On The Menu: The New (Healthy + Gluten Free) Comfort Food

Fall is officially here and we are celebrating with this healthy take on quintessential comfort fare.
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Photography: Brooke Fitts/ Styling: Lauren Day

Photography: Brooke Fitts/ Styling: Lauren Day

When fall settles in, I cannot help but feel nostalgic for home. Not the home where I currently reside, but the home where I was raised. Where September through November weekend fare consisted of a rotating menu mainly comprised of the comfort food my mother was raised on: fried chicken, pot roast and vegetables, brown beans with cornbread, and meatloaf.


Now as much as I love the aforementioned menu, my current diet has a healthier spin, with the occasional indulgence (frites, for instance, are an area where I refuse to skimp!). But this past weekend with the leaves transitioning, the overcast skies and the drop into more fall-like temps, I could not resist my desire to recreate a healthier version of one of my quintessential comfort favorites - fried chicken.

I searched the Clementine archives and remembered that our beloved Julia had created a gluten free version reminiscent of my mother's recipe and delicious enough to not make me miss the flour, or the deep frying. Determined to satisfy my cravings, I recreated the Almond Crusted Thyme and Sage Chicken and subbed mashed parsnips and potatoes (because again, potatoes) and collard greens to make the most of the seasonal offerings at my local farmer's market.


 There is one thing that I prioritize when making chicken of any variety and that is the the hero of the meal be local, antibiotic free and well, fresh. I chose Foster Farms Simply Raised chicken because it meets all of these requirements (they raise natural chicken that is American Humane Certified and fed a 100% vegetarian diet, without any added hormones, steroids or antibiotics - ever). 

If you find yourself in the mood for some cozy fall food this weekend, look no further! And if you are in need of additional healthy comfort food recipes, you can find a whole host of healthy, delicious and easy to prepare options here

Almond Crusted Thyme and Sage Chicken

4 tablespoons olive oil
2lbs. Foster Farms Simply Raised chicken (breasts or legs)
1 cup almond meal
2 eggs, whisked
3 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
1 teaspoon sage, dried
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste



 1 Preheat over to 350 degrees, clean and pat dry chicken and set aside. 

2 Whisk eggs, with one tablespoon of water, in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish whisk together almond meal, thyme, sage and sea salt. 

3 Coat raw chicken in egg, letting excess drip off. Then coat chicken well in almond meal and herb mixture, using your hands to pat in coating. Add chicken to clean plate and chill for 20 minutes. 


4 Add 2 -3 tablespoons of oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and grill each side for 5-6 minutes, or until browned. Transfer skillet to the over and finish cooking for another 5-7 minutes. Plate with mashed parsnips and potatoes, and collard greens and enjoy! 


Mashed Parsnips and Potatoes (Adapted From Simply Recipes)

1 1/2 pounds parsnips
1 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes
2 teaspoons Salt
4 1/2 cups water
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tbsp chopped chives
Ground black pepper to taste


1 Peel the parsnips. Cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch thick medallions. Cut potatoes (we left the skin on) into 1 to 1 1/2-inch chunks.

2 Place into a medium saucepan, cover with water, add two teaspoons of salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover and let cook for 10 minutes, until a fork can pierce easily. Drain and return the parsnips and potatoes to the warm pan. Cover and let steam in the heat of the pan for 10 minutes.

3 Using a masher or mixer, mash the parsnips and potatoes until nicely mashed. Don't over mash. Add butter and salt (omit salt if using salted butter), and mash some more. Stir in the chopped chives. Add black pepper and more salt to taste.

Simple Sauteed Collard Greens with Garlic (Adapted From Martha Stewart)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 heads collard greens (about 1 pound each), tough stems and ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped
Coarse salt
1/2 cup water


1 Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring often, until golden, about 3 minutes. Stir in collard greens and 1 teaspoon salt.

2 Reduce heat to medium-low. Add water, and steam, covered, until greens are just tender and water evaporates, about 10 minutes. If greens are ready but there is still water in the pan, raise heat to medium-high, and cook, uncovered, until completely evaporated. Serve. 


We'd love to know, what's your favorite comfort food? 

This post is in partnership with Foster Farms. All opinions (and menu selections) are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Clementine Daily possible!