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Super Bowl Snack Makeover: Crispy Buffalo Chicken Bites

24 Jan

Super Bowl Snack Makeover: Crispy Buffalo Chicken Bites

Super bowl is almost here, meaning Americans are getting ready to get together, cheer…and gorge.

This Super Bowl Sunday – why not lighten up your snack offerings with this quick and easy Buffalo Chicken Bites recipe?

3 super easy swaps make this recipe a fan favorite that’s delicious and not that bad for you:

  • Subbing in chicken breast instead of greasy wings
  • Fat free cream cheese cuts calories but maintains texture and taste
  • Whole wheat panko breadcrumbs give a crispy, finish line crunch

I use Kikkoman Whole Wheat panko, which has 3 grams dietary fiber per 1/2 cup serving.

For more Superbowl Snack Makeover tips, check out my segment from Ch 6 Wake Up San Diego.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Bites

Yield: Makes 30 Bites


  • 32 oz chicken breast, raw
  • 12 oz fat free cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup green onions, diced
  • 1 cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 egg whites, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup whole wheat panko


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Bring pot of water to a boil, add chicken breast and cook until cooked, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly and shred cooked chicken breast with a fork or fingers.
  • In mixing bowl, combine shredded chicken breast, cream cheese, green onions, and hot sauce. Use electric mixer to combine ingredients.
  • Place flour in small bowl, egg white in a second small bowl, and whole wheat panko in a third. Roll chicken mixture into golf ball sized ball, dip in flour, then egg white, and finally panko to coat.
  • Place chicken bites on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until crust is slightly browned.
  • Eat your heart out!

Nutrition Information

1 serving is 1 Crispy Buffalo Chicken Bite

  • 75 calories
  • 1 g fat
  • 6 g carbohydrate
  • 1 g dietary fiber
  • 10 g protein



Alcohol Tied to Cancer Death

15 Feb

Alcohol Tied to Cancer Death

We often think of diet and cancer in terms of fruits and vegetables: those with higher intakes of high fiber foods (including fruits and vegetables) tend to have lower rates of certain types of cancer.

It also appears that high meat intake levels are linked with higher rates of cancer – but whether or not that’s something about the meat, or rather that meat-eaters are less likely to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, is not entirely understood.

But a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health may get you thinking about something you should also consume less of when it comes to cancer risk: alcohol.

The researchers looked at years of potential of life lost from alcohol related to cancer and found that 3.2-3.7% of all US cancer death can be attributable to alcohol. That might not sound like a lot, but it equates to 18,200-21,300 cancer deaths per year.

The types of cancer alcohol is most tied to? Breast cancer in women and upper airway and esophageal cancer in men.

Even moderate alcohol intake may be harmful. The researchers also found that the equivalent of 1.5 drinks per day accounted for 26% to 35% of alcohol-attributable cancer deaths.

To learn more about diet and cancer, joint my Coursera class Nutrition for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Next week’s topic is all about what we know (and don’t know) when it comes to evidence on diet, drinking, and lifestyle choices and cancer risk.

Tajín Shakes Out the Salt

9 Apr

Tajín Shakes Out the Salt

If you know Mexican food – then you probably know Tajín. Tajín is made by the Mexican company of the same name, and it’s a spicy, tangy sprinkle on flavor additive known for its chili and lime combination.

Tajín is a ubiquitous condiment in Mexico, available pretty much everywhere food is made, sold, consumed, etc. Tajín goes especially well in the Mexican beverage michelada – which can best be summarized as a Bloody Mary made with beer instead of vodka.

From a nutritional standpoint, the primary “flavor” in the product is salt. A 1/4-teaspoon (1 gram) serving of the Clásico flavor provides 185 mg sodium. That’s about 8% of the salt per day that the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends for people (who are not African American, do not have hypertension or who are not older than 51 years). Not bad – but can be worse for those who load it on in multiple times per day and in shakes larger than 1/4 teaspoon servings.

Thankfully, now, there’s a lower salt option: Tajín is available as Low Sodium Tajín. With 127 mg per 1/4-teaspoon (1 gram) serving – it might not sound like a huge reduction – but the lower salt variety provides 31% less sodium than the original.

In addition, the LS version meets the US FDA nutrient content claim for Low Sodium as it is under the 140 mg per serving threshold. If you’re comparing to good old fashioned table salt, there is 22% as much sodium in a 1/4-teaspoon shake of Low Sodium Tajín as there is in the same amount of table salt.

Use the Low Sodium Tajín on vegetables, in micheladas, or add with lime to air popped popcorn for a delicious mid-day treat. For more ideas on what to do with Tajín, check out their recipe suggestions from the Tajín website.

High Fiber Beer?

14 Dec

High Fiber Beer?

With football season in high swing, you’ve no doubt seen the endless commercials for Bud Light Golden Wheat, “an unfiltered wheat brewed with citrus, a hint of coriander and [the ever ambiguous Bud Light claim of] superior drinkability”. But does this focus on wheat mean it’s actually any healthier or higher in fiber than a standard domestic beer? Not really.

A standard 12 oz Bud Light bottle has 110 calories and 0 grams dietary fiber. According to Anheuser-Busch, a 12 oz Bud Light Golden Wheat gets you 118 calories and 0 grams of dietary fiber. No one’s saying that AB is pushing Bud Light Golden Wheat as a healthier or heartier beer (although there is that 8 calorie per serving difference…) – but since this is a blog about all things fiber, and sometimes wheat related, why not throw it out there?

With food manufacturers scrambling to add dietary fiber in the most inconceivable of products – it’s only a matter of time before someone puts fiber and beer together. In fact, the Spanish brewer La Zaragozana already has…kind of. La Zaragozana brews the line of Cervezas Ambar, including their Ambar Cerveza con Fibra.

This nonalcoholic beer (manzana/apple pictured) is made from 40% fruit juice and contains 0% alcohol and 7.5 grams of dietary fiber. While most beer aficionados won’t be flocking to a glorified fruit juice to get their fiber – especially one that doesn’t contain alcohol – don’t be surprised if we see more mainstream attempts to infuse fiber into the beer supply in the near future.