I am continually blown away by my first-try recipe creations that come out just so delicious. It just takes some agonizing about the ingredients and methods for a few days, but then when I go to make what I have in my mind, 90% of the time it comes out perfect. The other 10%, well we don't have to talk about that 😉 I like to have no limits or parameters to cook within, but sometimes a little direction can help. So when I saw that Recipe ReDux was holding another sponsored recipe contest, I knew I wanted to participate this time.
**“I received free pistachio samples from the Pistachio Health Institute mentioned in this post. By posting this pairing I am entering a contest sponsored by Pistachio Health Institute and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”**
Here is some Pistachio "food-for-thought":
+ "Pistachios make a great, everyday healthy snacking choice for people looking to satisfy a salty snack craving the smart way, and still do something good for themselves. Pistachios are a deliciously simple way to snack healthy. A one-ounce serving of pistachios equals approximately 49 nuts, which is more nuts per serving than any other snack nut, and a reduced serving of about 30 pistachios is just about 100 calories."
+ "People who consumed in-shell pistachios ate 41 percent fewer calories than those who consumed pistachios without shells. This suggests that empty shells may be a helpful visual cue as to how much has been eaten – thereby potentially encouraging reduced calorie consumption."
+ "Recent research from Harvard University and published in New England Journal of Medicine suggests that the benefits of snacking on nuts go up as the number of servings goes up, too. Bottom line: more nuts, more benefits. Go for a daily handful of pistachios as part of a healthy diet. A daily handful of pistachios is a delicious and healthy everyday snack for those striving for seven servings a week."
Our mission was to great a great Pistachio pairing (In-shell Pistachios + food A + food B + drink c). Well I though why not instead of just keeping the Pistachios as is ("In-Shell" snack form) I decided to get more creative with my pairing. I also wanted this to be a fun kid-friendly, "skinny-nut" creation that everyone would love. So what better way to do that then to use a classic protein, yummy but, and tantalizing flavors. The formula I came up with was Pistachio Encrusted Coconut Lime Chicken + Baked Coconut Plantains + a drink of choice (water with some lime juice anyone?). But alas, with my over zealous excitement I didn't fulling read the contest fine print. Even though is a "Recipe ReDux", they didn't actually want a recipe with the In-Shell Pistachios. They wanted you to come up with a multiple snack combo with In-Shell Pistachios as a component on their own. So I realize now, I won't be eligible to win the contest (I am really upset actually, haha! Their lose, right?). But this is still a HUGE winner in my book. My mom loved it too, so I know it is good 😉
Pistachio Encrusted Coconut Lime Chicken
+ 1lb. of Chicken Tenders (boneless, skinless, trimmed)
+ 2 Limes
+ ½ Tsp Garlic Powder
+ ½ Tsp Onion Powder
+ ¼ Tsp Black Pepper
+ ½ TB Dried Cilantro
+ ¾ Cup Shelled Pistachios
+ ¼ Cup Dried Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
+ First you want to marinate the chicken. In a bowl zest and juice both limes. Then add in the garlic, onion, pepper, and cilantro and give it a stir. Place the chicken strips in a large Zip-Lock bag and then pour the lime mixture over the chicken. zip it up and give it a good massage to get the flavors all over. Then place in the fridge to marinate for 6-8 hours.
+ Preheat the oven to 350°F.
+ Shell some pistachios until you get ¾ cup unshelled. Place them in a Zip-Lock bag along with the coconut. Then take a rolling pin, or heavy object and crush the pistachios until you get a pretty good crumble, but not to fine mixture. (I used a place and just...got my frustrations out, haha!)
+ Next, prepare a baking dish (wiped with oil or non-stick). Then pour the pistachio mixture on to a plate and get you chicken out and ready to be coated.
+ To coat the chicken, just dip each piece on all sides with the mixture and place in the pan. When you finished, pour the remaining pistachio and coconut mixture on top of the chicken evenly.
+ Then just pop the baking dish in the oven for 33-35 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked though.
This chicken came out so tender and juicy. The marinating for 6-8 hours really puts it above and beyond. That was something I learned with this recipe. Another thing I learned is to read the fine print and not just the overview of a contest 😉
I also learned that Pistachios are really good! I remember eating them when I was really young with my dad. But it has been years and years since we have had Pistachios in the house...and now we have like 3 more bags to get though. I'm not complaining in the least!
O and the last thing I learned was that setting up a shot really does produce better pictures. I though about it all day and started my cooking a bit earlier. I got my white bored out, pour some pistachios down and plated the chicken. Still really quick and not very creative, but I am happy with how the pictures come out 🙂
So, as I said this dish would be great paired with come tropical coconut baked plantains. The perfect dinner everyone will love. Looks fancy and indulgent, but it really is quick, easy, and super clean and healthy 🙂 Real food = Real love!
I am adding in the link widget so you can see all the other wonderful ReDux member's recipes. (The ones that actually have a shot at winning, haha!) There are some good pairings there!
So tell me:
Do you read the fine print or directions to new things? I don't! I think it is the worst thing. I like to just try to figure out the assembly with trial and error and then get frustrated and maybe look then! I thought I read enough for the contest, but one of the last "rules" was that it was a pairing only, not a recipe creation...sad.
What is your favorite nut? That is like asking a mother who her favorite child is. I can't pick! I love them all! Almonds, Cashews, Pecans, Hazelnuts, Pistachios, well I guess I actually am not fond of Walnuts. They just have an off taste to me.
***Remember to enter my NuNaturals Giveaway! You have until Thursday!***