Tracy Lee Karner

Asian-Up Your Chicken Club Sandwich: and why bacon is healthy

Tracy Lee Karner
Pretty, tasty, and healthful food!

Here’s an eye-pleasing, intensely-tasty, healthy summer meal: Asian chicken club on whole wheat with pepper slaw.  To make it–
Start with your normal chicken club sandwich ingredients, which are:

  • 2-ounces of chicken breast, pounded thin
  • 1 slice of bacon, cooked
  • 2 thin slices of tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped/shredded romaine
  • 2-teaspoons of mayonnaise
  • A toasted whole wheat bakery bun (I slice it buns in three layers and reserve the middle layer to make toast or croutons for another meal, because a whole bun is generally too filling for us to eat at one meal).

Now, Asian-up your sandwich: 

  • Sprinkle the chicken breast with a bit of Asian five-spice powder before sautéeing for 2-3 minutes each side in a hot skillet coated thinly with your preferred cooking oil (for this dish, I use peanut oil).
  • Splash a shake of soy sauce and a drop of sesame oil on the mayonnaise and stir to blend.
  • Squeeze a few drops of lime juice on the tomatoes and top liberally with fresh cilantro.

Assemble in your usual sandwich-y way.
Serve with a slaw made from finely julienned red and green bell peppers, onions (white, yellow or bermuda, whatever you have on hand) and carrots. Dress the slaw with Greek yogurt seasoned with lime juice and a touch of honey. Salt and pepper to taste.
Q: Hey! But isn’t bacon unhealthy? 
A: Gluttony is unhealthy. Bacon, like all real food in moderation, is good stuff (Bobby Flay says so, too!):

  • Because bacon is food, and food sustains life!
  • Because I can control my cravings (I crave Bacon!) when I satisfy my cravings reasonably. I eat 1 slice of my favorite bacon (North Country Cookhouse Applewood nitrate-free). 2-3 times/monthly.
  • Because bacon is niacin-rich, and niacin is difficult to get enough of, so I make sure to incorporate high-niacin foods into my diet. Bacon is also a fine source of protein, phosphorus and selenium (read more about that here.).

I eat an enormously wide variety of foods (basically, everything edible if it’s actually tasty food), and I’m able to get all of my nutrients from food because food is the best food for our bodies.
Q: Seriously? Food and only food? Don’t we need supplements?
A: It just plain makes sense that our bodies are naturally suited to be fueled by food, doesn’t it? Read what the Harvard Medical School teaches about food, supplements and nutrients, here).  The key to getting all the nutrients we need from food is variety.
It’s not just a cliche anymore–variety is the spice, and the sustenance of life!
So, now that I’ve made my full confession–does it terrify you that I eat bacon? And more importantly, will it stop you from being my my friend? 
Actually–the more interesting question is–how/when/why did it happen that food now has the same passion-arousing-power as religion and politics; and has become a dangerous topic for polite dinner party conversations? 

Tracy Lee Karner
Let’s just eat the food!

3 thoughts on “Asian-Up Your Chicken Club Sandwich: and why bacon is healthy”

    1. Bacon is an art form, in my opinion. We’ve been known to drive 3 hours out of our way, to pick up a pound of bacon from an artisan meat shop (from Hatfields in Joplin, Missouri) and my husband spent half an hour on the phone with the owner of North Country Cookhouse in Claremont, to figure out how we buy get their Applewood bacon here in Rhode Island. They all have their own characteristics, sort of like “terroir” in wine. Maybe I should start a new trend by hosting a bacon-tasting party….

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