Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Why Wait? Super Bowl Foods Ready in a Snap!

According to statistics from the National Restaurant Association, 48 million people will have dinner delivered this Sunday during the Super Bowl. Instead of waiting 2 hours for a greasy, cold pizza, why not give your culinary skills a try instead? Game-day foods are not as complicated as you may think. Here are a few quick, easy, and delicious options that your body will thank you for after the last touchdown is scored:

Hummus & Veggies
You couldn't find an easier appetizer if you tried. Just pull out your favorite blender or food processor and throw in the following: 1 can garbanzo beans with half of the liquid, 4 Tbsp lemon juice (fresh not necessary), 2 Tbsp Tahini (sold in a jar at any grocery store), and 2 cloves chopped garlic (can used garlic in a jar if you want). Blend for ~30 seconds. Put the hummus in a bowl and drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Serve with baby carrots, cut peppers, and any other veggies you enjoy. A great alternative to ranch dip and oh so easy!

Whole Grain Chips & Salsa
You can rejoice because chips & salsa are actually a great choice on game day. The key is to choose a chunky salsa full of veggies. If you can find low-sodium salsa - even better. When you pick your chips, look for chips that are whole-grain. That's the key to a better chip choice. For more nutritional punch - add some avocado to the mix: great tasting and full of fiber and healthy fats. The trick with chips & dip? Don't put them right in front of you during the game - it's too easy to eat an entire bag and jars-worth before the second quarter. Put these on the kitchen counter or on the dining room table and use an appetizer plate each time you take more to remind yourself to evaluate how much you really need to be satisfied.

Make-Your-Own Bagel Pizzas
Yes - you can have your pizza and eat it too. This is great for crowds - especially ones that include kids, who tend to be picky. You'll need whole wheat bagels (make sure the first ingredient on the food label is whole wheat vs. enriched wheat flour), pizza or pesto sauce, and low-fat/part-skim mozzarella cheese. You can either purchase the pizza toppings yourself or ask your guests to each bring a favorite topping. Guests can create their own bagel pizzas at any time during the game. Great topping choices are tomato, spinach, mushroom, peppers, broccoli, lean ground turkey, pineapple, and olives. If you love your pepperoni - try turkey pepperoni for less saturated fat (I guarantee you won't know the difference). Once the bagels are garnished, cook at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Toaster ovens do a great job with these as well.

What's a football game without a tasty bowl of chili?!? Chili is actually a great choice, as long as you follow some important steps. First, if it contains meat, find the most lean version you can (lean ground turkey or lean ground beef). No need to worry about the meat being dry because it will be covered in sauce. Second, add beans - lots of beans. Beans are full of fiber, which keeps you full for longer. Consider adding half the meat called for in the recipe and substituting with an extra can of beans. Third, add fresh tomatoes to the chili - whether or not the recipe calls for it. Tomatoes will add fiber, vitamins, minerals, and important cancer-fighting Lycopene. Fourth, choose health-friendly garnishes such as low-fat cheese, low-fat sour cream and fresh onions. Try substituting plain low-fat yogurt for the sour cream (again - you won't taste the difference). This will add protein and calcium, while keeping saturated fat intake low.

Most importantly - enjoy the game! Make the event more about spending time with friends and less about the food. Go [insert your team of choice]!

Be Extraordinary,


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