It’s been a tad quiet here on the website and my social media outlets while I enjoyed the magic of the holidays with my family in NY. I took a little break from the constant posting and checking all the social channels, while allowing myself to be fully submerged in the short time I had with my family. Those trips back home are never long enough, they fly by in the blink of an eye and I find myself packing my bags up to come back to our home in California, in what feels like mere hours after we had just left.
I know I am repeating myself when I share this thought, but whether traveling and visiting family or in my own home entertaining guests, I very much subscribe to the notion that just like the rest of the year, the holidays should be about balance. Making mindful choices, but also not limiting yourself to such an unhealthy degree that you wander through the season feeling deprived, left out, unhappy or unable to relax and enjoy your loved ones. A few extra starchy carbs or a little extra unrefined sugar, by way of those tasty homemade gluten-free cookies or maybe a little extra dairy than normal in those traditional homemade meals your family makes, I can promise you that it won’t kill you (this is all outside of any existing allergies, of course). If you eat a little off your usual plan, doing so knowing it’s a treat, it won’t derail your hard work from the rest of the year. It’s not only about the balance but also, the energy and the emotions you harbor when eating. Dropping the guilt and the feelings of “doing wrong”, this matters and it certainly affects how your body chooses to respond to the treats, as well.
Eating healthy and choosing real food is so incredibly important and generally at the forefront for most of us, but allowing it to take a backseat to family and friends, love, laughter and memories, in my mind, this is certainly as it should be, especially during the holidays. This season I have been on a mission to create dishes that celebrate the holidays with my loved ones, yet still fall within my idea of healthy, real food.
Frying food is rarity in my kitchen, it happened but once or twice a year. At the same time, with the right ingredients, the right oil and the right recipe, it doesn’t have to be all that bad. After all, though it is the opposite of what we were all told for many many years, even on the most cellular level our bodies need fat. Rather than being properly educated on it, instead we have been brainwashed to fear fat. I myself fell victim to this idea and have been working so hard to lose this fear. So, here we are, back to the idea of balance.
As with any foods we are consuming, quantity is obviously important to a degree, but just as or maybe more important is the quality. Fat comes in so many different types and from many different places, most types of fat serving very vital and important jobs to our body’s functions. Typically however, the major problem comes both from the source of these different fats, but also the proper, healthy balance of these varying types fats. This topic in and of itself could create a long, involved post here, which isn’t my intent, so let’s just get to the point.
Since I have learned of it, several months ago, I have been obsessed with Thrive Algae Oil. I have been calling it the Unicorn of Oils, since it literally is unlike any oil I have ever cooked with. It’s magical. First and most excitingly, Thrive Algae Oil contains a high level of monounsaturated fat, about 90%. Monounsaturated fat, found often in our diets by way of avocados, is typically the fat most lacking in our diets. Our bodies can easily burn monounsaturated fats for energy and they also help the body absorb fat-soluble nutrients from other foods. Thrive Algae Oil is also sustainably sourced, with a neutral taste and high smoke point (485ºF) it’s not only great for salad dressings and the usual cooking or baking, but it’s also an amazing healthier option for roasting and frying. While you guys know how I feel about my olive oil and coconut oil, there has always been an oil void for me, when it came to high heat cooking.
As I was dreaming of healthy bites for our New Year’s celebrations, I was thinking of my hubby and his love for fried chicken. Typically fried in hydrogenated oils, trans fat or vegetable oils, it’s clearly not something ever eaten in our house. But fried chicken is often craved by my Kentucky-hailing husband, so I challenged myself to create a grain-free version that was pan fried rather than deep fried or baked to get the full crispy goodness without being soaked in some unhealthy oil. I also developed a simple homemade mustard aioli for dipping, utilizing the Algae Oil in a totally different way. I serve these friend chicken tenders on skewers to make the most perfect easy to eat party food, but this step certainly isn’t necessary.
I plan to be ringing in the New Year with these Crispy Chicken Skewers and the homemade Mustard Aioli both made with Thrive Algae Oill and of course, a glass of my favorite bubbly. I hope your celebrations are just as tasty and fun! Happy New Year.
[print_this]Grain-free Crispy Chicken Skewers with Mustard Aioli
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless organic, free range chicken breast, cut into 1-inch thick tenders/strips
- 2 large eggs (preferably local, pasture-raised)
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup Thrive Algae Oil
In a bowl whisk together the eggs with 2 teaspoons water. In another bowl, whisk together the almond flour, tapioca starch, garlic powder and salt.
Thread each strip of chicken onto a skewer and dip into the egg mixture, evenly coating, then coat all sides in the flour mixture. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat (you’ll want about 1-inch of oil, so more or less as needed). You want the oil hot enough to sizzle and make the tenders golden brown, but not so hot that they burn.
Working in batches cook the skewers until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate when they are done and allow to drain while you cook the others. Add more oil to the pan, as needed. [/print_this]
[print_this] Mustard Aioli
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 large egg yolk (preferably local, pasture-raised)
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup Thrive Algae Oil
- 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon water, plus more if needed
Whisk together Dijon mustard, egg yolk, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Pour in the Thrive Algae Oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until emulsified and thick. Whisk in grainy mustard. You can thin with a tablespoon of water, if too thick. [/print_this]
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Thrive Algae Oil. All content, ideas and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for Tasty Yummies.