When chef Serena Wolf moved in with her husband, Logan, she was shocked at his daily eating habits. “The dude lived on primarily meat, cheese, bread and buffalo sauce,” says Wolf. Her concern for his well being inspired her to write The Dude Diet ($16.77, amazon.com), full of healthy recipes that don’t feel like rabbit food (think: leaner versions of nachos, pulled pork and wings). Wolf encourages people to first incorporate fruits and vegetables in unexpected ways, like sneaking cauliflower puree into mac and cheese to boost the fiber and vitamin profile. Then, swap whole grains in for white ones (for instance, instead of a cheeseburger on a white bun, try a cheeseburger quinoa bake made with 90 percent lean ground beef). One of the most popular dishes in the book is the Buffalo Chicken Tenders. (click here to download recipe)
Buffalo Chicken Tenders with Yogurt Ranch Sauce
Serves 2 as a meal, 4 as an appetizer/snack
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders/tenderloins
1 cup whole-wheat Panko breadcrumbs
1 cup Frank’s Red Hot Wing Sauce
For the Yogurt Ranch:
1½ cups nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon dried parsley, crushed (Just use your fingers to crush the flakes.)
½ teaspoon dried dill weed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Start by making the yogurt ranch. In a medium bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the dressing until well combined.
- Place the chicken tenders in a large Ziploc food storage bag and add ¾ cup of the yogurt ranch. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Gently squish the chicken around, making sure that each tender gets coated in dressing. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Go ahead and pop that extra ranch in the fridge, too.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a wire rack with cooking spray and place it on top of a baking sheet. Set aside. (If you don’t have a wire rack, you can cook your tenders directly on a baking sheet lined with parchment or aluminum foil. They won’t be quite as crispy, but it’s not a big deal.)
- Pour the panko into a shallow bowl with a good pinch of kosher salt. Place this bowl next to the prepared baking sheet and get your marinated chicken from the fridge. (You’re setting up a little assembly line to make your life easier.) One at a time, remove the chicken tenderloins from the bag and dredge them in the bowl of panko. Use your fingers to gently press the breadcrumbs onto the chicken tenders; you want each tender to be really well coated. Transfer the breaded tenders to the prepared wire rack, leaving a little bit of space between each one.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the tenders are cooked through.
- Heat the wing sauce in a medium sauté pan. When hot, remove from the heat and add a few chicken tenders at a time. Use tongs to make sure they get completely coated in sauce. (Just a heads up, the sauce is HOT, so if you’re sensitive to spice, you may only want to coat one side of the tenders.)
- Transfer the buffalo “fingies” to a plate and serve immediately with the extra ranch for shameless dipping.