Last night, I was at the gym, exercising on a treadmill with my headphones plugged into the TV screen right above my machine. There was Paula Deen, telling viewers how to prepare her Chicken Florentine.
It was an appropriate juxtaposition — me, on a treadmill, watching Madame Cholesterol explain a recipe that would singlehandedly shatter any halfway reasonable diet.
Chicken Florentine has 2 cans of Campbell's condensed cream of mushroom soup, 1 cup of mayonnaise and 1 cup of sour cream (and neither of the latter ingredients is of the "light" variety). The recipe also calls for 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese.
Paula said the original recipe had only 1 cup of cheese, but she quickly decided to double the amount of cheese. "There's no such thing as too much cheese," she quipped.
The topping for Chicken Florentine consists of breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and liberal dots of butter. The mayonnaise alone has 192 grams of fat, and most of that fat is saturated fat. Altogether, the mayonnaise, sour cream, mushroom soup, butter and cheddar cheese add up to a staggering 386 grams of fat.
Considering that most nutritional experts recommend that an individual consume no more than 50-60 grams of fat in an entire day, eatin' Paula-style on a regular basis means that your most stable, long-term relationship is likely to be with Lipitor.
Basically, the only healthy ingredients in this dish are the chicken and the spinach. Oh, and lest I forget to mention it, this dish was part of a larger 4-course meal that concluded with Paula's "chocolate dippy doughnuts."
Hey, we're all human, and most everyone I know enjoys a naughty, decadent meal from time to time (my fave foods are an example). But anyone who regularly eats like Paula Deen cooks will be as big as a house in no time at all. And, as anyone who watches her TV show can attest, Chicken Florentine is very typical of the dishes that Paula Deen prepares.
It makes me wonder if the American Heart Association will be the next group to picket Madame Cholesterol.