We have just rung in the new year and I, like many others out there, am trying to eat healthier and shed a few pounds. Of course, just as I am getting started on my journey to a healthier and slimmer lifestyle, along comes the Superbowl to mess things up! Why is it that we can’t seem to watch a major sporting event on television without inhaling large quantities of calories and fat at the same time? I am determined that I will NOT give into temptation but I need to find ways to feed my husband and friends while they cheer on their favorite team. So, here are a few healthy superbowl party ideas that you may find helpful!
Healthy Superbowl Party Ideas
1. Go meatless whenever you can: Many healthy superbowl recipes can actually be made vegetarian without people really missing the meat! Chili is the easiest Superbowl snack to convert to a meatless dish. Check out Emeril’s Vegetarian Chili if you need a recipe to try. If you really don’t think your guests would like a meat free chili, try one made with ground turkey instead of beef. You can also make vegetarian sandwiches instead of traditional hotdogs or hamburgers.
2. Find healthier bagged snacks: Chips are one of my family’s biggest weaknesses, especially when you load them up with dip! Instead of choosing traditional potato chips, go with one that has been baked or popped instead like Popchips or Baked Lays. You should also have a selection of things other than chips like popcorn or pretzels. For a slightly kicked up popcorn, pop it in a hot air popcorn popper, spritz with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, rosemary and a touch of Parmesan cheese.
3. Modify your dip recipes: I have found that is is very easy to substitute half Greek yogurt in place of the mayonnaise or sour cream in a dip recipe with very little change in taste. It is a tad bit tangier but I have never had it come out BAD. This is a great way to lower your fat intake while snacking.
4. Put out a platter of fruits and veggies: Nothing says your Superbowl party has to be filled with wings and fries! Healthy Superbowl party snacks should definitely include fruits and vegetables. Serve with low fat ranch dressing and a creamy, sweet fruit dip to dress them up a bit
Healthy Superbowl Snack: Home made pizza!
5. Skip the fast food: Superbowl game day is one of the busiest times of year for pizza delivery people! A great idea for a healthy Superbowl party is to make you pizza home made! Make a whole wheat crust, add sauce and low fat cheese and tons of vegetables. Skipping the sausage and pepperoni is a great way to offer a vegetarian option and veggie toppings are much lower in fat!
6. Go easy on the nuts: While nuts are good for you in moderation, eating tons of them during the game can really throw off your diet. Try making roasted chick peas instead. It is very simple and this is one healthy Superbowl snack that is very high in fiber!
Roasted Chick Peas:
Buy a can of chick peas, drain and rinse. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Blot the chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with2 TBSP of olive oil, and season to taste with garlic salt and cayenne pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned and crunchy.
7. Keep cheese to a minimum: This one is hard for me because I have a serious love affair with cheese. Instead of serving queso with your chips, offer salsa and guacamole. Instead of putting out a tray of cheese and crackers, offer hummus and pita chips. When you do use cheese, try to use it sparingly or use a low fat version when possible.
8. Find lower calorie drink options: You are not going to convince my husband that he can watch the Superbowl without a beer. However, if you want to serve your guests drinks that are lower in calories than the microbrewed dark beers that my husband enjoys, you could always offer light beer. Also, cocktails using tonic water tend to be lower in calories than those that use juice. And instead of full calorie sodas, choose a naturally calorie free option like Zevia.
9. Skip the heavy deserts: Instead of putting out platters of cookies and brownies, try fruit based deserts instead. Buy an angel food cake, top it with fresh fruit and add a dollop of whipped cream. Or, offer homemade ice cream sandwiches that use frozen yogurt in between 2 graham crackers. There are a lot of options for desserts that make healthy Superbowl party snacks!
10. Don’t forget to walk it off! After the big game is over, take your friends out for a walk to keep enjoying their company while burning off a few of those empty calories you just inhaled! Nothing says the party has to end as soon as the game does, right?
A healthy Superbowl party IS possible with a little bit of planning. Yes, you will probably have to make more of your foods from scratch instead of relying on delivery but there are a lot of recipe ideas online for quick but healthy appetizers to make it a little easier on you. Invest in a few good cookbooks that focus on vegetarian cuisine or low fat cooking if you need a little bit more help.