UNC Health Talk

Wellness Wednesday: Tailgating with a Healthier Twist – Jerk Chicken Thighs

Diane Danchi, R.D., L.D.N. Diane is a Registered Dietitian
Post by Diane Danchi, R.D., L.D.N. Diane is a Registered Dietitian at Rex Wellness Center of Cary and Rex Wellness Center of Knightdale.

‘Tailgating with a Healthier Twist’ continues this week with another delicious tailgating menu from Rex Wellness Center Registered Dietitian Diane Danchi, R.D., L.D.N.

This week’s menu includes: Jerk Chicken Thighs, Low-Fat Herbed Potato Salad, Fresh Fruit Kabobs and a Feta Craisin Salad with Light Balsamic Dressing.

Be sure to visit the Rex Wellness Centers’ Facebook page every Wellness Wednesday for a post featuring recipes, tips, workouts and more from our wellness experts.

Jerk Chicken Thighs and Legs

  • 4-5 lbs. Skinless Chicken Thighs and Legs
  • 1 T. Salt
  • 2 T. Brown Sugar
  • 2 T. Ground Ginger
  • 2 T. Ground Coriander
  • 2 T. Black Pepper
  • 1 T. Onion Powder
  • 1 T Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper

Make Rub: Mix salt, brown sugar, ginger, coriander, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, allspice and cayenne pepper in a bowl.

Marinate Chicken: Sprinkle rub on all sides of the legs and thighs and rub in. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.

Cook: Grill over medium high heat, preferably charcoal, for 20-25 minutes, turning every 5-7 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Low-Fat Herbed Potato Salad

Mustard and seasonings give this healthier version of old-fashioned potato salad super flavor. Serves 6.

  •  1 pound thin-skinned small, New Red Potatoes (not peeled – about 4 cups cooked)
  • 1 c. sliced Celery
  • 1 c. sliced Green Onions


  • 4 T. Fat-Free Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 T. Light Mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ tsp Dijon Mustard
  • ½ tsp Minced Garlic
  • ½ tsp dried Basil
  • ¼ tsp dried Onion Powder
  • ¼ tsp Salt (optional)

Cut potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Place into saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Drain.

Mix dressing ingredients. Combine hot potatoes, celery, green onion and dressing.

Serve hot or refrigerate and serve cold.

Nutrition: Serving size = 1/2 cup
Calories – 74; Carbs – 14 g; Prot – 2 gm; Fat – 1 gm; Sat Fat – 0; Fiber – 2 gm; Cholesterol – 1 mg; Sodium – 78 mgs.

Craisin Salad

Mix spring greens, Craisins, toasted slivered almonds, feta cheese and light Balsamic dressing.