Boneless Buffalo Wings
Even though boneless Buffalo wings are made with healthy white-meat chicken, they’re usually deep-fried and drenched in hot sauce laced with butter. The solution: chicken tenders are dredged in seasoned whole-wheat flour and cornmeal, pan-fried in only a small amount of oil and then drizzled with a tangy hot pepper sauce. With a fraction of the fat, calories and sodium, these boneless wings are reason enough to throw a party.
Spicy Blue Cheese Dip
- 2/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
- 2/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Wings & Vegetables
- 3 tablespoons nonfat buttermilk, (see Tip)
- 3 tablespoons hot sauce, such as Frank’s RedHot, divided
- 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, divided
- 2 pounds chicken tenders, (see Ingredient Note)
- 6 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
- 6 tablespoons cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 2 cups carrot sticks
- 2 cups celery sticks
To prepare dip: Whisk sour cream, blue cheese, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To prepare wings: Whisk buttermilk, 2 tablespoons hot sauce and 2 tablespoons vinegar in a large bowl until combined. Add chicken; toss to coat. Transfer to the refrigerator and let marinate for at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, whisk flour and cornmeal in a shallow dish. Whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon hot sauce and 1 tablespoon vinegar in a small bowl; set aside.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and roll in the flour mixture until evenly coated. (Discard remaining marinade and flour mixture.) Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon cayenne.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken, placing each piece in a little oil. Cook until golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a serving platter. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and chicken, reducing the heat if necessary to prevent burning. Transfer to the platter. Drizzle the chicken with the reserved hot sauce mixture. Serve with carrots, celery and Spicy Blue Cheese Dip.
Tips & Notes
- Make Ahead Tip: The chicken can marinate (Step 1) for up to 1 hour.
- Tip: No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.
- Ingredient note: Chicken tenders, virtually fat-free, are a strip of rib meat typically found attached to the underside of the chicken breast, but they can also be purchased separately. Four 1-ounce tenders will yield a 3-ounce cooked portion. Tenders are perfect for quick stir-fries, chicken satay or kid-friendly breaded “chicken fingers.”
Per serving: 256 calories; 10 g fat (4 g sat, 4 g mono); 83 mg cholesterol; 12 g carbohydrates; 31 g protein; 2 g fiber; 353 mg sodium; 248 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (120% daily value).
1 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 1/2 lean meat
Spicy peppers get a cooldown from the creamy bean-and-cheese filling in our healthier version of jalapeno poppers.
- 12-18 whole fresh jalape
- 1 cup nonfat refried beans
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 scallion, sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
- Olive oil or canola oil cooking spray
Make a small slit on one side of each pepper. Place the peppers in a large microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on High until just softened, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine refried beans, cheese, scallion and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
When the peppers are cool enough to handle, scrape out the seeds with a small spoon (a 1/4-teaspoon measuring spoon works well). Fill each pepper with about 1 tablespoon of the bean filling, or until the pepper is full but not overstuffed (the amount will depend on the size of the pepper). Close the pepper around the filling.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
Place flour in a shallow dish. Lightly beat eggs in another shallow dish. Combine cornmeal and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a third shallow dish. Roll each stuffed pepper in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then roll in the cornmeal mixture. Place the peppers on the prepared baking sheet. Generously coat all sides of each pepper with cooking spray.
Bake for 5 minutes. Turn each pepper over and continue baking until hot and the filling starts to ooze in a few spots, about 5 minutes more.
Tips & Notes
- Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the filling (Step 2) for up to 1 day.
- Kitchen tip: Touching hot peppers can “burn” your hands. Wear rubber gloves or wash your hands thoroughly after handling them.
Per popper: 87 calories; 4 g fat (2 g sat, 1 g mono); 39 mg cholesterol; 8 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 5 g protein; 2 g fiber; 419 mg sodium; 119 mg potassium.
1/2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1/2 high-fat meat
Ultimate Beef Chili
Offer garnishes, such as reduced-fat sour cream and grated Cheddar cheese (about 1 tablespoon each per person), chopped scallions and chopped fresh tomatoes. Serve with warmed corn tortillas and a green salad topped with orange slices.
- 1 pound beef round, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 3 onions, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 12 ounces dark or light beer
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 8 sun-dried tomatoes, (not packed in oil), snipped into small pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 19-ounce cans dark kidney beans, rinsed
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
Season beef with salt and pepper. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides, 2 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with another 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining beef.
Reduce heat to medium and add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to the pot. Add onions and bell peppers; cook, stirring frequently, until onions are golden brown, 10 to 20 minutes. Add garlic, jalapenos, cumin, chili powder, paprika and oregano. Stir until aromatic, about 2 minutes.
Add beer and simmer, scraping up any browned bits, for about 3 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, bay leaves and reserved beef. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beef is very tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Add beans; cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until chili has thickened, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Per serving: 235 calories; 5 g fat (1 g sat, 2 g mono); 24 mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 17 g protein; 11 g fiber; 496 mg sodium; 582 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: 52 mg vitamin c (90% dv), 38% dv fiber, 35% dv vitamin a, 4 mg iron (20% dv).
1 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 2 1/2 lean meat
The trick to making pulled pork healthy is to trim the meat well and then skim any extra fat off the sauce after cooking. Serve on a soft whole-grain bun with crisp, cool coleslaw.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, diced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 12 ounces beer, preferably lager (1 1/2 cups)
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 3/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup whole-grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (see Ingredient Note)
- 1 5-pound bone-in Boston butt, (see Shopping Tip)
Preheat oven to 300°F. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and very soft, about 20 minutes.
Increase heat to high; add chili powder, cumin, paprika and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add beer, ketchup, vinegar, mustard, tomato paste, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, 10 minutes. Meanwhile, trim all visible fat from the pork.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the pork, spooning sauce over it. Cover the pan, transfer to the oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn the pork over, cover, and bake for 1 1/2 hours more. Uncover and bake until a fork inserted into the meat turns easily, 1 to 2 hours more.
Transfer the pork to a large bowl and cover with foil. Pour the sauce into a large measuring cup or glass bowl and refrigerate until the fat and sauce begin to separate, 15 minutes. Skim off the fat. Return the sauce to the pan and heat over medium-high until hot, about 4 minutes.
Remove the bone and any remaining pieces of fat from the meat. The bone should easily slip away from the tender meat. Pull the pork apart into long shreds using two forks. Add the hot sauce to the meat; stir to combine. Serve hot.
Tips & Notes
- Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
- Ingredient Note: Chipotle peppers are dried, smoked jalapeño peppers. Ground chipotle chile pepper can be found in the specialty spice section of most supermarkets. Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are smoked jalapeños packed in a flavorful sauce. Look for the small cans with the Mexican foods in large supermarkets. Once opened, they’ll keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.
- Shopping tip: Boston butt (or “Boston-style butt,” “fresh pork butt,” “pork shoulder”) can weigh upwards of 10 pounds, so you may have to ask your butcher to cut one down for this recipe.
Per serving: 283 calories; 13 g fat (4 g sat, 6 g mono); 97 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrates; 29 g protein; 2 g fiber; 489 mg sodium; 529 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (46% daily value), Zinc (29% dv), Vitamin A (17% dv), Potassium (15% dv).
1 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1/2 other carbohydrate, 3 1/2 medium-fat meat