Game Day Eats: Healthy, Tasty Options for Each Quarter

The “Super Bowl” isn’t just about the teams, players and touch-downs—it’s about the game day food, too! In fact, this game day is the biggest calorie fest for many Americans. Score one with the fellas and your girlfriends by serving up these healthier versions of game-day favorites. Don't worry though, there is still plenty of flavor and everyone will yell 'Touch Down!' after snacking on these recipes.

First Quarter: Mango Guacamole

Ingredients:

1 ripe Avocado, chopped
1/2 mango, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon fresh or bottled lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
salt & pepper

Directions:

1. Prepare the Avocado (Watch these two videos on my clever way to pit an avocado and chop it up and then, in a medium to large size bowl, mash it with either a fork or potato masher.

2. Add the mango, red onion, garlic, lime juice and cilantro. Mix well and then add more lime juice if you want a thinner texture. Season with salt & pepper to taste. To add more heat, add minced jalapeno or hot sauce.

Yield: approx. 3 cups

Second Quarter: Sriracha Chicken Tenders

These crispy chicken tenders are made with boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloin that are crispy thanks to panko bread crumbs—no deep-frying necessary.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1.5 teaspoons sesame seed oil
1.5 teaspoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tsp garlic powder or 2 large cloves, minced
3 tablespoons sriracha sauce
2-3 lbs of chicken tenderloins, cut into strips
olive oil cooking spray
1/2 cup whole wheat or flour all-purpose
3 large eggs
2 cups coarse dry whole-wheat Panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt, divided

Directions:

1. Combine honey through sriracha in a bowl whisk until combined. Pour into a storage bag, add chicken and marinate 30 minutes to a few hours.

2. When you are ready to bread the tenders, preheat oven to 450 degrees and prepare the baking sheet by placing a cooling rack on it (it helps crisp the entire coating).

3. Prepare for the breading by placing flour in a shallow bowl. Lightly beat eggs in a second shallow bowl, and place breadcrumbs in a third shallow bowl.

4. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to the bowl containing flour and then another 1/2 teaspoon to the bowl with the breadcrumbs and mix well.

5. Spray the cooling rack with the cooking spray. Coat each tender in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip the tender in the egg and let excess drip off. Then roll in the breadcrumb mixture and place the tenders on the prepared rack.

6. Bake the tenders for 18-20 minutes depending on thickness of the tenders. Serve with reduced fat ranch dressing.

Third Quarter: Skinnier 7 Layer Black Bean Dip

Plenty of black beans, salsa and vegetables mean this dip has plenty of fiber. There is no sour cream or refried beans in this dip however, flavor was not compromised. Serve with baked tortilla chips or pretzel crisps on hand when you serve it.

Ingredients:

4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, chopped
1 medium avocado, chopped
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
2 cups prepared salsa, mild (unless you and your guests like more heat)
1 1/2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1/2 cup canned sliced black olives
2-3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Directions:

Scatter the avocado and cream cheese around the bottom of a platter with a small edge (easier to scoop from). Next distribute the beans, top with salsa then lettuce, followed by olives and cilantro.

Fourth Quarter: Quinoa Chili!

I bet you were wondering if there is any chili you can warm your bellies with and yes siree, there is! Feel free to eat it by scooping with a baked chip instead of a bowl and spoon.

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1.5 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 can organic dark red kidney beans, undrained
1 can organic black beans, undrained
1.5 cups frozen corn kernels
28 oz. can organic no-salt-added diced tomatoes
1 cup of cooked quinoa feel free to add more if you wish.
Cilantro, chopped

Directions:

1. Heat oil in Dutch oven/large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and peppers and cook for 5 minutes.

2. Turn the heat to medium, add the garlic and the next 4 ingredients and cook for another 2 minutes.

3. Turn heat to high and add the remainder of the ingredients, allow to come to a boil, stirring frequently.

4. Finally, lower the heat and simmer for the next 2-3 hours, continuing to stir and taste to adjust seasoning periodically. Stir in Quinoa and chopped cilantro and mix.

You may also wish to consider a Skinny Parmesan Spinach Dip or Skinny Baked Crab Dip to make this party complete!

Photos by Jennifer Leal. Please contact for reprint permission.

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