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Fan-Favorite Flavors for Healthier Wings on Father’s Day

Father’s Day is the unofficial kick-off to summer, synonymous with grilling and enjoying the outdoors. However, summer barbecue celebrations aren’t known for offering a ton of healthy options. From grilled fatty steaks, chips of all flavors, potato salads and sweets, those aiming to fill their plates with healthy options may find it challenging to do so. 

Many wing sauces are loaded with butter and sugar, and frying the wings in oil doesn’t help the calorie count. But wings aren’t limited to the frier – they’re great on the grill with the right dry rub or sauce. Try one of these two simple fan-favorite recipes for healthy grilled wings this Father’s Day: 

Sesame Sriracha

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Sriracha
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 pounds chicken wings, split
  • Spray oil
  • 2 green onion stalks, chopped for serving
  • 1 Tbsp. white sesame seeds, for serving
  • 1 lime, wedged for serving

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, whisk together sesame oil, olive oil, garlic, sriracha, tomato paste, lime juice, soy sauce and brown sugar until mixture is smooth.
  2. Reserve half of marinade in a container in the fridge. In a zip plastic bag, add chicken wings and remaining marinade. Allow to marinate for 2 hours. 
  3. Preheat grill and spray with oil.
  4. Place wings on grill and grill on each side until fully cooked. Towards the end of grilling, brush reserved marinade onto wings.
  5. Garnish the finished wings with sesame seeds and green onion. Enjoy!

Sumac Dry Rub

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 4 tsp. sumac
  • 2 tsp. granulated onion
  • 2 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds chicken wings, split
  • 1 lemon, wedged for serving
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped for serving

Instructions

  1. Add all marinade ingredients to a bowl and combine well. 
  2. Toss the chicken wings with the seasonings to coat the wings with a generous amount of the dry rub. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the grill and spray grates with oil.
  4. Place the wings on the grill allowing them to cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  5. Move wings to indirect heat (top rack) and continue to cook with the lid closed for another 8-10 minutes.
  6. Garnish the wings with chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Shanthi Appelö is a registered dietitian and health and wellness spokesperson for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan based in Detroit. Passionate about the science of nutrition and behavior, Shanthi has experience working in clinical nutrition, public health and teaching in the university setting. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, exploring the outdoors, working on art and spending time with family. For more health tips and information, visit AHealthierMichigan.org 

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