Saturday, February 7, 2009

Comfort Food Upgraded

I love to cook. I love to eat. And I love food that tastes good, which to me usually means swimming in fat and oil. So, this is a problem. And in an effort to be healthy, I have looked into upgrading some of my favorite comfort foods so they are still delicious, but have a healthier aspect to them. I think it is a great way to ease into eating healthier foods if the thought of it makes you cringe.
Since I will be posting on here regularly, I might as well make a confession up front: I love the magazine Real Simple. It is a bible of sorts to me and this recipe is from there. You will be hearing about this magazine a lot I am sure (next week, I am thinking of cheap healthy recipes...send suggestions, if you have any!), so I thought I would just be up front about my obsession from the beginning.
This recipe is for crispy chicken and collard greens. To me, the recipe is not only healthier, but also makes cooking the chicken a lot easier than frying it (which, to me, is a nightmare and I always manage to get hot oil all over my hands and never get quite the amount of crispiness I want). And actually, this recipe is relatively cheap too as most of this food would probably already be in your house. And, then you have some leftover healthy cereal in your cupboard too.
Alright, I'll stop blabbering. Nutrition info follows the recipe.

Crispy Chicken and Garlicky Collards

Improve on the cornflake-coating trick (my mom used to do this!!) by using multigrain cereal to increase the fiber. Baking rather than frying the chicken eliminates a whopping 24 grams of fat per serving.
1 3 1/2-pound chicken, cut into 10 pieces and skin removed 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cups multigrain cereal flakes, crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
2 bunches collard greens, thick stems removed and leaves cut into 1-inch strips
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Heat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, toss the chicken and mustard to coat. In a separate bowl, mix the cereal, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Coat the chicken with the cereal mixture and bake on a baking sheet until golden and cooked through, 45 to 50 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the collards in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, rinse, and squeeze out the excess water.Heat the remaining oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, collards, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve with the chicken and lemon.
Yield: Makes 4 servings


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