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Super Bowl Sunday: Touchdown-worthy recipes for the big game

NFL Super Bowl XLVIII is set for 5:30 p.m. Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The game will air on Fox television, pitting the 15-3 Seattle Seahawks against the 15-3 Denver Broncos. Game time temps are expected in the mid-30s. Web image

Whether you watch the Super Bowl for the football or the commercials, most everyone can agree that food is an essential part of any Super Bowl get-together.

From chicken wings to pizza rolls to 10-layer dips, there’s no shortage of options to serve at your Super Bowl party. But all those options can make the decision overwhelming, too.

Donna McCarthy, co-manager of Taher Catering in Willmar, says that when choosing your menu for the big game, it’s most important to keep the food quick, easy and mess-free.

“People will likely be grabbing food during commercials breaks, so you want to keep it quick,” McCarthy said. “It can’t be really complicated either because it’s all ‘lap food.’ It should also be easy enough to replace quickly for guests.”

For a sure-to-please Super Bowl spread, McCarthy recommends sticking with an appetizer-based menu. She typically offers a sausage and cheese dip served with nacho chips.

“Everyone loves that,” she said.

For another easy dip, McCarthy suggests grinding one can of kidney beans (after draining first) and mixing that with sour cream and dry onion. Finish with your favorite seasoning, such as herbal seasoning or seasoned salt.

“You want that saltiness with any dip,” she said.

Besides dips, wild rice meatballs are another staple at McCarthy’s Super Bowl parties. She mixes wild rice with ground beef, egg and bread and “squishes it” all together. She then bakes it until the meat is done and drains the meat, and finishes by baking the meatballs in mushroom soup or barbecue sauce.

“I’m from up north, so I love a wild rice meatball,” McCarthy said. “I like the wild rice and mushrooms together, because it’s different. It’s similar to stroganoff.”

While food may take center stage at a Super Bowl party, it’s important not to forget about drinks, either. Beer will likely be the drink of choice for most guests, but McCarthy also suggests offering hard or even soft ciders as options.

“Add some cinnamon sticks to warm apple cider,” McCarthy said. “It’s delicious and it’s cold outside, so it makes sense.”

Want a healthier Super Bowl menu? Make a game plan.

For those who wish to keep their diets intact on Super Bowl Sunday — and avoid any penalties on their waistline — some healthier options may be more appetizing for the big game.

Before you head to the Super Bowl party, devise a game plan for healthy eating with these tips from Emily Bakker, a registered dietitian at Affiliated Community Medical Centers.

  • Eat before the game. “Before you head out, don’t starve yourself thinking that you can overeat at the Super Bowl party,” Bakker said. “Have a good meal so you’re more satiated and less apt to overeat once you’re faced with the food in front of you.”
  • Bring your own healthy option to the party. “I always recommend bringing a relish tray,” Bakker said. “Bring some vegetables with an easy low-fat dip that you can make. If you’re the one who brings the veggie tray, at least you know there will be a healthy option available.” Bakker said that the “crunch” of vegetables can be a good alternative to the crackers or chips often served at Super Bowl parties.
  • Know the healthier swaps. For example, use a plain, low-fat yogurt for dips instead of cream cheese or heavy sour cream. If you must have soda, choose the diet option. The same goes for beer: lighter versions have “significantly less calories and carbohydrates,” Bakker said. Whenever possible, however, try to stick with water, she said.
  • Understand the meaning of “moderation.” If there’s a food you really want, go for it – but don’t overdo it. “If you’re craving a dip your friend makes that’s fatty but delicious, have a little bit of it,” Bakker said. “Just make sure you fill the rest of your plate with vegetables, nuts or other foods that don’t have all the added fats.”

Here are a few easy, dietitian-approved recipes that you can make for Sunday’s big game. For more healthy recipes, visit www.acmc.com/weightloss/medical_nutrition_recipes.cfm.

Spinach Dip

Serves: 12

Serving size: 2 tablespoons

Ingredients

1 (10-oz.) package frozen chopped spinach or broccoli, thawed

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon fresh minced mint

1 cup reduced-fat sour cream

Fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions

Drain the defrosted spinach and press out all the water until the spinach is very dry. Combine all ingredients by hand. Refrigerate for two hours. Serve inside a hollowed-out, round loaf of bread and surround with crackers, breadsticks, vegetables or pita wedges.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 26; Calories from Fat 14; Total Fat 2g; Saturated Fat 1g; Cholesterol 7mg; Sodium 24mg; Total Carbohydrate 2g; Dietary Fiber 1g; Sugars 1g; Protein 1g

Low-Fat Oven-Fried Chicken

Serves: 6 Servings

Serving size: 1 thigh or breast half

Ingredients

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

6 skinless chicken breast halves or 6 skinless chicken thighs (1-3/4-lb. to 2-lb.)

1 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1 tablespoon margarine, melted

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Combine the yogurt, paprika, thyme, salt, pepper and garlic in a large bowl; mix well. Coat the chicken with the mixture. (The chicken may be covered and refrigerated overnight or baked immediately.)

Prepare a shallow roasting pan or jelly roll pan with non-stick pan spray. Combine the bread crumbs and margarine in a shallow dish. Coat the chicken with the crumbs; place in the pan.

Bake breasts for 25 minutes, thighs for 30 to 35 minutes, or until tender.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 240; Calories from Fat 69; Fat 8g; Saturated Fat 2g; Cholesterol 69mg; Fiber 1g; Sodium 721mg; Carbohydrate 16g; Sugars 2g; Protein 26g

Ashley White

Ashley White is the community content coordinator for the West Central Tribune. Follow her on Twitter @Ashley_WCT.


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