Rice and Beans. AKA Basic Human Dinner, Yo’.


It doesn’t get a lot more simple, or cheap than rice and beans. Calorically dense, and micronutrient packed, if you keep everything in balance, adding grains and legumes to your main protein can really up the micronutrient ante. Billions of people across our planet (hello planet! I am still on your team!) and thousands of cultures have their own very special combinations.

I was asked this week if canned beans were less healthy than dried beans cooked from scratch. The nutritional profile is relatively similar, although canned beans do contain a lot more sodium. This can be reduced by rinsing the aquafaba from the beans. Aquafaba is a fancy word for that thick bean water in which canned beans are suspended. The French are very fond of making this into a vegan meringue. I do not like this idea at all. I am #teameggwhite. Canned beans are also more expensive. So there’s that.

Shebnation food prep for this week involves a cute little bean called the pigeon pea.  It does look like a pea, but is a bean. I would label the flavor of this dish as “Puerto Rican Lite” if that’s a thing. Or maybe let’s call it cultural appropriation and all move on.


Chicken Thighs, Pigeon Peas, and Rice: Puerto Rican 'Lite' Style

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Macros Per Serving: 495 Calories | 40 P | 18 F | 41 C . Fiber= 4 grams

Sometimes pigeon peas are called gandules, and make up the dish “arroz con gandules“, the traditional Puerto Rican recipe from which this was adapted. You should probably use a caldero, which is a rounded aluminum put, but I don’t have one so I used a stock pot and everything was fine. The Snackary rating was ‘I devoured it’.


  •  20 ml olive oil
  • 130 grams leeks, cleaned and finely chopped (use an onion if you do not have leeks)
  • 100 grams raw carrot, finely chopped (guys, this is about 1 medium carrot- get it together)
  • 86 grams dried guandules, or pigeon peas. If you want to use the canned version, use about 1/2 a can with the aquafaba drained
  • 75 grams raw bell pepper, chopped (about 1 medium pepper)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 600 grams roasted boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8 thighs)
  • 300 ml low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper


1.Pick through the pigeon peas and remove any stones, broken beans and general detritus you might find in there. If you are unsure whether or not something qualifies as detritus, ask yourself “Does this look like a pigeon pea?”. If the answer is no, it’s detritus, toss it. Cover the peas that survived your careful inspection with cold water and soak them for 30 minutes.

2.Drain the peas, pour into the pressure cooker with 1 tsp of salt, (I use the Instant Pot), cover with 2 inches of new water and cook on manual for 9 minutes. Depressurize the pot and drain the beans again. If you are using canned beans just open and drain the can. Remember, using only half the drained peas.

3.Preheat your oven to 400. Season the chicken thighs, generously, with salt and pepper. Bake on a parchment lined tray for about 20 minutes. Cool, chop and reserve. It should not be cooked to death. A little under is just fine.

4.Sauté the leeks, garlic, bell pepper and carrots  in the 20 ml of olive oil, in a large a pan on the stove top. Season with salt and pepper and cook the vegetables for about 5-6 minutes.

5.Add the rice and stir until it’s combined. Add the cumin, chili powder and chopped chicken thighs. Add the 300 ml of chicken stock, bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook this on low heat, covered, for about 40 minutes. Check on it a few times, if it seems very dry add a bit of water (maybe 1/4 cup).

6.After 40 minutes has elapsed check the texture of the rice. If it is cooked great- you’re done. If not, keep cooking for 5-10 more minutes. Add in the cooked (or canned) pigeon peas, stir and divide between 4 containers. #boom. Lunch.

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Dear Melissa, These Are The Refried Beans of Your Dreams. Love, Sobby.

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For my sister, Melissa.

My weirdo sister has been taco obsessed since the early 1980’s. She is a maverick this way, ahead of any millennial trend that frankly BORES THE FUCK OUT OF US O.G. GENERATION X TACO EATERS. We are also bitter people, if you need proof re-read the last sentence.

Old Aunt Stinky Smell, as she is now known (although honestly she smells real nice), became an ethical vegetarian when she was 14 or 15. What this means is that when she had hankering for Mexican food, which was nearly every damned day, she ate a shit ton of refried beans and really greasy quesadillas filled with chihuahua cheese, in these little hole in the walls that she insisted I drive her to. I am not sure how she found out where to go since THERE WAS NO INTERNET (wrap your pie hole around that), but I dutifully drove her because I am the good child. We didn’t know that these beans also probably contained tons of lard (NO INTERNET, remember), and also in the 1980’s there was not a lot of back and forth with your server regarding what was in or what was not in the food. They did not say their names or let you know they would be taking care of you. There was no inquiry regarding food allergies and they didn’t suggest sharing 3 or 4 small plates. There was an unspoken assumption that you might have BEEN IN A RESTAURANT SOMETIME BEFORE IN YOUR LIFE AND KNEW HOW TO OPEN A MENU AND READ IT. You  would read it, then close the menu. Prompted by the magical closing of your menu, the server would reappear, you told them the order, they wrote it down, then a while later they returned with the food you requested. It was a much simpler transaction back then, with a lot less chat.

We often tried to recreate these beans at home, which involved a can of refried beans, water and a microwave. It never really worked. You also cannot make a hole-in-the-wall taqueria style quesadilla using corn tortillas, cheddar cheese and a microwave. We felt very sad when we tried this. If you try it this way at home, you’ll be very sad too so don’t do it.

30+ years later, I have discovered that it takes two things to make really good refried beans: A $1.29 package of Goya Mayo Coba Beans (sometimes called canary beans) and a pressure cooker.


The above is a Mayo Coba/canary bean. A small, thin-skinned, pale yellow friend that when cooked, melts into velvety deliciousness. This bean comes to us courtesy of Peru (“Thanks, Peru!” –although I will take a moment here to say “No Thanks, Peru!” to your horrible pan flutes), and because it is texturally superior to the pinto bean, no lard is necessary. Who has the macros for lard? I sure don’t. If you have macros for lard, by all means eat lard. Otherwise follow the recipe below. When I eat them, I am always magically reminded of my little sister, dingy taquerias and the 1980’s. You may be reminded of something else. Or you may just be in the present eating your beans mindfully but if you are going to do that pipe down about it and keep it to yourself- this is not a Yoga studio.

Creamy Refried Beans à la Melissa

  • Servings: 7 or 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Macros/100 Gram Serving: 120 Calories | 7 P | 1 F| 21 C . Fiber= 8 grams

Leave out the bacon for a vegan/vegetarian version. (Macros would be 6 P | 1 F |21 C for the baconless version). You will need a pressure cooker and a potato masher. I don’t use any cumin or any spices except salt and pepper but if you like go ahead and add after you have sautéed the vegetables.


  • 6 ml olive oil
  • 50 grams onion, finely chopped
  • 100 grams raw carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (get a nice firm one) finely chopped (de-vein and de-seed if you cannot handle the !Caliente! )
  • 150 grams dried Mayo Coba beans, sometimes called canary beans. Don’t break my damned heart and use a pinto bean for this.
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 sliced of pre-cooked bacon, chopped (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Water


1.Pick through the canary beans and remove any stones, broken beans and general detritus you might find in there. If you are unsure whether or not something qualifies as detritus, ask yourself “Does this look like a bean?”. If the answer is no, it’s detritus, toss it. Cover the beans that survived your careful inspection with cold water and soak them for 30 minutes.

2.Drain the beans, pour into the pressure cooker with 1 tsp of salt, (I use the Instant Pot), cover with 2 inches of new water and cook on manual for 16 minutes. Depressurize the pot and drain the beans again. They should be about 3/4 cooked through, so a bit al dente at this stage. If they are very very hard, give it another 3-4 minutes under pressure.

3.Sauté all the rest of the ingredients in the 6 ml of olive oil. If your pressure cooker has a sauté function, do it in there. If not, a pan on the stove top. Season with salt and pepper and cook the vegetables for about 5-6 minutes.

4.Add the beans and mash them with the potato masher. Some of the veg might get mashed- that’s totes fine. Really get in there. Add this back into the pressure cooker (unless it is already in there) and add 1 -2  cups of water. This is a bit instinctive. You do not want them to be too soupy but you need enough so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

5.Close up the pressure cooker and go another 10 minutes on manual. Depressurize the pot and voilà- The beans of Aunt Stinky Smell’s dreams!

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Lentils. Why I Disparaged You For So Long Is Beyond My Comprehension. Welcome Back My Little Pulse!


One of the sillier things that happened in Shebnation was the promotion of the “no bueno” policy of the humble legume. Now that we have calmed down the rhetoric and dismissed the needless vilification of perfectly nutritious food groups, beans and pulses are back, but not all day, like rosé or anything. Let’s be smart about it, for once, can’t we?

People that follow a paleo diet voice concerns about phytic acid and phytates. If you are concerned about the anti-nutritive effect of these items, please know that unless you have a chronic health condition, or are in the throes of severe malnutrition, your not-so-feeble-body  can actually HANDLE THIS SHIT, and human bodies have been handling them since Neolithic times! Please also know that if you are in relatively good health, and eating in a balanced manner, even up to 2000 grams of phytic acid per day will most likely not negatively affect you. Also, that’s a fuck tons of beans, oil or peanuts! If you ate that many damned beans (or oil or peanuts) you would have a lot of other problems in your life, believe you me! Like gas and leaky stools. No-one enjoys a leaky stool. Or gas.

Here’s the thing about dried pulses and beans: a little goes a long way. Yes they have protein, yes they have fiber (glorious amounts) but they are very very calorically and nutrient dense. For instance, in this upcoming recipe, there are 50 grams of dried lentils per serving. That is a mere 1/3 cup. Cooked of course, the yield is greater. But that small handful of pulses supplies nearly all the carbohydrates for the dish, as well as a large percentage of the fiber. So think of them as a nourishing, but small accompaniment to your main protein source.

** Please note: I am an equal opportunity bean eater. Canned is great!  But if you have the resources and space to purchase and store an instant pot, you should consider this appliance. I worried about it being a large pain in the rear that took up a lot of counter space. But now that I have it, I use it about 8 times a week. For me its become an indispensable kitchen tool that speeds ups food prep and insures incredible textures on almost everything- beans, brown rice, oatmeal and chicken- but especially beans.***

Flank Steak with a Mustardy Lentil and Bacon Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Macros/Serving: 468 Calories | P 43 | F 18| C 30. Fiber is 7 grams per serving

Another lunch prep for my Snackary. I am positive it will get 4 “goods” out of 4 because he’s kind of predictable that way.


  • 45 ml olive oil
  • 25 grams shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 485 grams flank steak (I used farmer’s market Piedmontese beef which is lower in fat than the typical flank. You may have to make a macro adjustment if you do not have access to this beef)
  • 3 tbsp Herbs de Provence
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200 grams dried brown lentils that have been soaked in cold water for 30 minutes.
  • 8 slices pre-cooked bacon, chopped (It’s what I had. Using raw bacon again might call for a macro adjustment)
  • 100 grams green onion, chopped
  • 300 grams raw spinach, chopped
  • salt and pepper


1.Using the shallot, vinegar, mustard and 2.5 tbsp of the olive oil, make the vinaigrette. Recipe here, but only make half.

2.Season the flank steak generously on each side with salt, pepper and the Herbs de Provence. Place the 2 bay on top and drizzle the remaining 1/2 tbsp of olive oil over it. Let it hang out for about 10 minutes.

3.Cook the lentils. You can do this on the stove top or in a pressure cooker. I used an instant pot and cooked on manual for 8 minutes. Drain after cooking.

4.Sauté the chopped bacon until it is crispy and add the spinach. Cook this down, until completely wilted, seasoning with a little salt and pepper. Add to the lentils, stir in the chopped green onion and all of the vinaigrette. Combine well. Divide into four containers.

5.Heat a cast iron skillet, or grill pan until very hot. Sear the flank steak to your desired doneness (Snackary likes medium rare). Let rest and slice against the grain. Divide into four portions and lay atop your lentil salad. Boom! Lunch for 4 days.

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Soup Is Life. Weekend Lunch Prep.


Shebnation recently spent time in the beautiful country of Scotland, where everybody is endearingly polite and the soups are especially delicious. Hot as fuck, but delicious. I am not talking spicy hot either.  Scalding soups and tea that would erode several layers of skin if you spilled it on yourself. My little partner in crime bought a tea atop a large mountain an enormous hill we had climbed in order to see a castle and was not able to drink this tea until we had walked all the way back down. I may mention too the outside temperature was a balmy 42 F and we were being “caressed” by frigid ocean breezes. That goddamned tea stayed hot for at least 30 minutes! As for me, I burnt my tongue several times on soups (so tasty!!! I couldn’t wait) which is a huge nuisance. But the soups were glorious. I had several different versions of this basic Mulligatawny, a throw back to the days and conquest and colonization which I would prefer not to get into. I am working on an all Scotland Shebnation post, until then make some soup!!!!

Mulligatawny aka A Thick, Chicken & Curry Stew

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Macros/Serving: P 29 | F 14| C 27. Fiber is 5 grams per serving

I made this for Snackary’s lunches last week and his rating was “4 goods” out of 4 possible goods!


  • 20 ml coconut oil
  • 150 grams carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 600 grams raw sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 100 grams raw onion, chopped
  • 100 grams raw apple, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic peeled and smashed
  • 181 ml canned crushed tomatoes (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1-2 Tbsp madras or other mild curry blend
  • 1 Liter chicken stock (boxed or homemade)
  • 60 ml coconut milk (I freeze it in ice cube trays for future uses, 1 can is too much)
  • 640 grams boneless, skinless chicken thighs


  1. Season the chicken thighs with the 1/2 the curry powder and salt and pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven until cooked through. Let cool then shred with your fingers, or chop with a knife if the feeling of chicken between your fingers disquiets you.
  2. Heat the coconut oil in a large soup pot and add the cut onion, carrot, apple, sweet potatoes and smashed garlic. Season with salt and pepper and sauté on medium heat for about 7 minutes, stirring now and then so nothing sticks. Add the remaining curry powder and stir to distribute.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes and the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk, cool the soup and purée in a blender until smooth. Taste and adjust for seasoning if needed.
  5. Divide the chicken among 4 containers and pour 1/4 (my total was 1400 ml of soup so each lunch got a whopping 350 ml!!) of the soup atop the chicken. Boom lunch for 4 days!

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Hey Kid, Go Ahead and Eat the Carbs. You’re Going To Need a Little Glycogen: Nutrition Beyond the Crossfit Ethos.

20170102_094655For a few years, I ate only nuts and seeds, all sorts of meat, some vegetables, wine and that was about it. I was always hungry and I was not very lean, but I was fit and it was ok. A feeling of rabid hunger was with me all the time. And I still was not very lean.  It felt like deprivation, and was simply making me crazy on the inside.

The problem was, as an athletic person, I did not understand how running on low glycogen stores was inhibiting my abilities. I did not understand the needs of my skeletal muscles, and what they recruit during a high intensity workout session. These particular muscles can store about 300-400 mg of glycogen, which is recruited when you engage in a high intensity workout, so why wouldn’t you want it to be there, ready for use?  Without those stores in place, you are vulnerable to a catabolic breakdown which involves your muscles consuming themselves for fuel. And yes, there are many arguments for a ketogenic diet, but it just was not working for me. Plus I like my giant assed muscles. Sue me.

I am a shitty amateur weightlifter who runs around like a maniac and tries to be as explosive and as strong as possible. Maybe you are like me. And  you might want to eat some carbohydrates. You’ll feel better, sleep through the night, have fluffy dreams and you won’t be as hungry. I don’t know how many carbs you should eat, but maybe you should start thinking about 3-5 grams per kilo of lean body mass.

So here is an hour you can spend on Sundays and set yourself up for 4 days of tasty lunches. You can substitute brown rice for farro, to make it gluten free. Conversely, if you want less fat, you can lower the feta amount but that will also lower the protein.

Farro with Cannellini Beans, Chicken, Asparagus and Feta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Macros/Serving: P 49 | F 11| C 43. Fiber is 5 grams per serving

The recipe for cooking the farro comes from Charlie Bird restaurant in NYC. Cooking it in vinegar will cause a pungent aroma in your home, so if you prefer use broth. But the vinegar deeply flavors the grains and eliminates the need for a ton of seasoning when you are done.


  • 180 grams dry farro (If using brown rice for gluten free, it will change the macros slightly: P 47 | F11 | C 45 and 6 Grams of Fiber)
  • 12 ml olive oil
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained. (Or make your own. You will need 244 grams cooked beans.)
  • 600 grams raw chicken breast, cut into thin slices
  • 211 grams of asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 112 grams feta cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp spice blend of your choice (I used piri piri)
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Season the chicken breast with the spice blend and salt and pepper. Use half the olive oil and sautée in a non-stick pan until it is cooked through. You may need to do this is 2 batches depending on the size of your pan.
  2. Bring to a boil the apple cider vinegar and 2 cups of water. Add the farro and bay leaves. Lower to a simmer, stirring now and again, until all the liquid has been absorbed. You need n0t cover the pan. This will take 30+ minutes.
  3. Season the asparagus with salt and pepper, Sauté in remaining oil until tender.
  4. Divide the farro, cannellini beans, chicken, and asparagus equally among four sealable containers. Top each with 28 grams of feta.

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Boeuf à la Mode: Macro-friendly? Oui oui!

stew-finishedThree weeks ago, I started working with a pretty awesome nutrition program called Working Against Gravity. I had been on the wait list for several months. They focus on macronutrient ratios and find a formula that is unique to your body composition. I had run into some frustration with nutrition; while I always ate pretty healthfully and was somewhat mindful, I also wanted to get a little more lean. It seemed like the right time, a time to really focus on what the heck I was putting in my maw. I have learned a few astonishing things:

Primarily, I have been under-eating for years. My calories went up nearly 500/day and I have lost weight (about 6 pounds). I was not eating enough protein or fats. And I was not getting enough carbohydrates from food, and getting way too many from wine.

This is a bit of a shift from “food = pleasure” to “food = fuel”. But I don’t think it is at the expense of flavor or of practicing the craft of cooking, which I really enjoy. So if I told you the classic French dish Boeuf à la Mode could have macros like this: 25 grams fat/31 grams carbohydrates/80 grams protein PER BIG SERVING– would you believe me?  Believe me, it’s real.

What the hell on earth is Boeuf à la Mode? Fancy French for good old pot roast, but I like to cut the meat into chunks rather than cook it whole. I neither use butter, nor flour to thicken the stew. These are unnecessary in my opinion, because the dish is already rich enough.


Here is what you will need. Note, this is a 2 day process, but pretty much only 30 minutes of hands on cooking time. This makes 3 servings. Got a smaller appetite? Make it four servings: (1 serving= 19 grams fat/22 grams carbohydrates/60 grams protein)

1 kilogram (2.25 lbs) beef stew meat**

265 grams (9.5 ounces) small red potatoes

3 carrots peeled,then diced

3 stalks celery, diced

1/2 large white onion, diced

500 ml (2 cups) dry red or white wine, your choice

500 ml (2 cups) de-fatted chicken or beef broth

1 tbs. anchovy filets

1 tbs. tomato paste

50 ml (1.6 ounces) Cognac, or bourbon

1 tsp. red wine vinegar (for finishing)

Salt and pepper

**It is important to note that in this recipe I used an arm roast. This is less fatty than some other parts of the chuck. I weighed it raw and trimmed some of the fat. If you use a different cut it may affect your macros, especially in the fat department. In France, try the collier or basses côtes, in England the clod.

  1. Day One: In a large plastic bag, put in all the vegetables. Cut the beef into small cubes (if purchased whole),  and season with salt and pepper (be generous- about 2 tsp. of each) and then throw into the bag on top of the vegetables. Pour in the wine, seal the bag and stick it in the fridge. I put the bag in a small baking dish to reduce the chances of leaking.
  2. Day 2: Preheat your oven to 350° F (180° C or gas mark 4). Drain the meat and vegetables from the wine, reserving the liquid. Separate the meat from the vegetables and dry with paper towel. Pour the reserved liquid in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes and skim off any scum.
  3. While the wine is reducing, pour one tbs. of olive oil into the sauté pan and cook the meat. This should be in one layer. If your pan is small, do two batches. Brown the meat on all sides and place it in an ovenproof pot that has a tight fitting lid.
  4.  Clean and slice the red potatoes in half. Add the other tbs. of olive oil to the sauté pan and cook the onions, celery, carrots and potatoes on medium heat. After ten minutes add the tomato paste, anchovy and cognac. Stir this around and scrape all the bits from the bottom of the pan (this is called the fond and baby it’s where the flavor lives). Add this to the meat, add the reduced wine and the broth. Cover the pot and place it in the oven. Cook for 1.5-2 hours, checking around the 1 hour mark for tenderness and broth level. You may or may not need to add broth depending on your oven. Don’t add too much, maybe another 125 ml (1/2 cup).
  5. Add the tsp. of vinegar to the pot and season with more salt and pepper if necessary.

A note about alcohol and macros. I am learning that the body processes alcohol in a very special, super fatty way, which is disconcerting and sad when you want to drink all the wine all the time. I calculated the macros for the amount of alcohol used in this dish (counting all as carbohydrates which equaled 170 grams) and  took 5% of that number, adding it to the total for each serving (about 3 grams extra of carbohydrate). Cooking alcohol for 2 hours will cause 95% of the alcohol to burn off according to this government study.


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The Chicken Nugget, Redux.

Although I do not harbor any real nostalgia for the chicken nugget, you have to admire an industrial food culture that is able to scrape the remains of bones from a slaughtered animal, combine this with trimmings, glue it together in the shape of a dinosaur, cover it with wheat and market it as a healthy way to deliver protein into a child’s body.*

However, faced daily with the task of delivering a certain amount of protein (often in the form of chicken, or eggs) into my adult body, I thought I would play around with a chicken nugget concept.

Honestly, I thought this was going to be a hot mess. But to my surprise, these turned out to be ridiculously tasty! I fed them to two athletic kids in their 20s, a friend who had just had a baby, and my husband, all of whom approved.

I will admit these are not a crunchy or crispy nugget. But they are glorious cold and really extra glorious when dipped in a little ketchup. And when you see the nutrition stats, you will know that you can absolutely afford the few extra carbohydrate grams a dip of ketchup will bring. These are gluten free and paleo-friendly if you do not partake of the ketchup. They are super portable too- you could sneak a few in a small tupperware in your purse or backpack.

Here are your macros! I compared them to a popular brand of frozen nuggets that you keep in the freezer and bake at home.

Tyson VS. Shebnation 

90 gram serving (5 Tyson Nuggets/5 Shebnation Nuggets)

Tyson Fat: 17 grams–Shebnation Fat: 11.5 Grams

Tyson Carbohydrates: 15 Grams–Shebnation  Carbohydrates: 4.32 (#boom)

Tyson Protein: 17 Grams–Shebnation Protein: 30 Grams (#mikedrop)



You will need a few things:

1.25 pounds of chicken cut into .75 ounce pieces. (567 grams of chicken, cut in 21 gram pieces. (I used a scale to weigh these. I had to trim a few pieces, and ended up with 4 ounces (114 grams) of extra raw chicken which I simply reserved and cooked for another lunch).

3/4 cup (84 grams) of finely ground almond meal. (This is what boosts the protein. If you use a different flour you may not get as much protein per nugget).

2 Tbsp spices of your choice. I highly recommend 1 Tbsp each of mild chile powder and herbs de provence, which is simply a nice blend of dried green herbs and lavender. Dried oregano or a nice Italian blend would work nicely too.

Egg whites. 50 grams or 3 large egg whites.

Salt and Pepper.

A parchment lined baking sheet. Tin foil ok too!


Before the whisking. See how many spices?
  • Pre-heat your oven to 400 ° F/ 200 °C or Gas Mark 6
  • Dry your chicken breasts thoroughly with paper towel, then utilizing a food scale cut them into 3/4 ounce (21 grams) pieces. It’s ok if they are not perfect. But try to be close.
  • Fill a small tray or bowl with the egg whites. If you are separating egg whites rather than using boxed egg whites, whip them up a bit. (For this recipe I actually prefer the boxed egg whites and I usually have them on hand for an easy source of low-fat protein.)
  • Mix with a whisk, the almond meal, the two spices plus 1.5 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper. I cannot urge you enough, at this stage to SEASON THE ALMOND FLOUR AGGRESSIVELY. Do not be afraid. You want this dry mixture to be bursting with flavor. There should be no need to season a nugget after it is baked.  If you are unsure, taste a tiny bit of the flour. It should be zippy and full of flavor. Please tell me it is zippy and full of flavor. Otherwise, season a little more.
  • Place all the chicken pieces into the egg whites. Let them hang out for about 15 minutes. Have a goddamned glass of wine. You know I did. Please have some wine.
  • Three nuggets at a time, put the egg-white soaked chicken pieces into the flour mixture. Roll them around, thoroughly dredging them. If you put more than three at a time, the almond flour will become too soggy.
  • Once they are coated, put the tray in the oven. After 12 minutes, turn the nuggets over. Bake for 24 minutes.
Ready to cook.
Cold and ready to dip!

*In the interest of fairness, Tyson does issue this “position statement” regarding just how much mechanically separated meat may or may not be in their products. However, if you make these yourself, and use chicken breast, you will know exactly how much mechanically separated chicken will be in your nuggets: none.

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