• 3-4 pounds of chicken wings, tips removed and separated at the joint
• Juice of two lemons
• ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon onion powder
• 1 ½ tablespoons garlic powder
• 2 teaspoons paprika
• 1½ teaspoons ground black pepper
• 1½ teaspoons of thyme
If you like, add any of these ingredients directly to the wings before baking them.
• Cayenne pepper or Chinese five-spice seasoning
• Salt-free barbecue seasoning
• Honey mustard (mix ¼ cup raw local honey with 1 tablespoon ground mustard and baste wings with mixture)
• Any combination of dried, salt-free herbs: rosemary, sage, cilantro, basil, oregano, etc.
1. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Line a baking dish or an edged baking sheet with non-stick foil or spray the sheet well with a non-silicone baking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, toss chicken wings and lemon juice. Add onion and garlic powders, paprika, pepper and thyme and toss. Drizzle with olive oil and toss again to coat well.
3. Transfer the wings to prepared dish or sheet. Add additional seasonings at this point, if desired.
4. Bake wings for 20 minutes and then carefully turn them over with tongs and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until skin is golden brown. Cool for a few minutes and serve warm.
• 2 cups all-natural, whole grain, or baked tortilla chips
• ½ cup reduced- or fat-free shredded Mexican-style cheese
• ½ cup fat-free refried beans, optional
• ¼ -½ cup diced onion
• 2 teaspoons chili powder
• 1 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
• ½ teaspoon dried cilantro
• ¼ cup diced green onion
• ¼ cup fat-free sour cream
• ¼ cup all-natural salsa
1. Set oven broiler to low. Line glass baking dish with non-stick foil or spray with cooking spray.
2. Add tortilla chips to prepared dish in an even layer. Evenly distribute dollops of refried beans on top of chips.
3. Sprinkle diced onion and cheese across chips. In a small bowl, mix spices and sprinkle evenly over top of chips and cheese.
4. Broil under low broiler for 5-10 minutes or until cheese melts completely and chips are a slight golden brown.
5. Serve immediately with sour cream, salsa and green onion topping.
I can always tell exactly when football season arrives. My husband will be firmly planted on the couch Saturday and Sunday, shouting expletives at the television. I know from now until the first week of February, we won’t be going anywhere or doing anything over the weekends.
For many fans, football season means game-time grazing on finger foods and easy-to-prepare snacks. Take note, though — tailgating, hosting a game-day party or just settling in the den with some grub for a long day of arm-chair quarterbacking does not mean it’s OK to throw that diet out the window. It’s an opportunity to seek out healthier alternatives to high-fat and sodium-laced appetizers, or try new preparation methods, such as baking instead of frying.
You can “makeover” many classic recipes by switching out certain ingredients. For example, prepare dips using fat-free or reduced-fat sour cream and opt for all-natural, low-sodium salsas that are free of preservatives. Better yet, make your own salsa or guacamole from scratch using fresh veggies and spices.
Look for healthier potato and tortilla chip varieties, such as those that are baked or derived from vegetable ingredients instead of just potatoes or corn. Check the grocery store’s organic section for dried veggie chips, rice chips, whole-wheat pretzels or blue corn tortilla chips.
If you plan to put out a party buffet, don’t forget the fresh produce. Platters of cut-up raw veggies, grilled vegetables, garden salads or fruit medleys are excellent game-day additions and will provide guests with a variety of healthy options.
And let’s not forget the beer — that popular game-day accompaniment that often packs a ton of calories and carbohydrates. On your next beer run, be sure to check nutritional labels on the packages. Know what you’re putting into your body, and keep in mind that alcohol contains lots of empty calories. Keep it “light” by choosing pale ales and lagers over stouts and dark beers. Sodas also can pack a high-calorie, sugary punch. If you’re in need of some carbonated refreshment, seek out zero-calorie or diet varieties.
I have a few of my own go-to recipes that my husband always asks for come football season. Chicken wings are an easy-to-prepare and tasty finger food, but depending on the preparation method, they can be packed with fat and calories. Commercially prepared wings from the store or a pizzeria can be especially bad for you. Nachos are a stadium favorite, but too many toppings can make this appetizers into a mountain of meat and full-fat cheese. Try these healthier versions at home this weekend and see how they compare. Resist the urge to add salt and sauces full of preservatives. They won’t be necessary if your food is seasoned well.