Feb 24, 2010

Healthified Chicken Fingers & Fries


Seriously, put it down. With obesity rates as high as 30.6% of our population in South Carolina, we really need to be thinking about healthier food options. Ok, ok, I know Chick-fil-a has deliciously juicy nuggets and perfectly crisp waffles fries, but let's get our tummies and wallets in check whenever possible.

Making healthier choices can be difficult for a new dieter, but after a while it becomes a lifestyle. I never consider myself to be "dieting"; I am just conscious about the food choices I make. Chubby College Christina liked to dunk her nuggets in mayonnaise. Not a joke. Xtra Cute Xtina now likes to dip her nuggets in Chick-fil-a's fat free honey mustard sauce, or plain old ketchup! (Shocking, I know.) Let's review some changes I've made over the past five feeling great years:

Chubby Christina liked:
Xtra Cute Xtina loves:
Chocolate milk
Skim milk
Sugar in my coffee
Splenda or Agave syrup
Lucky Charms
Fiber One Original
Peaches n Cream oatmeal
Oat bran/rolled oats w/ real fruit!
Ranch dressing (gag, the word makes me nervous)
Balsamic vinegar
Yocrunch yogurt w/ m&ms
0% fat Oikos Greek yogurt
Peanut butter loaded w/ hydrogenated oils
Almond butter
Queso dip/French onion dip
Pints of Ben & Jerry’s
Small portions of gelato or sorbet
Flour tortillas
Corn tortillas
White bread
100% whole wheat bread
Better with Cheddar Hot dogs (also not a joke)
Chicken sausage
COOKIES, 4 at once, quite possibly 5

As you can see, there's always a healthier option out there. I didn't cut out the items in the first list all at once either. What makes this become a "lifestyle" is that that they should be  gradual changes. Don't throw yourself into an eating disorder trying to become healthy. And with the last item, cookies, or any special treat for that matter, moderation is key to maintaining your new lifestyle. Learning self-control was my biggest obstacle, but now I'm pretty damn good at having just one cookie, or 2 spoonfuls of gelato and realizing that I'm satisfied. And knowing that I eat healthy the majority of the time, I am also guilt-free. :)

Onto tonight's healthy dinner...Chicken Fingers and Fries
Option 1: Deep-fried chicken fingers and French fries with a side of fat-laden honey mustard dressing
Option 2: Baked pretzel-crusted chicken fingers and Baked sweet potato "fries" with a side of fat-free dill honey mustard sauce

Which is the correct choice?


Option 2!

Although this recipe was incredibly messy (or maybe I just have a problem), it was quite simple and fairly quick to make.

First I made the "fries": I cut 1 big mama sweet potato into small strips. I tossed the strips with olive oil, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. I preheated the oven to 400* and popped them in for 20 minutes. 
While those cooked, I cut up some chicken breasts into strips and nuggets and dipped them into an egg white wash. I then coated the chicken in crushed pretzel bits. After the sweet potato fries cooked for 20 minutes, I put the chicken in the oven and cooked both dishes for 15 more minutes. 
On the side I made a healthified honey mustard sauce. Typical honey mustard dressings found in restaurants will have mayonnaise as a base. PUKE! I'm still even sure how that makes sense. Honey mustard = honey + mustard. 
No need to add any fats!! I whisked together 1/4 cup of Dijon mustard + 2 tbsp of honey + 2 tbsp of fresh chopped dill. DELICIOSO.
...and real honey mustard:

All plated and ready to be destroyed:

And look at the awesome benefits in this meal (according to The Food Doctor):
Chicken, a protein
Nutrients: Vitamin A, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin K, sodium, potassium, magnesium
Benefits: Helps break up mucus during a cold. Mild antibiotic.

Sweet Potato, a vegetable
Nutrients: Calcium, magnesium, potassium, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, phosphorous, beta-carotene
Benefits: Easily digestible, excellent for inflammation of the digestive tract, ulcers, and poor circulation. Detoxifying - bind to heavy metals and remove them from the body

Now where's my cookie?? ;)


  1. what a GREAT meal!
    girl i live in SC too! i go to clemson university!! soo cool!!

  2. Another great healthier idea is to bread the chicken in fiber one cereal. chop up the cereal(adding garlic salt and other great spices) dip the chicken in egg beaters then coat it with the cereal and bake at 475. Get Your Fiber ON!

  3. Great list of how to make healthier choices! And your dinner looks great - sweet potatoes are my favorite veggies :-)

  4. LOVE THIS POST!!!!!!!! reasons why:

    1. i, too, am a former Chubby College Christina... but where you would eat 4 cookies and cry, i spent $500 in one month on chinese/pizza/wingers etc and gained the freshman 40 by mid-sept. my rock bottom: while WEEKNIGHT late-night eating chinese with my roommate, she returns from the bathroom to find me on my belly on my dorm room floor, shoveling pork fried rice into my mouth. Because I was too full/bloated to sit up and comfortably eat, and stopping was not an appealing option, i ate on the floor my stomach. FATASS
    ... no but seriously, im all about the lifestyle-not diet line

    2. that recipe looks BANGIN!!!!! did you think of the pretzies yourself?? loves it..... its like a snack and meal in one!!! jesus christ im still a fatass.

    3. chubby christina vs. xtra cute xtina chart. im a simple being. visual stimulation goood. alliteration good. COLORS GOOD! me likey

    4. .....well, this is a dislike... health benefits at the end, ew, too many big/scientific/weird looking words, my eyes immediately scrolled back up to the food pics

    anyway, stay skinny bitch

  5. go open your own healthified mcdonalds, now. k? great. I'll be your first customer.

  6. If the sweet potato fries are half good as they look, well i think anyone would be in for a real treat!! And thanks for making me realize how I must re-align my diet! Pronto!

  7. what a great post!!! I might make fries with my last purple sweet potato! if we can make foods healthier, why can't the rest of the restaurants?!

  8. I really like your list!
    Although, it's alright to indulge ever once in a while! :D

    xox Vera

  9. The picture of the chicken scares me!!

  10. Yeah, I totally love lilacs!! Luckily they grow by me, so I pick them and put them in a big vase in my dorm room :-).

  11. those tenders look soooo good! must try themmmm(:

  12. Love this post!! You are right! There is always a healthier option!