Not everyone gets excited about the game, but show us one person who doesn’t get excited about the food (and commercials… and Justin Timberlake on the halftime show.) As were all veering more towards a healthier diet, game day food no longer needs to be dripping with grease and loaded with calories. Check out these mouthwatering recipes that won’t bust your gut.
Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
All the flavor of buffalo chicken wings, minus the greasy calories!
- 6 cups of fresh cauliflower florets
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- a pinch of salt
- a pinch of pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- ¾ cup Frank’s RedHot hot sauce
- Preheat oven to 450. Spray a baking sheet with cooking oil, or olive oil. Set aside.
- Mix the garlic powder, salt, pepper, melted butter, and hot sauce in a small bowl.
- Add the cauliflower into a large gallon-sized bag, pour the buffalo sauce into the bag. Shake until the cauliflower florets are fully coated. Spread on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing.
Skinny Bell Pepper Nacho Boats
Substitute tortilla chips for bell peppers, and you get the same delicious ingredients lathered on a healthy, nutrient-rich base.
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 3/4 cup salsa, no sugar added
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, reduced-fat
- 3 bell peppers
- Remove seeds, core, and membrane from bell peppers then slice each one into 6 vertical pieces where they dip down. Set sliced bell peppers aside.
- Cook ground turkey over medium-high heat, breaking up as it cooks. Cook until the turkey loses it’s pink color and is cooked through. Drain off any fat.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Combine cooked turkey with spices and salsa. Evenly distribute mixture into the bell pepper boats, top with cheese.
- Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and peppers are hot.
Optional ingredients: sliced Jalapeno peppers, diced avocado, fat-free Greek yogurt or sour cream, or sliced green onions.
NOTE: If you prefer much softer bell peppers, add a few tablespoons water to the bottom of a large casserole dish, add filled nachos, cover tightly with foil and bake 15 minutes.
Yields 18 boats
Crispy Baked Green Bean Fries
Who needs “normal” fries when you have these deliciously crispy green bean fries and a spicy Sriracha sauce for dipping?
- 1 lb. green beans
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1½ teaspoon sriracha
- 1 teaspoon minced shallots
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ teaspoon honey
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Spray a baking sheet with PAM.
- In a small bowl add panko, garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika. Stir. Set aside.
- In another small bowl add eggs and whisk until completely combined. Set aside.
- Dunk green beans in egg mixture and put into panko mixture. Press the panko mixture onto the green beans to make sure it sticks. Set coated green beans on baking sheet in single layer.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until crispy.
- In the meantime, to a small bowl add Greek yogurt, siracha, minced shallots, smoked paprika, garlic clove, honey, salt, and pepper to taste. Mix until combined. Set aside.
- Serve green bean fries with creamy sriracha sauce.
Zucchini Pizza Bites
With just five ingredients and 15 minutes, you can throw together these healthy mini “pizzas” that will please your guests without being too calorie-dense.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 zucchinis, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup finely grated mozzarella
- 1/4 cup pepperoni minis
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Preheat oven to broil.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Working in batches, add zucchini and cook, flipping once, until golden, about 1-2 minutes on each side; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Place zucchini rounds onto a large baking sheet. Top each zucchini round with marinara, mozzarella and pepperoni minis.
- Place into oven and cook until the cheese has melted, about 1-2 minutes.
- Serve immediately, sprinkled with Italian seasoning, if desired.
Yields 8 servings
Pretzel-Crusted “Fried” Chicken
Next time you think fried chicken has to be wildly unhealthy, think again. This version is coated in pretzels and baked instead of fried for a healthy take on this old favorite.
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 lb. unsalted fat-free sourdough pretzels
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 c. low-fat buttermilk
- 2 egg whites
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut chicken into 10 pieces: 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 wings, and 2 breasts (cut in half to yield 4 pieces). Remove skin and trim any fat. Set chicken aside.
- Place pretzels in a heavy-duty, resealable plastic bag and crush into coarse crumbs. Mix in paprika, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper. Divide pretzel crumbs between 2 shallow dishes.
- In a bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg whites, mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Working with 1 piece at a time, dredge chicken in pretzel crumbs from first dish, then dip into buttermilk mixture, shaking off excess. Coat thoroughly with crumbs from second dish.
- Place on parchment-lined baking pan and bake until chicken crust is crispy and an instant-read thermometer inserted into meat registers 165 degrees F, 40 to 50 minutes depending on piece.
Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip
The classic party dip doesn’t have to kill your diet. This recipe uses 1/4 cup of cheese and starts with a hummus base.
- 10-oz. plain hummus
- 8-oz. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove extra moisture
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1/4 cup cheese (vegans use nutritional yeast or vegan cheese)*
- 1/2+ can artichokes
- salt + pepper
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix hummus, spinach, Italian Seasoning, garlic, and cheese in a bowl until well-combined.
- Add artichokes to a food processor, and pulse until broken up slightly, then add them to your hummus/spinach mixture.
- Season with salt + pepper, and mix well to combine.
- Pour dip into a baking dish of your choosing (I have small crocks that I love), and bake 20-30 minutes, or until the dip is nice and hot.**
- Remove from oven and serve with corn tortilla chips, carrots, or your favorite dipping utensil!