The chef, healthy living expert and mom behind Living with Ashley, Ashley Walter, is no stranger to mealtime battles. Her three-year-old daughter happens to have three favorite foods, none of which, as a nutritionist, Ashley wants to serve over and over again. So, she takes those foods and adds to them; making a more nutritious meal and adding in some variety while keeping those go-to staples. One combo we love? Ashley’s quinoa pesto bowl with chicken nuggets.  See the entire recipe below.

Makes 2 bowls

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 1 ½ cups of regular or tricolor quinoa, prepared according to the box

For the veggies:

  • 1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, kept whole

Spray with a bit of oil + roast in the oven at 350 degrees until the broccoli is lightly browned + tender when forked and the tomatoes are soft. Roughly 8 minutes for the tomatoes + 10-12 for the broccoli.

For the pesto:

  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • ½ cup feta cheese (not a fan in the House? No problem, use Parmesan)
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/8 – ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil; depending on how thick you want the pesto

Simply blend this all together until you have your desired consistency.

For the chicken nuggets:

TIPS: If you don’t have time, you can buy organic chicken nuggets from the store or opt to make these tasty ones. I mix up cornflakes + sweet potato chips as the “batter” for the baked nuggets.

If you want “nugget” form, then you will need to use a food processor to grind the chicken + form them into nuggets before battering + baking.

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  • 1 package/1 LB chicken tenders, skinless + boneless
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup whole grain bread crumbs, I opt for gluten-free or I mix plain cornflakes + sweet potato chips until fine
  • Dash of salt + pepper

TO MAKE

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Pulse the breadcrumbs with the egg, salt, + pepper together in a processor or blender. (Feeling confident? Use a masher + do it in a large bowl.)
  3. Place a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or greased to the side.
  4. Scramble the egg in a bowl, then take each chicken tender, drag it through the egg, then roll it in the batter, + place it on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned.

Recipe and image courtesy Living with Ashley. Discover more on social: livingwithashely.com, @living_withashley, facebook.com/livingwithashley