You can’t go far without reading about the Whole30, a 30-day eating challenge that cuts out sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy and dairy. It’s practically a national phenomenon now, and that’s thanks to Whole30 co-creator Melissa Hartwig, who first started it on her blog and now has written a number of cookbooks with recipes to help you eat better without getting bored.
Hartwig will be at BookPeople at 7 p.m. Jan. 12 to speak and sign copies of her new book, “The Whole30 Fast & Easy Cookbook: 150 Simply Delicious Everyday Recipes for Your Whole30” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30), which is where you’ll find this cashew-crusted baked chicken.
Cashew-Crusted Chicken and Wilted Kale Salad
While the chicken bakes to crisp-crusted deliciousness in the oven, you quickly wilt the kale and onion in bacon drippings in a skillet and then toss with raw shredded carrot and grape tomatoes. The contrast of temperatures and textures is a nice change of pace from a traditional salad. To toast cashews, heat in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Make sure the bacon is Whole30 compliant — without any added sugar.
For the chicken:
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large egg
1/2 cup almond flour
1/3 cup finely chopped raw cashews
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins (about 12 ounces total)
For the salad:
3 slices bacon, chopped
4 cups torn fresh kale
1 small red onion, slivered
1/2 cup packaged shredded carrot
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup raw cashews, toasted and chopped
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly brush olive oil on a medium baking sheet.
Whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, stir together the flour, cashews, salt, and pepper. Dip each tenderloin into the egg, turning to coat. Allow the excess to drip off, then dip into the cashew mixture, turning to coat. Place on the prepared pan.
Bake the chicken, turning once halfway through cooking, until the internal temperature is 165 degrees and the chicken is no longer pink, 15 to 18 minutes.
To make the salad: Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon, stirring, until browned and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels, reserving the bacon fat in the skillet. Add the kale and onion to the skillet with the bacon fat. Cook, tossing frequently with tongs, until the kale is wilted and tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the cooked bacon, carrot and tomatoes. Serve the chicken on top of the kale salad. Sprinkle with the cashews. Serves 2.
— From “The Whole30 Fast & Easy Cookbook: 150 Simply Delicious Everyday Recipes for Your Whole30” by Melissa Hartwig (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30)