by Missy Chase Lapine
Kids love the crunchy goodness of breaded foods like chicken fingers and fish sticks. But, forget that store-bought breading-- sneak in this version which includes three nutritional power houses: wheat germ, almonds and whole wheat bread crumbs. You'll be secretly pumping up your child's dinner with iron, protein, B vitamins, folic acid, Vitamin E, fiber and heart-healthy oils.
1 cup bread crumbs, preferable whole wheat
1 cup almonds, slivered and blanched (optional; omit if allergic)
1 cup wheat germ, unsweetened
1 teaspoon salt
With this recipe, you are aiming at the consistency of cornmeal. Pulse almonds in food processor. Don't let the food processor run continually; if you don't pulse it, you will end up with nut butter. Pour the meal into a bowl, and then combine into it the ground bread crumbs, wheat germ, and salt. Keep refrigerated in a sealed, labeled plastic bag for up to 2 weeks.
Note: Whole wheat bread crumbs can be found in natural and organic food stores, but you can easily make your own by pulsing whole grain bread in a food processor to achieve fine crumbs. It's that simple. Three slices of bread yield about one cup of fresh crumbs. They keep for weeks in a sealed bag in the freezer.
Missy Chase Lapine is the former publisher of Eating Well magazine. A mother of two young daughters, she knows how picky kids can be—and she’s got the kitchen experiments to prove it! She is on the Culinary Arts facility of The New School, in New York City, and also gives cooking classes and coaching to busy families hoping to learn how to eat healthier. Her book, The Sneaky Chef, is published by Running Press. Her next book The Sneaky Chef: How to Cheat on Your Man (In the Kitchen) will be out in April 2008. You can learn more about Missy at her website, www.thesneakychef.com