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Air-Fried Chicken Schnitzel

My current obsession is turning recipes that requiring frying into an air-fryer recipe. This is one recipe that worked perfectly for the air-fryer. It’s become a weeknight night go-to dinner in my house because of how quick it is to throw together, the fact that I usually have all of the ingredients to make, that it’s essentially chicken nuggets for adults, and it’s quite tasty!

Air-Fried Chicken Schnitzel (makes 3-4 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breast tenders
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon paprika, divided
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups bread crumbs (preferably panko but any bread crumb will work)
  • olive oil cooking spray

To Make It

  • You’re going to prepare 3 bowls.
  • In one bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 tablespoon of paprika, the garlic salt, the kosher salt, and the black pepper.
  • In the second bowl, whisk the eggs with 2 tablespoons of water.
  • In the third bowl, combing the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of paprika.
  • Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture. Shake off any excess. Then dunk the chicken in the egg mixture. Let any excess egg mixture drain off. Next coat the chicken in the bread crumb mixture. Finally, spray each side of the chicken generously with the cooking spray.
  • Place the chicken in the air-fryer basket and cook at 400F for 14 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, flipping the chicken at the half-way mark.

Note: You can also use chicken breasts; however, you will want to place them in a plastic bag and pound them until they are 1/2-inch thick.

Recipe adapted from – What’s Gaby Cooking: Eat What You Want

Omelette Muffins

These omelette muffins are easy and delicious! I like to make them on a Sunday for breakfast, refrigerate the leftovers, and then I’ve got some breakfast ready to heat up quickly throughout the week.

Omelette Muffins (makes 9-10 muffins)

You’ll need…

  • 1/2 pound breakfast sausage
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 8 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

To make it…

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Coat muffin tin with cooking spray.
  • In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, cook and crumble the sausage until mostly browned. Add the onion and bell pepper. Continue cooking until sausage is cooked through and onion is soft. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, crack the eggs. Add the salt and chili powder. Whisk until combined. Stir in the cheddar cheese.
  • Add the sausage mixture to the egg mixture.
  • Scoop the mixture into muffin cups using a 1/3-cup measuring scoop.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes until puffy and set.
  • Serve warm.

Red Beans & Rice

New Orleans is one of my all-time favorite places. On a recent trip, I picked up some red beans and rice from The Gumbo Shop and some beignets from Cafe du Monde and then went and had a lovely little picnic by the river. It was amazing!

So naturally, when I got home, I needed to recreate the red beans and rice. With the help of a cookbook that I picked up while there, I’ve come up with what I think is a pretty good red beans and rice recipe.

 

Red Beans & Rice (makes 5 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 pound cooked sausage, sliced
  • 2 (15.5 ounce) cans red beans (do not drain)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 1/2 – 1 (4.5 ounce) can chopped green chiles (add more or less depending on your preferred spice level)
  • 1 cup long-gran brown rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning

To Make It

  • Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Saute until onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add sausage, red beans with their liquid, diced tomatoes with their juice, green chiles, rice, water, and cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and cook until all liquid has been absorbed, about 35 minutes.

Note – This is one of those dishes that still tastes great the next day. So it’s a great meal to make and then use the leftovers for lunches during the week.

**Recipe adapted from Growing Up Cajun**

Dear Mom & Dad…Don’t Comment on Your Child’s Weight

I recently encountered a children’s book called “Maggie Goes on a Diet.” It honestly made my skin crawl. Children are sponges that soak up and internalize messages all around them. From a dietitian’s perspective (and an empathetic human’s!), sending messages concerning dieting and children is not only unethical, it is dangerous.  

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The ‘ultra thin’ ideal is already heavily promoted by the media. In addition, kids will also hear more than enough from their peers on the need to be thin. So, Mom, Dad, Aunt, Uncle, Brother, Sister, and those who love children, let’s not contribute to this mess. Instead, let’s work on creating an environment where children feel supported in their current bodies. Let’s create a world where the perception of health is not dictated by your body size, but by…your actual health!

Here are few things that you can do to help your child build the resilience that will be needed to live in our diet obsessed world:

  • Don’t promote dieting behavior. We surrounded by the thin ideal. We constantly see messages that dieting is the way to be thin and thin is the way to health and happiness. A study in the International Journal of Eating Disorders followed 111 girls and found that by age 5, half of the girls has internalized the thin ideal. The American Academy of Pediatrics actually advises against putting children on a diet. Instead of dieting, focus on health. No matter what size a person is, adopting healthy behaviors is beneficial.
  • Don’t use exercise as a form of punishment for something you ate. You ate a cupcake/brownie/pasta/potatoes so now you must do run/do aerobics/attend barre class to burn off the calories that you ate. While I 100% support physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle, I do not think that exercise should be used to punish yourself for something that you ate. Show your child that exercise is fun and that exercise is something that we do because our bodies can and should move.
  • Don’t comment on other people’s weight. Focus on weight as an aspect of diversity. Teach children that people come in all shapes and sizes. Teach them that people come in different heights and weights and teach them that a person’s size cannot tell you how healthy that person is.
  • Enjoy ALL foods…and I do mean ALL foods. Live the example. A healthy eating pattern can include carrots and cupcakes. Teach your child to focus on variety and to pay attention to how food makes their body feel. This way they’ll learn that a diet that includes fruits, veggies, protein, whole grains, and the occasional cupcake makes them feel better than a diet that consists primarily of cupcakes.
  • Keep everything in perspective. Kids’ bodies are weird at times. It’s part of pediatric growth patterns. Before a growth spurt, a child can appear pudgy. Remember, children’s bodies grow and change quickly. Their size at any particular moment in time does not necessarily mean that the child is in poor health.

 

Start Breaking Up With Diet Culture!

Diet culture is a system of beliefs that equate thinness with health. Diet culture is a world that promotes weight loss as a means of being a good person and attaining a higher status. Diet culture elevates certain ways of eating while making other ways of eating shameful. Diet culture creates unrealistic expectations and it is everywhere. It permeates our daily lives, our relationships, the things that we see and read, and so much more. The mindset of diet culture is doing more harm than good because it does not focus on overall health.

stop dietitin

A key facet of diet culture has made being on a diet the norm. There is substantial research showing the harm that diets cause in the long term. A meta-study, looked at several weight loss studies and found that most dieters were able to lose up to 10% of their weight in the short term (6 months – 1 year) but that 4 – 5 years later, they had regained the weight–plus more! Dieting has other side effects such as contributing to our damaged relationship with food, slowing down metabolism, leading to emotional eating, and restricting foods that can cause us to miss out on important nutrients.

Here are some ways to reframe your thoughts and get out of a diet culture mindset…

  • Stop acting like losing weight is the most amazing thing a person can do. We’ve all done it, complimented someone because they look smaller. This compliment seems to be beneficial but it is rooted in our diet culture mindset of a person’s size equals their worth. There are plenty of other things to compliment someone one besides their weight loss,  like the great job they did on a work project!
  • Get rid of your scale. The scale is not a measure of your worth. It’s a number that can and does change from hour to hour and day to day based on body fluctuations that are completely normal. If your mood or how you feel about yourself can be set and determined by the number on the scale, get rid of the scale.
  • Detox your technology. Take a good hard look at the social media accounts you follow, the blogs you read, and the websites that you regularly visit. Do any of them make you feel bad about your food choices or your weight? If the answer is yes, get rid of them. Then fill your technology with people and things that uplift you
  • Work on making peace with food. Many aspects of diet culture are about food. Diet culture tells us that there are good foods and bad foods. It tells us that we should eat a certain way. Instead of following what diet culture says about food, make peace with food. Eat based on what your body is telling you that it needs. Eat based on what makes you feel good. Eat based on what tastes good and is satisfying for you.

Breaking free of diet culture can be difficult, exhausting, and a little scary. It’s a process and it’s okay to need support and guidance during this process. If you’re reading to ditch diets and become friends with food but aren’t sure where or how to start, please reach out – Friendly Nutrition is here to support you.

 

 

References

Mann T, Tomiyama AJ, Westling E, Lew A-M, Samuels B, Chatman J. Medicare’s search for effective obesity treatments. Am Psychol. 2007;62(3):220–233.