The Food Guy, Steven Keith Eating his way through the state, plate by plate

Bridgeport Woman Wins Super Bowl Recipe Contest

Just in time for tonight’s Super Bowl, a Bridgeport woman has beat out hundreds of entrants in the “Sporty Snack Showdown” at, a recipe and social network for home cooks. And she didn’t just win bragging rights, but also a $4,000 home entertainment system.

Jeanette Nelson won for her Island Teriyaki Tiki Chicken Bites, little rolls stuffed with Asian-flavored chicken, green onions, red peppers and carrots flavored with pineapple preserves, garlic, sesame oil, hot chili sauce and more.

“Who can resist this fabulous appetizer? I know I can’t — especially when you dip them into a sweet and sour sauce,” Jeanette says. “I guarantee if you put these in front of a crowd they will be gone in seconds!”

Nelson is a proud mom of three girls (ages 3, 7 and 11) and says Asian food is a hit in her family.

“This delicious appetizer recipe captures those flavors you find at your favorite Chinese restaurant.”

You can find the winning recipe, along with photos and notes about the dish, here.



Check Out These Top 10 Go-To Snacks

Writing about great new food discoveries the past few weeks got me thinking about my all-time favorite snacks – the things I love to nosh on when I get the munchies.

It’s an interesting selection, because I really don’t do potato chips (not healthfully high-and-mighty, just don’t care for the taste) yet I really don’t get jazzed up over carrot sticks, either. I mean, really.

So over the years I’ve assembled a hit list of go-to goodies that not only stop a rumbling tummy, but also taste great.

1. Cheese and crackers, but good quality crackers with really nice cheese. Nothing sprayed out of a can.

2. Pita and hummus – Spice it, garlic it or herbify it; just keep it coming.

3. Steamed edamame showered with sea salt.

4. Holy guacamole! Not the best-looking item on the table, but it still tastes great.

5. Marcona almonds, toasted with a little olive oil and dusted with salt.

6. Or, for something sweet, dark chocolate-covered almonds.

7. The sesame sticks and dark bagel chips picked out of a bowl or bag of party mix. (Yes, I’m that guy.)

8. Deli or homemade curry chicken salad on crackers, toast or just out of the container.

9. Mediterranean Terra Chips – An exception to my “no potato chip” rule, along with …

10. Funyons. (I know, but I stand by my choice.)

So what do you eat when you get the munchies?

When the Drive-Thru Calls, Minimize the Damage

Whether we like to admit it or not – yes, I’m talking about you, Food Guy! – even the most disciplined among us reach for the convenience of fast food every once in a while. And indulging in the occasional biggie-sized triple bacon cheeseburger with fries isn’t going to completely derail our healthier-eating habits.

But if you find life steering you through a drive-thru, there are “better” choices you can make.

  • At McDonald’s, instead of a Sausage Egg McMuffin (450 calories) try a Fresh Fruit and Nut Oatmeal (290 calories) or Yogurt Parfait (160 calories).
  • At Dunkin Doughnuts, the Sausage, Egg and Cheese on Croissant (690 calories) does a lot more damage than the Egg White Veggie Wake-up Wrap (150 calories).
  • At Wendy’s, skip the Premium Fish Fillet Sandwich (500 calories) in favor of the Ultimate Chicken Grill Sandwich (370 calories) or a Grill Chicken Go Wrap (260 calories).
  • At Burger King, pass on the Whopper with Cheese (710 calories) – this is me, crying – and try the Tender Grill Chicken Sandwich (470 calories) or Veggie Burger (410 calories).
  • And at the convenience store, Smartfood Popcorn (100 calories) beats out Potato Chips (averaging 140-250 calories).

Healthy Eating … From a Vending Machine?!

From the “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” Department, I recently received one of those baffling press releases that left me scratching my head.

Entitled “Tips for Eating Healthfully From a Vending Machine,” the release warned against falling into the junk food trap when inevitably faced with a vending machine as your only option for a much-needed snack. This California-based company is hoping to change all of that with a new line of machines offering things like fresh fruit and vegetables, soy milk and yogurt.

But I’m guessing those won’t make it here anytime soon, so take a look at how they suggest you make better decisions at existing vending machines in the meantime …

  1. Opt for fresh fruits and vegetables first.
  2. To save calories on beverages, opt for flavored water, unsweetened iced tea, milk or soymilk.
  3. Try to limit your snack option to 100 calories, and pay attention to the number of servings.
  4. Opt for nutrient-dense foods that satisfy your hunger longer, such as fruits, vegetables, yogurt, natural granola bars and smoothies.
  5. Determine whether you are hungry or just thirsty. People often fill up on calories, when really they are simply dehydrated.

Really, that’s your ground-breaking advice?

Here’s mine: Don’t eat crap out of vending machines.

Check Out These Crazy Chips: Squid, Browned Eel?

If you think the flavored potato chip craze has gotten out of hand in the U.S. — what with all the chili-and-lime this and cracked-pepper that — you should take a look at the snacks you can find abroad.

In May’s new travel food issue, Budget Travel magazine offers a roundup of some of the more exotic flavors of potato chips you can find across the country and around the world. Among the selections …

  • Voodoo Gumbo Zapp’s in Louisiana, Crab Utz in the Mid-Atlantic and Heinz Ketchup Herr’s in Pennsylvania.
  • Squid or browned-eel flavored chips in Japan, and shrimp or spicy rice cake chips in Korea.
  • Garlic pea chips in Taiwan, falafel-flavored in Israel or mint chutney chips in India.
  • Sweet basil Lays in Thailand or ham-flavored Ruffles in Spain.

Those last two actually sound pretty good, along with my favorite find from England — Marmite Crisps that taste like “baked potato skins washed down with beer.”

Bring it on!