Food is just as important as football on Super Bowl Sunday. If you’re planning a party or cooking for a potluck, there are ways to make sneak some health conscious ingredients into great snacks and appetizers. We’re not saying to skip all of the delicious party dishes. But you can add a few nutritious alternatives on to the menu. And trust us- they will be so delicious that no one will know they are healthier.
Lindsay, a registered dietician and runner who shares her recipes on The Lean Green Bean, has tons of football friendly appetizer ideas. Her Enchilada Cups are a fun alternative to nachos and a lot less messy to eat. Jalapeno Cheddar Sweet Potato Puffs make a great, spicy handheld snack. Feta Dip may sound decadent, but combining the cheese with Greek yogurt and beans helps create a healthy balance.
Meatballs can definitely fit into a runner’s diet as well, especially when using 96% lean ground pork. This meatball recipe from the Racing Weight Cookbook is great for athletes but sure to please a crowd who may enjoy watching them more.
Can you sneak kale into a Super Bowl Sunday party? Absolutely! Just don’t tell anyone. Catherine Walthers, author of the recent cookbook, Kale, Glorious Kale, has great recipes for adding everyone’s favorite leafy green into crowd-pleasing dishes.
Kale Guacamole adds a healthy twist to a yummy standard. This recipe combines diced avocado, tomato and finely chopped, massaged kale with a bit of heat and fresh lemon or lime juice. It tastes as good as it looks! Make this only an hour or two before serving so the avocado stays bright.
Serves 8 to 10
2 cups kale (stripped from stalk, torn into ¼-inch pieces, rinsed and dried)
2 tsp. olive oil
2–3 just-ripe avocados, pitted and cut into ¼-inch dice
1 cup tomato (seeded and cut into small dice)
2 Tbsp. minced red onion
4 tsp. fresh lemon or lime juice (or a combination)
½ tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. smoked paprika or cayenne pepper
- Place the kale in a medium-size bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and two pinches of salt and massage the kale by rubbing the oil onto the kale until it’s reduced in size a bit and glistening. If it releases moisture, soak it up with a paper towel. If the pieces are too large, chop again with a knife.
- Add the avocados, tomato, red onion, lemon juice, cumin, paprika and two more pinches of salt. Toss gently—it’s nice to keep the avocado separate rather than mashed together. Taste with a chip to make sure you have the right amount of salt and citrus. Place in a serving dish, surrounded by corn tortilla chips.
Replace standard potato chips with Maple-Sesame Kale Chips. Just a tad of sweetness from maple syrup and crunch from sesame seeds for this addictive healthy snack.
Makes 2 to 4 servings
5 cups kale (stripped from stalk, torn into pieces a little larger than bite-size, rinsed and dried)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 pinches salt
2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 Tbsp. sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place the kale in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Massage kale with hands until all areas are covered and softened a bit. Mix in maple syrup, cayenne and sesame seeds. Most of the sesame seeds should stick to the leaves.
- Place on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, mixing several times to prevent the outer edges from burning and to keep the kale pieces as separate as possible. Taste a piece while cooking and add an additional pinch of salt, if needed. Let cool on the baking sheet; the mixture should crisp up nicely.
Janae of Hungry Runner Girl makes an amazing alternative to traditional nachos. Her Sweet Potato Nachos couldn’t be easier. Slice up two sweet potatoes and put some olive oil and garlic salt on them. Baked for 40 minutes at 425 degrees. Top them with black beans, corn, sharp cheddar cheese and put them back in the oven for 5 minutes. After baking, then top with tomatoes and avocado. She also loves adding chicken, roasted red peppers, plain greek yogurt and pico!
Kale and Black Bean Quesadillas are another great recipe from Catherine Walthers’ Kale Glorious Kale cookbook. They are easy to make and satisfying to eat. Serve as is, or top with guacamole and/or your favorite salsa. Add shredded cooked chicken, if desired.
Makes about 24 wedges.
1 Tbsp. olive oil
½ bunch kale, stripped from stalk, chopped into bit-size and rinsed (about 4 cups)
1 cup corn kernels (stripped from 1 ear corn)
2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack, pepper Jack, fontina or a combination)
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup chopped mild green chiles (found in Mexican section)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 ½ tsp. chili powder
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
12 (8- to 9-inch) flour tortillas
4–5 tsp. canola oil
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add kale and sauté, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, or until the kale starts to reduce. Add corn and continue to sauté another 2 to 3 minutes, until the kale is tender and the corn is cooked.
- In a large bowl, combine cheese, black beans, chiles, cumin, chili powder and cilantro with the kale and corn. Mix gently to evenly distribute the kale.
- Wipe out the skillet, heat on medium heat, and add 1 tsp. canola oil to coat. Place a tortilla in the skillet. Put about ¾ cup of the cheese mixture in the middle of the tortilla. Place another tortilla on top. When the tortilla is lightly golden, flip over. The quesadilla is done with the cheese is melted, 3 to 4 minutes. Repeat for the other quesadillas. Cut into wedges and serve.
No good party can end without dessert! Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars can always win over a crowd. These Chocolate Brownies are so rich that no one would believe the recipe is from celebrity training Jillian Michaels! And even though it is the middle of winter, very few will turn down ice cream. We especially love our Blueberry Yogurt variety.