I have to ease into the healthy eating of January. Even though the guilt and the elastic in my waistband is reminding me of all of the pie that I had for Christmas, I can’t just dive headfirst into a menu of green smoothies and power bars.
After all it is the middle of Winter.It’s cold. It’s dreary and all my stubborn body seems to want to crave is comfort food. Why, oh, why can’t I crave quinoa and lettuce?!
They say you should visualize your goal to reach it, but every time I begin to visualize my goal my craving for the day seems to get in the way. Today’s craving – hot wings.
I’m a sucker for a plate of hot wings. Lightly breaded, fried , tossed in some flaming wing sauce and paired up with cool ranch or blue cheese dressing with a stack of celery sticks. They are messy and sloppy and there is no way to eat hot wings and look attractive at the same time.
But this is January and there are parts jiggling on me that were never designed to move, therefore, my craving will have to come in some slightly healthy form. Nothing crazy, but a few tweeks here and there and I can make my hot wing craving one that won’t add another notch in my belt.
The dressing on this is made with nonfat yogurt and light mayo so you can pour on a healthy amount. And the chicken is breaded and baked instead of fried. The onions are fried, but I couldn’t help myself.
Thanks to Half Baked Harvest for the inspiration for this salad.
- 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup yellow cornmeal, divided
- ½ cup buffalo wing sauce ( I like Moore’s)
- 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced into rings
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 t. kosher salt
- ½ t. pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 4 cups chopped mixed lettuces ( such as romaine, spinach, etc.)
- 1 roma tomato, sliced
- ½ avocado, sliced
- ¼ cup shredded mozzarella
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- 3 T light mayo
- 2 T buttermilk
- 1 T fresh parsley
- ½ t. dill weed
- ½ t. onion powder
- ½ t. garlic powder
- ½ t. salt
- ¼ t. pepper
- 1 t. lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Slice the chicken breast into 4 strips. Submerge the chicken in the buttermilk, making sure to coat. In a shallow dish, mix together ¼ cup of the cornmeal and the panko bread crumbs and season with 1 t. salt and ¼ t. pepper. Coat each chicken strip in the bread crumb mixture and place them onto a greased baking sheet. Spray the strips liberally with cooking spray and bake for 10 minutes, turning halfway through, until chicken reaches 165 degrees.
- Meanwhile, in a shallow dish mix together the remaining cornmeal, flour and ½ t. salt and ¼ t. pepper. Toss the onion slices in the flour mixture, making sure to separate the rings as you toss. Heat about ½ an inch of vegetable oil in a skillet until the oil shimmers. Add the onions to the oil and fry until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
- Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processer and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- In two large bowls, divide the lettuce mix, top with tomatoes, avocado and mozzarella cheese. Place 2 chicken strips on top of lettuce bed and top each with fried onions. Serve with dressing on top!