As a dietitian, a question I’ve been asked many times is what my “guilty pleasure” foods are or what “bad” foods I would eat if I “could eat anything.” One time I was at a bar for the birthday party of this guy I was newly dating, and as I was about to bite into a slice of pizza, his best friend came up behind me. “Are you…allowed to eat that?”
2013 me, who was a little too polite, probably said something pleasant and giggled. Unless she’d had a few whiskeys. Then she probably said, “F*** yeah!” The fact that I can’t remember the rest of the conversation hints at the latter, though it was a long time ago. I had to think really hard to remember the name of my date. Time is funny like that.
Yes, I’m a wellness professional, but I’m also a human being who is allowed to eat what I want. That said, the majority of my food decisions are based on how I want to feel, on what I need in that moment, and what is going to sustain and satisfy me. I do have a hardcore savory tooth, though. I feel like people who ask questions like “what’s your guilty pleasure” are waiting for me to confess to going weak in the knees for a cupcake, but in reality, I could take or leave most sweet stuff. Unless it’s wrapped in bacon. Bacon is probably top of my list of unhealthy foods I love and make sure to make room for on occasion.
I also have a soft spot for chicken wings. Growing up, my family used to go to the Jersey Shore for a week in the summer (say what you will, some parts are beautiful!), and one night we’d get wings and salad from this one restaurant on the main drag. They had all different kinds of sauces and levels of heat and you could get them breaded or “naked.” My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
A few years ago it finally dawned on me that I could make chicken wings at home, baked in the oven. This has become one of my favorite healthy comfort food dishes because it’s easy, super flavorful, and a great alternative to the traditional deep fried wings. Healthier, less messy, and freaking delicious. I love sharing this dish with my clients, family, and friends, and I hope you enjoy eating chicken wings prepared this way too!
Healthier Chicken Wings
- 1 lb chicken wings
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Mix together the olive oil and spices. Pour over the wings in a large bowl or gallon-sized plastic bag and toss well to coat. Allow to marinate 30 minutes if you have time.
- Spread wings on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 375F for 60 minutes, turning once partway through. Serve immediately.
I like to serve these with baked potato or sweet potato wedges and salad, but they also make a great party snack.