This coconut chicken tender salad is an easy week-night dinner that packs up well for lunch the following day. It’s such a refreshing and filling meal, and one you can feel great about eating! Side bonus: if you have kids who are picky eaters, you can eat the chicken tenders and berries over greens, and they can eat the meal sans greens!
I love coconut-crusted tenders and coconut shrimp at restaurants, but wanted to cut out the flour and sugar involved. If you’re not worried about sugar, you can use sweetened coconut flakes. I personally try to cut as much added sugar out of my diet as possible, so I use Bob’s Red Mill unsweetened shredded coconut. I prefer this particular brand over others because of the small size of the shreds – I find that they stick to the chicken tender during the breading process more easily than larger shreds. You can find it in the natural food section of your local grocery, or purchase it here.
After you’ve breaded the chicken tenders, you’ll want to spray the tops of the tenders with a bit of olive oil or coconut oil. This helps the coating to brown nicely and crisp up. Sometimes I’ll use olive oil and sometimes I’ll use coconut oil. Just depends on how I’m feeling that day! I like to use my refillable misto spray bottle for olive oil, and Trader Joe’s coconut oil spray for extra coconut-y flavor.
As far as the choice of greens, I’ve served up this salad using spinach, arugula, and mixed greens. It’s always a great result! Just use whatever you have in the fridge.
The same goes for dressing – any fruit-forward vinaigrette, or even a poppyseed dressing, will work well here. My go-to is Tessemae’s lemon garlic dressing. It’s light and just tart enough (also Whole30 approved!). I also love to use it on my kale, apple, and roasted chickpea salad when I’m short on time and don’t feel like making the tahini dressing!
Moral of the story? This recipe is meant to be flexible! You can use this coconut breading on white fish rather than chicken, choose your greens, and choose your dressing.
Make it yours! And when you do, be sure to tag us on instagram @fridgetofork, and let us know how it turned out in the comments below.
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