Almond crusted chicken schnitzel with cauliflower mash – gluten free and good for you!
There’s something about a chicken schnitzel meal that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Perhaps it’s the combination of crusted chicken, hot, crunchy (or creamy) potato, salad and a slathering of delicious gravy; or perhaps it’s just the pleasure of simple comfort food at its best; – I always smile when I see it on the the menu.
However, apart from the usual salad that it shares the plate with, your regular schnitzel meal is a far cry from healthy. Covered in highly processed, low-in-nutrient flour and breadcrumbs; and deep fried in toxic cottonseed or vegetable oil, the old schnitzel ain’t doing you any favours.
Not to mention those of you that miss out due to gluten intolerance.
Well I have answered your prayers! You CAN have your schnittie and eat it too! Not only that but you are covering it in a crumb that is nutrient dense and makes your body feel better than it did before. And what schnittie would be complete without your favourite sauce? How about last week’s mushroom sauce I posted? Done.
But wait, there’s more.
For a much healthier take on potato chips or mash, I give you cauliflower mash. High in vitamins and your waist-line will thank you too.
For those who have never made a schnitzel before, I have taken the liberty of showing you how to prepare your chicken to make it schnittie – worthy. You’re welcome.
How to make chicken schnitzel
Why this is so good for you
Free range, pastured or organic chicken is hormone free, chemical free, antibiotic free, higher in Omega 3 than regular chicken, and richer in taste. Great for muscle growth and development, keeps bones strong, boosts the immune system, lowers the risk of developing arthritis, helps soothe PMS systems, helps to regulate testosterone levels in men, and reduces risk of heart attack.
Almonds alkalize the body (good for fighting inflammation), nourish the nervous system, provide good brain function, build strong bones and teeth, provide healthy fats which aids in weight loss, reduce risk of heart disease and help protect against diabetes.
Cauliflower helps fight cancer, improves blood pressure and kidney function, is anti-inflammatory, boosts brain development of a growing fetus, supports the digestive system and prevents helicobacter pylori (bacterial) overgrowth in the stomach, detoxifies the body, promotes healthy skin and is great for weight loss.
- Oil of choice for cooking (I used coconut oil)
- 2 chicken breast fillets (free range or organic), trimmed of fat and sliced in half lengthways
- ¼ cup arrowroot/tapioca starch (or rice flour or corn flour)
- 2 large free range eggs, lightly whisked
- 3 cups almond meal
- 2 tablespoons fresh herbs (I used a mixture of finely chopped thyme and sage)
- 1 level teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 1 - 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives or parsley
- Place sliced chicken breasts over cling wrap and flatten with a meat mallet.
- Pour tapioca starch/rice flour onto a plate.
- Combine almond meal, salt, pepper, garlic powder and herbs in a wide bowl.
- Using one hand, coat chicken fillet with the arrowroot starch, shaking off excess, then dip into the egg and finally the almond mixture. (Use your clean hand to cover the chicken with the almond crumb).
- Cover with cling wrap and chill for 20 - 30 minutes.
- Heat a large frying pan with oil over low – medium heat and cook chicken till golden on one side. Flip and cook other side.
- Cut cauliflower into florets and place in steamer until tender.
- Transfer to a saucepan or large bowl and with a hand held stick mixer, process until smooth.
- Add salt and pepper and herbs of choice and mix with a spoon.
- Serve with a side of steamed peas, roast pumpkin, roast tomatoes or salad and lashings of mushroom sauce (recipe here)
* Press the almond crumb into the chicken for better adhesion.
* Cook your schnitzel in batches so as to keep a consistent oil/heat temperature as this will keep the crust crunchy.
* Don't like thyme or sage in your crumb? Try some parsley and some grated lemon rind instead.
* Chilling the schnitzel is important as it will "set" the crumb to ensure it sticks to the chicken.