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Healthier food on a stick

Published 5:27pm Saturday, August 10, 2013

As fair season is in full swing, you probably know that food is a main attraction.

Walk down any food area at a local fair and you are sure to find many options, especially foods that are skewered for easier eating while roaming around.

Food on-a-stick has a reputation for being unhealthy.  But enjoying a favorite food at the fair is a treat and is all about balance.

Knowing that it is fun to eat foods-on-a-stick once in a while, you might be inspired to try a little of that trend at home.

Here are a few tips:

•Start with a bamboo skewer, large or small, it doesn’t matter.

•For younger kids, it might make more sense to skewer foods on a straw.  That way, there is no sharp end to deal with.

•Think of your favorite foods as a family together and determine what would be a fun meal to adapt to the stick.    If you love breakfast, try cutting waffles into cubes and then skewering it with a fresh strawberry in between the slices.  You can serve yogurt as a dipping sauce.

•For lunch, try making a wrap-on-a-stick.  Layer slices of cheddar cheese on a whole grain tortilla, then add deli turkey slices, lettuce and bell peppers.  Roll up and cut into pinwheels and skewer.

•For dinner, try salad-on-a-stick.  Cut lettuce into wedges and add carrot slices, cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices.  Serve your favorite salad dressing with the skewer or drizzle over the top of the salad.

•For a snack, try Frozen Monkey Tails.  Push a Popsicle stick through a half of a banana, roll it in yogurt and sprinkle with chocolate chips.  Freeze.  When serving, allow to thaw for two minutes prior to eating.

•Or try Pizza Pinwheel Pops.  Roll out pizza dough and spread with pizza sauce, 1-1/2 cups of fresh, chopped vegetables and 1 cup of cheese.

Add sliced Canadian bacon if desired.  Roll up tightly, as you would cinnamon rolls, to create a log shape.  Cut dough at ¾-inch intervals.  Place on baking sheet in 425 degree oven for 5-7 minutes.  Insert Popsicle sticks after cooked.

Food-on-a-stick can be fun, tasty and healthy all at the same time.  And picky eaters might be more apt to try foods if they are excited by the skewer idea.  Try it at home with your family.

Oven-Fried Chicken-on-a-stick

All you need

•1 tablespoon kosher salt

•2 teaspoons paprika, divided

•1 teaspoon onion powder, divided

•1 teaspoon garlic powder, divided

•1 cup buttermilk

•1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed

•2 cups coarse dry whole wheat breadcrumbs

•2 tablespoons canola oil

•2 large egg whites

•1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

•Freshly ground pepper, to taste

All you do

1. Combine kosher salt, 1 teaspoon paprika and ½ teaspoon onion powder and ½ teaspoon garlic powder in a large bowl. Add buttermilk and whisk until the salt is completely dissolved and the spices are dispersed in the liquid.

2. Cut chicken lengthwise into about 1-inch-wide strips. Add to the marinade and combine for 30 minutes but no longer, so that the chicken does not get too salty.

3. Combine breadcrumbs, the remaining 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon onion powder and ½ teaspoon garlic powder in a large shallow dish. Add 2 tablespoons oil and toss well to coat.

4. Whisk egg whites and mustard in a second large shallow dish and season both the breadcrumb and egg mixtures with pepper.

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and thread chicken onto six 12-inch bamboo skewers, dividing evenly. Dip the chicken into the egg mixture, coating both sides. Place in the breadcrumb mixture one at a time, sprinkle with crumbs to cover and press so the coating sticks to both sides. Gently shake off any excess crumbs and place skewers on the prepared rack.

6. Bake the chicken, turning halfway through, until golden brown and the juices run clear, about 25 minutes.

7. Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce!

Source: EatingWell Magazine

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