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4 Tips to Make HEALTHY Fried Chicken (Seriously!)

Go Nuts
Cashews aren't just a tasty (and creative) base for a marinade: Tree nuts like these have been linked to better weight maintenance, happier moods (thanks to magnesium and the amino acid tryptophan), and possibly even a longer life. And the similarly nutty almond milk surpasses dairy in bone-building calcium and has none of the saturated fat or cholesterol.

Boost Your Breading
You probably know that foods like quinoa are rich in fiber. But quinoa actually has tons of protein, too, contributing four grams per serving. (That's almost as much as the chicken itself, which tallies around six grams.) Using it to coat the chicken before baking it means you get all the crunch sans the frying.

Don't Pass the Bucket
A serving of fast-food chicken could rack up almost twice the calories, fat, and cholesterol-raising saturated fat of this do-it-yourself version. Here, you use white breast meat rather than darker thighs, ditch the fat-hoarding skin, and bake rather than submerging in oil.

Slam Dunk
The dip comes guilt-free at under 30 cals per serving; we can't say the same for even a tiny cup of drive-thru honey mustard or ranch sauce, which could each top 140 calories.

Homemade Upgrade: Fried Chicken
3 cups whole raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp dill weed
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 Tbsp hot sauce
2 cups almond milk, divided
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 oz each), trimmed and pounded flat
2 cups cooked quinoa
4 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp tomato paste

Brian Kennedy

In a blender, combine cashews, garlic, lemon juice, dill, onion powder, hot sauce, and 1 cup almond milk. Put aside 1/2 cup of this mixture, then add remaining cup of almond milk to blender and combine. Pour into a zip-top bag, add chicken, and marinate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F.

Brian Kennedy

Coat chicken in quinoa, and pan-sear over high heat with 3 teaspoons oil for 3 minutes per side. Place on an oil-coated rack (use remaining oil) on top of a baking pan; bake for 25 minutes. Flip halfway through. Combine reserved cashew mixture and tomato paste for sauce. Garnish with lemon.

Brian Kennedy

Makes 4 servings Per serving: 295 cal, 15 g fat (2.5 g sat), 28 g carbs: 294 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 13.5 g protein

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