It’s easy to load up on fried chicken, ranch dip and potato chips while watching the Super Bowl. If you’re trying to stick to New Year’s resolutions of getting healthier, this could be a major derailment from your plan. There are plenty of nutritious foods that are great appetizers and won’t fill you with fats, oils and dismay. Try these five recipes for a healthier Super Bowl:
Cauliflower mac and cheese
Damn Delicious took a typical mac and cheese dish and added slightly cooked cauliflower to get an awesome pasta meal with some great textures. She boils the cauliflower for just a few minutes, removing that squeaky feeling and making it on par with the macaroni in terms of softness. The blogger uses panko, a Japanese-style bread crumb, as a crunchy topping, but you can feel free to love it or leave it. If your Super Bowl crowd is into heat, a great way to spice up your mac is to add fresh, lightly-sautèed jalapeños. Mix one chopped pepper in to add an occasional kick or go to town with several and really give your taste buds a treat.
Garlic and herb pita chips
A staple of super parties is the potato chip. Wavy, boxed or bagged, these greasy crisps can be found at nearly every game-day party. When you buy a bag of them, it’s often half air and half chips, a frustrating conundrum fully understood by all chip-eaters. Instead of spending money on multiple bags of potato chips at the store, make garlic and herb pita chips at home. No more choosing between au gratin, barbecue and salt and vinegar – you create your own flavors.
Buy a bag of pita bread, or locate some slightly stale pita in your cabinet, and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Look for a whole wheat kind for the healthiest potato alternative. You even can get creative here and cut the bread into little footballs for a festive touch. Next, spread the pieces out on a lightly greased baking sheet. Dust the bread with olive oil and add your favorite spices. Since you’re studying in the Austin culinary arts program, you’ve probably got a spice rack full of great options. Browned garlic, Italian seasoning, cracked pepper and rosemary are all tasty options. Bake the pieces at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until brown. Toss them in a bowl for easy snacking.
Spinach artichoke dip
We know what you’re thinking. How could this almost entirely cream cheese dip be healthy? Use fresh spinach for a dose of vitamins A and C and a little bit of protein. It’s low in cholesterol and sugar-free. Cooking Light recommends using fat-free sour cream and cream cheese. This dip takes all of 10 minutes to make and can be made up to two days before the game. Just pop it in the oven when your guests arrive and you’ll have a creamy comfort food ready to be eaten with your freshly made pita chips in no time.
French fries and potato chips can be greasy and contain a lot of fat. Skip the fryer this Super Bowl and opt for roasting the root veggie instead. Red and purple potatoes are the perfect size to be quickly diced and placed on a pan to roast. They have lower sugar contents than yellow and russet varieties, plus the coloring adds some interest to the dish. Use your favorite kind of potato and dice it into cubes or into long strips like French fries. Put the pieces in a bowl and add olive oil and fresh herbs. To make this dish spicy, add some cayenne. Looking for an unusual flavor? A little touch of cumin and cinnamon will leave your guests thinking you’re the Top Chef. Mix the veggies until they are evenly coated and spread them on a baking sheet. Roast until lightly golden brown.