Paula and Bobby Deen Support Diabetes-Friendly Cooking with Recipes on Today Show

Mechele R. Dillard's picture

Mother and son celebrity cooks Paula and Bobby Deen are making over some of your favorite recipes, and offered a great NASCAR party suggestion this morning: Buffalo-Style Chicken Bites worthy of the Daytona 500.

One-time Queen of Butter Paula Deen and her up-and-coming celebrity cook son Bobby are on the health-food wagon now, after Paula was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, since losing weight and getting healthy herself. This morning, the Deens visited the Today Show to promote healthy food makeovers, including Buffalo-Style Chicken Bites and Cider Apple Crumble.

Paula has been a champion of defeating deadly Type 2 diabetes since coming to terms with her own struggles with the disease. On her website she tells her fans:

When I learned I had type 2 diabetes, I decided to approach managing the disease with the same positivity and “go get ‘em” attitude I have every day. In the past, I’ve heard so many stories of people like me that let diabetes control their lives, but I didn’t want to let this slow me down. I wanted to take control and have a delicious time doing it.

And, taken control she has. She has not only lost weight—approximately 40 pounds Bobby has indicated in recent media events—but she has learned to approach cooking in a new way, while keeping the flavors she is so famous for promoting. She has even created a new website,, to help people who are dealing with their own struggles, including information about diabetes; recipes to try; and where you can meet the Deens on the road and talk about the fight against Type 2 diabetes.

Deens Get Cookin' on TODAY

This morning, the Deens offered two recipes to Al Roker, which they suggested would make great Super Bowl party additions (considering the time of year, I would offer the suggestion that kicking off the NASCAR season with a Daytona 500 gathering might be a great idea, too). Here is their recipe for Buffalo-Style Chicken Bites:


  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound ground chicken breast
  • 1 small red bell pepper, minced
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium bottled hot pepper sauce
  • 2 tablespoons plain dry whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray a large baking pan with cooking spray.

To make the dressing, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, blue cheese, lemon juice, and pepper in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate to allow the flavors to blend, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine ground chicken, bell pepper, 2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce, bread crumbs, shallot, garlic, and salt in a large bowl until well mixed. With lightly moistened hands, form the mixture into 30 (1 1/4-inch) balls. Place on the baking sheet. Bake until meatballs are lightly browned and cooked through, 12 - 15 minutes.

Transfer meatballs to a large bowl. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce and gently toss until coated. Serve with the dressing, celery and carrot sticks.

Per serving (3 meatballs with scant 2 tablespoons dressing, 1/2 cup celery sticks, 1/2 cup carrot sticks): 180 calories, 12 g fat (1.5 g saturated, 0 g trans), 40 mg cholesterol, 310 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 10 g protein.

Want something sweet for your party? Go to the Today Show website to get the Deens’ recipe for Cider Apple Crumble—looks amazing!

Image: Facebook/Paula Deen

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