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It’s that time of year where family and friends gather to watch the Big Game and enjoy some tasty food. Do you have plans for Sunday’s game? I’m still trying to decide if I’d like to host some friends over at my apartment with the exception that there will be only spicy foods provided.

Why spicy you ask? Well, why not? Spicy foods are good for you! You can get some nutrition from the chilie peppers in hot sauce. Those peppers can pack some vitamins A & C. Hot sauce can all improve your heart health, boost your metabolism, relieve migraines and can even help lower blood pressure. Oh, and who doesn’t enjoy a good buffalo chicken dip? Hardly anyone I know.

So, today’s 5 On Friday is dedicated to all things spicy!

Buff Chick Dip
I am all about buffalo chicken. Buffalo chicken salad, buffalo chicken soup, I just love me some buffalo chicken. One of my favorite and simple buffalo chicken dips actually isn’t too terrible for you.
Many buff chick (what I call buffalo chicken) recipes use ranch dressing which I’m not a big fan of to be honest. I’m all about the true buffalo flavor — no diluting that tang for me!

So here’s what you need:
– 2 cups (or more if you like) of cooked chicken, shredded. — I find getting an already cooked chicken from the grocery stores deli is perfect for shredding and mixing into a dip or soup. Save you some time.
– 1/2 Cup of Franks Hot Sauce (or more if you like!)
– 4 ounces of reduced fat cream cheese
– 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
– 1/2 cup sharp cheddar

Combine your yogurt, cream cheese, hot sauce and cheese into a slow cooker. When it’s melted, add your chicken and let it get nice and creamy.
Serve with celery sticks and your favorite chip.

Buffalo Turkey Meatballs
No harm or foul done by switching things up a bit when it comes to making a staple for the big game. People love meatballs and you can do so many varieties with them. But one of my favorites is Buffalo Turkey Meatballs. You may even have your own favorite chicken or turkey meatball recipe, but if you’re looking to kick things up a notch, add some hot sauce to the mix.

What you’ll need for the meatballs:
– 1 pound of ground chicken or turkey. I vote turkey –it’s leaner.
– 2 oz soft cream cheese. Reduced fat if you want.
– 1 stalk of celery finely chopped
– 2 eggs
– Pinch of black pepper
– Optional: 3 tablespoons of blue cheese

– 1/2 stick of unsalted butter
– 1/2 cup of Frank’s Red Hot

Combine all your meatball ingredients into a medium sized bowl. Form the mixture into a 1 inch ball, perfect for bite size. Place them on a greased cookie sheet and bake them at 350 degree for 10 minutes. Melt your butter and combine the Franks. Dunk your meatballs into the sauce gently, too much dunking could lead to them to fall apart. After dunking the meatballs, place back on the baking sheet for an additional 12-15 minutes. Always check the temp and make sure they reach 165 degrees (F) to make sure they are full cooked. Add more sauce if you’d like and serve ’em up!

Buffalo Tofu Nuggets
I bet you read TOFU and kept scrolling but WAIT! I promise these are simple and super delicious! Just because it’s tofu doesn’t mean it’s not good, okay? Trust me. I was not very fond of tofu, but I’ve been trying different recipes which have made me really like it. So if you’re up for trying something new, why not try these buffalo tofu nuggets?

Here’s what you’ll need to serve 5:
– 24 ounces of extra firm tofu
– 1/2 cup cornstarch or flour
– 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
– 2 tablespoons of butter, melted
– 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
– 1/2 cup of your favorite buffalo hot sauce — Mine of course, is Franks.
– Oil for frying

How to make ’em:
Take your tofu and drain the juice. Sometimes I even blot it with some paper towels. Next, cut your tofu into equal bite size portions. In a large bowl, mix your cornstarch (or flour) and your spices. Coat you tofu pieces in the flour mixture. Heat up your frying pain with oil, just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Fry your tofu nuggets on each side for about 5-8 minutes or until golden brown. In a sauce pan, add your buffalo sauce and your melted butter together. Then coat your fried tofu nuggets into your buffalo sauce and serve with additional dipping sauce & celery sticks. Mmmm, mmm!

Buffalo Quinoa Bites
Say it with me now, quinoa — pronounced keen-wah. It’s a super food and it’s super good for you. This grain crop with edible seeds is very similar to rice and packs a lot of protein. So let’s combine this protein grain with some buffalo sauce!

What you’ll need:
– 2 tablespoons butter, melted
– 2 tablespoon olive oil
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
– 2 cups of cooked quinoa
– 1/4 cup of your favorite hot sauce (yes, I used Franks!)
– 1 egg, beaten
– 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs
– 1 cup of cannellini beans, mashed
– 3 tablespoons olive oil

How to make them:
Combine the melted butter, olive oil, & hot sauce in a bowl. In another bowl, combine your cooked quinoa, mashed beans, bread crumbs, salt & pepper and 5 tablespoons of your buffalo sauce mixture. Mix well and form into bite size balls. In a large sauce pan, heat up olive oil and place the quinoa bites into the oik. Cook on all sides until crisp, and golden brown. Then gently toss the cooked bites into the sauce and serve!

And lastly..

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
I have come to learn that cauliflower is a very diverse food, and these buffalo cauliflower bites are proof. I need to try this mashed potato recipe that uses cauliflower, but I’ve been slacking lately. But anyways, these buffalo cauliflower bites are a great way to enjoy chicken wings, without the chicken. BRILLIANT!

– 1 cup water
– 1 cup all purpose flour
-2 tsp garlic powder
– 6 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
– 3/4 cup Franks Hot Sauce
– 1 tablespoon of melted unsalted butter

How to make them:
Rinse and cut your cauliflower into florets. Combine your water, flour and garlic powder. Dip your cauliflower florets into the flour mixture, and place on a bake sheet. Bake them for 20 minutes on 450 degrees. Combine your melted butted with your franks and pour that mixture over your cauliflower bites and ta-da! Simple right?

What’s your favorite buffalo dip? Leave a comment or share it with us with our Big Game Day Recipe Playbook.

Hope everyone has a great and safe weekend!

-Amy Determan, CBS Radio St. Louis


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