As passionate cooks go, home based or otherwise, there is one thing in the world that irks us all beyond comparison….meal rejection.
Unfortunately, in my house, this happens a lot. Not that my food is anything but extraordinary and made with so much love it hurts, just that some people around here don’t appreciate the same things I do.
It irks me to no end to think that I have spawned from my own loins, a chef’s worst nightmare: the picky eater; however, I know I’m not alone in this.
This month on Simple Bites, we addressed this common dinnertime dilemma head on and many, many parents chimed in.
You’ll find many a solution to the picky eater in these links. Don’t skip the comments either, as they are full of wisdom from parents who have been there.
- The Picky Eater and Me: A Survival Guide
- How to Help Your Child Embrace Food
- Balanced Meals for Kids: Not Until You Eat Your Vegetables
A Clever Compromise
No mother who knows food rejection wants to spend 60+ minutes in the kitchen fixing something she knows won’t be eaten. What I can do is offer foods I know will be eaten and try to make those meals simple and quick.
My compromise? Healthy chicken strips the whole family will love.
Always a childhood favorite, chicken strips are usually given a bad rap. Not only are they among the most popular choices on restaurants “children’s menu” (read: deep fried, brown food), but when they are offered at home, they are unappetizing and unhealthy, having been reheated from frozen lumps found in the grocer’s freezer.
Chicken strips are a fast, healthy meal if done correctly, and I will show you a kid tested recipe even my picky, non-meat eating child will try.
- 1 lb chicken fillets
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- salt & pepper
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 cup corn flakes, crushed into fine crumbs
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- salt & pepper
1. In a small bowl, mix buttermilk, salt, pepper and paprika. Add in fillets and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 375°F.
3. Mix corn flakes and panko (try crushing them together a bit in a mortar or in a plastic bag with your palm to make flakes smaller) together on a plate, season with salt & pepper (and any other herbs or spices you may want).
4. Place one or two pieces of chicken at a time on plate, thoroughly coating each piece in crumbs.
5. For best results, bake on a greased metal cooling rack set atop a baking sheet. This allows the hot air to crisp all sides of the strips, instead of just one side. If you cannot get this set up, simply spray a baking sheet with baking spray and place strips directly on sheet.
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.
7. Serve alongside a nice salad for a light, yet filling dinner…but don’t forget the dip!
Honey Mustard Dip
- 1/3 cup low fat Hellman’s Mayo
- 1-2 Tbsp liquid honey (depending on taste)
- 2 heaping Tbsp Dijon mustard
1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
2. Serve in individual ramekins alongside chicken strips.
Do you have a go-to quick and easy meal that is loved by all? Please share!