Sandwich and Fries….Or Is It?

I have (another) guilty pleasure, food addiction. I love a great sandwich and fries. Burgers, pitas, hoagies, subs- it doesn’t matter what the sandwich is, I want it. And nothing goes better with a melty, cheesy, toasty sandwich than a crispy, salty french fry. Few restaurants do this combo better than The Rock Restaurant in Normal, IL. This small diner opened during my sophomore or junior year of college, and it was a match made in cheesy, gyros-filled, double-fried french fry heaven. Sheer bliss in a basket. This bliss is quickly replaced by massive amounts of greasy guilt. I love sandwiches and fries, but my hips do not.

Part of my challenge quickly became how to replicate the sensation of eating a great sandwich and fries while at home, and potentially without the mega-guilt trip from my pile of workout laundry staring at me as I eat the fries post-workout. Now, this isn’t to say that sandwiches and fries are taboo and need to be completely irradicated, but if you’re looking for an at-home option, I present Chicken Phillies and (Zucchini) Fries. While some of the pieces may not be quite the same as that oiled up monstrosity from Pepperjack’s Grill, it definitely hits the weeknight spot.

My recipes allow for an 8inch sub per person, and 16 zucchini fries per person (1 whole zucchini per person). Served on a fresh, french baguette, with a slice of provolone cheese, the Philly rings in at 400 calories. The “fries” come in at 174 calories for the entire zucchini. This meal is a steal both for the wallet and the waistline. Thanks again to Gina Homolka of Skinnytaste for this family-friendly, flavorful, and fun meal!



Zucchini Fries (Crispy I Promise!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini per person
  • 1 egg white per zucchini
  • 1/2 cup panko per zucchini
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese per zucchini
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a shallow dish, combine egg whites and spices, mixing well. In a second dish combine panko and parmesan cheese.
  3. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  4. Slice each zucchini into 16 pieces. These should be long, french-fry-like strips.
  5. Dredge each slice of zucchini in the egg white, roll in the panko and place on the prepared baking tray.When all the slices are arranged, spray cooking spray across the top of the zucchini.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

Chicken Philly Cheesesteaks (a one pan meal!)

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breast tenders
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
  • French baguette
  • 8oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 sliced onion
  • 1 small, sliced green bell pepper
  • Provolone cheese

Steps:

  1. Heat a large, nonstick skillet over high heat. When it is hot, spray with cooking spray.
  2. Season the chicken breast with seasonings. Saute in the skillet until cooked through (6-7 min).
  3. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Pour in 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil into the pan, and add the bell pepper and onion. Add a pinch of salt.
  4. Saute the peppers and onions for about 3-5 minutes. Then, add mushrooms. Continue sauteeing for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  5. Slice baguette open, fill with chicken, veggies, and top with a slice of provolone cheese. Bake in a 425-degree oven or broil for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy with zucchini fies 🙂
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