It’s confession time. Yesterday, I spent thirty minutes exercising. There was some cardiovascular bits, some stretching, some strength building. I sweated. I’m not proud.
My plan had been to skip the whole exercise thing and try to make my blood lipid goals through a change in diet alone. But then we got a Kinect for the Xbox. And now I’ve got the world’s most annoying personal trainer, but the TV totally can tell when I’m not extending far enough, or my back isn’t straight, or any of the other countless ways I’m doing it wrong.
Truth be told, it’s more fun that I expected. But I don’t like the way exercise makes me feel.
The diet is going well, but there seems to be one problem that keeps on raising its ugly head. In fact it seems to be inescapable. Everywhere I look, there is fried chicken. And seriously, I can’t even begin to describe to you the powerful craving I’ve got right now.
It all started innocently enough. I saw on Facebook my friend Innae eating one of Coccadotts chicken wing cupcakes. The event would have gone without comment had Innae not recently returned from Korea, aka the home of the greatest fried chicken in the world.
We don’t have Korean fried chicken here. I don’t know the secret to what makes it so good, nor do I want to know. That’s some dangerous knowledge. I just want that impossibly crisp crust and juicy tender meat in my mouth right now.
How anyone could eat a chicken wing on top of a cupcake after that is beyond me.
So now I have fried chicken on the mind, and last night I found myself on Wolf Road and I was hungry. It just so happens that Hooters has all you can eat boneless wings on Thursday nights. Except that’s not on the diet. Not even close. So in a bit of a panic I called up Albany Jane and she talked me down. God bless her.
Except now apparently Mrs. Fussy is co-hosting a fried chicken party on Saturday, and guess who is responsible for procuring the poultry? Dammit. Even takeout fried chicken is still fried chicken. Salty, oily, meaty fried chicken.
And I just know at the party I’ll have to stare down a giant platter of the stuff. Gah, that’s going to be hard to resist. Part of me is thinking that the only answer is to get extra crappy fried chicken for the party so I’m less tempted to eat any.
So let’s say for argument’s sake that I make it through the party this weekend with the integrity of my stupid diet intact. Next weekend is still the Super Bowl, and year after year the cornerstones for my observance of this national holiday consist of pizza, beer, chips and chicken wings.
My plan this year is to get creative.
Already I’ve looped in Three Smiles Seitan Creations. I figure they are the experts in making meaty things out of non-meat sources. And for the most part my favorite part of the Buffalo wing is really the Buffalo sauce.
So I have a mega sized bottle of Frank’s Red Hot at the ready, and now I just need to try and figure out how to recreate the rest of my favorite flavors. In some ways, it’s kind of depressing to deprive myself of my beloved Super Bowl foods. I’ve never been one for trying to recreate healthful versions of unhealthy dishes. But hopefully this is the only year I have to do it.
Who knows? With enough beer, I may not even be able to tell the difference.
I think the lead option now is to take seitan strips, marinate them in oil and garlic, and coat them with a walnut/breadcrumb/cheese mixture. Typically, this has been done with green-tube parm, but I’m hoping that The Cheese Traveler may have some kind of super pungent blue cheese that is hard enough to be microplaned and mixed into the breading.
Cheese isn’t exactly on the diet, and that technique could help make the flavor go farther. Either that, or perhaps the answer is to find something softer that can be blended with greek yogurt.
Pizza is just out. But perhaps some seitan sausage could fill in the pizza gap. Maybe something that could go with some sauerkraut and brown mustard. Because those last two things are actually made from ingredients that have some health benefits (minus the sodium of course).
Anyhow, I’m also open to other suggestions. There was a vegan chopped liver recipe that sounded enticing, although I have a hard time imagining how lentils, onions and walnuts could taste anything like one of the favorite delicacies of my youth.
Man, this is rough. To make up for all the pain, I think I need to come up with a list of foods to eat for when the diet is finally over. Hopefully I’ll indulge with a little more moderation than all-you-can-eat wing night. But fried chicken has totally made the list. Damn, that’s good stuff.