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Thursday, February 4, 2016 | return to: Cook Articles, Entrees, Poultry


cook | Bring on chia seeds! Healthier choices hit kosher mainstream

by josie a.g. shapiro

josie_shapiroThe professional kosher foodies seem to agree: We’re going to see an increase in healthy choices hitting the shelves this year. In the newsletter Kosher Today, chefs, producers of kosher foods and food writers concur that kosher consumers are eating healthier.

This is good news for all of us. Sure, traditionally Jews excel at sour cream-rich kugels, but give us healthier food choices and we’ll embrace them. Quinoa? That’s mainstream now. Kale? Still going strong. Want something new that’s not only kosher but also is rich with vitamins, omega-3s, fiber and calcium, and is said to boost energy? Bring on the chia seeds.

 In a never-ending effort to get my daughters to embrace healthy foods alongside us, I worked up Chicken Chia-Seed Bites, which can be marketed as chicken nuggets to skeptical grade-schoolers. The inspiration for this gluten-free recipe came from my colleague Lauren, who has been waxing poetic about her adventures in chia seed-based meals and convinced me to give the ingredient a try.

As for the pickled slaw, be still my beating heart. My younger daughter and I were alone in the kitchen when I made this one. Without the plain-Jane influence of her no-meat, no-color, no-texture big sister, my little one was loving the purple, pickled slaw. She took a couple of bites and suggested (brilliantly) that I add apple.  At barely 4, she may already be a culinary genius.


Chicken Chia-Seed Bites

Serves 4

1/2 cup almond meal

1/3 cup chia seeds

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. paprika

2 eggs

11/2 lbs. organic, skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut in 2-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease a baking sheet or baking pan. In a medium bowl, mix together almond meal, chia seeds, salt, garlic powder and paprika. Mix well.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together eggs. Place each piece of chicken into egg mixture, then dredge through chia mixture to coat. Lay chicken on prepared baking sheet. Cook chicken in preheated oven, turning once halfway through cook time. Cook for a total of 14-16 minutes or until cooked through. Serve atop pickled slaw and drizzle with creamy mustard sauce.


Creamy Mustard Sauce


Makes ½ cup

½ cup Tofutti sour cream

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard

2 Tbs. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. salt

1 Tbs. minced chives

Blend Tofutti sour cream, mustard, lemon juice and salt in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Stir in chives.


Pickled Slaw

Serves 4-6

1 purple cabbage, core removed, sliced thin

1 cup carrot, diced small

3/4 cup red pepper, diced small

1/2 cup minced scallion

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup water

1 Tbs. garlic, minced

2 tsp. sugar

21/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup olive oil

1 green apple

2 Tbs. lemon juice

Prepare cabbage, carrot, red pepper and scallion and place in large bowl. In a small pot, combine vinegar, water, garlic, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil. Simmer 4 minutes. Turn off heat. Cool for 2 minutes. Add olive oil. Pour over vegetables. Toss vegetables with dressing and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Before serving, dice green apple into small pieces. Toss apple with lemon juice. Add apple and lemon juice to slaw. Toss vigorously.

Josie A.G. Shapiro who won the 2013 Man-O-Manischewitz Cookoff, is the co-author of “The Lazy Gourmet.” Her columns alternate with those of Faith Kramer. Her website is

J. does not guarantee that all recipes posted on its Web site will adhere to the highest standards of kashrut. We reserve the right to edit, remove or reject submitted recipes.


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