Chicken Fingers made over by encrusting in ranch seasoned quinoa for major crunch! And served with a two ingredient sauce of BBQ and mustard make for one delicious dinner!
If I were to ask you what food comes to mind when you think about your childhood, what would it be?
It is rather hard to narrow down from the ginormous list that makes up my younger years. But a few seem to shine brighter than others. Oreo pudding cake, dippin dots, animal crackers, Honeycomb, pop tarts, strawberry fruit snacks and chicken fingers.
Never failed, every time we ventured out to eat, I could be counted on to order the chicken fingers if they graced the menu. And what restaurant wouldn’t have them on a kids menu?! With my large consumption, my mother always said I was going to turn into a chicken finger.
I am glad that never happened. It would be rather awkward. For everyone…
Fastforward to a the present day, I relive all my childhood favorite memories of chicken fingers but in my own household, with a much healthier flare to a old flame.
Was it is about forgoing silverware and just diving into your dinner with your hands? I don’t know what else can take you back and scream comfort food? Whenever we are feeling like a down home meal that is out of the ordinary, we know what to hit up. These bad boys.
Do you love ranch? I feel like it is a love or hate sorta thing. I just can’t get enough of it lately! So needless to say, I am on the love it side! Quinoa is cooked like normal over the stovetop, and at the end, ranch seasoning is mixed in to bump up the flavor. The quinoa is then spread out into a thin layer, and gets a bake in the oven to dry out. This is the secret tip to get some major crunch on those fingers! Quinoa is the perfect gluten free substitute that provides a wholesome, deep flavor, than the typical breadcrumbs or panko. By slightly drying out the quinoa ahead of time, it ensures your coating is crispy and not soggy. Plus it is a nutritional powerhouse with amino acids, fiber and protein!
The BBQ Mustard quickly became a favorite condiment in our house after our recent trip to Chicago. We were grabbing a snack and cocktail after walking too many miles with our luggage in tow, and found a BBQ joint (of all places, a midwestern’s dream!), ordered up some sweet potato fries and dipped right into a big pool of BBQ Mustard. And our taste buds started to sing! It was a spicy, yet subtly sweet sauce with more mustard than BBQ. The spicy mustard shined here and I instantly stated that this must be made the moment we got home.
Needless to say, it wasn’t too long that we were trying to find anything and everything at meal time to pour the liquid gold onto.
Now excuse me while I go dive into my twelve year old days of chowing down on chicken fingers.
- 1½ cup quinoa
- 2 Tbsp Ranch Seasoning
- 2 lbs chicken tenders
- 2 egg whites
- ½ cup gluten free flour (or regular if not sensitive)
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ cup your favorite BBQ sauce
- ⅓ cup dijon mustard
- Cook quinoa according to packages instructions.
- When quinoa is done, add ranch seasoning and mix in well.
- Preheat oven to 415 degrees F.
- Spread out evenly onto parchment or silicon baking mat. Bake for 20 minutes, or until quinoa is golden brown and crispy.
- Meanwhile, add egg white to a small bowl. In another small bowl, add flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- When quinoa is done cooking, add to another small bowl. Set, in order, the flour bowl, egg white bowl then the bowl with the quinoa.
- Prepare a baking ban with a wire rack sitting on top of a rimmed baking sheet and spray wire rack with cooking spray.
- To dredge, dip one chicken piece into the flour and lightly cover. Tap any access off and dip into egg whites. Then dip into quinoa. Cover completely then lay onto wire rack. Repeat with all chicken until all are done.
- Add to oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- While chicken is baking, in a small bowl mix BBQ sauce and mustard.
- When chicken is done, remove from oven and serve immediately with BBQ mustard sauce.
Craving more healthy chicken dinners?
If you make this recipe, make sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #HOUSEWIFEINTRAININGFILES. I’d love to see what you are cooking up in your kitchen!0