As we all get back into our daily routines, it seems we cannot hold onto the best part of summer…time! Wake up, pack lunch, go to school, go to work, drive the kids to soccer, squeeze in some gym time, make a healthy dinner for the fam… etc, etc. With all of these balls in the air, it is hard to avoid dropping one. Unfortunately, this could mean turning to a fast food meal for dinner; either bought or made at home. Rather than zipping through the drive-through, think about packing dinner along with lunch. Rather than making frozen French fries and chicken fingers at home, think about preparing some of these Your Secret Ingredient Fried Food Makeovers…
Why Have You Done a Good Thing?
Fried foods are extremely high in 2 main enemies: saturated fat & sodium. Pubic Enemy No 1, saturated fat, can lead to obesity as well as “clogging the pipes” of the arteries around your heart, which can easily lead to heart disease. Public enemy No. 2, sodium, can lead to high blood pressure, making your heart work much harder to pump blood and oxygen throughout the body. Obesity, heart disease, and hypertension are debilitating diseases, which in most cases can be prevented through a healthy diet. See below for a list of Fried Food Makeovers, which will have you on your way to a healthier life for you and your family.
Make These Your Secret Ingredient (NON) Fried Foods for your Family:
1. French fries: slice potatoes or sweet potatoes and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle 1 tsp olive oil per potato plus non-stick spray, salt & pepper, and bake at 425 F for 12-15 minutes.
2. Chicken fingers: Dip (free-range) skinless, boneless chicken breast in flour, then egg whites, then whole wheat bread crumbs; and bake in the oven at 375 F for 20-25 minutes or until your instant read thermometer reads at least 165 F. Serve with honey mustard.
3. Mozzarella sticks: As above, dip a low-fat mozzarella string cheese (try Trader Joe’s fresh mozzarella sticks) in flour, egg whites, and then whole wheat bread crumbs; bake at 400 F for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with homemade or Your Secret Ingredient pre-approved tomato sauce4. Fried zucchini: slice into circles or strips. Flour, egg, breading as above; bake at 425 F for 10-15min, flipping half way through. Serve with homemade or Your Secret Ingredient pre-approved tomato sauce.
Oil has about 14 grams of fat per Tablespoon. Thing about how much oil it takes to deep-fry… Plus, when someone else is adding the salt to your foods (in a fast-food restaurant or in a factory that makes frozen meals) you better believe that they are more concerned about the preservative effects of sodium and the flavor over your heart.
So, I hope this makeover edition blog has empowered you to take control of your health and the health of your families, while still indulging in these Your Secret Ingredient (NON) Fried Foods!
--Samantha Jacobs, MS RD CDN