Friday was a weird day to cap off a weird week. As I mentioned Tuesday, I have a lot of friends and family in the Boston area, so I couldn’t seem to tear myself away from the radio/internet, except for that 45-minutes I went to the gym thinking I’d take a break there with a magazine, totally having forgotten about this thing called TV. So yeah.

After a long, hot shower, I stopped by the grocery store because, like my mother, my response to pretty much any stressful situation is to cook, if only to have something to do with my hands. That is, when I’ve already indulged in a little retail therapy. Payless shoe sale, what up?

img 2186 - Healthy Shake 'n' Bake

Writing last week about wimping out in the meat aisle motivated me to make a goddamn decision for a change, and I walked out with a package of chicken “breast tenders.” Hate the name (so awkward), love how easy they are to cook.

Growing up, my mom made a lot of healthy food, but we still occasionally had things like Shake ‘n’ Bake. I hadn’t thought about it in years, but after noticing I’d been making, like, the same 3 or 4 recipes over the past month, I half-assedly challenged myself to make a few new things. I’m still not sure how Shake & Bake specifically got in my head, but a recently conversation I’d had about cornmeal got me thinking of incorporating a cornmeal crust somehow. Deep thoughts, I know.

Since I’d never made real shake ‘n’ bake, I had to look up how it’s done. I know, I know…eHow to the rescue! This version is a lot lower in sodium than the original but packed with flavor. Not too shabby. I improvised a little but I’m glad I wrote down what I added—I’ll definitely be making this again. img 2190 - Healthy Shake 'n' Bake


  • ~1 lb chicken breast tenders or chicken breast cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp each: dried oregano, ground coriander, ground ginger, dried basil
  • red pepper flakes (optional but delicious)
  • pinch of salt
  • ground pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine cornmeal and spices in a large ziploc bag. Shake to mix.
  3. Moisten chicken with water. (ugh, I just said “moisten.”)
  4. Add chicken to bag. Seal and shake vigorously.
  5. To avoid a messy clean-up, wrap tin-foil over a cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray of choice to prevent sticking. Place chicken strips on sheet and cook 20-25 minutes or until cooked through. Turn once about halfway through.

This was posted on the Weekend Kitchen Creations blog, where you can also check out recipes from other bloggers.

Did you/do you eat Shake ‘n’ Bake? What’s your favorite chicken recipe—or vegetarian version of a classic chicken dish?