up the following ingredients in a separate bowl to dip the chicken in...

1/2 cup of tapioca flour (add a little bit more if you need it)
1 cup of ground-up raw cashew pieces (you can grind whole cashews in a grinder or food processor to achieve a good consistency)
1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
1 TB of dried cilantro
pinch of sea salt

Olive oil or coconut oil for pan

Drop the wet chicken pieces into the bowl of the mixed dry ingredients. Roll and cover the piece of chicken fully with the dry ingredients. And then lay in a oiled baking pan. If you use a large 9x13 glass pyrex pan then make sure you put a got amount of oil on the bottom so that it doesn't stick. Then bake the battered chicken uncovered at 375 degree oven for around 25-30 minutes. Check the chicken strip to see if it is fully cooked. The chicken should be tender and the crust crispy brown when done.

Also, I have cooked this chicken on the stove top in a skillet. Do the same step above of battering the wet chicken in the dry ingredients, but then fry them in a skillet of oil for about 4-5 minutes on each side. This is a bit more messy and takes a bit more time, but if you are looking for a crispy version of the chicken this is the way to go. Make sure to not over use oil or you may turn out with a deep fried version. :)

I made this chicken recipe with my almond butter vegetable curry the other night and it was a perfect match for the curry. That is what is pictured in the pictures of the chicken strips.

I hope you give this recipe a try and enjoy!

Much love to you today!


  1. Yum, I can't do tapioca, maybe coconut flour? This look amazing, just as you are!

  2. Hannah- I haven't tried coconut flour for this, but I am guessing it would work.... only thought is that coconut flour is so much fiberous so maybe not use as much? Let me know if you try it..I am curious now... :) Hope you are well. Thanks for the comment and kind words!

  3. Great post! And these strips sound so good!