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Think Skinny

By Linda Childers
Posted On Feb 28, 2019
Think Skinny

Gina Homolka of Skinnytaste serves up delicious meals that are calorie-conscious.

Who she is: When Gina Homolka set out to lose 10 pounds in 2007, she never imagined she would change the way families eat across the country. Yet by sharing her delicious, healthy, low-fat recipes, she has amassed a huge fan following on her site (skinnytaste.com) and on social media. Homolka just released her first cookbook, The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor ($30, Clarkson Potter). We just can’t get enough.

What she does: “I’ve always loved cooking and photography, so I started a blog where I shared my recipes and photos,” Homolka says. “I took some of my family’s favorite recipes and lightened them
up, without sacrificing any taste.”

Her best critics: Homolka’s husband and two daughters, ages 5 and 21, are her official taste-testers. Through their no-holds-barred critiques, all recipes are guaranteed delicious. All the while, Homolka ensures that her recipes are Weight Watchers-friendly, and notes when specific recipes are vegetarian, gluten-free, quick (prepared in 30 minutes or less), freezer-friendly, and possibly prepared in a slow cooker.

Her meal favorites:

“On weekends, we enjoy big family breakfasts. My youngest daughter loves my recipe for chocolate chip pancakes. During the week when I’m working, I’ll usually have something light like a banana and a hard-boiled egg, and maybe one of my make-ahead western omelet ‘muffins.’ I bake them ahead of time, put them in the refrigerator and then my family has something to grab for breakfast for the next several days.”

“I’m usually cooking during lunchtime so I eat light and nibble on recipes we’re taste-testing that day. One of my favorite meals to make for lunch on a chilly day is my slow-cooker chicken enchilada soup. I took my standard chicken enchilada recipe and threw the ingredients into a slow cooker. The result is a delicious, hearty, chunky soup with cheese, scallions, cilantro, and avocado.”

“My family loves my buttermilk oven-fried chicken. We also have salmon or another fish entrée a couple of times each week, and on nights when my daughter has after-school activities, we have taco night. I have a great recipe for slow-cooker chicken black bean tacos and then everyone in the family can add their favorite taco toppings such as avocado or pico de gallo.”

“I love nuts and fruits, and always have lots of apples, grapes, and bananas on hand. I also love air-popped popcorn. You can eat a large amount without consuming a lot of calories. To stay hydrated, I keep a big water bottle with me throughout the day and am always refilling it.”


Buttermilk Oven-Fried Chicken*

8 chicken drumsticks (about 3½ ounces each), skinned

1 cup buttermilk

Juice of ½ lemon

? cup panko bread crumbs

½ cup crushed cornflake crumbs

2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1½ tsp kosher salt

1 tsp dried parsley flakes

1½ tsp sweet paprika

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp chili powder

Cooking spray or oil mister coating


For the chicken

  • In a medium bowl, pour the buttermilk and lemon juice over
    chicken. Refrigerate 6 to 8 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Place a rack on a baking sheet and lightly spray with oil.

For the coating

  • In a shallow bowl, combine the panko, cornflake crumbs, Parmesan, salt, parsley, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder.
  • Remove thighs from buttermilk and roll in breadcrumb mix,  coating all sides.
  • Spray drumstick tops with oil. Place on rack on baking sheet.
  • Bake until golden brown and cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes.

*Adapted from The Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka.

Buttermilk Oven-Fried Chicken (Serves 4)

Per serving (2 drumsticks): Calories 294; Fat 8.5g;
Saturated fat 2.5g; Cholesterol 182 mg; Carbohydrate 12g;
Fiber 1g; Protein 41g; Sugars 2g