For sports fans, snackaholics and social butterflies, Super Bowl Sunday is a special day. The typical game day food we’ve all come to know and love — cheesy breadsticks, bags of tortilla chips covered in mysterious powder, creamy dips — may be delicious, but they do terrible, terrible things to the body. Maybe you’re hosting a party or just want something fun to eat while providing Twitter analysis of overblown commercials and the halftime show performance. Or, you know, you might actually be watching the game. Whatever you’re doing this Sunday, have some fun with the food you already tend to stock in your kitchen for an easy, inexpensive and healthy game-day spread.
I love guacamole, you love guacamole, we all love guacamole. I get it. Frankly, I think we can all do a little bit better than rehashing the same old guac at every party. Its creamy texture and mild flavor make it an ideal base for a flavorful dip. If you are like me, you grew up noshing on dehydrated onion soup mix or ranch powder mixed in sour cream. Delicious? Yes. Nutritious? I think we all know the answer. There is a better way, my fit foodies. Primally Inspired is going green with their avocado-based take on cool ranch dip that is cool, creamy, zingy and so much better for you than your average bowl of ranch. The yogurt adds a wonderful tang, but you can skip it for a vegan version and still have a delightful dip. This stuff is addictive, guys. You have been warned.
Artichokes are delicious and downright heavenly when blended with cheese for a creamy dip. Add some roasted garlic, and you’ve just elevated a typical chain restaurant appetizer staple to a gourmet experience. Thanks to a little experimentation with Wonky Wonderful’s recipe, I have discovered that, with a swap or two, you can even lighten this up without sacrificing flavor. Try light mayonnaise instead of regular mayonnaise and Neufchatel in place of regular cream cheese. I didn’t have enough cream cheese on hand, but I did have whipped cottage cheese and just used that instead. The result? A luscious dip with a little extra tang, a whole lot of creaminess and a good amount of protein. You’re welcome.
Pair your dips with homemade zesty nacho chips that won’t stain your fingers some ungodly shade of orange. MOMables has a great recipe that uses simple spices and corn tortillas, and they take about five minutes to prep. Vegans, substitute nutritional yeast for the parmesan. Boom. Taste explosion.
Is there anything better on game day than a nice bowl of chili? I think not! Break out your slow cookers and experience the magic of Skinnytaste’s Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili. Throw the ingredients in the pot and let the vessel of home cooking awesomeness do all the work for you. This recipe is great if you’re feeding a hungry crowd and is loaded with protein and fiber. Your homemade chips or a bag of baked tortilla chips will work just fine to scoop up all that yumminess, but if you want to get even fancier, whip up a batch of cauliflower breadsticks for a satisfying side that will make you want to eat veggies. iFoodReal has a fabulous tutorial that offers clearly illustrated step-by-step instructions and nutritional values whether you decide to go mildly cheesy or mega cheesy. These take a little work to get just right, but they taste delicious even if they’re a bit soft. Practice makes perfect.
After all that tangy, savory goodness, you may want to appease your sweet tooth. Still on the dip track? Blend up some cookie butter with whatever cookies you have on hand. You may never eat the jarred stuff again. Amy’s Healthy Baking has a foolproof recipe that calls for shortbread, which I love, but I used some ginger snaps that were hanging out in my cabinet. Oh. My. God. Go wild! Experiment and be blown away by next-level scrumptiousness. This dip is the perfect vehicle for soft pretzels, or make homemade fruit chips in your oven, no dehydrator needed. Thin-sliced apples and cinnamon are all you need to make Give Recipe’s tasty apple chips while MOMables helps you turn bananas into a yummy treat.
If you’re in the mood to bake, why not try a simple gluten-free cookie with a satisfying bite to it? The ladies of Ovenly bakery in Brooklyn were kind enough to share their recipe for Salted Peanut Butter Cookies with Munchies, Vice’s new food-focused website. The ingredients will run you less than five bucks, and they cook up in no time. The texture is somehow dense and light all at the same time, perfectly chewy with just a hint of crunch. The Ovenly crew has crafted a wonderful cookie that will totally be amazing with a cold beer. (Also, how good would these cookies be as cookie butter? Just sayin’.)
I’m ready to nosh, how about you? Tell us: what are your favorite healthy game day recipes?