As a derby athlete, you do your best to eat well and give your body the fuel it needs for the very best performance but, let’s be real, sometimes we crave those comfort foods! Now, if your comfort food is a baked chicken breast with broccoli on the side, great! Carry on! For most of us, the foods that comfort us tend to skew a little less healthy and a little more hearty.
There is absolutely 100% nothing wrong with craving some comfort from time to time, but what if we could put a spin on some of your favourites so that they can be a regular healthy option for you meal-planning? Sounds good to me!
We at RDA want to make your healthy comfort food dreams come true, so our next few posts will look at how to make those old stand-bys good for you!
First up in this series,
Ditch the KFC meal deal, and make your own!
THE CHICKEN: When you buy chicken from a fast-food chain, the quality of the cuts is likely pretty dismal. You’re subject to using whatever oil (and amount of oil) that particular chain uses. Also, there’s likely a bunch of added fat and salt in the breading and coating, often with a calorie count of 120+ calories per drumstick. When you make fried chicken yourself, you can control those variables, save yourself some unnecessary calories (like 20-40 per piece depending on your breading) AND the chicken is delicious!
Ingredients: 2 lbs chicken- thighs, drums, breasts, 1 C coconut oil (or sesame oil if baking), 2 large eggs, 1 C almond flour, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, (thyme, ginger, chipotle powder, etc. as optional spices)
Directions: You can either pan fry your chicken or bake it – whatever floats your boat! I often bake, but that’s just because I’m not awesome at frying things (you should see my eggs).
Heat up your oil in a pan to 350 degrees, also preheat your oven to 375-400 degrees. If you’re baking, just preheat the oven. Whisk your eggs together in bowl. Combine your dry ingredients in larger bowl and stir to mix. Dip each chicken piece in the eggs, then coat in the dry mix.
For frying: the coated chicken will then go into the oil for about 2 minutes a side (until brown). Place the seared chicken pieces on a drying rack, then transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
For baking: The coated chicken pieces can go onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet or into a glass baking dish. Drizzle with a little extra oil, top with a little more spice and bake for 1 hour (or until fully cooked).
And what’s Fried Chicken without a side?
THE COLESLAW: Chain coleslaw is often made from stuff that’s full of chemicals and added sugar. For example, KFC coleslaw packs 170 calories per serving, and is a mix of cabbage, Miracle Whip (made from soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, corn starch and dried eggs – yum!), salad oil and even more sugar. For a healthier version that’s easy to make, get yourself some yogurt!
Ingredients: 1/2 C plain Greek yogurt, 3 1/2 tbsp cider vinegar, 3 tbsp coconut sugar (or not), 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 6ish cups of bagged coleslaw or shredded cabbage and other veggies (carrots, cucumber, apple, zucchini, etc).
Directions: Mix the non-cabbage ingredients until well-blended. Put the cabbage mix in a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes before serving. If you want an even healthier side dish, why not steam some greens?
What’s for Dessert?
THE APPLE PIE: Yes, I know that fast food fried apple pies are great. And I know that people were sad when they stopped frying them and that the baked ones just weren’t as tasty. However, those tasty fried pies were exceptionally high in added sugar and oil, and you can make a much tastier version for yourself!
Filling: 6 large apples, 2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup), 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp vanilla, (optional) 1/4 C chopped walnuts and/or raisins.
Topping: 1/2 C rolled oats, 1/2 C flour (whole wheat, white or spelt), 6 tbsp coconut or brown sugar, drizzle honey, 1/4 C coconut oil (or applesauce), dash salt.
Directions: Preheat your oven to 375. Cut off the tops off 4 of the apples and set them aside (but keep them). Remove most of the inside of the apple with a small paring knife or spoon – try not to break the peel. Peel and thinly dice the two remaining apples (and additional apple insides if needed). Combine the sliced apples with cinnamon, vanilla, honey and walnuts/raisins. Scoop the mixture into the hollow apples and cover the apples with their tops (from before). Place the stuffed and covered apples in a small roasting pan with some water in the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan with foil and bake 20 minutes.
While the apples are baking, mix the crumble ingredients together. Take out the roasting pan, remove the foil, remove the tops of the apples and top with the crumble. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until the apple mixture is bubbly and brown, and the outer apples are soft. Serve with Greek yogurt or drizzled with honey and cinnamon!
What’s your go-to comfort food? Want us to make it better for you? Let us know and we’ll make it happen!