Super Bowl Swaps

It’s almost game time!  Although you and/or your guests may enjoy and be looking forward to all the traditional football fare, you can try some of these tips to keep everyone healthy and happy!

Crush it with Crudités 

Instead of a couple of celery and carrot sticks to compliment the wings, make chopped veggies a colorful centerpiece. Use bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, tomato, asparagus, cucumber, jicama, zucchini or any other vegetable you like. Serve with healthy dips.  I love Cava brand for hummus/tzatziki as it lower in calories. Make sure there is no sugar added to your salsa.  Serve fresh guacamole or make your own. Try your own creamy creation using Siggi’s plain Icelandic yogurt as a base.  I love adding: olive oil, lemon juice, and Everything but the Bagel Seasoning for a savory snack.  Choose healthy alternatives for ranch dressing/dip. I like Sir Kensington’s and Tessamae brands for ranch. 

Root for Fruit!  

Whether it’s part of the cheese board, on its own, or for dessert, fruit is high in fiber to keep you full and sweet to curb that sweet tooth.  Add dried fruit to your cheese board (make sure it has no added sugar or oil) as well as all natural fruit spreads (Trader Joe’s, St. Dalfour, Polaner All Fruit are all good!). 

Change up the Cheese Board

Some of my favorite cracker brands are: Simple Mills, Mary’s Gone Crackers, Flackers and GG Fiber crackers. All are high fiber and made with healthy ingredients.  Many other crackers out there are made with white flour, hydrogenated oils, sugar and other additives/preservatives.  Choose some cheeses that are lower in fat: Parmesan, feta, mozzarella, goat, Camembert to name a few.  Add fruit as mentioned above: fresh and/or dry. Also add nuts. Make sure there is no oil or anything added to the nuts, expect a little salt.  

Salty Snacks

Select healthier versions of chips and popcorn for that crunch.  I recommend popcorn that is organic and contains ONLY popcorn, olive/coconut/avocado oil and salt (Note that non-organic popcorn is often made from GMO corn!)  Lesser Evil is a favorite brand in my house.  The same goes for potato chips: I recommend those made ONLY with potatoes, olive/avocado oil and salt.  My boys and I love Kettle Brand Chips made with avocado oil.  For tortilla-style chips, my favorite are Siete. They are grain free made only with cassava flour, avocado oil, coconut flour, chia seeds and salt!  Serve with salsa and guacamole as recommended above. 

Bites of Buffalo

Is it really SuperBowl without some sort of Buffalo something?!  I love recipes that use chicken breasts (instead of thighs or wings with skin because those have higher calories, fat, saturated fat and cholesterol). Try almond (you can substitute almond for regular flour in recipes), oat, brown rice or whole wheat flour for white flour. Use avocado or olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Also use ghee, coconut oil or olive/avocado oil in recipes that call for butter. Select a Buffalo sauce or hot sauce with all natural ingredients. I LOVE Siete foods hot sauces. And I like Noble Made Mild Buffalo sauce. It’s here but I found at Whole Foods. 
 
I really like these two Buffalo chicken recipes:
 
You can also sauté shrimp in Buffalo sauce. 
 
For my friends who prefer a vegan or vegetarian option, try these Buffalo cauliflower recipes! 
If you don’t have an air fryer, cook at 400 degrees in the oven for 10 more minutes!

Chill with Chili

There’s nothing better than a warm cup of chili on a cold winter day watching the Super Bowl.  Instead of traditional chili that can be high in saturated fat, made with ground beef, sour cream and cheddar cheese and mostly carbs (just beans), you can lighten it all up!  Even if you want to add meat (lean ground beef, chicken or turkey), I recommended starting with a mostly vegetable-based one like this one:
 
You can add the meat PLUS 2 cups baby spinach leaves (I always add more greens to all my cooked saucy dishes!) after step 1. 
 
For toppings try plain Siggi’s yogurt (instead or sour cream), shredded Parmesan or mozzarella instead of cheddar cheese, avocado, lime, or scallions to garnish. You could also dig in with your Siete chips! 

Not your Typical Nacho!

You can often enjoy the flavor of a favorite food with a twist on the traditional recipe. I love this Turkey Nacho recipe that doesn’t actually contain nachos. The turkey meat is placed inside mini bell peppers:
 
This paleo version is made with potatoes instead of chips and skips the cheese:

Pizza Power!

 
Why not try cauliflower pizza?!  Lots of your guests will thank you!!  I love the Cali’flour crusts that you can buy on Amazon. These are the best in my opinion. BUT I also have a super simple recipe where you can make your own. Check it out here:

 

 

Chicken Bolognese

I make some version of this sauce at least once a week-it’s really pretty easy and quick.  Sometimes I use ground turkey, sometimes chicken and different veggies end up in the pot. Traditional Bolognese often has carrots, mushrooms, red wine, tomato paste, but I often use what I have on hand and what is quickest. This meal is FULL of veggies (think tons of #antioxidants and #fiber .) The #lycopene – great for skin, bone, and heart health – in the tomatoes is made more bioavailable (meaning it works better in the body) by being cooked with olive oil, since it’s fat-soluble.

Tag me if you try and ENJOY!  

Don’t forget to make extra for leftovers. The sauce is even better the next day!

Ingredients:
1 medium sweet onion chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil 
1 pound ground chicken breast 
1 bottle Rao’s Tomato Basil sauce (24-ounce size)
3 cups baby spinach leaves
1 Tbsp oregano 
1 tsp chili flakes (or to taste)
1 cup cauliflower rice (I used frozen organic from @traderjoes
1/2 cup steamed broccoli 🥦 (see my blog for the best way to cook!)

Directions:

  1. Pour olive oil into large pot/saucepan on medium heat. Sauté onions until they are browned. (I love the caramelized onion flavor so I cook them awhile!) 
  2. Add ground chicken and break apart/cook until all pink is gone and it is just about cooked through (about 4-5 mins if fresh, longer if you start with frozen, which I often do.)
  3. Add in the sauce. 
  4. Add in spinach and stir until it wilts into the sauce. 
  5. Add oregano and chili flakes to taste. 
  6. Simmer on low for at least 20 minutes ( I sometimes do 30-40 minutes or make earlier in the day then reheat for dinner. This blends all the flavors together and helps develop a richer taste as some of the water evaporates.)
  7. In a separate pot or pan warm up or cook cauliflower rice. I use olive oil spray so it doesn’t stick. Both fresh and frozen only need 3-5 minutes to cook.
  8. Steam broccoli. (Recipe on my blog under  “Simple Solutions”.)
  9. Layer sauce and broccoli over cauliflower rice and enjoy! Top with grated Parmesan as desired. (My husband enjoyed his over whole wheat pasta. You can use zoodles too!)
ENJOY!!

Cranberry Sauce with Pears

Yield: Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2 medium pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch chunks
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons agave
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Direction

Combine cranberries, pears, coconut sugar, water, agave, orange juice, and salt in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally until berries start to pop, about 5 minutes.   Press berries against side of pan with wooden spoon and continue to cook until berries have broken down and sauce thickens to a jam-like consistency, about 5 minutes more.  Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes.  Adjust consistency with water as needed.  Stir in crystallized ginger.

Serve immediately or place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Can be served cold or reheated.

 

Butternut Squash + Pomegranate Quinoa Stuffing

YIELD: Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 ounces olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup chopped hazelnuts
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ½ cup roasted butternut squash cubes
  • ½ cup cubed whole wheat sourdough bread toasted in oven with olive oil, salt and pepper

PREPARATION

  1. Roast cubed butternut squash tossed in 1 tbsp olive oil in a 400 degree preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until browned. Set aside. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. Combine the stock and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the quinoa and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 12 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid.
  4. Meanwhile, pour olive oil into large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the onion mixture from the heat and add the quinoa to the pan. Stir in the sage and salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Transfer the stuffing to an 8-inch square pan. Add bread and roasted butternut squash.  Bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Toss with hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds before serving.
  7. Garnish with parsley and ENJOY!

Baked Apple Recipe

Try this sweet, healthy alternative to apple pie on Thanksgiving or any time during the year.

  • 6 apples (choose your favorite variety!)
  • 1/2 cup raisins and/or dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts OR pecans (or other nuts)
  • 3/4 tsp grated orange zest
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 tsp powdered cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp powdered nutmeg 

Preheat oven to 350F.  Remove apple cores and peel around core opening.  Place apples in shallow baking pan.  Stir together raisins, nuts, and zest in a small bowl.  Add water and spices to saucepan and heat until it boils.   Simmer at low heat for 2 minutes.  Fill each apple core with nut mixture.  Spoon the hot mixture over each apple.  Place pan in oven for 30-35 minutes or until apples are soft.  Enjoy!

Wild Mushroom Gravy

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 oz. oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 c. dry sherry
  • 3 c. mushroom stock
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. almond flour (or use all-purpose, wheat, oat, rice etc)
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil (or ghee/butter/margarine as desired)
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper

Instructions:

  • Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté at least 1 minute. (I cook a little longer as I love the caramelized onion flavor.)  Add thyme, salt, and mushrooms and sauté about 8 minutes, or until mushrooms are browned. Add sherry and cook until liquid evaporates. Stir in mushroom broth. Bring to a boil and cook until gravy is reduced to about 2 cups (about 14 minutes).
  • Whisk together almond flour and water in a small bowl. Add mixture to skillet; return to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in oil (or ghee/butter) 1 tablespoon at a time and pepper.

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