If you’re one of those people whose earliest meal making memory is defined by bread crumbly fingers from chicken schnitzel preparation, you’ll be pleased to know I'm on a simple yet honourable mission today, to share two of my favourite schnitzel inspired recipes.
Schnitzeling is a serious family endeavor and whipping up a schnitz as a weeknight treat will leave every family member licking their fingers and feeling unanimously satisfied after a busy day of doing.
This hearty TV-dinner and next day lunch forms the base of a versatile chicken lover’s sequence from my eBook, The Renewable Table will which will see you right through to the weekend.
I’m sharing the first two recipes in the sequence, a chicken schnitzel with parsnip mash with garden salad and a filling schnitzel wrap with lemon and a slathering of parsnip spread.
When purchasing chicken to create this sequence, buy free-range chicken, organic is best. Chicken is easy to work with and can be stored in the freezer in freezer safe containers and pulled out as needed to add to a range of hearty main meals, snacks, soups and salads.
If you decide to buy whole chickens, you can use every part of the chicken – everything from the succulent breasts just like in this recipe, right down to the chicken carcass to create a nourishing homemade bone broth. In a Renewable Kitchen, nothing at all gets wasted.
While traditional chicken schnitzels tend to be anything but healthy – high in saturated fat and refined carbohydrates, this recipe substitutes white breadcrumbs with almond meal and coconut flour. These high-fibre flour alternatives combine with the eggs to create a light yet crispy coating that perfectly compliments the succulent melt-in-your-mouth texture of the meaty breasts. The crumble can also be stored in the freezer for later schnitzel making.
The paprika and sea salt bring the dish to life with zest and the parsnip mash makes an ideal healthy yet creamy accompaniment that closely resembles potato mash. The Mediterranean-inspired garden salad provides a crisp freshness to balance out the flavour of the schnitzels.
When preparing a family meal, to ensure that you have all of your nutritional boxes ticked, try and mix and match colours and textures. This schnitzel dinner for example, is a delicious nutritionally complete meal, rich in protein from the chicken, phytonutrients and antioxidants from the parsnip mash and garden salad, and healthy fats from the egg and coconut oil used for pan-frying.
There’s also nothing more cost effective and time saving than cooking a wholesome family meal and then transforming and repurposing the ingredients to use for other meals throughout the week. The meat and the vegetables are already cooked, so reusing them in new dishes, as in my filling wrap recipe below for day two, is a resourceful and effective way to bring home cooking to the office or school.
Saving extra portions to use for the next day is also a great way to avoid waste, saving you significant dollars in the long run. You’re much less likely to nibble on nutritionally poor choices if you have a full lunch box.
Children can benefit too, offering them fresh, health-promoting foods is a priority for mums everywhere and often one of the most challenging meals of the day is school lunches.
Kids will love the second day nutritious renewable wrap recipe. After enjoying a restaurant-quality chicken schnitzel for dinner, the next day you’re going to be giving the leftovers a brand new home. Repurposing it straight into a wrap, along with a generous smear of parsnip spread, this serves as an excellent margarine replacement, and finishing of with a handful of the pre-made salad.
Presto! With little effort you’ve created a balanced lunch filled with fibre, healthy fats and protein that can be transported to school or the office, and will keep everyone satisfied and focused well into the afternoon.
My gluten-free crepes are a high-fibre, low sodium and low GI alternative to highly refined white bread. These wrap-rolling fluffy crepes are so versatile they’ll instantly become a staple in your family’s lunchtime repertoire.
Using only a handful of nourishing ingredients, crepes can be used to make gluten-free wraps as in this recipe, or topped with berries and goat’s cheese for a fancy breakfast or healthy dessert even the kids will enjoy. They hold remarkably well too, so no more niggly doubts about ingredients from those pesky-thin commercial wraps causing havoc in lunchboxes.
I challenge you to make regular pub meals a thing of the past and create affordable, tantalizing and healthy home-cooked meals cheaply and easily. You’ll be so caught up in the flavours that you’ll want to add these dishes repeatedly to your weekly meal planning and they get a thumbs up from the kids too. I recently test drove them on twelve hungry children who eagerly hoovered them up in a flash.
Continuum cooking makes renewable dishes so much more enjoyable, because you’ll feel like every meal is a fresh new dish. You’ll also save time for the more important things by not having to cook your chicken and vegetables from scratch on each occasion.
Time to finally get stuck into that book you’ve been meaning to read!
Chicken schnitzel with parsnip mash and garden salad
- 4 chicken breasts, sliced in half width-ways to form 8 pieces (4 for tonight’s dinner, 4 for schnitzel wraps.
- 1⁄2 cup arrowroot (or tapioca flour)
- 3 eggs, whisked
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp paprika (lending an extra hit of flavour and helping to produce a beautiful golden colour in the coating)
- Sea salt and pepper
(There’s enough here allowing you to save half for a chicken wrap recipe or to nibble as a snack later)
- 1 onion diced
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 8 medium parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp oregano
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
(There’s enough here to create next day wraps as well)
- 4 large handfuls rocket
- 1 cup button mushrooms, halved
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1⁄2 cup Kalamata olives
- 1⁄2 avocado, diced
- Small handful fresh basil leaves, torn
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Sauté onion in 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp water in a large pot for 3-4 minutes.
- Place the chopped parsnips into the pot with enough boiling water to cover. Add herbs and seasoning. Stir to combine ingredients.
- Bring to the boil and turn down to simmer, cooking for 25 minutes, or until parsnips are soft.
- Turn off heat and carefully pour out the parsnip broth into a jar, leaving just a little bit of water in the bottom of the pot.
- Add remaining olive oil to mixture. Using a stick blender, or transferring to a food processor, blend until pureed. Set aside.
- The leftover broth can be stored in the fridge and used as a vegetable broth or you can drink it right away as a nourishing beverage.
- To make the crumb mixture, add the almond meal, coconut flour, paprika, sea salt and pepper to a shallow bowl, mixing to combine.
- Place the eggs into a shallow bowl and whisk.
- Place the arrowroot flour in a separate shallow bowl.
- To tenderize, take the chicken and pound it into a uniform thickness if thin schnitzels are preferred the best way to do this is in a ziplock bag (goodbye chicken splatters!) This step is optional.
- Dip each piece of chicken into the arrowroot flour, then egg mixture, then the crumb mixture. Make sure that they are evenly coated.
- Pre-heat a large fry pan on medium-high heat with 1 tbsp coconut oil. Cook each schnitzel for 4-5 minutes on each side, adding a fresh tbsp of oil each new round of schnitzels (cooking 4 at a time, depending on the size of your fry pan).
- Set aside 4 of the schnitzels for your next recipe such as Schnitzel wraps below first allowing to cool to room temperature then placing into a sealed container and refrigerating for up to 3 days.
- Place rocket, basil, mushrooms, tomatoes and olives in a bowl and combine.
- Separate half the mixture and set aside in a bowl, refrigerating until preparation of continued recipes (this will keep undressed in the refrigerator for up to 5 days).
- With the remaining half, add avocado, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and mix well to combine.
Chicken Schnitzel Wrap with Lemon and Parsnip Spread
Makes 4 Wraps
Gluten free Crepes:
- 1 1/3 cup tapioca flour
- 1 1/3 additive-free coconut milk
- 1 egg
- Pinch of sea salt
- 80g butter
- 4 chicken schnitzels, cut into thin diagonal strips
- 4 gluten free crepes
- 1 grated carrot
- Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
- Leftover mash from schnitzel recipe
- Leftover salad from schnitzel recipe
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all the ingredients except the butter in a medium bowl and stir well.
- Heat one-quarter of the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Pour in one-quarter of the mixture and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan
- After 2–3 minutes, carefully flip and brown on the other side.
- Repeat with the remaining butter and crepe mixture.
- Lay out the 4 crepes on your kitchen bench.
- Spread a heaped spoonful of parsnip mash down the centre of each crepe.
- Add all other ingredients evenly across the 4 crepes and season with sea salt and pepper. Squeeze a touch of lemon juice in each crepe.
- Roll into cylinders, curling in the bottom edge so filling doesn’t fall out.
- Cover in foil and store in the refrigerator until it’s time to take to work or school. Lasts in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Happy Cooking 🙂
You can purchase the Renewable Table here.