Healthy Game-Day Snacks

Onion Rings

My biggest kitchen blunder came a few years back when I finally caved in to my husband Russ’s pleas to make fried chicken. As a culinary school graduate, I thought it would be easy. So I heated up oil on the stove and prepared the chicken. I didn’t have an oil thermometer so I couldn’t tell if the oil was hot enough, which was my first mistake, and I didn’t have enough paper towels to soak up the copious amounts of oil that oozed out of the drumsticks (that was my second).

It wasn’t what I had hoped, but Russ devoured it, then moved to the living room where he lay in a fetal position clutching his stomach for the rest of the night. He hasn’t asked for fried chicken since. Which is fine. Even if I’d had the thermometer and limitless paper towels, deep-fried chicken delivers 26 grams of fat and 7 grams of saturated fat—maybe not enough to hurt your stomach but certainly enough to take a toll on your cholesterol, if you eat it all the time. Little does he know, I’m planning another fry extravaganza—this time a healthier one. While he’s in front of the television yelling about bad calls, I’ll be in the kitchen using EatingWell’s oven-fry technique to make onion rings, jalapeño poppers and chicken tenders.

Here’s how it works: dip the food in flour and a bit of seasoning, then bathe it in egg so its final coating of breadcrumbs (or cornmeal) sticks evenly. For the last step, spray the food with olive or canola oil spray and bake it. The light coating of oil sizzles away, creating a crispy golden crust. No vats of hot oil or paper towels to soak up extra grease required. Now Russ can enjoy the game and the game fare without worrying about his stomach—or his cholesterol.

Download a FREE Game Day Snacks Recipe Cookbook!