I often ask myself how can I get my family to eat healthier when are used to eating junk? The cost of eating out is ridiculous and I do not want my children to be obese. Obviously, it is easy to control your children’s diet when they are smaller.
I miss the days when my children didn’t drink soda simply because I never bought it and when we went out to eat I always ordered for them and they would drink lemonade, fruit punch, tea or water. It wasn’t until they got to high school and saw all the vending machines that they started drinking and eating a lot more junk food.
Understandably teenagers are going to eat pizza, chips, cookies and fries. I don’t expect them to come home and eat seaweed, beets and hummus for dinner. I hoped when I started eating cleaner they would pick up on my new habits. Unfortunately, they did not. I admit my kids were a little spoiled. When I asked my kids what they wanted for dinner they did’t say chicken, meatloaf or steak, they named restaurants. I am determined to keep my kids from eating out so much (thus saving me money) and introduce them to healthier versions of the foods they currently love. The challenge was to find creative ways to get healthier foods into their repertoire.
I figured since they liked eating out so much I needed to figure out how to find recipes from their favorite restaurants and make those items at home so I could control the calories and nutritional value. Sounded like a wonderful plan. This is a still a work in progress but for my first experiment I selected the Chick-fil-a chicken sandwich. I found a copycat recipe online and I must admit it tasted pretty darn good. I tweaked it to my liking and to my surprise they request me to make it at least twice a week. Whenever they see me cooking they always ask me if I am making “the chicken”.
Ultimately, I can make this and other meals healthier for them and save money. I made “the chicken” even healthier by baking it instead of frying it. I was surprised when my son said that the baked version actually tasted better than my fried version. This is definitely a journey but I feel so much better knowing at least I’m on the right path. I will have healthier kids and a fatter wallet.
Chick-fil-a Sandwich (copy cat recipe) Hilah Cooking
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup dill pickle juice
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 3 cups peanut oil for frying
- 4 buns (buttered and toasted)
- Dill pickle slices
Put chicken in zippered bag and pound gently with the flat side of a mallet until about ½-inch thick.
Cut each breast into 2 equal pieces.
Marinate chicken in the pickle juice for about an hour.
Beat together egg and milk in a bowl.
Mix together the flour, sugar, and spices in another bowl.
Heat the oil in a skillet to about 350.
Dip each chicken piece into the egg covering both sides, then coat in flour on each side.
Fry each chicken piece for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden and cooked through.
Place on paper towels to absorb any excess oil, then serve on toasted buns with pickle slices.