Rather than filling up on beer and pizza, here are some healthier—just as delicious—recipes you can opt for.
Toby Amidor, MS, RD 1 / 11
Super Bowl Sunday usually means a killer spread of dips, fried foods, and lots of alcohol. But you can actually have a table filled with tasty bites that aren’t packed with calories and fat. Just make sure to keep alcohol under control so you don’t end up with a post-game beer belly and a bad Monday hangover which can offset your exercise routine. Here are 10 healthy appetizers that are lighter on calories and fat but not on flavor.
Add bulk and flavor to turkey meatballs with shredded vegetables. These high protein bites have branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) that will help build muscle, not belly fat.
Skill level: Beginner Serves: About 35 Start to Finish: 45 minutes Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 30 minutes
For the teriyaki sauce ¼ cold cup water 1 tablespoon cornstarch ¼ cup light soy sauce 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil ¼ cup water 3 tablespoons brown sugar ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tablespoon honey
For the meatballs 1½ pounds lean ground turkey 2 eggs ½ cup panko bread crumbs ½ cup finely minced onion ½ cup finely minced green bell pepper ½ cup grated carrot 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger ½ teaspoon ground black pepper 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce (see recipe instructions below)
For the teriyaki sauce 1. Whisk together the water and the cornstarch in a small cup or bowl, set aside. 2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the soy sauce, sesame seed oil, water, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and honey. Bring to a simmer, then slowly whisk in the water/cornstarch mix. Continue to whisk until the sauce starts to thicken, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
For the meatballs 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with nonstick cooking spray). 2. In a large bowl, add the ground turkey, eggs, panko, onion, bell pepper, garlic, ginger, black pepper and teriyaki sauce. Using clean hands (or a wooden spoon), mix ingredients until well combined. 3. Form meatballs into 1½ inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until meat is fully cooked (a thermometer inserted into the center reaches 165 degrees F). 4. Remove meatballs from the oven and toss with teriyaki sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds, if desired. Serve immediately.
The potato’s skin contains about half the fiber found in the entire potato. The skin is also a good source of potassium, which helps regulate muscle contractions (like of your heart). These delicious skins are topped with healthy, protein-filled ingredients like hummus and cheese so you’ll also get 5 grams of protein per serving.
8 small Russet potatoes 1 cup of prepared hummus (I like Sabra) 1/2 cup marinated artichokes, chopped 1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped 1/4 cup black olives, chopped 1/2 cup feta cheese 1/4 fresh cilantro, chopped 1 teaspoons salt
1. Scrub potatoes and prick all over with a fork. 2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 3. Place potatoes in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 5 minutes to help speed along cooking time. Remove from microwave, coat potato skins with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt. Place on baking sheet. 4. When oven is preheated, place potatoes on center rack and cook for about 45 minutes (longer depending on potato size) until potatoes can be pierced easily with a fork and the skins are starting to loosen. Remove from oven and let potatoes rest until they are cool enough to touch. 5. Cut potatoes in half and scoop out insides leaving about 1/4 inch potato flesh in the skin. Leave enough so the skins are able to stand up and be sturdy on their own. 6. Preheat broiler. 7. Reserve potato filling for another use (mashed potatoes, soup, etc). 8. Place scooped out skins under broiler for about 5 minutes. Keep a very close eye on the skins while under the broiler to watch for burning. Cook until they are at desired crispiness. Rotate pan if needed to help skins cook evenly. 9. Fill potatoes with a large spoonful of hummus and top with artichokes, tomatoes, black olives, cilantro, and feta cheese.
Nutrition Information (per 1 skin with toppings) Calories: 136; Total Fat: 7 grams; Protein: 5 grams: Carbohydrates: 16 grams; Sugar: 0 grams; Sodium: 394 milligrams
Instead of 100 plus calories per each buffalo wing, use the same flavor combinations (plus healthy spinach!) to make a mouthwatering whole grain pizza that everyone will love.Skill level: BeginnerServes: 8Start to Finish: 40 minutesPrep: 15 minutesCook: 25 minutesIngredients:1 whole wheat pizza crust 1/3 cup marinara sauce8 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated 3/4 cup spinach or kale, shredded1/4 cup red onion, dicedFor the buffalo sauce1 tablespoon nonfat plain Greek yogurt1 tablespoon Frank's Buffalo Wing Hot Sauce10 Easy Overnight Recipes That Cook Themselves >>>Instructions:1. Preheat oven to 400-450 degrees F (depending on type of crust used.) Spray pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray and lay crust out flat on top.2. Grill 8 ounces of chicken in skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Flip frequently and use salt and pepper as desired. Once fully cooked, remove chicken from skillet and lay to cool slightly on cutting board. Shred chicken into very small pieces.3. Spread marinara sauce on crust. Add the shredded chicken, cheese, shredded kale/spinach, red onion, and any other vegetables desired. Cook in oven for 12-15 minutes (depending on crust) until lightly browned on top.4. Make buffalo sauce to drizzle on top of pizza after baking by mixing 1 tablespoon nonfat Greek yogurt and 1 tablespoon Frank's Buffalo Wing Hot Sauce together in small bowl. Use a spoon to drizzle on top and enjoy!Nutrition Information (per slice)Calories: 149; Total Fat: 3 grams; Saturated Fat: 1 gram; Protein: 12 grams: Carbohydrates: 19 grams; Sugar: 1 gram; Fiber: 3 grams; Cholesterol: 28 milligrams; Sodium: 249 milligramsRecipe and photo by Angie Asche, MS, RD, LMNT of Eleat Sports Nutrition, LLC.
4. Recipe: Stove Top Sriracha Lime Popcorn
Did you know popcorn is a whole grain? Put this bowl of goodness in front of your guests and they’ll be munching on a healthy dose of fiber without even realizing it's good for them!
1. In a Dutch oven or large, heavy pot with a lid, melt 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Put a few popcorn kernels into the oil and put on the lid. Once the first kernel pops, the oil is ready. 2. Add the remaining popcorn to the pot, put on the lid, hang onto both sides of the pot (with potholders!) and give it a vigorous shake to distribute the popcorn. Continue to cook the popcorn, shaking the pot every 30 seconds or so, until the popping diminishes and the popcorn is done. 3. While the popcorn is cooking, stir the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil and the sriracha together in a small bowl until blended. Microwave on high until melted, about 15 seconds. 4. When the popcorn is popped, transfer to a large bowl. 5. Zest the lime over the popcorn, sprinkle on the salt, drizzle with the melted coconut oil/sriracha and use your hands to toss the popcorn until it is evenly coated.
How do you lighten mac and cheese? By displacing part of the pasta with butternut squash! Make them gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta and breadcrumbs. Make them vegetarian by substituting vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock. Serve these babies with your favorite jarred or homemade marinara sauce.
1. Prepare elbow macaroni according to package directions. 2. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onions, garlic, and squash until onion is tender but not brown. 3. Add stock and cook until liquid has almost completely evaporated. 4. Transfer vegetable mixture to a food processor or powerful blender; Purée until smooth. 5. Slowly add milk and purée for 20 seconds. Add salt and grated cheese and once again purée until smooth. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl. 6. Once elbow macaroni is cooked, drain and add to sauce in bowl. Mix to coat pasta. Allow mixture to cool in the fridge for at least 1 hour. 7. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lay bread crumbs on a cookie sheet and spray lightly with cooking oil. Toast bread crumbs for 3-5 minutes, watching closely to ensure they do not burn. Allow to cool. Once cool, transfer to a small bowl. The toasting will achieve the browned look and crispy coating without deep frying. 8. Prepare egg wash by beating egg in a small bowl with a whisk or small fork. 9. Set up your work area by lightly greasing a mini muffin pan. Set out an assembly line of mac and cheese mixture, egg wash and bread crumbs. 10. Using a tablespoon sized scoop or spoon, create balls of chilled mac and cheese mixture. Lightly coat in egg wash and roll in bread crumbs. Place coated balls in the mini muffin pan. 11. Bake “bites” for 10-12 minutes, or until coating is cooked and mac and cheese is heated through.
If your guests have a more sophisticated palate, whip up these dates stuffed with manchego cheese and wrapped with a small piece of prosciutto. Once assembled, toss them in a two ingredient wine syrup that is a snap to make.
16 dates 16 small very small matchstick slices of manchego cheese, cut into the length of the dates 4 slices of prosciutto cut into quarters ½ cup Cabernet 1½ tablespoons honey Pistachios, for serving if desired
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a baking sheet with a wired cooling rack on top of it. 2. Carefully pry open the date at open slit and stuff in a piece of manchego cheese. Tightly wrap the piece of prosciutto around the date, making sure to fully cover the opening like a blanket. Plate onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 11-13 minutes, or until the prosciutto gets crispy and the cheese begins to slightly melt. 3. Meanwhile, add the Cabernet and honey to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until syrupy and thick. 4. Once the prosciutto dates are crispy, transfer them to the pan and toss in the wine syrup. Transfer to a serving tray or bowl with toothpicks, garnish with nuts and enjoy warm.
Keep on track with your muscle-shredding diet plan by cooking these chicken skewers made with skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Plus, the dipping sauce made with peanut butter adds even more protein.
Skill level: Beginner Serves: 20 Start to Finish: 21 minutes plus refrigeration time Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 6 minutes
For the chicken ¾ cup lite coconut milk 3 tablespoons lime juice 2 teaspoons fish sauce 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce 2 teaspoons sriracha 2 pounds thinly pounded boneless, skinless chicken breast 10 wooden skewers cut in half, soaked in water
For the peanut sauce 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons) 2 packed teaspoons grated ginger ⅓ cup natural creamy peanut butter 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (unseasoned) 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar 1 teaspoon sriracha 2 tablespoons hot water Chopped peanuts and cilantro for garnish
For the Chicken 1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the coconut milk, lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sriracha. Place chicken cutlets in a resealable bag and pour the marinade over them. Gently toss chicken until well-coated. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 2. Set oven to broil (or if using grill, pre-heat grill or grill pan over medium-high heat). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (use two baking sheets depending on size). 3. Thread one chicken cutlet onto each soaked skewer, working the skewer in and out of the meat, down the middle of the piece. Spread chicken skewers on prepared baking sheet, drizzle any remaining marinade on top, and broil for 5-6 minutes, turning halfway through.
For the peanut sauce 1. Combine the sauce ingredients up to and including sriracha in a mini food processor and puree until smooth and well blended. Add 2 tablespoons of hot water and puree again to thin out the sauce. Add more hot water if thinner sauce is desired. Transfer sauce to a small serving dish. 2. Serve chicken satay with peanut sauce and garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro.
Nutrition Information (per mini skewer, without peanuts and cilantro for garnish) Calories: 90; Total Fat: 4 grams; Saturated Fat: 1 gram; Protein: 11 grams: Carbohydrates: 3 grams; Sugar: 1 gram; Fiber: 0 grams; Cholesterol: 33 milligrams; Sodium: 145 milligrams
1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. 2. Drain chickpeas and dry well with a paper towel. 3. Place on a baking sheet and season with olive oil, kosher salt, and rosemary; toss well to coat. 4. Bake for about 40 to 50 minutes, turning periodically, until crisp and sizzling. 5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt. Allow to cool and serve at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Recipe and photo by Dana Angelo White, registered dietitian and certified athletic trainer
9. Recipe: Cajun California Bites
Cauliflower is the latest trendy veggie and it’s no secret why. This member of the cabbage family is low in calories and packed with fiber, folate, and vitamins C, K, and B6 and has been shown to help prevent cancer.
If these bites are a bit too spicy for your guests, help cool down the palate by serving with a light ranch dip or make your own by combining nonfat plain Greek yogurt with ½ teaspoon of dry ranch powder.
1 head cauliflower Dash salt Black pepper ½ teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon thyme ½ teaspoon oregano ½ teaspoon dried mustard ¼ teaspoon paprika ¼ teaspoon cayenne ¼ teaspoon onion powder ⅓ cup Louisiana hot sauce 1 teaspoon melted light butter (I use light flaxseed earth balance)
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 2. Wash cauliflower and remove stems. Chop into florets. 3. Sprinkle chopped cauliflower with salt and pepper and place on a cookie sheet in oven for 10 minutes. 4. While baking, mix all spices and hot sauce together. Add in butter. 5. After 10 minutes, rotate and bake another 12 minutes. 6. Remove from oven and place in bowl. 7. Cover with sauce. Coat thoroughly. 8. Turn oven to broil setting. 9. Place back on cookie sheet and broil for 5-8 minutes (until slightly charred).