I read an interesting article in the New York Times last week entitled “While Warning About Fat, U.S. Pushes Cheese Sales” (click the title to read it). The article talks about an organization called “Dairy Management” and how they work with companies to increase their cheese sales (among other things).
Now, it’s certainly not news that corporations use consultant companies to increase sales and to create marketing strategies to push consumers to buy their products. What was disturbing about the article was that “…Dairy Management, which has made cheese its cause, is not a private business consultant. It is a marketing creation of the United States Department of Agriculture— the same agency at the center of a federal anti-obesity drive that discourages over-consumption of some of the very foods Dairy Management is vigorously promoting.“
Apparently because Americans are drinking mostly low-fat and skim milk (which is a very good thing), there is a lot of whole milk and milk fat leftover and Dairy Management has decided that the best way to help the dairy farmers is to push cheese in every way possible. For instance, they were behind Domino’s “More Cheese, Less Dough” $12 million marketing campaign. Dairy Management wants Americans to eat more cheese and they want that cheese to be full fat.
Well, I can’t compete with their million dollar marketing campaign. All I can do is promote my ideas of low-fat and non-fat dairy products (along with whole grains, lean protein, and plenty of fruits and veggies). Then I can put these ideas into delicious recipes and show (whoever is looking) that really healthy food can be fun and yummy. So here is my recipe for a cheese stuffed chicken breast using fat-free cheese that tastes delicious and has less than 200 calories and a little over 1 gram of saturated fat per serving…take that Dairy Management!
Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded flat
1/3 cup dry whole wheat breadcrumbs
¾ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup crumbled fat-free feta cheese
1 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh chives, chopped
Preheat oven to at 400°. Mix breadcrumbs, dried basil, pepper, and garlic powder together in small bowl. Mix feta cheese, fresh basil, and fresh chives in another bowl. Dredge one side of chicken breasts in breadcrumb mixture and lay flat, crumb side down, on a baking sheet that has been coated with cooking spray. Spoon 1/4 of the feta mixture onto each piece of chicken and fold breast in half. Spray each breast lightly with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes.