October 13, 2008

A Nutrition Minute: Taking on the KFC Challenge

by Sharon Gruber, Nutrition Consultant.

So KFC (formerly "Kentucky Fried Chicken")
. Maybe you’ve seen it. It’s called “the KFC Challenge.” They say you’re better off getting a family meal at KFC for $10 or less than trying to assemble a comparable meal at the grocery store. We say they’re, um, lying.

Yes, KFC can give you a deal. For your $10, you can get enough sodium for an entire day’s worth of eating. And while they say their food has “zero” grams of transfats per serving, this is pretty deceptive (transfats are indicated by the item “partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil” in KFC’s own ingredients list, here in PDF) under the . So if you’re looking for a bargain on sodium and transfats, then yes, KFC is a fine option. But is that the kind of deal we need?

The real “KFC Challenge” is this: How long can your body handle eating KFC and other fast food without putting you at greater risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer?

But since they offered, we’ll take the KFC Challenge. Here is a family-friendly option available for less than $10 at Safeway. This recipe is likely to support your body’s health instead of add to its distress. Plus, it’s easy to make and quite comforting as the season turns cold. It should feed two adults and two children.


1 lb Purdue whole chicken cut-ups ($1.99)

2 medium sweet potatoes/yams ($1.00)

1 medium onion ($.74)

1 clove garlic ($.30)

½ cup dried brown lentils (or dried beans if soaked overnight so they cook faster) ($.50)

1 16-ounce bag frozen green vegetables (broccoli or spinach) ($1.79)

1 14.5-oz can low-sodium chicken broth ($1.15)


Total soup price: $7.47

If you’d like to feed the soup to about 3 more people, add another package of chicken, water, ½ cup dried beans, and 1 sweet potato, increasing the price to $10.46.


Remove chicken skin.

Cut sweet potatoes into large chunks

Cut onion into large wedges.

Cut garlic clove in half.

Rinse dried beans and check for pieces that don’t belong.

Add all of above ingredients to pot with the can of broth and two cans worth of water. Bring soup to a boil, lower to a simmer. Cook for a couple of hours. Toward end of cooking, add frozen vegetables and cook for several minutes.

Season to taste with basil, paprika, or any other herb or spice you have available. Should need to use very little salt, if any, to enhance flavor.

The soup would be great with a tomato/cucumber salad as a side dish.

3 red roma tomatoes ($1.50)

1 cucumber ($.99)

1 lemon ($.99)

Total salad price: $3.48

Chop tomatoes and cucumber into small pieces, about the same size. Zest yellow part of lemon, squeeze lemon for juice. Combine. Optional: add a pinch of salt.

1 comment:

Jay said...

Excellent article, there's always a hidden secret behind every lil' fast food joint 'giveaway'. Why do they call it common sense when its so uncommon?