Craving bar food

As much as I like to think of myself as a wanna-be foodie, I have a very soft spot in my heart (and also, unfortunately, on my ass) for bar food.  Chicken fingers, french fries, buffalo wings, mozzarella sticks….if it is salty and/or cheesy and/or fried, and can be dipped in some sort of calorie-laden sauce, it is heaven to me.

This is sort of challenging when you’re trying to cook at home and eat healthy.  (Especially when you live within walking distance of about 300 bars.  All of which offer fantastic happy hour specials.  Believe me, every evening is a battle!)

So I am always on the hunt for ways to make reasonably-healthy knockoffs of bar food at home.  Tonight’s dinner did the trick:

Baked chicken strips, parmesan-garlic zucchini “fries” (recipes below).

Served, of course, with a big salad.  Since I’ve been trying to eat healthier, one trick I’ve used is making sure that half of my plate is loaded up with something green and leafy before I even think about putting the main course on it.

Today’s EAT:  My faux-bar-food feast: baked chicken strips prepared pretty much in line with this recipe for Baked Chicken Nuggets, except that I used thinly-sliced breast tenders and cut them as strips instead of chunks.

Served with Parmesan-Garlic Zucchini “Fries” that were inspired by this recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything (moved just a tad toward the less healthy side by adding some real cheese and frying them in a bit of olive oil before baking them).

Today’s DRINK: It’s a beer week around here, apparently.  Fits with the bar-food theme though!  The hubs and I sipped some Magic Hat #9 (which claims to be a “Not Quite Pale Ale”) with dinner tonight.  It’s a very tasty beer – pretty complex, moderately hoppy and little sweet.

Today’s RUN: An easy 7-ish miles, uptown on the Hudson River Park bike path.  Bleh, I kind of dislike going uptown on that path.  Downtown is so much better: you get parks, riverfront, nice sunsets over the Statue of Liberty.  Uptown you get the Chelsea Piers along with heliports, ferry ports, bus terminals and other such river-view-blocking structures.

Alas, though, I can only get about 6 miles in, round trip, if I head downtown, as things sort of peter out at Battery Park.  Going uptown I can go forever, but it doesn’t really get to be a nice place to run again until the mid-50s – which is about a 7-mile round trip from my apartment.  So that is what I did today.  My normal 5-6 mile downtown route is great, but I have a half-marathon in a few weeks and should probably get some more miles in, huh?

I suppose I shouldn’t complain and just be grateful that I live within a few blocks of a place that I can run uninterrupted by traffic for miles on end!

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4 responses to “Craving bar food

  1. that looks delish! thanks for posting the recipes. I am definitely going to try this out on the weekend. we adore bar food round these parts too.

  2. Mmmm. Looks good.
    I LOL’d at “I have a very soft spot in my heart (and also, unfortunately, on my ass)”. 😀

  3. Those zucchini fries look amazing. I will definitely be trying them out this weekend!

  4. Pingback: Fish fry-day « eat, drink, run

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