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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Healthy Half-Time


This week's post is written by Illinois State University Food, Nutrition and Dietetic student, Madison McClurg!

No matter who you are rooting for at this Sunday's Super bowl game, we all are rooting for the delicious food that comes with it!

Super Bowl Sunday does not usually come with the healthiest of options on the field, even though we need as much energy and nutrients we can get to cheer on our team. Be the coach of the kitchen this year by benching high-calorie snacks and playing the healthy ones. Popular items at the party are usually BBQ meatballs and hot wings ordered from the local wing restaurant. Why worry about both when you can combine the flavors and make just one? We all need to save money and time on this big day and, of course, you want to be the hit of the party. Besides we aren't ever quite sure what is in those premade/ precooked meatballs and wings. Therefore, make this recipe for Buffalo Chicken and Quinoa Meatballs, know all the ingredients, and feel better about the play. Essentially, we can combine both delicious snacks and save some of the energy for the game!

Chicken is a leaner meat than ground beef, and quinoa is another great source of protein. In fact, it's a complete protein! This means that it contains all the essential amino acids that our bodies need to function. These nine amino acids are not made by the body, so we need to get them through our diet.

Be mindful of those snacks you put on the field this Sunday! Easy switches can be made for a better score, including cutting up veggies with a side of hummus and benching those salty potato chips and dip. Even adding a bowl of fruit salad in the mix can be a game changer.

Be the best coach in the kitchen this Super Bowl Sunday!

Buffalo Chicken and Quinoa Meatballs (Printable PDF)

2 lbs. 95% lean ground chicken

3/4 cup cooked quinoa

⅓ cup carrot, minced

⅓ cup celery, minced

1 large egg, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 ½ cups favorite buffalo wing sauce

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Mix all ingredients together, except the sauce, until just combined. Roll into meatballs, about 1-inch in diameter. You should end up with around 32 meatballs. Place onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 6-8 minutes until just browned. Pour ½ cup buffalo sauce into a slow cooker. Add the meatballs. Pour remaining buffalo sauce over the meatballs. Stir lightly to coat. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 hours.

Yield: 32 meatballs, about 5 servings of 6 meatballs each

Nutrition Facts (per 6 meatballs): 250 calories, 9 grams fat, 538 milligrams sodium, 7 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 32 grams protein



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