This is by far my favorite meal hack AND lean&green hack yet! (For only three weeks for experiments, I’m sure I’ll find other hacks! For now though, this is my go-to!)
If you haven’t purchased the Medifast Parmesan Cheese Puffs, I highly recommend it. As a meal, I was not a fan at all. However, they make amazing breading! You have to be careful how often you use them as breading – because it turned into a lean&green and a meal. But if you eat it in two sittings during the day (i.e. lunch and dinner), you’re set!
Chicken nuggets are a favorite comfort food of mine, and these are a good version of them. Obviously they’re not greasy or fried like the little dino-nuggets we all grew up with. But on top of a salad or with an approved condiment, they’re a great, relatively quick go-to.
Medifast Spicy Parmesan Chicken Nuggets
9 oz. raw boneless skinless chicken breast cut into cubes- should yield 6 oz cooked (1 Lean)*
1 tbsp Frank’s Red Hot Wing Sauce (or any other hot sauce – I actually prefer Crystal) (1 Condiment)
1 Bag Medifast Parmesan Cheese Puffs (1 Meal) (Product information here)**
Seasonings of your choice (I used garlic powder, seasoning salt, and black pepper)
*Note: I found that thin-cut frozen chicken breasts tend to be about a serving size per. I purchased a small kitchen scale for less than $15 on Amazon though, and that has saved me a lot of guesswork and frustration.
**Note: The original recommended 1 tbsp of parmesan cheese as well. I haven’t found this necessary – it may lead to more coating, but the puffs actually produce a lot of breading once you mix it all up, and you’re getting so many flavors without the cheese. I’d rather use my condiment on something else like salad dressing, but you can definitely add parmesan if you really like.
(0. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.)
1. Finely crush the parmesan puffs into a bread-crumb consistency. (I use a Sharkk basics personal-sized blender that I purchased for less than $20, and it pulverizes these perfectly. I do recommend crushing in sections to avoid jamming of your blender/processor.)
2. Add desired seasonings pour crumb mixture and pour into a plastic Ziploc bag.(I recommend a quart-sized bag. Sandwich bags are too small, and though a gallon works fine, it’s not necessary.)
3. Cut uncooked chicken breast into approximately 1 inch cubes/chunks and place in Ziploc. Add hot sauce of choice to bag and close Ziploc. Toss ingredients until combined and chicken is fully coated. (I deviate from the original a bit here – they combine the chicken and hot sauce first, then combine that all with the breadcrumb mixture. I got lazy one time I tried this and just combined it all into one bag, and it turned out just as good. So I would just toss it all in and mix it up really well, easy enough!)
4. Put the crumb-coated chicken cubes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes. (Baking times differ depending on the size of the chicken cubes you cut and how hot your oven rungs. I cut mine into bite-size pieces, and 20 minutes it normally perfectly fine! Ultimately, just cut into the largest few pieces to make sure your chicken is fully cooked before eating!)
The best way I have found to enjoy these is on top of a salad. I use two servings of lettuce (spring mix), 1 serving of tomato, and 1 condiment (salad dressing – Bolthouse ranch is my recommendation). The somewhat spicy chicken and the creamy ranch combine very well and elevate the salad a bit.
I also normally divide this into two servings to be eaten in one day so that it does count for 1 meal (puffs) and 1 lean (chicken). Half can be eaten with some mustard or a small amount of salad dressing at lunch-ish time, and the other can be eaten with your greens at dinner!