Friday, August 17, 2012

What's For Dinner!? (Recipe, Pics and Review)

Since I began this journey I have been trying hard to find good recipes that will fit within the constraints of my family.  1)  Healthy enough for me to eat; 2) A healthier choice that is tasty enough for the rest of my family to eat; 3) Easily converted to vegetarian for my teenage daughter to eat.  It is daunting, believe me!  I have noticed, though, that I tend to the same types of flavors and foods all the time.  I never really venture out of my comfort zone.  I have made it my personal challenge since starting this blog to try at least one new main dish per week that is not something I would normally make or eat.

We eat a lot of chicken.  It's easy to cook, very versatile and I can easily substitute real chicken for Quorn brand vegetarian meatless meat for my daughter, Sami.  (If you've never tried Quorn brand products, they are fabulous!  They contain no soy and have a taste and texture very similar to real meat.  No funny after tastes!)  And I have never been able to cook beef very well.  I don't know why.  It just doesn't agree with me.  Maybe I will get brave and try again sometime soon.

I found a recipe on dLife that I decided to try this week.  Although it is chicken, it has flavors I am not accustomed to with meat.  I decided to make Honey Pecan Crusted Chicken.  Here are the ingredients:

1 cup Wheat Chex cereal, crushed
1/3 cup chopped pecans
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp soy sauce
6 medium sized chicken breasts, boneless, skinless

Easy ingredient list, don't you think?  That's the way I like it...simple!!!

1.  Preheat oven to 425F.
2.  Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.  I really recommend you don't skip this step.  I didn't have any foil in my cupboard tonight, so I just sprayed the dish, and the honey drippings really baked on to the bottom.  It'll take some soaking to get that up.
3.  Crush up the cereal in a bowl (I used the flat bottom of the measuring cup to crush it and it worked well enough.  Otherwise you could use a processor.)  Mix the cereal and the pecans in a bowl.
4.  In another bowl mix together the soy sauce and honey.
5.  Personally, I like my chicken in smaller, uniformly sized pieces because they bake quicker, easier and tend to stay moister throughout.  So I cut my chicken breasts in half lengh-wise.
6.  Dip the chicken in the soy sauce and honey mixture, then roll in cereal and pecan mixture to coat the chicken.  Place in pan.

7.  I baked mine for about 30 minutes.  To check your chicken, use a meat thermometer, or I just cut a piece open at the thickest spot and check to make sure there is no pink and it is cooked through before I take it out of the oven.

Serve!  How easy is that???!!!  I served mine with asparagus and brown rice.  For this recipe I figured the nutritional info for a 4oz piece of cooked chicken, but the piece in the pic was smaller than that.  Here's a pic of the meal all done.
Here is the nutritional information for a 4 oz. piece of chicken with the honey/pecan coating:  323 calories, 5.6g fat, .4g saturated fat, 452mg sodium (I did not use a low sodium soy sauce.  You can reduce this number by choosing that option.), 14.8g carbs, 1.6g fiber, and 36g protein.  (6 Points Plus.)  Since it is so good on carbs, you can easily add 1/2 cup brown rice to the equation.  The asparagus was a nice choice, too.  With five small asparagus spears and 1/2 cup of brown rice you will be looking at an additional:  99 calories, 1.8g fat, 138mg sodium, 17.9g carbs, 2.2g fiber, and 3.4g protein.

Now, if you go to dLife and look for this recipe and happen to find it in the thousands upon thousands of recipes they have, their nutritional info was VERY different from mine.  They did not specify how many ounces of chicken they were considering to be a serving.  They claimed there's only 5.3g of carbs, but just the 1 cup of cereal has 48.8g carbs, which when divided by 6 servings right there comes out to 8.13g carbs.  Also, they claim a serving is only 191.8 calories.  That's ludicrous because just 4 oz of chicken alone has 184 calories, and 1 cup of chex has 33.3 calories per serving in this dish (200 calories divided by 6 servings).  That right there, not including the honey or pecans is 217.3 calories. So it totally didn't make any sense to me.  I calculated each ingredient, added them all up and divided the total number by 6 to come up with my numbers.  I think mine are fairly accurate.

On to the review.  I waited, holding my breath, for each of my kids to take a bite.  Well, first off, I had to tell Sami that I kind of messed her vegetarian version up.  When I mixed the soy sauce and honey, I had exactly 2 Tbsp of honey in the jar.  When I have to dip and coat meat I always do hers first, so i don't "contaminate" her vegetarian food with any meat juices.  (I spoil her!)  Well, I forgot.  I didn't dip hers.  And, I drizzled the remaining liquid on top of the chicken so I had none left for hers.  Oy.  I put the honey bear in the microwave and heated it for 20 seconds.  I was able to get a little bit of honey out of it, but not very much.  I had to improvise.  I sprinkled just a smidge of brown sugar on top of her piece so the sweetness of the sugar would offset the saltiness of the soy.  Since she had never had the "correct" version, she didn't know any better and still liked it.  In fact, ALL the kids said right away how good it was.  Score!!!  It was VERY tasty!  It was lightly sweet and just a bit salty, and the crunchiness of the coating was great.  My husband said, "Well, it's different."  And I was like, "But do you like it?"  He said he did and he must have because he had about 4 strips of chicken himself.

Sara (my 10 year old) said, "Can we have this again?" after she had about 3 bites.  Matthew (my 12 year old) had seconds.  Sami ate all of her "messed up" piece.  There were no leftovers of anything tonight.  That's really a win, because it seems that leftovers never get eaten in our house and end up in the trash.

My family and I highly recommend this dish.  Let me know if you try it and what you think of it.  Leave a comment here or drop me a line at

Have a lovely dinner!


  1. Lots better than my 'oven fried' chicken. I might try this next week!! Bet i could use Agave instead of honey? Thanks, Lisa!

  2. i'll bet agave would be a fine substitution. let me know if you try it and how it turns out for you.


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