Saturday, June 20, 2009

“Breaded and baked is the new fried.” says White House Assistant Chef, Sam Kass. And I concur.

We've all heard the term trans fat, right? That's definitely the bad stuff and has no place in any diet. The stuff is so bad there's been legal action suggesting the banning of trans fat. Not only does trans fat raise your LDL (low-density lipoprotein, i.e. the "bad cholesterol"), but also lowers your HDL (high-density lipoprotein, i.e. the "good cholesterol")! Bad deal.

Trans fats are not found in food, they're put into food through an industrial process which adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them solid. Those french fries wouldn't taste the same without the trans fat, that's for sure. The chemistry doesn't much matter, but the danger of them is loud and clear: steer clear.

This RD loves a good french fry as much as anyone, but there's simple and enjoyable ways to enjoy the foods we love, without causing detriment to our health.

A favorite dinner in my house is "fried" chicken. Yep, that's right! My "fried" chicken is crunchy, baked, and great with BBQ sauce. While I can't take credit for the recipe, we can thank Bob Harper from the
Biggest Loser for passing it along. Thanks, Bob!

Biggest Loser "Fried" Chicken

2 lbs chicken tenders
1 qt. low-fat buttermilk
2 cups whole wheat breadcrumbs
1 cup cornstarch
2 tsp. paprika
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp seasoning salt
1 Tbsp ground black pepper
1 large pinch Cayenne pepper
4 egg whites, beaten to soft peaks
Pam cooking spray

Soak chicken tenders in buttermilk 6 hours, or overnight. Drain and blot chicken tenders to remove excess buttermilk.

Preheat oven to 325 F. Lay breadcrumbs on a baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Bake 40 minutes or until brown. This can be done ahead of time.

Increase oven temperature to 450 F. Combine cornstarch, paprika, seasoning salt, black pepper, and Cayenne pepper in a large Pyrex dish, mixing well.

Dredge chicken in seasoned starch. Next, coat dredged chicken thoroughly with egg whites. Last, dip the chicken into toasted breadcrumbs to fully coat.

Place chicken on a foil-lined, non-stick sprayed baking sheet. Lightly spray tops of chicken with Pam to add crunch. Lightly season with salt, if desired. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until outside is crispy and chicken is cooked and juicy

Serves: 8
Per serving: 270 calories, 4 g. fat, 1 g. saturated fat, 65 mg. cholesterol, 210 mg. sodium, 27 g. carbohydrate, 2 g. dietary fiber, 4 g. sugar, 28 g. protein.


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