Four Winning Snacks for Watching the Final Four

Four Winning Snacks for Watching the Final Four

Congrats to everyone who joined and is playing along with us on our ESPN March Madness Challenge. It's been an interesting one.

The Final Four are sitting pretty and about to duke it out (sorry Duke!) for a trip to the championship game Monday night. We know you'll be glued to the TV so here are four delicious recipes that are each a champion in the flavor department.

These Paleo Buffalo Wings are brought to you by Paleo Leap and are packed with serious flavor but none of the junky stuff you might find in pre-made sauces.

Serves 2 (multiply accordingly)


  • 2 lbs. chicken wings
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro leaves, minced

    Ingredients for the Sriracha-based sauce

    • 5 tbsp. olive oil
    • ¼ cup raw honey or maple syrup
    • ¼ cup sriracha sauce
    • 1 tbsp. coconut aminos
    • Juice of 1 lime
      1. Preheat your oven to 400 F.
      2. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, honey, sriracha, coconut aminos, and lime juice.
      3. In a large bowl, combine the chicken wings, garlic powder, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
      4. Arrange the wings on a parchment paper covered baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping them over halfway through.
      5. Brush the wings with the Sriracha mixture and place them under the broiler for 3-4 minutes, or until crisp and crusted.
      6. Serve immediately, garnished with fresh cilantro.


        These next-level nachos are from our friends over at Bon Appetit. 


      1. 3 9-ounce bags tortilla chips
      2. Beer-Braised Carnitas
      3. 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
      4. 1 large white onion, chopped
      5. 3 pounds shredded cheese (such as sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack)
      6. 8 ounces Cotija cheese or feta, crumbled
      7. 1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
      8. 1 bunch cilantro leaves
        • Toppings
          • Tomatillo Salsa
          • Red Chile Salsa
          • Pickled jalapeños
          • Pico de gallo
          • Guacamole
          • 2 cups sour cream, thinned with 1/3 cup water
          • Hot pepper sauce
            Preheat oven to 350°. Cover 2 large rimmed baking sheets with foil. Arrange half of chips on prepared sheets and top with half of carnitas, beans, onion, and shredded cheese. Repeat layers with remaining chips, carnitas, beans, and shredded cheese. DO AHEAD: Nachos can be assembled up to 1 hour before baking. Working with 1 sheet at a time, bake until cheese is melted, 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with Cotija cheese, radishes, and cilantro. Serve with desired toppings.

            CANDIED BACON! (Exclamation necessary!)
            • 1 package of bacon
            • few tablespoons/drizzles of pure maple syrup
            • 1/4 cup brown sugar or paleo alternative (enough to coat bacon)
            • pinch of ground cinnamon
            • pinch of red chili flakes (optional)


            1. Place oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F.
            2. Line a baking sheet and place a wire rack on top.
            3. Spread the bacon out on the wire rack. Do not overlap the pieces.
            4. Top with the maple syrup, sugar and spices. Brush them to create a coating/glaze and pop them in the oven.
            5. Bake for 20-30 minutes and then start checking on them every 5 minutes and adding more sugar or syrup if the bacon looks dry. You want them dark brown and crisp, not too chewy and not too burnt. I cooked mine for a total of 35-40 minutes

            Once they come out of the oven let them cool and harden a little and then enjoy!

            BEEF JERKY
            This is an easy oven jerky recipe, If you have a dehydrator, you may certainly use it instead.
            • 2.5 lbs London Broil, Flank Steak, or any really lean cut of beef (grass-fed is best)
            • 2/3 cup tamari sauce (or coconut aminos)
            • 1/3 cup hot water
            • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
            • 1 Tablespoon Liquid smoke (optional)
            • 1 Tablespoon Garlic powder
            • 1 Tablespoon Onion powder
            • 1/2 Tablespoon Cayenne pepper
            • 2 Tablespoons Red pepper flakes (set aside)
            1. Trim all visible fat from the meat. Throw the whole steak in the freezer for 30-45 minutes to firm up the meat before you slice it.
            2. Remove from the freezer and use a sharp knife to cut the steak against the grain (so it’s not as tough) and on the bias (diagonally, so you get wider pieces). You want the pieces to be less than ⅛″ thickness and as consistent as possible.
            3. In a microwave safe bowl, mix all the other ingredients together, except the red pepper flakes. Then heat in microwave for about a minute. Next, in a ziploc bag or storage container pour the warmed mixture over your meat, be sure to coat all of the pieces. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, overnight is best, shake occasionally. 
            4. To dehydrate (jerkify), set your oven to 200 degrees. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil and place oven-safe cooling racks on top of foil. 
            5. Remove the meat from the fridge, and place in a colander. Using hot water, rinse the meat then lay the meat on the racks. Careful not to overlap.
            6. After you finish each tray, sprinkle meat with red pepper flakes.
            7. Bake for at least two 2 hours (checking frequently) or until it is, well, jerky-like! You want it to be dry.
            8. Store in an airtight container.

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