Healthy Hollywood: Fab Food Friday – Fire Up The Grill & Be Healthy!

Happy Friday before the 4th!

If you want to do some celeb spotting over the holiday weekend – the posh Hamptons is your go-to destination. Sarah Jessica Parker, Kelly Ripa, and Renee Zellweger are just a few of the stars that escape to the Long Island, New York hotspot.

Let’s face it – The July 4th holiday is more about BBQs and spending time with family & friends – not celebrity tracking.

When we often think BBQ – we think hamburgers, hot dogs, and fatty side salads! In fact, the average BBQ plate could rack up more than 2,000 calories – a big ouch for keeping that svelte swimsuit shape in check.

Think again, BBQs can be healthy, yummy & not such a diet-bust. “You don’t have to choose between healthy and delicious at a picnic,” promises Ellie Krieger, host of Food Network’s “Healthy Appetite.” Ellie also advises, “I like to make a number of salads that hold up well and can be made in advance, like healthy slaws, whole grain and bean salads. I also like to use my ActiFry (a multi-cooker by T-Fal) at parties, because all you have to do is put the food in with a tablespoon of oil, set the timer and it does the stirring for you.”

Ellie shares with Healthy Hollywood some of her favorite healthy summer recipes.

This is definitely finger lickin’ chicken, crispy golden brown on the outside and juicy on the inside. The tangy yogurt coating helps keep the chicken moist and makes the saltine and corn flakes crumbs stick. The cayenne pepper gives this chicken a noticeable bite. Use a little less if you prefer it milder.

1/2 sleeve (about 20) whole-grain saltine crackers, pulsed in a food processor until fine (about 1/2 cup)
2-1/2 cups corn flakes, pulsed in a food processor to fine crumbs (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 egg whites
1 cup low fat, plain yogurt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 chicken breast halves and 4 chicken thighs, skin removed, rinsed and patted dry (about 3-1/2 pounds of chicken)
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a baking sheet with olive oil.
Combine the saltine and corn flake crumbs, sesame seeds, cayenne, and garlic powder in a shallow bowl. Reserve.

In a large bowl, combine the egg whites, yogurt, Dijon mustard and salt. Add the chicken pieces and coat thoroughly with the yogurt mixture.

One at a time, dip the chicken pieces in the cracker mixture, packing crumbs onto chicken. Arrange the chicken on a baking sheet and spray lightly with cooking spray.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a knife.
Serves 6

This slaw is comfort food with flair. Here the twist is using crisp-tender, shredded broccoli stalks and a nutty crunch of sunflower seeds. You can maximize the easy factor by using a package of pre-shredded broccoli slaw mix or shred your own to put the often wasted part of the broccoli to good use.

1/2 cup plain Greek-style nonfat yogurt
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 12-ounce package broccoli slaw mix, or the stalks from 1 large head of broccoli and 1 large carrot
1/4 cup shelled roasted sunflowers

In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper. (If needed: peel the carrot then shred the broccoli stalks in food processor). Add the shredded broccoli and carrots or broccoli slaw mix to the dressing and toss to combine. Stir in sunflower seeds and serve.
Makes 4 servings

3/4 pound fresh green beans
1/4 cup slivered almonds (not sliced almonds)
1/2 ActiFry spoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Wash and trim the green beans and cut them on the bias into 1 inch pieces.
Put the almonds into the ActiFry pan and cook for 3 minutes. Add the green bean to the pan and drizzle with the oil. Cook for an additional 7 minutes, until the green beans are crisp-tender.

Transfer the green beans and almonds to a serving bowl. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and parsley and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Makes 4 servings

1-3/4 lbs sweet potatoes (3 medium), unpeeled
1 tablespoon canola oil
Salt, to taste

Cut the sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch thick fries. Rinse them in cold water, drain well, then dry them thoroughly with paper towel.

Put the potatoes in the ActiFry pan, drizzle with oil and cook for 40-45 minutes until they are tender and somewhat crisped. Season with salt and serve.

For spicy Sweet Potatoes, toss the potatoes with half of the oil. Then, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of chili powder and 1/3 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and toss.

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