Attention football fans: its playoff time, and with the playoffs comes squeezing into man caves, yelling at the television, eating pizza and wings, and drinking beer. But what if we could change how we hosted football parties to make them healthier for you and for friends and family? I’d like to offer some healthy alternative recipes to make your football events a blast for your friends without expanding your waistline.
First things first, always buy your own food from your local grocery store instead of going to the local pizza joint or fast food restaurant. Cooking at home with fresh ingredients gives you a lot more control over how food is prepared so that you might avoid extra calories or less-than-desirable ingredients that can come in fast food items. Also, always have a veggie/fruit plate handy! We all love to graze so be prepared for healthy grazing items for your fans. Now for some fun, and healthy recipes!
Ginger Garlic Shrimp
Nutrition Facts: Serving Size 1 Cup, Calories 110, Fat 1.5 Grams, Cholesterol 85mg, Sodium 234.5mg, Potassium 110mg, Protein 10.6g.
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped basil
- 1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 1/2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
- In a large bowl, mix the vegetable oil with the parsley, garlic, basil, ginger, lemon juice, salt and crushed red pepper. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. Stir in the ginger, garlic and lemongrass and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Season with salt. Transfer the sauce to ramekins.
- Light a grill. Loosely thread the shrimp onto 10 skewers. Grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly charred and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to plates and serve with tomato sauce.
Teriyaki Sesame Chicken Skewers
Nutrition Facts: Serving Size 2 Skewers, 110 calories, Total Fat 2g, Saturated Fat 2g, Carbohydrates 2g.
- 15 ounces teriyaki sauce (no more than 2g sugar per serving)
- 6 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Special equipment: 30 (8-inch) bamboo skewers
- Soak bamboo skewers in water for 1 hour to keep from burning later.
- Mix all marinade ingredients together in a non-reactive container large enough to hold all of the chicken. Cut chicken into 1/2-inch strips and submerge them in the marinade, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Thread 1 chicken strip on each skewer towards end of the stick, and line up on a sheet pan. Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until fully cooked through. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.
Sweet Potato Skins
Nutrition Facts: Serving Size 1 Ounce, Calories 140, Total Fat 7g, Saturated Fat 2g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 140mg, Carbohydrates 15g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Protein 4g, Sugar 3g.
- 6 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
- 3 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
- 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup salsa Verde
- 1/2 avocado, pitted and cut into small pieces
- 1 cup black bean chips, crushed
- Position an oven rack in the top of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees F. Put the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until fork-tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely. (The potatoes can be baked, cooled and refrigerated a day ahead.) Split each in half lengthwise, and scoop out most of the flesh, leaving about a 1/4-inch border all around. (Save the scooped-out flesh for making mashed sweet potatoes later.)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put a rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the potato skins skin-side up on the rack, and brush with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Bake until the skins are slightly browned, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely, then cut each in half crosswise.
- Arrange the pieces skin-side down on the rack, and sprinkle each with mozzarella, Parmesan and scallions. Bake until the mozzarella melts, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the potato skins from the oven, and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Top each with some salsa Verde and avocado. Sprinkle with crushed chips.
Notice how these dishes are very similar to regular party cuisine? Just tweaking a couple of ingredients can make a big difference to the quality of the recipe. If you compare the chicken skewers to buffalo chicken dip, the average amount of calories per serving size is around 1000 calories compared to 110 for 2 chicken skewers. These recipes are not only good for you nutritionally, but these recipes are a unique way to stand out from your other friends while rooting on your favorite team. Now get out there and give these recipes a try or try transforming YOUR favorites!