Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Jan 13, 2012 06:57 AM

Is this why we're fat?


I was checking out the website of a supermarket chain that is running a "Healthy Recipe Contest." The description of the judging criteria clearly states that, among other things such as taste and creativity, the recipes will be judged on "calories; salt, sugar and fat content; fiber; use of healthy ingredients (including oils, spices, etc). " The market has no control over what people submit. So someone actually submitted this recipe for Chicken Spagetti (sic):

1 pkg Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast
1 lg Onion
2 cans {mild/optional} Ro*Tel diced tomatoes & Green chilies
1 can drained mushroom pieces
2 Lbs Velveeta cheese
1 box of Multigrain Spagettie Noodles {Muellers}

In pot boil your noodles then boil your chicken and onion separately. Drain all in strainer add all in one pot that you cooked your noodles in, your chicken, onion, mushroom, rotel, cheese and mix well then add noodles and mix. Put in a backing cassarole dish and cook at 350 degrees for 30 min uncovered.

2 POUNDS OF VELVEETA CHEESE!!!! In what universe is that considered healthy? I can only hope that this was someone's idea of a joke and this person does not actually believe that this is a healthy meal for 4 or 6 or whatever.

Maybe it's time to stop blaming McDonald's for our expanding waistlines and look to our own kitchens.

  1. has CHICKEN BREAST. Must be OK.

    Wow, that not only sounds unhealthy, it sounds terrible. Not even a guilty pleasure.

    2 Replies
    1. re: coney with everything

      yup, chicken breast and multigrain noodles, it must be very healthy.

      1. re: coney with everything

        Now, had they served it with brown rice that would have been even funnier.

      2. No.

        People are fat because they eat too much.

        3 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              haahahahah. Nice link.

              And I totally agree with you. Had I eaten the above, say 1/2 a cup of it. I'd be fine in my calori allowance for my meal. I might even be able to get away with 3/4 cup. But, really how many would only eat that much.

        1. Leave out the chicken breast and pass the Tostitos :)

          1. I vividly remember learning about nutrition in multiple health and science classes...but I am continually amazed by what people think amounts to "healthy" -- it's not even a matter of semantics or schools of thought. There are people - a lot more than I ever would have thought -- who would look at that recipe and say "okay -- chicken, lots of vegetables, -- good to go -- light and healthy!

            It's a tragedy, really -- and then the only "education" present in the media is no that -- it's all touting one great new weight-loss cure or another, and nobody actually gets around to teaching people how to eat in a manner that is beneficial to their bodies.

            16 Replies
            1. re: sunshine842

              Reminds me of the people who go to the salad bar at a restaurant and drench their greens in blue cheese dressing, pour on a cup of croutons, and top it all with a liberal handful of bacon bits. Then they say "I'm eating healthy today. I'm having a salad.".

              For calories from fat, the following recipe, which has been rolling around CH for almost 10 years and is still revived once or twice a year, beats all:


              I'm sure this risotto is as delicious as claimed, but come on, almost a pound of gorgonzola PLUS a half pound of butter PLUS well over half a pound of Parmigiano Reggiano PLUS olive oil PLUS pistachios per pound of rice? Even the cheese lover that I am cries out "No thanks!".

              1. re: cheesemaestro

                I'm pretty sure the Risotto is meant to be shared....not consumed by one....


                1. re: fourunder

                  I'm sure you're right, but if it's divided into four or even six portions, it still packs a lot of fat. That being said, I agree with ipsedixit that lack of portion control is the biggest (though not the only) factor contributing to obesity.. If people ate a small amount of this risotto, it would be fine, but many people would fill their plate with it. Pregnant women used to be told to eat for two. Nowadays more and more people--pregnant or not--eat for two, or three, or four.

                  1. re: cheesemaestro

                    Pregnant women used to be told to eat for two. Nowadays more and more people--pregnant or not--eat for two, or three, or four. ****************************************************************************************** This reminds me of when I was pregnant. In the lunch room at work I was carefully cutting up an orange. Co-worker comes in and kind of laughs at how precise I was being. I told him. "yeah, I'm cutting it up to make it go further so as not to just wolf it down." His response, "you're pregnant! Eat what you want."

                    I'm sorry but being pregnant does not give me the excuse to eat like a pig. I put it on, I have to take it off later. (disclamer: Trust me I wasn't starving myself. Ate enough comfort food during that pregnacy to equal my childhood:))

                2. re: cheesemaestro

                  There is nothing wrong with natural fat.

                    1. re: sandylc

                      I'm by no means a fatophobe. I enjoy a well marbled steak or prosciutto with its silky fat, which I would never dream of removing. But moderation does come into play.

                      I find it interesting that people are condemning the recipe that the OP posted, while defending the risotto recipe. To be sure, the risotto is intriguing. I would certainly be more tempted to try it than the chicken breast with Velveeta sauce. However, from the standpoint of calories from fat, there's little difference between "natural fat" and any other kind. In this regard, the risotto recipe is just as "over the top" as, and probably more so than, the chicken recipe.

                        1. re: cheesemaestro

                          However, from the standpoint of calories from fat, there's little difference between "natural fat" and any other kind.
                          i'm glad you pointed this out. the "logic" some people apply when trying to justify the calorie count of a dish is mind-boggling to me. in fact, i was just scratching my head over this recipe from Thursday's LA Times:

                          the authors claim "The traditional version of this dish is known for its creamy, rich texture and its impact on your hips. Our Alfredo gives you the same fulfilled feelings without the side effects!"

                          really? one serving of your dish contains 700 calories, 84 grams of carbs (only 8 of which are fiber) and 34 grams of fat, and just because it's gluten-free and vegan you think eating it won't expand your waistline? by the way, i have a bridge you might be interested in buying...

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            You have excellent points. Just because something contains healthy ingredients doesn't mean that you can eat a million calories of it. And while I believe the following statement is true:

                            "However, from the standpoint of calories from fat, there's little difference between "natural fat" and any other kind."

                            ...I think that healthwise, this is an incomplete thought. I am not a calorie-counter; I lean more towards eating moderate amounts of real food from all "food groups", and if the scales go too far up, just eat a little bit less for a while.

                            Going strictly by calorie count isn't going to fix anything. If the health aspects of your food choices are disregarded while restricting calories, you will become malnourished.

                            1. re: sandylc

                              Definitely agree with this. There are nutrients in things like butter and olive oil that a person would miss by eating margarine or some other health food even though they are cutting calories. There is more to fat than just calories.

                              I find that when I eat food with higher quality fats, I tend to eat less overall.

                              1. re: Fromageball

                                Exactly! And when your plate in packed with nutrients, variety, and fiber from REAL FOODS, you are satisfied sooner and eat less. At the same time as you are eating less, you are getting more nutrients. Win/win!

                                I think people who overeat poor-quality foods are instinctively trying to obtain nutrients by eating more. There aren't enough good things in the crappy food, so their bodies tell them to keep eating until they somehow get enough nutrients to survive.

                          2. re: cheesemaestro

                            <I find it interesting that people are condemning the recipe that the OP posted, while defending the risotto recipe>

                            there is one HUGE difference between the two:

                            one was posted as an entry in a contest calling for HEALTHY recipes and uses several ingredients that most hounds would consider "low brow"

                            one makes no claims at being healthy, and uses very high quality ingredients.

                        2. re: cheesemaestro

                          HA! I think that may have been the first recpie I ever read on this site.

                          Here's my concern, forget about health/fat for a minute...isn't risotto supposed to have a creamy texture because of the way the starch on the outside of the rice "melts" into the liquid? Isn't the dish a testament to technique? Aren't you suppsed to taste the rice and whatever flavorings you add? I always thought good risotto had whatever fat you sauted your veggies in + some parmesan, and that was it for fat. This recipe has always sounded gloppy and coarse to me.... despite the fact that we were assured it was 3 star quality ;-)

                      1. Perhaps the idea is for the recipe to induce vomiting.

                        3 Replies
                            1. re: Naco

                              Love it!! Because I could not keep that slop down. :(