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Unfried Chicken Recipe and a LYFE Restaurant Review

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Lyfe Kitchen Arts Unfried Chicken Restaurant Evanston Il
Recently I was invited to LYFE Kitchen to try their healthy food. My two vegetarian daughters and I took a break from gardening to visit the LYFE Kitchen in Evanston, Illinois to see if their claims to deliciousness are true. LYFE focuses on food that’s prepared quickly, but fits your special lifestyle. Flexitarian. Locavore. Gluten-free. Vegetarian. Vegan. Whatever your food LYFE style is, LYFE’s food MENU has options that fit. They grow fresh herbs on site and proudly display a full ingredient list with calorie, sodium, and nut allergy information. There is indoor or outdoor dining and an atmosphere of happy. Always a great thing when discovering a new restaurant.

Lyfe Kitchen Restaurant Evanston IlLyfe Kitchen Outdoor Patio Area Restaurant Evanston Il
One of the founders of the restaurant is Chef Art Smith, the former chef to Oprah Winfrey, and he makes this fantastic chicken called Art’s Unfried Chicken. At the restaurant it sits atop a bed of roasted brussels sprouts, butternut squash, dried cranberries, cashew cream, and dijon (seen in top photo). In the video below you see Chef Art Smith teaching you the amazing secret recipe for the chicken, and below that is the recipe. It is so much healthier than deep fried chicken and the combination of the chicken with the side vegetables at the LYFE Kitchen is blow-your-mind delicious.

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Art Smith’s Unfried Chicken with Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Courtesy of Art Smith)


  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp Louisiana hot sauce (or another hot sauce)
  • 4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cut in half
  • 1 1/2 cups multigrain or whole-wheat panko bread crumbs
  • 3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 16 brussels sprouts, cut in half
  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt
  • 1 lemon, quartered


For the chicken: Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a mixing bowl, mix the buttermilk and hot sauce. Submerge the chicken pieces in the buttermilk and soak in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour but no more than 24 hours.

In a gallon-size plastic bag, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, black pepper, cayenne, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Seal the bag and shake until well mixed. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and transfer directly to the bag with the bread crumb mixture. Shake the bag until the chicken breasts are evenly coated with the bread crumbs. Remove the chicken breasts from the bag and lay flat on a nonstick baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Bake the chicken for 20 to 25 minutes or until just cooked through.

For the brussels sprouts: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place brussels sprouts in a medium mixing bowl, toss with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Spread the brussels sprouts in a medium ovenproof baking dish and roast for 20 minutes or until caramelized and tender.

Divide the chicken and brussels sprouts among 4 serving plates, and squeeze the lemon over the chicken.

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Lyfe Kitchen Fancy Chia Waters and the Girls Restaurant Evanston Il

LYFE Kitchen has absolutely outstanding food. Service was quick, employees were friendly, kitchens are very clean, healthy choices were abundant and yummy — but the cherry on top of the ice cream was definitely the interesting food. All the appetizers had a different twist – the chunky guacamole and salsa had a smoky flavor we loved. My girls had a variation on the Quinoa Crunch – either a bowl or a wrap. They both ate the entire plate – definitely a flavorful and tasty vegan combination. I had Art’s Unfried Chicken. Also good, although I wish there was a bit more chicken in the serving to crunch into. The vegetables truly made the dish and I would order it again. We all enjoyed the unique waters; Hibiscus Beet Water, Orange Ginger Chia Water, and Ginger Mint Chia Water. But the best part of dinner was the Chocolate Budino for dessert. It was a pomegranate chia seed, toasted almond, and chocolate mousse heaven. Go. Eat. And be Merry.

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