A couple of months ago Night Owl said she wanted to go back to the gluten-free diet she had once pursued (prior to us starting dating). Stuck for ideas – as the main cook in our little household of two – I had a browse of my ever-slowly-expanding cookbook collection. I picked out my copy of Feel Good Food by Valli Little – Delicious magazine’s published answer in 2015 to finding a realistic life balance and maintaining good health without losing any of the pleasure and satisfaction that comes from preparing delicious, sustaining food for yourself, your family and friends. There’s so much emphasis these days on food that is free of preservatives, additives, and a vast number of allergies and diets, but it also highlights food that is simply good for you and tastes good – with a lesser dose of the guilt!
One of our mutual favourite meals is chicken schnitzel, and so when I saw this version that didn’t require panko or breadcrumbs but quinoa flakes, it piqued my interest and I decided to give it a try. I already had rice flour in the pantry from a previous shortbread recipe, so all I needed to do was find the quinoa flakes. You can find it at Fruit Ezy Stores, Harris Farm stores, About Life, or specialised health food stores (I highly recommend The Source Bulk Wholefoods in Crows Nest).
We were both surprised at how much better the schnitzel was with quinoa flakes – the crumbed exterior was incredibly crunchy and packed a lot of flavour with the addition of parmesan, parsley and lemon. If you do have any garlic powder in your spice rack, I would also highly recommend adding a bit to the mixture. The red-cabbage coleslaw was making use of what was in season at the time, but the original recipe called for a mixture of red cabbage with brussel sprouts. Raw brussel sprouts are a lot more pleasant than you imagine, being sweeter when used raw and shaved thinly into salads. Once they come back into season over winter, I would definitely use them!
You will need:
2 x 180g chicken breast fillets, halved horizontally;
1 cup (100g) quinoa flakes;
1/4 cup (20g) grated Parmesan;
1 tbs each finely chopped chives and flat-leaf parsley leaves;
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest;
1/4 cup (62ml) milk or nut milk;
1 heaped tbs (45g) rice flour;
200g red cabbage;
1 small carrot, coarsely grated;
Half small red onion, thinly sliced;
1/4 cup (75ml) low-fat mayonnaise;
Finely grated zest and juice of half a lemon, plus lemon wedges to serve;
2 tsp dijon mustard;
2 tsp apple cider vinegar;
Vegetable or coconut oil, to shallow-fry.
Place the chicken in a single layer between two pieces of plastic wrap and using a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound until 1cm thick.
Place the quinoa flakes, parmesan, chives, parsley and lemon zest in a food processor and pulse to combine.
Transfer to a large shallow bowl. Lightly whisk the egg and milk in a bowl and season. Place the rice flour into a shallow bowl and dust the chicken in the rice flour, shaking off any excess. Dip in the egg mixture and coat with the quinoa mixture. Chill until ready to cook.
To make the slaw, use a mandolin to thinly slice the cabbage and place in a large bowl with the carrot and onion. Whisk the mayonnaise, lemon zest and juice, mustard and vinegar together in a bowl and season. Add to the cabbage mixture and toss to combine.
Heat 1cm oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat and cook the schnitzels – one at a time – for 2-3 minutes each side until golde and cooked through. Divide slaw among serving plates, place the schnitzels on top of the slaw. Serve with lemon wedges.