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A bowl of chili

There’s no need to abandon your healthy eating habits just because it’s time for the big game! With a few simple ingredient swaps, these common game-day recipes get a nutritious boost — so you can nosh guilt-free as you cheer for your team. 

Teriyaki Chicken Lettuce Wraps 

Teriyaki Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ground chicken and chopped veggies make a tasty filling for these fresh and easy lettuce wraps. If you can’t find butter lettuce, Romaine is a good substitute.

Makes four servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 recipe Teriyaki Sauce (below)
  • 1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated and rinsed
  • Store-bought Thai peanut sauce, sliced green onions, and chopped salted peanuts, for garnish

TERIYAKI SAUCE INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbs. water
  • 2 tsp. corn starch
  • 5 oz. lower-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tbs. rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare the Teriyaki Sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the water and corn starch to make a semi-liquid mixture; set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the soy sauce or tamari, honey, rice vinegar, garlic, and ginger; cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture starts to simmer. Add the corn starch mixture to the pot and simmer, stirring constantly for one to two minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat half of the olive oil. Add the chicken to the skillet, sprinkle with salt, and cook for five to seven minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and no pink remains. Drain and transfer the chicken to a plate.
  3. Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet along with the red pepper and onion and cook for five to seven minutes, stirring frequently until the peppers are softened and the onions begin to brown.
  4. Reduce the heat to low, then add the chicken and Teriyaki Sauce to the skillet and cook for one minute to heat. Remove from heat.
  5. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the mixture into the lettuce leaves. Garnish each with a drizzle of peanut sauce, some sliced green onions and chopped peanuts, if desired.

Grilled Tomato and Jalapeño Toasts

Tomato-Jalapeno Toasts

This spicy, citrusy take on bruschetta is loaded with vitamin C from the lemons, limes, and tomatoes, and delivers a kick of anti-inflammatory capsaicin from the jalapeños. Grill these over an open flame or under the broiler in your oven.

Makes eight to 10 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 baguette or bread of choice, halved lengthwise and cut into 4- to 6-inch pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 4 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 recipe Jalapeño Paste (below)

JALAPEÑO PASTE INGREDIENTS

  • 2 small lemons
  • 1 small lime
  • 3 jalapeños, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 tsp. sea salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare the Jalapeño Paste: With a vegetable peeler, peel sections of lemon and lime zest. Place the zest, jalapeños, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process until a paste is formed. Keep chilled until ready to use.
  2. Toast the baguette pieces face-down over medium flames on a grill, or face-up under your oven’s broiler. Keep a close eye and remove from heat when toasted. Rub the toasted surface of each baguette piece with the cut side of the garlic clove. Drizzle with olive oil, then spread a thin layer of the Jalapeño Paste. Top with sliced tomatoes and serve immediately.

Source: Reprinted with permission from Dirty Gourmet: Food for Your Outdoor Adventures, 2018 by Aimee Trudeau, Mai-Yan Kwan, and Emily Nielson, published by Skipstone, an imprint of Mountaineers Books.

Loaded Sweet Potato Fries

Loaded sweet-potato fries

Rich in vitamin C and B vitamins, as well as several minerals and the antioxidant beta-carotene, sweet potatoes are a tasty and easy way to upgrade your fries. If you like a little extra spice, try topping these Loaded Sweet Potato Fries with pickled jalapeños and drizzling with hot sauce.

Makes four servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch-thick matchsticks
  • 1 tbs. olive oil 1/2 tsp. salt, plus extra to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper, plus extra to taste
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium avocado, cut into pieces
  • 1 recipe Cilantro-Lime Dressing (below)
  • Pickled jalapeños and hot sauce for garnish, if desired

CILANTRO-LIME DRESSING INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare the Cilantro-Lime Dressing: In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, lime juice, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the cut sweet potatoes in a bowl, toss with olive oil, then sprinkle with the salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder. Toss to coat, then arrange the fries in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the fries are tender and golden brown, turning twice during baking.
  3. While the fries are baking, brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until no pink remains. Drain, then season lightly with salt and pepper.
  4. Remove the fries from the oven and top with the ground beef and shredded cheese. Return to the oven for three minutes to melt the cheese. Remove the fries from the oven and top with diced tomatoes and avocado, adding jalapeños or hot sauce, if desired. Drizzle with some of the Cilantro Lime Dressing.

Hummus, Three Ways

Bowls of hummus and snacks

Make ordinary hummus extraordinary — in taste, color, and nutrition — with these easy upgrades. Beets serve up a healthy dose of folate, as well as minerals manganese and potassium, while sweet potatoes have been shown to deliver antioxidant effects. Using white beans and almonds makes for a tasty hummus variation that delivers similar levels of protein and fiber as traditional chickpeas.

Makes three cups
Prep time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

BEET HUMMUS

  • 1 cup steamed, peeled, and mashed beets
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1 14-oz. can chickpeas
  • 3 tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

SWEET POTATO HUMMUS

  • 1 cup baked, mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 14-oz. can chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 tsp. salt

WHITE BEAN AND ALMOND HUMMUS

  • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1 14-oz. can white beans
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place all ingredients for your chosen recipe in a powerful blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
  2. Serve with pita, whole-grain or nut-based crackers, or sliced vegetables.
  3. Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Source: Robin Asbell is a Minneapolis-based recipe developer and cookbook author.

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites with Ranch Dressing

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Brimming with vitamins and rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients, these Buffalo Cauliflower Bites are just as healthy as they are tasty.

Makes four servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 to 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 cup hot pepper sauce, such as Frank’s Original Hot Sauce
  • 1 recipe Ranch Dressing (below)
  • Coconut or olive oil cooking spray

RANCH DRESSING INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. fresh dill
  • 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare the Buffalo Cauliflower Bites: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Chop the cauliflower into bite-sized chunks and spread evenly on baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Mix the hot pepper sauce, garlic powder, and onion powder in a large bowl. Add the cooked cauliflower and stir until coated. Return to the cooking sheet and re-heat in the oven for five minutes.
  2. Make the Ranch Dressing: Mash the avocado and combine with the other ingredients until well mixed.

Source: The Life Time Foundation

Easy Party Mix

DIY snack mix for a party

If you crave that popular party mix made with rice cereal, you are going to love this grain-free alternative. Loaded with B vitamins, this tastes surprisingly similar to the less-healthy version and is incredibly easy to prepare using any nuts or seeds you have on hand.

Makes two cups
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1⁄2 cup raw almonds
  • 1⁄2 cup raw pecans
  • 1 cup hulled sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1⁄2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3⁄4 tsp. fine sea salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients. Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheet in a flat, single layer without too many clumps.
  3. Bake for 35 minutes, tossing the mixture a couple of times throughout. Cool completely (the nuts will be crunchy once cool).
  4. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Source: Reprinted with permission from No Excuses Detox, 2017 by Megan Gilmore, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Slow Cooker Chili

A bowl of chili

This tasty chili is high in protein and fiber, with just enough kick to warm you up on a cool day. If you prefer a milder chili, substitute regular diced tomatoes for the diced tomatoes with green chilies.

Makes four to eight servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 6 hours 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. organic ground turkey
  • 1 1-oz. packet taco seasoning
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 28- to 30-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 30-oz. can chili beans, drained
  • 1 15-oz. can organic kidney beans, drained
  • 1 15-oz. can whole-kernel sweet corn, drained
  • 1 10-oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 2 tbs. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • Shredded Mexican cheese blend, full-fat plain Greek yogurt, sliced avocado, and cilantro for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the turkey, drain it, and then return it to the pan. Add the taco seasoning packet and cook according to the package directions. In a large slow cooker, add the cooked turkey, red bell pepper, tomato sauce, chili beans, kidney beans, corn, diced tomatoes, chili powder, and cumin. Cover and cook on low for six hours.
  2. Spoon the chili into bowls and top with the cheese, yogurt, avocado, and cilantro as desired.

Fruit Crumble

Berry Crisp

The best thing about a crisp or crumble is that you can toss it together with any fruit you have on hand. Small berries can be thrown in whole; larger ones, like strawberries, are better cut in half. Stone fruits, like plums, peaches, and apricots, need to be pitted and sliced into bite-sized pieces. You can also use frozen fruit, as long as you thaw it first and drain the liquid.

Makes six to eight servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

FILLING INGREDIENTS

  • 4 lbs. fruit
  • 1 1/2 tbs. cornstarch
  • 1 to 4 tbs. honey or maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 to 2 tbs. fresh lemon juice (optional)

TOPPING INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup flour (whole wheat, spelt, or gluten-free all-purpose baking flour)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or granulated maple sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 stick (4 oz.) cold butter or 1/2 cup cold coconut oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Prepare the filling: Combine filling ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat. If the raw fruit is tart-tasting, add 1 tablespoon sweetener; if it’s a bit lackluster, add a squeeze of lemon. Add more lemon or sweetener to taste. Transfer mixture to a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside.
  3. Prepare the topping: Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut the cold butter or coconut oil into small pieces and add to the bowl. Using your hands, blend the ingredients until mixture resembles lumpy sand.
  4. Scatter the topping mixture in an even layer over the fruit. Bake until the fruit is soft and bubbling and the topping is crisp — about 40 minutes.

Source: Reprinted with permission from The Family Cooks, 2014 by Laurie David, published by Rodale Books.

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