dartmouth naturopath

Food Friday: Crispy Coconut Chicken Fingers

Most of the time I do a lot of batch cooking on the weekends, as I am at work late or have activities to get to, leaving me little time to cook a nice dinner during the week. However, having quick easy meals for weeknight dinners that taste delicious and are healthy, really come in handy! Lucky for me (and you!) I came across this wonderful family friendly meal from my favourite nutritionist from Nourishing Meals.  The ingredients may seem a little unusual if you aren't used to gluten free cooking, but they are easy to find and come in handy for future baking. You can find arrowroot powder and coconut flour in the health food section at grocery stores or Bulk Barn. I had everything on hand and the whole meal only took me 15 minutes to prepare (and about 5 minutes to devour!). This dish obviously has a coconut flavour to it, which adds a little sweetness to the dish. I served mine with homemade honey dijon mustard, some sweet potato, and cabbage and brussels sprouts salad with a lemon-tahini dressing. Yum! I would advise eating these all at once, as the crispness is no longer there with leftovers, unless you sautéed again. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound organic chicken breast, pounded
  • coconut oil, for cooking 

Bowl #1:

  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp Herbamare, or sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram (or extra thyme or other spice of choice)
  • 1/2 cup water

Bowl #2:

  • 1/2-3/4 cup finely shredded coconut
  • herbamare (or sea salt) and finely ground pepper)

Directions:

Pound the chicken breasts with the smooth end of a meat pounder to tenderize them. Then slice into strips. Whisk together everything for bowl #1 in a shallow, wide bowl. Place the shredding coconut into another bowl with a pinch of sea salt and pepper, and stir. 

Place half of the chicken strips into bowl #1 and coat well. Then toss each into the shredding coconut. Place onto a plate then repeat with remaining chicken strips. 

Heat a cast iron skillet for approximately 5 minutes on medium heat (wonderful tool to have in your kitchen - I ordered mine off Amazon but you can even find them at yard sales.). Add a couple tbsp of coconut oil to the skillet. Place some of the chicken strips into the skillet and cook for a few minutes on each side. Be sure not to overcrowd the chicken to ensure they cook properly and crisp up. Place cooled chicken strips onto a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining uncooked chicken, adding more coconut oil in between batches. Serve immediately with a dip of your choice and enjoy! 

Let me know what you think. 

In health & happiness, 

Dr. Karen

 

Practicing The Loving "No" - Taking care of yourself before you give to others

The Loving “No," has been a theme lately with both my patients and myself, so I wanted to bring attention to it in the online world. This is such an important topic as it brings in aspects of both mindfulness and creating a good community around us. 

As a society we tend to take on too many responsibilities and activities. What do you have going on this coming weekend? How many tasks do you have on your to do list at work? We then can not think of the last time we did something for ourselves. 

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day — unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.” 

It can depend on the place in your life you are at. If you are in the beginning stages of a new business, a new family, or taking on a bigger position at work, everything you are learning is big and takes time. Once you’ve settled into your routine, those things seem smaller and less overwhelming. However, whatever stage you are at, taking time for yourself is just as important. This is where practicing the loving “no” comes in.

We are wired to give. We are wired to be of service. We have been taught to put others first, to be the “yes man.” I know with myself, I think to have a great community around me, I need to spend time often with those I love. To give and connect, sometimes even bake, for those I love! You may be capable in theory of giving to others, but saying yes to too much, even if those demands are coming from within, we end up so depleted. We no longer have the ability to fill up our own bucket. 

In order to give, our own bucket needs to be full first. 

Practicing the loving “no” is challenging for a lot of us. If you are a compassionate person, you feel their overwhelm, their sadness, their confusion, and you immediately want to help. You may be a mother, a teacher, a leader in your business…but to give fully to others, we need to take care of ourselves first. 

It is not about what you are saying yes to, but what you are comfortable saying no to. 

It is uncomfortable to say no, especially at the beginning. Creating any type of boundary is challenging. However, if you don’t know how to say no to the things that matter less, than you don’t have time to give to those things that really matter the most. So practice saying no in a kind way. Customize it for each person and situation. Be respectful and firm. The answer is no…and here is why.  

You may even be caught by surprised with the responses you get. Setting an example of creating boundaries, carving out time for yourself, may be what was needed to inspire those around you to do the same. It only takes one person to create a ripple effect. They may mimic your behaviour and support you. So honour projects and commitments you hold dear, but start creating time for yourself to fill your bucket. Whether it be a simple meditation practice in the mornings, a cup of tea, a bath or yoga class after work, or time with your family if that fills you up. Practice the loving “no,” so you are capable of giving fully.

How do you fill your bucket? Let me know below! As always, I am here to help. If you need support because you already feel depleted, don't hesitate to reach out. 

In health & happiness,

Dr. Karen