I was provided with two flavors of Blue Diamond almonds for the purposes of creating the recipes for this post. I was not compensated in any other way. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
It’s almost time for the Big Game, you guys! As a New England transplant of almost 10 years, you know I’m excited (I’m banning any talk of deflate-gate here and now, haha).
If you’re like me, you’ll probably be cooking something for the Big Game, whether you’re watching it at home or going to someone else’s party. That means if you haven’t done it yet, you’ll need to choose a recipe and get your shopping done in the next couple of days.
As someone with dietary restrictions, parties can be tough. Sometimes people don’t even know what your dietary restriction means (no, potatoes don’t have gluten — yes, I’m sure) and sometimes you don’t even want to bring it up. Whatever the case, bringing your own food can be the safest bet even if your only restriction (even though I hate using that word here) is that you’re trying to eat healthier than your friends.
So when Blue Diamond offered to send me two flavors of almonds to use in the creation of some Game Changing Snacks, I was excited by the challenge. I was even more excited when I opened my package and found two bold, amazing flavors: Smokehouse and Wasabi & Soy Sauce.
I knew right away based on the flavor profiles alone that I wanted to do something with beer and the Smokehouse almonds and something with other Asian flavors to accompany the Wasabi & Soy Sauce almonds. After some fruitful time in the kitchen, I present to you Gluten-Free Beer Battered Smokehouse Chicken Tenders and Wasabi Soy Pulled Chicken with Greek Yogurt & Sriracha Sauce. The recipes below are intentionally vague on the amount of ingredients. The directions will indicate ratios of ingredients to allow you to size up or down depending on the size of your party.
Gluten-Free Beer Battered Smokehouse Chicken Tenders
That’s a mouthful, huh? Let me assure you, it’s worth it. These chicken tenders come out moist on the inside and crispy on the outside and the flavors of both the beer and smokehouse almonds really come through. Plus they’re baked so you’re left with the healthy fats from the almonds without all the added grease from frying.
Boneless, skinless chicken breast (cut into strips)
Blue Diamond Smokehouse almonds
Gluten free beer of choice
That’s it! Easy, right?
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Place almonds into a blender or food processor (I used my Ninja) and pulse until powdery. You’ll need approximately 4 oz of almonds for every 10 tenders you plan to make. Avoid blending too long, or you may end up with Smokehouse almond butter, which admittedly wouldn’t be terrible just not best for this recipe.
In a small bowl, combine egg and beer (about 1/2c. of beer for each egg used) and beat briefly. Add just enough cornmeal to thicken slightly.
Place ground almonds in a separate bowl and assemble chicken tenders by soaking in beer and egg wash, then coating with almonds.
Repeat until all tenders are coated and placed on prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until crispy. Remove from oven and allow to rest so the coating crisps up nicely and adheres to the chicken.
What you’re left with are deliciously smoky chicken tenders that are perfectly moist on the inside. They’re great on their own or you can serve them with a side of your favorite barbecue sauce.
Wasabi Soy Pulled Chicken with Greek Yogurt & Sriracha Sauce
If Asian flavors are more your thing on game day, you’ll love this pulled chicken that can be served in lettuce wraps, on tacos or on top of your favorite salad. The chicken itself gets a nice kick fro the Wasabi & Soy almonds while the optional sauce kicks up the flavors and heat to rival your buddy’s greasy, fried buffalo wings.
Boneless, skinless chicken breast
Blue Diamond Wasabi & Soy almonds
Plain Greek yogurt
In a medium saucepan, add enough water to cover chicken. To the water add chicken, a large handful of almonds for every 2 chicken breasts, the juice of half a lemon per chicken breast, and approximately 1 Tbsp. of ground ginger per chicken breast.
Bring water to a boil and poach chicken for 10-15 minutes or until done (more time may be necessary for more chicken). Remove from heat and allow chicken to cool on a plate before shredding. You can use two forks to shred the chicken, but I prefer using my hands to pull it apart.
Grind another small handful of almonds in your blender or food processor, leaving some larger pieces. Top chicken with these almonds and another squeeze of fresh lemon juice and allow flavors to continue to marry as you make your sauce.
For the sauce (which is the easiest in the world): combine plain Greek yogurt with sriracha and ground ginger to taste. The chicken will already have the kick of wasabi from the almonds, so use your best judgment with the amount of sriracha and ginger you add to your sauce.
Serve with tacos or over a salad for a heartier snack or on bite-sized pieces of lettuce for quick finger food.
That’s it! Two recipes, healthy and delicious, easy peasy. With minimal ingredients, no frying, and no gluten, these snacks are certainly a Game Changer!
What are your favorite game day snacks?