Spicy Chicken Wings
with Avocado Dipping Sauce

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Let’s talk about being outside of your comfort zone. Boy, oh boy, do I know something about that! It seems like the last three years have been spent entirely outside of my comfort zone. But you know what they say. Um, what is it that they say? You can’t grow if… no pain, no gain? Builds character? Well I’m sure I could find an eloquent quote if I checked with Google.

Last year I made the decision, after six (or was it seven?) years, to quit triathlon. I hung up my goggles and decided to try to get really good at one sport, instead of being mediocre at three. Of course, I picked the one with the most gear–the most expensive gear. Cycling. But it was the one sport I was the best at (out of swim, bike, run). And while I knew how to ride a bike, I knew very little about racing a bike.

It was hard. People knew me to be a decent athlete and expected that I would take to the sport immediately. So did I! And that was tough. But as soon as I allowed myself the chance to learn at my own speed, get out of my own way, and to finally listen to, and then apply, all the advice people were giving me, that is is when it finally clicked and I started being successful.

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What does this all have to do with this post for chicken wings? Well, while I was stepping outside of my comfort zone and trying to quiet my nerves before my first road race of the season, JB and I talking with friends about their experience with the Whole30 challenge. Whole30 is an extreme Paleo diet that challenges one to eat very, very clean for 30 days. There are a lot of “no-nos” on Whole30. Similar to Paleo, one should avoid dairy, legumes, and grains. Whole30 also discourages using natural sweeteners such as honey, agave, or maple syrup. And you can’t Paleo-tize anything–no Paleo pancakes. Worst of all? No. Beer.

At this point I turned to JB and was all, “WE SHOULD DO THIS!” You know, because I like a challenge and I like stepping outside of my comfort zone.

We lasted a Whole14 days on it. That was stepping way too far outside of our comfort zone.

But what we did get out of it was this amazing recipe for chicken wings! They are Paleo-perfect (without the sauce–it contains dairy), spicy, zingy, and lick your fingers good! And so flippin’ simple to make!

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Spicy Chicken Wings with Avocado Dipping Sauce

Adapted from Health Bent, Taco Chicken Wings with Gauc Dip

Serves two hungry athletes as an entree (or four as an appetizer)

Gather:
3 lbs chicken wings, separated into pieces
1/4 taco seasoning
1 ripe avocado
1/2 c. low-fat, plain kefir (or yogurt)
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 c. water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
 
 
Method:

Sprinkle (or toss) chicken wings with taco seasoning until well coated. Place on a broiler pan lined with alumninum foil. Broil the wings on high heat for 10-12 minutes until done, turning once throughout the process. (Tip: The bigger the wings, the longer the cooking time. Watch them.)

While the wings are cooking, make the sauce. Throw everything into a blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. You may need to add more water to reach desired consistency–but this is dip, not dressing and not soup. It should be thick.

Serve the wings along side the dipping sauce.

Couple tips: Try to find a reputable butcher shop with a good selection of poultry, ensuring that you will have large, meaty wings versus small, wimpy ones.

Chilled wings make for excellent picnic or post-race food. Just bring plenty of napkins, or wet wipes, clean up your messy hands.