I love food. I love to eat. I love to cook. My memories of people often involve food: what they like, what they are allergic to, what they try to avoid. Half of the first floor of our house is devoted to the cooking and eating of food. It is a part of who I am. Becoming more health conscious has not changed that in any way, but it has made me rethink how I do some things.
I haven't stopped loving cookies. I just make them a little healthier. I changed a basic oatmeal cookie recipe to make it more healthy. I have posted it before here. We make them at least once a week. If you move into my neighborhood, there is a pretty good chance you will get a plate of them.
Is coleslaw your thing? I like it, but I don't want to eat all that mayonnaise or cream with it. A plate of sliced, raw vegetables should be good for you. Toss your shredded cabbage (throw in some broccoli slaw!) with some vinegar and a little olive oil. If you need it a little sweeter, add a drizzle of honey. Just today I had a hankering for the carrot and raisin salad I grew up eating. Again with the mayonnaise! Instead I tossed my carrots with some raspberry balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil. It was yummy!
The kids love chicken nuggets. Rather than deep fry them, I bake them. I coat them with some whole wheat bread that I have pulsed in the food processor and well, heck, I actually have a recipe for these. Here it is:
Baked Buttermilk Chicken Nuggets
Prep time: 15 min
Marinating time: 15 min
Cooking time: 30 min
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 1/2" pieces
2 cups buttermilk (I have used plain yogurt and it works great)
3/4 cup dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 T dried Italian herb blend or Mrs. Dash
1 t red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken and buttermilk in a large mixing bowl, toss to combine. Marinate 15 minutes.
Combine bread crumbs, cheese, herb blend, pepper flakes, salt, and pepper on a plate. Beat eggs in a small bowl.
Drain chicken nuggets. Roll pieces in egg, coat with bread crumbs, shaking off excess. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake until coating is golden brown and chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. I usually turn once while they are baking.
Makes 4 servings.
They are really juicy and yummy.
The point is, you probably don't have to give up your favorite food to eat healthier. Just find a healthier way to cook it or use healthier ingredients. Be creative. Have fun with it. And tell me your secrets. I'm always looking for something new and yummy.