Well, Football Widows, we’ve made it! After 5 months of Football Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays, and the occasional Saturday, it all comes down to this weekend. Super Bowl Sunday caps off the final football weekend of the year! And no matter if you’re watching on Sunday for the game, commercials, or just want to socialize with friends, you know munchies play a key role when it comes to watching the Super Bowl.
Traditionally when we think of Super Bowl Sunday, images of pizza, wings, and nachos come to mind. While these foods fall into my “Sometimes Food” category, it’s usually not ideal to make an entire meal (or day!) of “Sometimes Foods”. Instead, we want to make sure we’re getting a variety of foods at an event like this, which includes adding in fresh fruits and veggies. And no, those 6 celery sticks that come with an order of buffalo wings doesn’t exactly count (Remember- the goal is to have 1/2 a plate of veggies at meals). Without being the Debbie Downer of Super Bowl Parties when it comes to snacking, check out these super swaps of some Super Bowl Party classics.
Chips & Dips
What would Super Bowl be without chips? The National Restaurant Association estimates 11.2 million POUNDS of potato chips will be consumed on Super Bowl Sunday alone. Rather than sticking your hand in a bag of greasy chips that may not have a whole lot of potato involved, try making your own. My Game Time Decision Chips are baked in the oven and can be done in 15-30 minutes, depending on your preferred level of crispiness. The best part is you can customize the seasoning based on personal preference, or the preferences of your guests, using simple seasonings. Add in a quick low-cal homemade dip, and you’ve scored a winning quick snack.
When it comes to dips for our chips and veggies, check out this Healthy Low Fat Spinach Dip from Sarah Koszyk, MA RDN founder of Family. Food. Fiesta. Sarah’s swap uses Greek yogurt in the spinach dip, providing protein and less fat than traditional spinach dip.
How about no chips required? Judy Barbe, author of Your 6-Week Guide to LiveBest, Simple Solutions for Fresh Food & Well-Being, gives you 7 ways to enjoy her Sweet Potato Nachos. A play on the current sweet potato trend using fresh baked sweet potatoes instead of tortilla chips, loaded with protein-rich beans and heart healthy avocado.
You Want Fries With That?
Ever thought tofu and Super Bowl would be celebrated together? Swap out those French-fried spuds for a tofu version from Dixya Bhattarai, MS RDN, food blogger at Food, Pleasure & Health. Instead of traditional fries, these tofu fries are baked and are good source of protein. Check out her Baked Tofu Fries recipe to truly impress your guests.
Alternative Routes to Buffalo
Chicken wings are as much a part of the Big Game as overpriced commercials. The National Restaurant Association has estimated that 1.3 billion chicken wings are consumed on Super Bowl Sunday alone – that’s 4 wings for every man, woman, and child in the US! Traditional Buffalo Wings are fried, covered, and smothered in a sauce containing spice, sodium, and butter – a winning combo on the tongue, but maybe not one for the waistline. Dietitians offer some change ups to traditional buffalo flavor without sacrificing spicy, saucy taste.
Buffalo, NY native and (former) vegetarian Kara Lydon Evancho, RD, LDN, RYT, of The Foodie Dietitian, shares how she didn’t have to give up her beloved buffalo flavor when she stopped eating meat. Her Buffalo Cauliflower Wings with Blue Cheese Dressing will convince even then most die-hard wing fan (just ask her wing-loving hubby!).
Another vegan take on traditional buffalo comes from Dianna Sinni, RDN, creator of Chard in Charge, with her Buffalo Tempeh Bites. These meat-eater approved bites are a plant-based version of buffalo wings using feremented tempeh. The tempeh provides probiotics, plant-based protein and fiber (all things begging for an invite to your Super Bowl Party!) and homemade buffalo sauce that cuts extra calories and keeps you in charge of the ingredients.
If you’re not ready to give up traditional buffalo chicken, then Danielle Cushing, dietitian and author of The Every Kitchen, has your tie-breaker. Swap in Buffalo Chicken on a Stick with Blue Cheese Dip instead of Buffalo Wings. Save calories and fat with white-meat, skinless chicken breast, broiled instead of fried. Dip in a low-fat sour cream-based dip flavored with real blue cheese crumbles. No sore losers here!
Want Better for You Buffalo this #SuperBowl? Check out these dietitian swaps for #SuperBowl2017. #RDchat @MandyEnrightRD
No matter how you choose to celebrate Super Bowl Sunday, remember to enjoy all treats in moderation. Start the day with a healthy breakfast of lean protein, fiber, and fresh fruit. And give your football-loving significant other a big Welcome Back hug and kiss if you haven’t seen them on a Sunday since Labor Day.