Dinner Dippers, Two Ways! With Spicy Harissa Mayo

Dinner Dippers, Two Ways! With Spicy Harissa Mayo

Behold, the ultimate recipe to please absolutely everyone. 

Yes. I said it. This is it. The only recipe you need to have in your back pocket for an occasion where, well, you have to be very specific about what you're making (read: vegan or paleo, gluten free). All joking aside, what I love about this recipe is it's versatility, so much so that I'm sharing it in two forms, vegan and not, for you to get exactly what you need. That's right, you can easily adapt this recipe, and enjoy it no matter what! Yes, they're basically chicken nuggets and yes, you can feel good about them. Lila loved both versions, the chicken and the vegan tempeh, and honestly so do mom and dad. I alternate between the vegan and carnivorous versions depending on my mood or what we've been eating lately. Make a big batch if you're so inspired, freeze, and then you literally have the convenience of frozen nuggets and the peace of mind that you made them yourself. Keep on scrolling for my recipe notes!

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Notes on the vegan version

Tempeh is your best bet for this recipe, however tempeh is not paleo. Use any variety you like! Pre-marinate for even more flavor. 

I typically use a flax egg (equal parts ground flax seed and hot water) as a binder, but in this case I used aquafaba (chickpea water) and was quite happy with the results. Use whichever suits you best. 

Nutritional yeast. My favorite vegan "cheese" alternative, and chock full of B vitamins. If you don't yet use nutritional yeast, here's your invitation.

Almond flour. I like Bob's Red Mill (linked below) in both the skin on and skin off versions. In the photos here I use the skin on. 

Use a cooking spray if you have it, or brush on an oil of your choice to help get more browning on these guys. You may even need to turn on the broiler at the end and work for the color a bit more than the dairy/egg/meat alternative. 

For the Harissa Mayo a vegan mayo of your choice can be used! Note, Harissa is typically very spicy. Ketchup tastes great, too! Or take it up a notch and serve truffle ketchup!

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Notes on the carnivorous version

Chicken. I cut my strips from whatever chicken I happen to have purchased. Bone-out chicken thighs are really tender and moist, traditional skinless chicken breasts are easiest to cut into strips, and I've even seen precut strips available. Do whatever works best for you. 

Parmesan. This recipe can be made dairy-free by using the nutritional yeast from the vegan version. 

Egg. I use a traditional egg binder here, but if you want an egg-free version, use the vegan binders mentioned above. 

I like to spray a little ghee cooking spray to help brown the chicken strips up in the oven. Feel free to brush butter or more egg for even more browning. Or put them under the broiler for a minute. 

Harissa Mayo can be spicy, just know you've be forewarned because it's so worth it and delicious!  Or, truffle ketchup as mentioned above, or anything else you like to dip in... say ranch for example. 

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Chicken Dippers (Paleo, GF)

Jennifer Bravo

Published 08/21/2018

Chicken Dippers (Paleo, GF)

A healthier version of a classic. Can be made vegan, see original post for adaptations!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken breast (or cut of your choice), trimmed and sliced into 2" strips
  • 1/2 c. finely ground almond flour
  • 3 tsp. parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Pinch ground pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped for garnish
  • Cooking spray, baking sheet and parchment paper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, mix almond flour, parmesan, and seasonings. Pour half of the mixture onto a large plate and shake to spread evenly on plate.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk egg and set aside.
  4. Create an assembly line in the following order: chicken, egg, almond mixture, lined tray.
  5. Place a handful of chicken strips in the egg mixture, and using one hand for "wet" ingredients and one hand for "dry" ingredients, pick up one strip and let any excess egg drip off. Drop it into the almond mixture and using your dry hand give the plate a shake to evenly coat chicken strip. Sprinkle almond mixture over top and pat into chicken. Flip strip over to make sure it's evenly coated, then move it over to the baking tray, letting any excess almond mixture fall off before transferring.
  6. Repeat until you've used all of the chicken, replenishing the almond mixture only when it's run out. Make sure to dump used almond mixture before adding more if it's become too egg-y.
  7. Using a cooking spray of your choice (I use Ghee spray) or melted butter, evenly spray or brush chicken strips.
  8. Bake in the over for 10 minutes, flip each piece over individually, and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until browned. You may need to pop them under the broiler for more browning.
  9. Sprinkle with fresh herbs while still hot and just out of the oven. Dip in Harissa Mayo or sauce of choice.
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 15 mins.

Cook time: 00 hrs. 20 mins.

Total time: 35 mins.

Tempeh Dippers (Vegan, GF)

Jennifer Bravo

Published 08/21/2018

Tempeh Dippers (Paleo, GF, Vegan)

Use flax egg or aquafaba, or for a vegetarian version, use parmesan instead of nutritional yeast.

Ingredients

  • 1 package tempeh, cut into 2" strips, option to marinate before hand
  • 1/2 c. finely ground almond flour
  • 3 tsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Pinch ground pepper
  • 1 package or can worth of aquafaba (the juice of packaged chickpeas)
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped for garnish
  • You'll also need, cooking spray, baking sheet and parchment paper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, mix almond flour, nutritional yeast, and seasonings. Pour half of the mixture onto a large plate and shake to spread evenly on plate.
  3. Pour aquafaba in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Create an assembly line in the following order: tempeh, aquafaba, almond mixture, lined tray.
  5. Place a handful of tempeh strips in the aquafaba, and using one hand for "wet" ingredients and one hand for "dry" ingredients, pick up one strip and let any excess aquafaba drip off. Drop it into the almond mixture and using your dry hand give the plate a shake to evenly coat tempeh strip. Sprinkle almond mixture over top and pat into tempeh. Flip strip over to make sure it's evenly coated, then move it over to the baking tray, letting any excess almond mixture fall off before transferring.
  6. Repeat until you've used all of the tempeh, replenishing the almond mixture only when it's run out. Make sure to dump used almond mixture before adding more if it's become too clumpy.
  7. Using a cooking spray of your choice, evenly spray chicken strips.
  8. Bake in the over for 10 minutes, flip each piece over individually, and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until browned. You may need to pop them under the broiler for more browning.
  9. Sprinkle with fresh herbs while still hot and just out of the oven. Dip in Harissa Mayo or sauce of choice.
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 15 mins.

Cook time: 00 hrs. 20 mins.

Total time: 35 mins.

Harissa Mayo

Jennifer Bravo

Published 08/21/2018

Harissa Mayo

Use regular or vegan mayo.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c. mayo
  • 2 tbsp. Harissa paste
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • Optional: 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  • Using a fork or a whisk, mix together in a small bowl mayo, harissa and sesame oil. Stir in optional chopped cilantro.
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 05 mins.

Total time: 5 mins.

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