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Food Day Aims to Inspire Americans to "Eat Real"

The Eat In table was set with harvest colors.

On Monday, some of America's greatest chefs, nutrition researchers and food minds gathered in New York City's Times Square for an "Eat In" to mark the first-ever Food Day. The Center for the Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) created the nationwide grassroots movement to show that it's possible to eat a healthful, sustainable diet while enjoying delicious food. We spied notables including Morgan Spurlock (of Supersize Me) and Mario Batali (who jetted over to Times Square after taping an episode of The Chew) enjoying a meal full of fall flavors, which was whipped up by chef and dietitian Ellie Krieger. Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., the executive director of the CSPI, says that Food Day was created to energize the growing food movement and will now become an annual event. "The basic message is that we need to clean up our diets. You don't need an organization or a Ph.D. Take action by adding more fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your diet today. If you don't care about your own health, no one is going to," Jacobson told us. Participants in Food Day have six overarching goals:

  1. Reduce diet-related disease by promoting safe, healthy foods
  2. Support sustainable farms and limit subsidies to big agribusiness
  3. Expand access to food and alleviate hunger
  4. Protect the environment and animals by reforming factory farms
  5. Promote health by curbing junk food marketing to kids
  6. Support fair working conditions for food and farm workers

About 2,000 events took place across the country earlier this week at schools, grocery stores, restaurants and more. If you're interested in continuing the celebration in your own home, you can find 28 delicious, whole food-based recipes by 10 top chefs (Mario Batali! Emeril Lagasse! Mark Bittman!) in this free Food Day downloadable cookbook. Or click below for one of the tasty recipes featured in the cookbook that will win over even the most diehard fried food fans.

Honey-Crisp Oven-Fried Chicken

Eating healthfully shouldn't be about deprivation. (Photo courtesy of CSPI)

Adapted from Comfort Food Fix by Ellie Krieger Serves 6

  • 6 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
  • 2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 4 cups whole-grain cereal flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  1. Place the chicken in a bowl with the buttermilk and toss to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
  2. Place the cereal flakes in a food processor and process until crumbs form (you should have about 1 cup of crumbs).
  3. Transfer to a shallow dish and mix in the paprika, garlic powder, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  5. Remove chicken from buttermilk, shaking off excess buttermilk from the chicken. Discard the remaining buttermilk.
  6. Brush each piece of chicken with honey, then dip in the cereal crumbs, press hard so the crumbs adhere to the chicken. Place the coated chicken on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray the top of each chicken thigh with cooking spray.
  7. Bake until the chicken is crisped and cooked through, 45 to 50 minutes.

Nutrition facts per serving: 330 calories, 7 g fat (2 g saturated fat)