The boys in my house love football, and I love a good gathering, so the Super Bowl might just be the one day a year when our interests happily collide. Naturally, I also love everything about traditional game day recipes. There is no denying that football-friendly foods are complete crowd pleasers, but for those of us hoping to keep our New Year’s health goals in check by skipping the salty chips and fat-filled dips, eating our way into a food coma doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun. So this year, I’m giving our game-watching grub a healthy makeover, and the recipes I’m serving are so savvy no one will know they’re consuming fewer calories.
- For the vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian guests, guacamole is a heart-healthy dip that’s safe for the consumption of anyone practicing a special diet. Serve with assorted veggies or chips and everyone will be sure to dig in.
- Set out bowls of olives and nuts around the perimeter of the game-watching room. I know some of my guests will appreciate the guilt-free snack options that are kept close at hand.
- I plan on skipping the nachos and serving this whole wheat tortilla pie instead. When plated with sides of salsa and sour cream (or for those who are calorie-conscious replace the sour cream with Greek yogurt spiked with a little lime juice and salt) the meal will be just as satisfying as the popular bar snack.
- White bean, spinach and artichoke dip is a savvy solution for those looking for something warm and gooey to offer their guests. Copious quantities of cheese are replaced with pureed white beans, making it flavourful, filling (hello, fibre!) and something you’ll feel good about serving’¦ and eating. Also, 2016 is the year of the pulse, so how could we resist adding beans to something?
- Another ‘dip’ you might want to consider is our feta salsa. Serve alongside tortilla chips, spoon onto crackers, or scoop into endive leaves for a lighter gluten-free option.
- Skip the traditional bacon and cheddar beef burgers and instead make our famed chicken burger with avocado relish instead. If you’re hosting a party, consider shaping the burgers into a smaller slider size instead of a full patty.
- Baked chia chicken fingers are low in fat but still offer that coveted crunch thanks to the seasonings, bread crumbs and chia seeds. Serve with a honey mustard dipping sauce (combine equal parts Dijon mustard and honey) for a party-worthy potluck snack.
- Whole wheat brownies served with platters of fresh fruit are perfect for those who are craving something sweet. Cut the brownies into squares, or use a small football cookie cutter to give them a game-day makeover.