Healthy Baked Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Sauce

Story by Natalie
Healthy Baked Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Sauce
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Hi, my name is Natalie and I’m a food pusher. I take spoonfuls of food that I’ve made and shove it into the mouths of those that dare enter my kitchen. It’s a really bad habit. My sister (and neighbor) falls victim to my abuse more than most and while she never complains about the quality of what’s forced upon her, she’s often put off by the temperature. What was once warm is usually cooled down below room temp as I’ve taken the time to style and photograph whatever I’ve cooked before finally eating it. However, my sister’s complaints about food temps pale in comparison to the complaints, wrinkled noses, and fake gagging noises my kids make when offered something out of their comfort zone. Lucky me right? It’s weird because somehow I thought being a foodie would genetically alter the tastebuds of my toddler and kids. Imagine how disappointed I was when I found out they were just normal kids who like normal kid food.


Crusted in coconut and almond flour and baked to golden perfection...

True story: a couple weeks ago the frequent complaints coming from my kids about what I was serving for dinner had reached an all time high. I was ready pull my hair out. I had, in that moment, what I thought was a stroke of genius. Instead of sending them to bed without dinner, correcting them, or catering to their immature taste buds like any normal parent would do, I decided to whip up a very complex and “adult” dinner to show them that by comparison our weeknight dinners were nothing to complain about. I thought it was genius, but as I watched the repeated eye rolls from my husband as he force fed all three kids quinoa soup with spinach, asparagus, and fennel, I realized I should probably take it back a notch. And so, in an effort to find peace around our dining room table I’ve set out to create more dinners that are both kid friendly and adult approved without compromising flavor or health.

Which brings me to these baked chicken tenders. These little guys were an instant win. Crusted in coconut and almond flour and baked to golden perfection, my kids had no idea I was getting them to eat food that meets my standards. And what kind of mom would I be if I didn’t give them something to dip them into? A good buttermilk ranch would have done the trick, but this time I whipped up a batch of delicious honey mustard. So good!

At the end of the day all I really want is peace at my dining table. Good food of course, but also peace. I want to participate in meaningful conversations with each member of my family and recap our days instead of correcting, sighing, and repeating the same three words over and over...“eat your food!” I want the dinner table to be a place of joy and memory making. So, until those normal, little taste buds mature and get excited about more adventurous dishes, I will work to find a happy middle. While we all sat around dipping our baked chicken tenders into honey mustard, I’m proud to report that I succeeded in eliminating the complaints (at least for that night) and for this mom/food-pusher/homemaker that’s a real win.

Healthy Baked Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients

1/2 cup dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp brown mustard seeds (optional)
salt & pepper

Ingredients

1.5 lbs raw chicken tenders
3 large eggs
1 cup almond flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
freshly ground pepper
2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut

Method

  1. In a small bowl whisk together ingredients for honey mustard dipping sauce. Can be made ahead and stored for up to a week.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F. In a small bowl whisk three eggs. In a second bowl whisk together almond flour, salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic and pepper breaking up any clusters of almond flour. In a third bowl add the shredded coconut.
  3. Lightly salt the chicken tenders with sea salt. Working with one chicken tender at a time dip into the eggs, then the almond flour mixture, back into the eggs and then finally into the coconut mixture. Continue with all chicken tenders and arrange on a lightly greased baking dish.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Serve with honey mustard dipping sauce and enjoy!