Big football game coming up? Or maybe it's March Madness time? Or another World Cup? Whatever your favorite televised sporting event may be, it's a time for gathering around the big screen and enjoying wonderful food with family and friends. Why not make a few delicious game-time munchies that are lighter and healthier than their traditional counterparts and packed with flavor and nutrition. Here are a few favorite light and healthy game day recipes to try.
24 large grape tomatoes (red and/or yellow)
24 small fresh mozzarella cheese balls
24 4-6 inch skewers
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fig balsamic vinegar
Fresh basil leaves, tear to fit on skewers
Coarse salt and pepper to taste
Cut tomatoes in half. On skewer place ½ tomato, basil, cheese, basil, and ½ tomato. Lay finished skewers in a shallow serving dish with the end of the stick off the dish. Drizzle olive oil and fig balsamic over layered stick. Finish with coarse salt and pepper to taste. Makes 24.
1.75 pounds ground turkey (lean, not extra lean)
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
10 whole grain slider buns or small soft dinner rolls
Add-ons: Lettuce, tomato, avocado, Swiss, aioli, Dijon mustard
Thoroughly mix ground turkey, egg, bread crumbs, garlic, red onion, olive oil, pepper flakes and Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl. Form 10 patties. Cook on the stove in a non-stick skillet with a little olive oil, until cooked through (165-175 degrees F). Build your slider burger and enjoy! Makes 10 thick patties.
BLT Aioli Wraps
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
4 (10-inch) low fat flour tortillas
1 small head iceberg lettuce, washed and chopped
8 large slices turkey bacon, cook and chop (thick sliced uncured is best)
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 large clove finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
dash cayenne pepper
salt to taste
Spread aioli evenly over one side of each tortilla, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Place sun-dried tomatoes, chopped lettuce, and bacon evenly over aioli. Roll up tortillas. Cut each in half diagonally. Cut again, if you prefer smaller bite-sized appetizers. Secure with a wooden pick. Makes 4 wraps, uncut.
Deviled Eggs with Yogurt
12 hard-cooked large eggs, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
¼ cup finely chopped celery
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion, including green tops
1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Carefully remove yokes and place in a large bowl. Place egg whites on a serving platter, cut side up. Add remaining ingredients to yokes. With hand mixer, mix until well blended. Carefully scoop yolk mixture into hollow of each egg (or a piping bag works well).
Lighter Fare for More Great Game-Time Snacks
You can research and find lighter, healthier versions for most recipes online. The review sections can have great tips for improving the nutritional value as well as the taste of recipes you find. Most recipes can be altered to a lighter, more nutritious version without sacrificing flavor.
You may have a favorite recipe that, unfortunately, is a “fat bomb” such as a Nacho platter made with processed chips, processed nacho cheese sauce, and beef or chorizo. The first step is to start by replacing processed and heavy ingredients with lighter/fresher ingredients. The fat bomb nachos, for example, can easily be altered to a fresher and healthier recipe. Starting with the chips by replacing with whole grain tortillas cut in to triangles and baked. Replace the processed cheese sauce with a flavorful natural cheese. Try a shredded light pepper-jack cheese or an extra sharp cheddar - use cheeses that pack lots of flavor. The more flavor, the less you’ll need to use. Chicken and turkey are lower-fat alternatives to beef and processed pork. Use shredded chicken or seasoned ground turkey and pile it on! Add diced tomatoes, peppers, onions, etc. Black or pinto beans and olives are a great add-on for extra nutrition and fiber. You may be adding calories, but they will be healthy, nutritious ones that will satisfy.