We all know that fried foods are not the healthiest options out there, but the problem is that they taste so good that we forget the health negatives. Fried foods are high in fat, calories, and salt, which contribute to health problems like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The problem is that fired food just tastes so good, and not many people would happily substitute them for a healthier meal that they don’t want to eat. Here are some alternatives that still taste great and are easy to make.
Grilled Chicken Versus Fried:
Even though fried chicken is delicious and easy, it has a lot of unhealthy carbs and calories due to the amount of oil used to fry it. Grilling is an easy alternative that still leaves your chicken tasting rich and smoky. Topped with sautéed or caramelized veggies can also give it that extra boost of flavor.
Roasted Sweet Potato Fries Versus French Fries:
Roasting is one of the easiest and most fool-proof ways to create something delicious in the oven. Sweet potatos are a sweeter and healthier alternative to fatty fries. Take a large sweet potato, cut into sticks, season with light oil and spices, and then pop them into the oven. It creates a tender inside with a crispy outside.
Baked Mozzarella Sticks Versus Fried:
These are a pretty popular finger food, except for the vat of oil they are stuck into until crispy and gooey. Baking them instead, while also using healthier ingredients, makes for a healthier option. Just use some part-skim mozzarella, coat with seasoned breadcrumbs, and place in the oven.
Baked Onion Rings Versus Fried:
Avoid the greasy mess with using low fat ingredients and baking these in the oven for a delicious and crunchy treat. All you need is to use low fat buttermilk and a mixture of panko and bread crumbs to coat. The only oil you will need is a non-stick spray to coat the pan.
Fried Fish Versus Pan Sear:
Fried fish is a classic low-country dish, but pan searing it instead offers a lot more. All you need is a pan with light oil, and you can use the fish of your choice. Season with your choice of herbs and spices and place on the hot pan. You will only need to cook them for a few minutes on each side, making for a fast and easy alternative.
Replace thick batter with whole wheat dough instead. It won’t have the same texture as a typical fried corndog, but it takes away the fat from the outer layer. Season well and place in the oven for a crispy treat.
Fried Green Tomatoes-bake:
For this baked alternative, all you need is low fat buttermilk and panko bread crumbs for a healthier and crunchier recipe. The only oil you will be using is to coat the pan.
2 large eggplants
Salt and Pepper
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) Have 3 two-inch pans ready for coating mixture. Crack 2 eggs into first pan and add water; beat until mixed. Place flour in the second pan; season with salt and pepper. Combine breadcrumbs and panko in the last pan.
3) Wash and cut the eggplant into long sticks. Take a large, 1-inch rimmed pan, spray with non-stick spray, and set aside. Have your eggplant sticks and 3 pans of egg, flour, and breadcrumbs set before you.
4) Place eggplant fries in egg mixture until well coated, then coat with the flour and then the breadcrumbs and panko. Place on the 1-inch rimmed pan that is set aside. Repeat with remaining eggplant fries until all are coated and placed on the pan.
5) Place in oven for 20-30 minutes, flipping them after 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
For the Sauce:
Combine mayo, chopped green onion, and hot sauce. Mix until preferred taste is met.
Oven-Baked Fried Green Tomatoes
4 medium green tomatoes,
sliced about 1/4-inch thick
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2) Line a baking sheet with foil and place a cooking rack on top.
3) Mix olive oil with panko in a bowl. Add cornmeal, parmesan, salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne, stirring well to combine, and spread mixture in an even layer on a plate.
4) Dip tomato slices in eggs, letting any excess mixture drip back into the bowl, then press into the breading mixture on both sides to coat and carefully lay on the baking sheet. Repeat with all slices.
5) Bake for 20 minutes, turn over, and bake an additional 20-25 minutes, or until crisp and golden.
6) Enjoy hot and crispy!
Garlic Cheese Bombs
1 tube of biscuits
3 ounces mozzarella cheese in brick
1/4 cup salted butter, melted
2 teaspoons dry ranch seasoning mix
2 teaspoons garlic powder or 3 teaspoons minced garlic
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2) Line a baking sheet with silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
3) Cube cheese into 3/4-inch pieces.
4) Open biscuits and place on cutting board.
5) Place 1 piece of mozzarella cheese in the middle of each biscuit. Pinch seams to close the cheese inside and form rolls.
6) Place rolls on baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
7) Mix melted butter with garlic and Ranch seasoning. Brush rolls with butter.
8) Bake cheese bombs for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.
9) When done, brush rolls with remaining butter and let cool for 5 minutes.
Serve warm with a side or marinara sauce for dipping.
Written by: Alex Dunn