Chicken and Almonds – yum! Cooking with kids to make this easy low cal dish with Butternut Squash Mash and Oven Fries


I love nuts and chicken together – especially when cooking with kids – along with my favorite Panko breadcrumbs this makes for a low cal quick weektime dish – which is no fuss so you could easily do this on the days after a holiday (like the fourth of July) when no one really wants to cook. Cooking with kids is always fun and they will like some of the steps in this recipe. In fact, here are THREE recipes in one! Of course put on that grandma music try The Happy Song!


  • 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk which is easily made by putting a teaspoon of white vinegar into 1/4 cup of 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard – or ground mustard whichever you prefer
  • 4 (6-ounce) chicken breasts which are boneless and skinless and pounded into larger flatter pieces
  • 1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped almonds (easy way to do this is to put them into a plastic bag and pound them with a can of something)
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese ( freshly grated TRULY tastes SOOO much better than the store bought grated one – try it if you haven’t done this before)
  • 3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  •   Pam or another Cooking spray
  •   Rosemary sprigs (optional) – It is really easy to grow rosemary in your garden or even in a pot in your kitchen – try it – its worth it – we don’t use that much and just a few sprigs freshly cut will make your smile ! I guarrantee it – the smell permeates the home.


1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. Combine buttermilk and mustard in a shallow dish, and this is when you let the kids use their personal whisks. Did I mention that each of our grandkids have their own kitchen tools ? That is a spoon and a whisk each – and measuring cups and teaspoons. And they get to wash them and put them away safely every cooking session

2. Add the chicken pieces to your buttermilk mixture, turning them so that all sides are coated. Our grandkids are not crazy about the consistency of raw chicken! Who can blame them!

3. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add panko to pan; cook until golden, stirring frequently. Combine panko, nuts, cheese rosemary salt and pepper in a shallow dish – the kids can do this and learn to measure as well.

4. Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture which you can throw out. Cover the chicken on all sides with the panko mixture.

4. Place a wire rack on a large baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray. Put the pieces of  chicken on the rack; coat chicken with cooking spray.  This is to be sure that the chicken bakes on all sides – pretty much fat free!

5. Bake at 425° for 13 minutes or until when pricked, the juice that runs out the chicken is clear. Decorate with rosemary sprigs and serve with mashed butternut squash  ( bake a butternut squash in the oven whole for 1.5 hours – then cut in half, remove the pits, scrape out the flesh, add salt and butter to taste and its ready to serve!) or oven baked potato fries. ( SOO Simple – just take a mixture of Yukon gold, yams, russets and sweet potatoes ( with or without the skin – if you leave the skin on be sure to wash them well. )

TIP: Did you know that soaking the cut potatoes in ICED water will make them stay the same color and cook up better?cut into steak cut fries ie thick, sprinkle with Lawry’s salt sparingly and even with a few chopped sprigs of rosemary, spray all over with Pam spray ( Olive oil kind) and put onto another rack on a baking sheet in the same oven – and cook along with the chicken! The potatoes may take a bit longer than the chicken – so you can put them in BEFORE you start preparing the chicken – ie 30 minutes, and they should be ready when the chicken is ready). ENJOY!


About Grandma

I have reinvented myself many times during my life -teacher, lawyer, business woman, CEO, Entrepreneur, Board member, Professor, Mom, Wife, Farmer, Chef, Musician, Author and now my best role of all - Grandma to multiple grandchildren, grandnephews and nieces worldwide.
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