No-Fry "Fried" Foods
Updated: Feb 8, 2019
We all have moments where a craving kicks in for fried foods. Think French fries, fried chicken, potato chips, fried pickles – wait – fried pickles!?
Choosing to eat fried foods more than once a week can lead to excess weight gain and deplete your energy. In addition, frequent intake of the high fat, fried options can increase your risk of heart disease, obesity, and hypertension.
Not sure you want to give up that crunchy goodness? The good news is there are satisfying alternatives. And, when you make the swap you not only save on fat and calories you add nutrients that nourish your body.
Fried food swaps
Eat this: Grilled Chicken Sandwich instead of a Chick-Fil-A Classic chicken sandwich
Save this: 130 calories and 13 grams of fat
Eat this: Plain Baked Potato instead of one small order of Wendy’s fries
Save this: 50 calories and 15 grams of fat
Eat this: McDonald’s Kids Meal (burger, fries, water & clementine) instead of a Double Cheese Burger
Save this: 170 calories and 14 grams of fat
Eat this: Two glazed Munchkins instead of one glazed donut
Save this: 120 calories and 10 grams of fat
· To lower your calories on the go, order your hamburger or chicken sandwich as a lettuce wrap. Or, hollow-out the bun (toss the inner bread) so your sandwich has a shell. Get all the fixin’s and less of the processed, white bread.
· Ask for additional vegetables on any item and get extra fiber and nutrients. Most places are happy to accommodate.
· Love pizza? Switch from regular crust to thin crust and save almost 100 calories per slice.
For the chef in you
Are you willing to trade in some excess calories and fat for a little cooking time? Turn on the oven and consider baking. When you bake foods you can get the same crunchy outside and moist inside you do when frying.
Try these techniques:
· Coat the surface of the food with a small amount of oil, then brown in the oven instead of deep frying.
· Marinate meat in buttermilk, then oven-fry (bake).
· For batters, try to thicken with a starch ingredient first and then move to a drier crumb coating (crumb coatings generally oven-fry very well.)
· Make a crispy crust by adding Panko or crushed cornflakes to the outside of the food, then oven-fry, instead of deep-frying in hot oil.
My favorite oven-fried foods are baked cod, potato “fries” or wedges, and “fried” chicken.
This simple baked chicken recipe can be used with cod or chicken.
Here’s how to make my favorite potato fries:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Slice sweet or baked potatoes in ¼ to ½ inch strips.
Combine 1 – 2 tsp. olive oil, salt, pepper, chopped garlic (if desired) in a large bowl or zip-top plastic bag. Add potatoes and toss to coat.
Arrange potatoes in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning after 20 minutes.