Mocha Pecan Granola

Food, GF, Treats
Mocha Pecan Granola

Chia seed pudding was THE breakfast of 2019 for me. I mastered the recipe and shared it on this post. It’s a favorite of coworkers, sisters, and students of mine as well. It’s creamy, full of healthy fats from the coconut milk, fibrous from the chia seeds, and simply delicious. I typically serve it with blueberries and strawberries or raspberries (depending which one is on sale). Today, I’m sharing a recipe that will take my chia pudding over the edge of deliciousness!

That being said, the granola stands on its own as a snack as well. When I was recipe testing I caught John eating it from the jar on the couch! The chocolate, espresso, and pecans are a trio made in granola heaven. This recipe is so easy to whip up and you’ve probably got most of the ingredients on hand. Give this a try:

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Ingredients

Procedures:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Cover a large sheet pan with parchment paper, set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, espresso powder, and cocoa powder until well combined. It will be a dark brown liquid mixture.
  4. Add oats, chocolate chips, and pecans and stir until the mixture is combined well and covered with the liquid evenly. I recommend using a strong silicone spatula to stir.
  5. Pour the mixture onto the prepared sheet pan, Press the mixture down into the pan so it is flat and even across the top. This will help the granola clump up and make nice big chunks as it cools.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  7. Allow granola to cool completely – it’s important that you don’t stir the granola until it’s completely cooled to maintain the aforementioned clumps!
  8. You can pop the sheet pan in the freezer or refrigerator to cool more quickly if you desire. This will help with clumps too because the cooling of the coconut oil will bond the granola more tightly.
  9. Once cool, stir the granola and store in an airtight container.
  10. Enjoy by itself as a quick snack, with milk like cereal, or top yogurt or chia pudding with it.

This recipe has quickly become a family favorite! It’s much more cost effective than purchasing granola at the store and there aren’t any funky ingredients lurking on this list. Try it out this week and drop me a comment to let me know what you think!

Crispy Gluten Free Chicken Fingers

Food, GF
Gluten Free Chicken Fingers

If you’ve recently gone gluten free, you’ve likely traveled down the sad road of pre-packaged gluten free items because you just weren’t sure how to handle this new lifestyle. I get it. I’ve been there. What the in-store items lack in wheat, they make up for in excess salt and crumbly texture most of the time. Not a fan.

This goes for frozen items like gluten free chicken fingers too! I have not once been impressed by a pre-packaged gluten free chicken finger. So, I set out to create my own recipe…and it’s one of the first gluten free recipes that I made up and perfected on my own! I’m so excited to share this with you!

Whether you’re gluten free or not, give these little guys a shot! They crisp perfectly in the oven, have few ingredients, and come together quickly. I don’t have an airfryer but I bet they’d be DIVINE in an airfryer.

John and I have been loving this recipe for years but our littlest toddler taste tester approves too!!

GF Chicken tender coating with seasoning
Chicken Tenders coated before baking

Ingredients

  • 1.5-2 pounds of chicken breast tenders
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 box of Mary’s Gone Crackers (6.5 ounce box)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Sprinkle of pepper
  • Avocado oil spray
GF Baked Chicken Tenders

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. In a blender or food processor, pulse Mary’s Gone Crackers until they’re ground into a flourlike consistency.
  3. Pour cracker flour into a shallow dish for coating tenders with onion powder, garlic powder, ground paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. In a shallow dish for dredging, whisk egg until it is an even yellow consistency.
  5. Using a paper towel, dry each chicken tender – this will help you coat each tender evenly and allow coating to stick better.
  6. I like to set up a dredging station of shallow pyrex dishes like this. I set up a small assembly line on my counter in this order from left to right: raw chicken tenders, egg wash, flour coating, a sheet pan sprayed with avocado oil.
  7. Dip each chicken tender individually in egg wash, then in the Mary’s Gone Cracker flour coating, put each on the prepared sheet pan.
  8. Continue the process until all tenders are dipped.
  9. Spray the sheet full of prepared tenders with avocado oil on top – this helps your chicken tenders get the nice crisp factor!
  10. Bake tenders for 30-35 minutes (be sure to temp the chicken up to 165 to ensure that it is done, as ovens may vary.)
  11. Remove from oven and serve with your favorite dipping sauce!

These gluten free chicken tenders are an amazing addition to your normal dinner rotation! I hope you’ll give them a try and let me know how you like it!! Share your recreations on instagram and tag me @bethannsbites – I LOVE seeing people try my recipes!!

Southern Chicken Salad

Food

Chicken Salad is such a simple thing that I so frequently overlook. It always resurfaces when the weather gets warmer and I start thinking about patio lunches with my friends and family. You know the daydream where we’re all dressed like a Vineyard Vines catalog (lol at the thought of John wearing Vineyard Vines…if you know my husband, you know), we have fabulous drinks in crystalware that I don’t mind taking outside and I won’t have to wash later. Anyways, of course there would be fabulous finger sandwiches with the finest of toppings – finest of all, this chicken salad. It’s that good.

I’ve always loved chicken salad and could never seem to get the consistency of my chicken to be just right. It was always too dry or big, or too tough somehow even though it was smothered in a delightful dressing.

Enter Sharon Knight, her daughter Jennifer is one of my best friends and before she left me to move across the country and do amazing things, she always raved about her mom’s chicken salad. Jennifer had the same problem. The consistency wasn’t right. When her mom visited she learned that her mom boils the chicken for about two hours. Yes, two hours sounds like a long time, but when a Southern Woman tells you to boil your chicken for two hours before making it into salad, you do it.

Although I don’t know Sharon’s fabulous secret family recipe, her chicken trick has transformed my chicken salad recipe forever. Let’s dig in to this recipe my instagram followers have been dying to get their hands on.

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup mayo (I use Chosen Foods – no soy to be found in there!)
  • 1/8 teaspoon each of onion powder, garlic powder, and ground mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup red grapes, halved
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • Lettuce wraps / bread / crackers / croissants

Procedure

  1. In a medium saucepan cover chicken breasts with water so the tops are covered. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium low and allow chicken to boil, covered, for two hours. Yes, really! Two hours, you don’t know Miss Sharon, but I do. She wouldn’t steer you wrong.
  3. Allow chicken to cool before shredding with a fork or food processor. (If you’re toasting your almonds as you go, now is a good time to take out a skillet and toss the slivered almonds in it to toast until they’re lightly browned.)
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, add mayo, onion powder, garlic powder, ground mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, honey, and lemon juice. Whisk together until you’re left with a smooth dressing.
  5. Add shredded chicken, grapes, and almonds to the mixing bowl. Toss to coat – I like to use my tiny tongs to incorporate everything but a wooden spoon works well too!
  6. Refrigerate or serve directly. This recipe is even better after it’s had time for the flavors to chill together!

This recipe is perfect for meal prep, luncheons – precisely as I listed above with only the epitome of class, and summer days. Add this chicken salad to a lettuce wrap, as I have here, or stick it in a container to take on the go and eat on crackers. If you’re operating at your classiest level and not gluten free, this also goes perfectly on a croissant. (Side note – if you ARE gluten free and you’ve found a good gf croissant, help a girl out! I need ya!)

Be sure to share this recipe with a friend who needs it! Tag me @bethannsbites on Instagram or use the #biteswithbeth so I can see that you’ve made it! There’s literally no bigger form of flattery to me than people making my recipes!! Wishing you sunny skies and delicious eats. ❤️Beth

Healthy-ish Homemade Reese Eggs

Food, GF, Treats, Uncategorized
Healthy-ish Homemade Reese Eggs

Is it even really Easter without Reese’s eggs? If you’d asked me as a kid…or even three years ago as an adult, I probably would have told you no. The cute, festive wrapper, the egg shape – obviously the best of all the giant Reese’s shapes, and the perfect peanut butter to chocolate ratio made those babies perfection. They’re still delicious, I’ll admit, buuuut so not worth the way that the soy, dairy, and sometimes wheat in the Reese’s makes me feel.

On top of icky side effects, it’s quarantine time so we’re going to the store ONLY for essentials. Reese’s eggs – no matter what your heart may tell you at the time – are NOT an essential item. Keep your booty home!! The good news is: I bet you’ve got the ingredients to make these healthier-for-you nutty chocolatey eggs in your pantry RIGHT now. (Note: if you DON’T have ingredients listed – see me on insta or Facebook and I’ll help you find a suitable substitution!)

Ingredients

Okay, the sooner we get started, the sooner you get to enjoy the deliciousness, so let’s dig in!

  • 1 cup peanut butter – you want the good stuff, JUST nuts and salt (I actually used Trader Joe’s Almond Butter because it’s a pandemic and Thrive Market is way behind on orders so no PB in my house!)
  • 3 Tbsp cassava flour – other good subs: coconut flour and almond flour (you’ll need more than 3 Tbsp if using almond)
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil

Procedure:

  1. In a mixing bowl, add nut butter, cassava flour, maple syrup, and salt. Stir until well combined.
  2. Using a cookie scooper, portion out filling then flatten and form into an egg-like shape.
  3. Freeze eggs for 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight.
  4. Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil – I like to use the double boiling method: a glass bowl overtop about 2 cups of water boiling in a saucepan.
  5. Remove chocolate chips from heat and dip the eggs using a fork to flip and cover both sides.
  6. Drop onto wax paper and refrigerate for at least ten minutes or until chocolate sets.
  7. Store in the refrigerator until serving.
You’re looking for eggy shapes – they don’t have to be perfect to be cute!

Try these babies out and let me know what you think of them! Be sure to post to Bites With Beth on Facebook or @bethannsbites on Instagram! Better yet, share it with a friend who you know would love it too!

Soy-Free Korean-Not-Bulgogi Chicken

Food, Uncategorized
Korean Style Chicken Stir Fry

This recipe is comin’ atcha…late, like super late on a day that I wasn’t even scheduled to release a post. Life has pulled me in so many directions over the past couple weeks and I’ve gotten a bit behind. It’s a stage of adulthood that feels like a constant juggling act. Not like a GOOD juggling act, though, like the one where it’s just a middle-schooler who’s learning to juggle. They’re embarrassed at the number of balls they can juggle so they keep adding 1-2 more than they can actually successfully keep in the air. So the balls drop and the juggler dodges and dives and before long, all of the balls are on the floor. Shew. Yep, that’s pretty much how life has felt for me the past few weeks.

I mention all of this to say: thank you for coming back after my absence! Thank you for hanging around! (I promise this recipe is worth it!)

Several weeks ago, I set out to make “Chicken Bulgogi” as I’ve had it several times and it’s amazing! Unfortunately, I’m allergic to soy so traditional “Chicken Bulgogi” comes with hefty side effects for my brief enjoyment. So as any good aspiring recipe creator would, I researched and practiced my own bulgogi sauce to create a better-for-you Korean-style Chicken Recipe.

A little background: I sought out to create “Chicken Bulgogi.” My husband, who has been deployed to South Korea a couple times during his Army career, and I were discussing how in Korea near the Army base all types of meat are labeled “Bulgogi.” Everything is labeled “bulgogi” to the extent that he assumed bulgogi was more the method than the dish. Street food, barbecue joints, and random houses that little old grandmas cook in the back and call a restaurant in the front, all have many forms of “bulgogi.” We tried to figure out what the word “bulgogi” meant but didn’t have much luck so I decided I’d ask my coworker who is Korean.

The next day at lunch, I mentioned to him that I was working on a chicken bulgogi recipe and we were curious what bulgogi actually meant. He sort of chuckled and said, “you’re making chicken bulgogi?”

“Yes, well sort of, it’s my own rendition but we were wondering what bulgogi meant.” He chuckled again before explaining that “bul” = beef, so it’s not possible to make chicken bulgogi. Apparently, it’s another example of things being oversimplified for tourists/visiting soldiers!

In any case, this Korean-style Chicken stir-fry dish is wholesome, healthy, and meal preps wonderfully! I will admit, this one is far from a “quick, one-pan” dinner but it is SO worth it. You won’t regret this fresh and tasty Korean Inspired dish!

Korean Inspired Lunch prep

Ingredients:

For the pickled carrots:

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 cups shredded carrots

For the chicken:

  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp garlic powder (or 4 fresh cloves, minced)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 4-6 chicken thighs (about 1-1.5 pounds), cut into small bite-sized pieces

For the cilantro-lime drizzle:

  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil

For serving:

  • julienned cucumbers
  • cooked rice

Procedure:

  1. Whisk together 1/2 cup rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons of honey, salt, and 2 tablespoons each of avocado oil and water before pouring the mixture over the shredded carrots in a jar.
  2. Refrigerate for at least an hour. (This step works really well if you do it the night before.) If you enjoy pickled carrots to top other things as well, make a larger batch – they’ll keep for several weeks due to the acidity!
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together coconut aminos, honey, rice vinegar, garlic powder, ginger, and black pepper. Add chicken thighs and marinate for one hour or overnight in the refrigerator. Note: make sure the chicken is well-coated in the sauce. I recommend using a large stasher bag or a shallow dish to allow as much of the chicken to touch the sauce as possible.
  4. Add cilantro, garlic, lime juice and avocado oil to a blender or food processor. Run until well blended into a drizzly sauce.
  5. Wait for your stuff to marinate. The hardest part, to be honest. 😦
  6. Heat 2 tablespoons of avocado oil in a large skillet.
  7. Cook marinated chicken thighs until completely cooked (165 degrees fahrenheit if you’re using a thermometer) about 10 minutes, depending on the size of your pieces!
  8. Assemble your masterpiece: layer rice, chicken, cucumbers, pickled carrots, and cilantro lime drizzle

Not the quickest meal I’ve shared on Bites With Beth but definitely a flavor bomb you’ve got to try!! This is definitely a crowd-pleaser for anyone who likes Asian food. You can make this to impress your friends at dinner, buuut if I’m being honest, you might want to be selfish with your hard work and enjoy it all work-week long as your meal prep!

Either way, you won’t regret giving this recipe a try!