“Fried” Calamari the Healthy Eats Way

by in Robin's Healthy Take, May 7, 2012
baked calamari
Robin's crispy, baked calamari: packed with nutrients, but not fat and calories.

A basket of calamari is, no doubt, one of the most delicious ways to start a meal. Nutritionally speaking, calamari (Italian for squid) is crammed with copper (one 3.5-ounce serving has 90% of your RDA). Why should you care? Copper is essential for all this: proper growth of the skeletal, nervous and cardiovascular systems; reducing inflammation and arthritis symptoms; pigmentation of hair, skin and eyes; building connective tissue; stimulating the brain; absorbing iron; stalling aging; producing energy in the body; inhibiting bacteria such as E-Coli; reducing cholesterol and boosting immunity. Copper is the third most prevalent mineral in the body yet we can’t produce it on our own (meaning we need to get copper from food). As if that’s not enough, calamari is also rich in protein (16 grams per 3.5-ounce serving), B vitamins and vitamin C.  I learned all this while researching for this blog. I might eat calamari every day now.

Problem is, most people eat deep-fried calamari (it’s hard to find it prepared other ways). Frying destroys calamari’s stellar stats by piling on calories, fat and sodium.

I pulled nutrition information from a few national chain restaurants. Check out the numbers:

Raw Calamari (3.5 ounces)

Calories: 92
Fat: 1 g
Saturated fat: 0.4 g
Sodium: 44 mg

Fried (appetizer portion, about 1 cup)

Calories: 360-890
Fat: 22-54 g
Saturated fat: 5-8 g
Sodium: 2340 mg

And these numbers reflect a fairly small serving size; you’d probably eat double or triple that amount in a restaurant. Not to worry, I’ve got an amazing baked version that’s divine. Enjoy a hefty, 7.25-ounce portion for about 350 calories, less than 4 g fat, almost zero saturated fat and one quarter of the sodium. The squid is lightly battered in buttermilk before being tossed in a panko, tortilla chip and ranch-spiked crumb mixture. Then, the rings and tentacles are baked until the calamari is tender and the coating is crisp and golden brown.

Crispy Baked Calamari

I like to serve my calamari with warm tomato sauce on the side for dunking.

Note: I love the flavor of ranch in the coating but you can leave it out – the crunchy exterior still boasts the wonderful flavor of toasted white corn tortillas.

Cooking spray
1 pound calamari, tubes and tentacles
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup white tortilla chip pieces (2 inch pieces)
1 tablespoon powdered ranch dressing mix
1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Coat two large baking sheets with cooking spray.

Pat calamari dry with a paper towel. Cut tubes crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rings (do not cut tentacles). Set aside.

Combine panko, tortilla chips and seasoning in a food processor and process until finely ground.  Transfer mixture to a bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, 2 tablespoons of the flour and black pepper. Place remaining 1/2 cup of flour in a large freezer bag.

Add calamari rings and tentacles to the bag with the flour and shake to coat. Working in batches, dip the flour-coated calamari into buttermilk mixture and then into panko mixture. Arrange calamari, in a single layer, on prepared baking sheets. Spray the surface with cooking spray.

Bake 15-20 minutes, until calamari is tender and coating is crisp and golden brown.

Serves 4

Nutrition Info Per Serving (7.25 ounces, about 1 cup)
Calories: 353
Total Fat: 3.6 grams
Saturated Fat: <1 gram
Total Carbohydrate: 39 grams
Sugars: 3 grams
Protein: 24 grams
Sodium: 507 milligrams
Cholesterol: 267 milligrams
Fiber: 2 grams

Robin Miller is a nutritionist, host of Quick Fix Meals, author of “Robin Takes 5” and “Robin Rescues Dinner” and the busy mom of two active little boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at www.robinrescuesdinner.com.

More posts from .

Similar Posts

Pantry Raid! 10 Healthy Ingredient Swaps

Which ingredients to choose — and which to lose? Here’s a quick guide to revamping the pantry and sizing up other common kitchen staples. 1. Choose: No-salt-added tomatoes (in cans and cartons) over tomato sauce. The ingredient list for tomato sauce should be short and simple: tomatoes and perhaps a few seasonings. But that’s notRead more

Comments (38)

  1. Miss Chari says:

    Informations très utiles. Espoir de voir plus de messages bientôt!

  2. Has demostrado que está calificado para escribir sobre este tema. Los hechos que usted menciona y el conocimiento y la comprensión de estas cosas revelan claramente que usted tiene un montón de experiencia.

  3. I wish people would write more about this as you have done. This is something that is very important and has been largely overlooked by the internet community

  4. Van Esterly says:

    Salut, Je m’appelle Kennedy Im du Colorado. Je viens de la retraite de l’armée. Je me suis engagé jeunes et retraités jeune. Im cherchant une nouvelle carrière dans ce domaine. J’espère que vous les professionnels peuvent me conseiller comment puis-je commencer s’il vous plaît

  5. given says:

    Online Article……

    [...]The information mentioned in the article are some of the best available [...]……

  6. Superb website…

    [...]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from[...]……

  7. Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is excellent, as well as the content!. Thanks For Your article about “Fried” Calamari the Healthy Eats Way | Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog .

  8. Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is magnificent, as well as the content!. Thanks For Your article about “Fried” Calamari the Healthy Eats Way | Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog .

  9. Tongkat Ali says:

    oops, he leído este post un poco tarde, acaba de presentar mi trabajo la semana pasada y estoy seguro de que habría sido mejor asignación si hubiera llegado a este sitio web antes. Qué lástima. Gracias de todos modos.

  10. Blogs ou should be reading…

    [...]Here is a Great Blog You Might Find Interesting that we Encourage You[...]……

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>