We always have friends and family over for the Super Bowl. The Bariatric Guru family loves to host this event. While I admit that I really have no connection to either team, I am always up for an excuse to entertain and be with the people I love.
When most people think of football food, they think of hot dogs and burgers and nachos and chips and cheese sauce. If you have ever been to a Bariatric Breakthrough Challenge, or heard me speak anywhere around the country, then you know about my past and my Dorito addiction! Those things are off-limits!
I am here to tell you that you CAN serve a healthy menu for the big game. The Guru Chef- also known as my husband Ben, makes some delicious buffalo chicken bites that my kids literally fight over! Healthy can be yummy!
We use these recipes quite often now and our friends love them! Keep in mind, that calories, protein, carbs, etc will vary based on your portion sizes, so be sure to do the math! You will find links to nutrition info for each item inside the recipes.
For the main course- (this is mainly for Cari de la Cruz) we will serve:
Spaghetti squash with ground turkey marinara.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Split open the spaghetti squash and scoop out the seeds. Season as you like. Our usual choice is a little salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil. Just drizzle the oil and do not use too much. Then spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and turn the seasoned halves face down on the sheet. Bake for about 1-1 1/2 until you can touch the outside skin and it is soft and mushy. time will vary based on the size of the squash. While the squash is cooking, make your sauce. Bottled spaghetti sauces are so full of added sugars and preservatives. We prefer to make our own and it is so easy!
Brown the turkey in a skillet and drain the fat. Then add the rest of the ingredients and simmer down for about 20 minutes. Feel free to tweak to your taste and add things like Italian seasonings or anything else you like in traditional spaghetti.
Once the squash is done, take a fork and rake it out and it will look just like spaghetti! Toss with the sauce and serve!
My kids love this and do not even miss the carby empty calories of pasta!
People like to snack throughout the game and so these are some great snack ideas.
Chef Ben’s boneless buffalo chicken bites
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Place chicken in large bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour in the Frank’s and use enough to coast the chicken and toss until all pieces are well-coated. Fill a gallon-size Ziploc bag with Bran Flakes. Smash to a pulp until they are well-ground. (this is my part- Ben always let’s me do this and it is GREAT therapy!) Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Roll each piece of coated chicken in the cereal and place on the cookie sheet. Place in oven for approx. 25 minutes or until chicken is done and outside coating is crisp and crunchy and browned.
A great dip for these is our Greek Yogurt ranch dip and dressing!
This recipe is tweaked just a bit to also become a salad dressing. Often times, the worst part of a salad, nutritionally, is the dressing. Not with this option! Same thing is true with many dips. This is a great choice with lots of protein and no fat!
MIX IT UP AND DIP YOUR FAVORITE RAW VEGGIES INTO IT!
The whole container has 360 cals, 0 fat, 32 carbs (mostly natural dairy carbs), and 46 grams of protein.
Same as above but add 1 cup of skim milk (use more or less depending on how thick you like it)
The whole batch has 440 calories, 0 fat, 48 carb (mostly natural dairy sugar carbs), and 54 grams of protein. You can do different things to make different variations. Sometimes we add cajun spices, or salsa, or anything else that you like to season with!
Dipping the chicken bites into this is a favorite in our home. You can also dip Veggie Straws into the dip. A serving says 38 pieces, but of course as a bariatric patient we always recommend a half serving.
These also come in an apple flavor and are called apple straws. Those go great with our sweet version of Greek Yogurt dip! Try this one with fresh fruit too!
Sweet Greek Yogurt Dip
1 container PLAIN Greek yogurt
2-4 tbsp of sugar free vanilla syrup (or you can also use Splenda, sugar-free honey, sugar-free maple syrup, or any sweetener of your choice)
I also add a touch of cinnamon and it gives it a nice kick.
For crunch- sprinkle with Fiber One original to taste. ENJOY!
YOU CAN ALSO USE GREEK YOGURT AS A HEALTHY SUBSTITUTE FOR SOUR CREAM!
The last big party we had, we did a Greek yogurt bar. The kids loved it just as much as they would an ice cream bar.
We had the plain Greek yogurt in a bowl and had in little dishes- sugar free honey, sugar free Torani syrups in different flavors, Bear Naked Fit Vanilla Almond granola, blueberries, sliced strawberries, chopped nuts, Fiber One original and anything healthy that you can think of to mix in with the yogurt. This is always such a big hit! PACKED with protein and satisfies that sweet tooth!
We will also have a cheese tray made from wedges of all the different flavors of Laughing Cow wedges. They are so yummy and only have 35 calories per wedge. We serve the cheese with my FAVORITE LOW CARB LOW CALORIE Cracker. 34 Degrees Crispbreads Whole wheat flavor. These are amazing and 9 crackers have 35 calories and 7 grams of carbs.
Another great snack is to take canned garbanzo beans and lay them out of paper towels and dry most of the moisture off of them. Drizzle a cookie sheet with olive oil and then spread the beans on the sheet and roll the beans until lightly coated with the olive oil. Then add your favorite seasonings and bake at 400 degrees until crisp and brown. We usually have to try them a few times. The key to making them crunch is draining ALL of the liquid out and also be sure to really pat them dry with paper towels. If you do not do this, they will never get that crunch. As for seasonings, we love to use garlic and salt and cajun spices.
These are a yummy alternative to popcorn and the carbs in them are GOOD COMPLEX carbs.
At halftime, we will make another favorite in our house-
Kale chips and salsa
This is what they look like before you cook them. YUMMY STUFF!!!
Kale is one of my favorite super foods. It is so low in calories and packed with iron.
Here is a great recipe for them: This is so easy my kids can make them. These are a wonderful and crunchy substitute for potato chips!
Preheat oven to 375.
Take a cookie sheet and spray it with no calorie cooking spray- olive oil flavor is my fave.
Take Kale and break into bite-sized pieces and spread on cookie sheet. sprinkle pieces with your favorite seasonings. We like cajun seasoning, or italian seasoning etc.
Once seasoned, spray chips once more with non stick spray to make seasonings stick.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until crisp!
They are usually too flimsy to actually DIP into things like salsa or Greek Yogurt, so just spoon the dip of choice onto the chips and enjoy. These do not keep well so only make what you will eat at that sitting. If you look at the picture of the kale above, that is less than $1.00 of kale!
We will also have a bowl of mixed nuts and fresh fruit on the menu this Sunday. No one will leave hungry and no one will leave with a tummy full of fat and empty carbs and sugar.
Enjoy the event without feeling guilty about your food choices! Your friends and family will be pleasantly surprised at how good non-processed healthy foods can taste! As the Guru Chef says, YES YOU CAN have fun and have good food and still be healthy!
Do you have other yummy and healthy ideas? Leave them here in the comments to share with others!
ENJOY THE GAME!