Almond Crusted Chicken: Healthy Recipe of the Month | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Kait's Meal of the Month: Almond Crusted Chicken

October 19, 2012 | Kait Fortunato

Must See Nutrition Videos

Editor's Note: Tired of reading why it's important to eat healthy and what your diet should consist of? If you're a STACK reader, you know by now that certain foods are better than others; but how do you actually apply that knowledge to your daily eating habits?

We are pleased to announce a solution. Each month STACK Expert and sports dietitian Kait Fortunato will provide a recipe to STACK athletes right out of her own kitchenEach recipe will be accompanied by a catalog of its benefits to athletes and Fortunato's advice about the best time to consume it. All of the recipes are healthy, quick and easy to prepare and, best of all, great-tasting. 

Almond Crusted Chicken Breasts

Athletes' food choices can be dull and boring. How many times can you eat boneless, skinless chicken breast and a side of broccoli? Get inspired. Try some new recipes, like this unique twist on a classic breaded favorite.

One night, after a quick glance at my pantry revealed a small amount of whole-wheat breadcrumbs, I decided to mix them with sliced almonds. The result was a nice crunchy coating to the usual plain chicken breasts.

Ingredients (serves four):

  • Four chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced almonds (save 1/4-cup for topping)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 egg whites
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Prepare a pan with cooking spray
  • Mix breadcrumbs with 1-1/4 cups of sliced almonds
  • Season mixture with garlic powder, red pepper, salt and pepper
  • In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites together
  • Dip chicken breasts in egg batter, then evenly coat them with almond/breadcrumb mix and place in pan
  • Be careful of cross contamination: discard any leftover breadcrumb/almond mix and be sure to wash your hands and your countertop
  • Bake chicken in the oven for about 25 minutes or until internal temperature reads 165F
  • While the chicken is cooking, toast the rest of the almonds on the stovetop by heating a pan with a drizzle of olive oil over low heat

Serve the chicken over a bed of cooked spinach with a serving of tomato sauce for dipping.

Nutrition Facts (2 chicken breasts):

  • Calories: 605
  • Protein: 57 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 20 grams
  • Fat: 29 grams (mostly good fats from the almonds)
  • Sodium: 398 mg
  • Fiber: 6 grams

Benefits to Athletes

The addition of almonds gives this recipe a serving of healthy fats to keep you full and provide long-lasting energy. Plus, omega-3 fats help lower triglycerides and cholesterol and reduce inflammation, lessening joint aches and pains. (Read about Healthy vs. Unhealthy Fats.)

Chicken is one of the leanest sources of protein and a healthy choice for athletes to meet their daily requirements. It's also a good source of B vitamins (niacin and B6), which help with energy production. The whole grains in the whole-wheat breadcrumbs provide fiber and unrefined carbohydrates—excellent for regulating blood sugars. Although the recipe contains only a small amount of garlic, its health advantages are quite large. Known for its cardiovascular benefits, such as reducing cholesterol and triglycerides, garlic also protects blood cells and blood vessels from inflammatory and oxidative stress. (Read more on vampires' worst nightmare here.)

Bottom line: the recipe offers both low glycemic carbohydrates and low cholesterol with plenty of protein and healthy fats. Paired with high GI post-workout carbs, it would be great either as a recovery meal soon after a workout or a dinner choice on recovery days. All in all, a perfect way to spice up boring chicken breasts with added health benefits. And the crunch from the almonds makes this dish tasty and satisfying.

Kait Fortunato
- Kait Fortunato is a registered dietitian at Rebecca Bitzer & Associates, a large and experienced nutrition practice in Maryland. She focuses on individualized nutritional recommendations...
Kait Fortunato
- Kait Fortunato is a registered dietitian at Rebecca Bitzer & Associates, a large and experienced nutrition practice in Maryland. She focuses on individualized nutritional recommendations...
Must See
Dwyane Wade Leads by Example
Views: 4,493,755
Jadeveon Clowney on Making Big Hits
Views: 3,836,566
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,178,247

Featured Videos

Path to the Pros 2015: Lorenzo Mauldin Views: 7,052
Real Workouts: Paul Rabil Views: 212,868
Brandin Cooks Oregon State Football Tour Views: 953,059
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

NFL Wide Receiver Randall Cobb Outworks Everyone
Views: 25,400,077
Dwyane Wade Jumps Onto a 42" Box
Views: 10,738,587
Allyson Felix Explains How To Choose a Coach
Views: 8,690,727
Dustin Pedroia on Training
Views: 10,919,166
Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 5,035,621

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Lunch Box Special: Tobin Heath's Old-School Pre-Game Favorite

3 Power-Packed Milkshakes to Boost Recovery

Kait's Meal of the Month: Crock Pot Beef Stew

Mix It Up With These High-Protein Meatloaf Muffin Snacks

A Better Baked Ziti

Quinoa Recipes: A Super-Healthy Grain, 5 Ways

Cure Breakfast Boredom With 3 Simple Healthy 'Boosts'

Rate My Breakfast Plate: How Top Trainers' Breakfasts Stack Up

5 Non-Boring, Easy and Healthy Canned Tuna Recipes

5 Quick and Easy 5-Ingredient Recipes

6 Delicious and Healthy Overnight Oatmeal Recipes

4 Easy Recipe Substitutions for Take-Out Food

Kait's Meal of the Month: Healthy Chicken Piccata

STACKletes Speak: "Healthy" Purple Drink and Fried Chicken

Start Your New Year With These Holiday-Inspired Smoothies

5 Healthy Recipes to Start Your New Year

Kait's Meal of the Month: Eggplant Turkey Boats

Simply Roasted Sweet Potato Recipes

3 Recipes to Spice Up Chocolate Milk

Easy Thanksgiving Leftover Meals

5 Non-Boring Ways to Eat Sweet Potatoes

Make Gains With This Post-Workout Shake Recipe

Protein-Packed Smoothies Without Protein Powder

4 Post-Workout Shakes for Recovery and Building Muscle

'Ultimate Oatmeal' Recipe For Runners

3 Protein-Packed Peanut Butter Recipes

Kait's Meal of the Month: Roasted Spaghetti Squash

6 Ways to Liven Up Your Winter Diet With Citrus

Paleo-Friendly Meals for CrossFit Athletes

Recipe Makeover: Healthy Stuffed Mushrooms

3 Summer Shakes That Boost Athletic Performance

Delightful Desserts for the Grill

5 Non-Boring Ways to Eat Salmon

Weight Loss and the Mediterranean Style Diet

Cooking for the Cooking-Inept: The Slow Cooker, Explained

5 Healthy Stuffing Recipes for Turkey Day

Fuel Your Next Run With This Homemade Energy Bar

5 Non-Boring Ways to Eat Ground Turkey

7 Easy-to-Make Recipes for Gluten-Free Snacks

3 Holiday Recipes that Won't Ruin Healthy Habits

Healthy Snack Recipes for Hungry Athletes

6 Simple Power Recipes for Vegetarian Athletes

7 Delicious Muscle-Building Smoothie Recipes

A Recipe for Healthy Turkey Burgers

5 Non-Boring Ways to Eat Eggs

4 Athlete-Friendly Microwave Meals

Gain or Lose Weight With Oatmeal Pancakes