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Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos

Many tune in for the big game for the football, some for the commercials and halftime show. For a number of others, though, the real draw is the food lineup. Rather than opting for the traditional heavy or greasy fare that can ultimately leave you feeling like you were on the defeated team, try these healthier options that are sure to score points.

Appetizers and Sides

Buffalo Meatballs

buffalo meatballs with sauce

Makes 4 servings •  Prep time 10 minutes •  Cook time 15 minutes

  • 1 lb. ground chicken or turkey
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup buffalo sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbs. ranch seasoning
  • Pinch of salt

For the ranch seasoning:

  • 2 tbs. dried parsley
  • 2 tsp. dried dill
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. dried chives
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients and combine with your hands until well mixed.
  3. Form mixture into 12 evenly-sized meatballs. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until cooked throughout. Remove from oven and top with additional buffalo sauce if preferred.

Sweet Potato Fries With Chimichurri

sweet potato fries

Makes 4 servings •  Prep time 15 minutes •  Cook time 30 minutes

For the fries:

  • 2 lb. sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • ¾ tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tbs. avocado oil
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup packed parsley leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ cup red-wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste

Recipe by Robin Asbell, a Minneapolis-based recipe developer and cookbook author.

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line three sheet pans with parchment paper.
  2. Slice each sweet potato into fries approximately ¼-inch wide and ¼-inch thick. Place all the fries in a large bowl. Sprinkle with cornstarch or arrowroot powder and salt; stir until the fries are lightly coated.
  3. Spread the fries on the sheet pans and drizzle with avocado oil, then toss to coat evenly until no powdery spots remain. Rub visible powder into the fries as necessary. Spread out so the fries are in a single layer and not touching.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, then use a metal spatula to flip the fries one section at a time. Return to the oven and bake for 13 to 15 minutes more, until browned and crisp.
  5. Sprinkle with paprika and cumin and transfer to a serving platter.
  6. To make the sauce, place the parsley and garlic in a food processor and process until finely minced. Add the oregano and salt and process again, then drizzle the vinegar in through the feed tube with the machine running. Do the same with the olive oil, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. When the liquids are incorporated, scrape the purée into a small bowl and stir in the red-pepper flakes. Taste and add more red-pepper flakes or salt as needed. Serve alongside the fries.

Pizza Meatballs

Pizza Meatballs with dipping sauce.

Makes 6 servings •  Prep time 10 minutes •  Cook time 25 minutes

  • 1 lb. organic ground beef
  • 1 lb. organic ground turkey
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tbs. Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup chopped pepperonis
  • 1 ¼ cup pizza sauce (no sugar added)
  • ⅓ cup almond flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, ground turkey, egg, seasonings, pepperonis, pizza sauce, and almond flour. Mix until everything is completely combined.
  3. Use a cookie scoop or a big spoon to scoop the meat. Shape each meatball to be about 1 ½ inches in size.
  4. Place each meatball 1-inch apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes until cooked through.
  5. Use any extra sauce for dipping. Serve with roasted veggies or side of choice.

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Makes 8 servings •  Prep time 10 minutes •  Cook time 17 minutes

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • ½ cup hot sauce
  • Coconut or olive oil

Recipe by The Life Time Foundation

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Chop the cauliflower into bite-sized chunks.
  2. Add cauliflower to a baking sheet lightly greased with coconut or olive oil. Bake for about 15 minutes.
  3. Mix the hot sauce and spices together in a large sealable bag. Add the cauliflower to the bag, seal it, and shake until coated.
  4. Add back to the oven for a couple of minutes.

Zucchini Pizza Bites

zucchini pizza bites served on a wooden tray

Makes 12 servings •  Prep time 10 minutes •  Cook time 3 minutes

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • ½ tomato
  • 2 oz. fresh mozzarella
  • Small handful of basil

Recipe by The Life Time Foundation

  1. Turn the oven to the broil setting. Slice the zucchini into disks.
  2. Top the zucchini disks with a small piece of tomato, basil, and mozzarella.
  3. Broil for about 3 minutes, or until the cheese is nice and melty.

Cauliflower Tots

baked cauliflower tots on a pan

Makes 8 servings •  Prep time 10 minutes •  Cook time 35 minutes

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, minced in food processor
  • ½ cup sweet onion, chopped
  • ⅓ cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅓ cup almond flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. paprika

Recipe by The Life Time Foundation

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Form the mixture into small tots by hand.
  3. Place the tots on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

Main Dishes

Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos

crock pot sweet potato nachos

Makes 4 servings •  Prep time 4.5 hours, including 4 hours slow cooker time •  Cook time 6 minutes

  • 1 lb. chicken breast
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 tbs. garlic powder
  • 1 tbs. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ½ cup black beans
  • ½ cup corn
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • 1 bunch green onions, diced
  • 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 avocado, diced
  1. Place chicken breast in a slow cooker with the salsa, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Cook on high for three to four hours, or on low for six to eight hours, until the chicken is cooked through.
  2. Once chicken is cooked, remove from slow cooker and shred. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Using a mandolin slicer (or with a knife by hand with close attention), slice the sweet potatoes into thin slices. The thinner the slice, the crispier they’ll be. Toss sweet potato slices in a bowl with olive oil and paprika.
  4. Line a baking sheet (or two) with aluminum foil and set a baking rack on top if you have one. Layer sweet potato slices onto the rack, making sure not to overlap them. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until crispy.
  5. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F. If you used two baking sheets, condense all sweet potato slices onto one sheet. Top with chicken, black beans, corn, pepper, red onion, and green onions. Sprinkle over the cheese evenly.
  6. Bake for five to six minutes, until cheese is melted. Top with avocado.

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

Makes 4 servings •  Prep time 15 minutes •  Cook time 30 minutes

  • 1 tbs. coconut oil
  • 1 lb. chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (16 oz.) coconut milk
  • 1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans (4 oz. each) diced green chilies
  • 1 tbs. cumin
  • 1 tbs. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  1. In a large pot, heat the coconut oil, then add the chicken, onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. Stir occasionally until the chicken is cooked through, about eight to 10 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and stir until well combined. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Slow Cooker Chili

Bowl of chili

Makes 6 to 8 servings •  Prep time 15 minutes •  Cook time 6 hours

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 can (28–30 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (30 oz.) chili beans in sauce
  • 1 can (15 oz.) whole-kernel sweet corn, drained
  • 1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can (10 oz.) diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 2 tbs. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin

Optional toppings:

  • Shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • Full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • Sliced avocado
  • Cilantro
  1. Cook the ground turkey in a skillet over medium heat, stirring to break up clumps, until browned and cooked through. Add the taco seasoning packet and finish cooking according to the package instructions.
  2. In a large slow cooker, combine the turkey taco meat, red bell pepper, tomato sauce, chili beans, corn, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, chili powder, and cumin. Cover and cook on low for six hours.
  3. Spoon the chili into bowls. Top with assorted toppings, such as a shredded Mexican cheese blend, full-fat plain Greek yogurt, sliced avocado, and cilantro, if desired.

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Strips With Honey Mustard and Broccoli Slaw

Bacon-wrapped chicken with broccoli slaw and honey mustard

Makes 2 servings •  Prep time 5 minutes •  Cook time 22 minutes

For the chicken:

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 5 strips nitrate-free bacon, sliced lengthwise

For the honey mustard:

  • 1 tbs. honey
  • 1 tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs. avocado oil-based mayo
  • ¾ tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Dash of cayenne

For the broccoli slaw:

  • ⅓ cup avocado oil-based mayo
  • 2 tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 12-oz. bag broccoli slaw
  • 1 cup grapes, halved
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut each chicken breast into three strips lengthwise. Wrap with a strip of bacon.
  2. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 17 to 22 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  3. While the chicken is baking, make the honey mustard by whisking together all the ingredients. Set aside. Next, make the broccoli slaw by whisking together the mayo, apple cider vinegar, and salt and pepper, then tossing with the slaw and grapes.
  4. When the chicken is done, serve alongside the slaw and use the honey mustard as a dip.


Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo chicken dip

Makes 8 servings •  Prep time 5 minutes •  Cook time 4 hours

  • 2 lb. chicken
  • ½ cup buffalo sauce
  • 1 ½ cups plain Greek yogurt
  1. Place all ingredients in a crock-pot and cook on high for three to four hours.
  2. Once the chicken is cooked through, use two forks to shred the chicken and mix well. Serve with assorted veggies.

Caramelized-Onion Dip

A bowl of caramelized onion dip

Makes 4 servings •  Prep time 5 minutes •  Cook time 2 hours, 15 minutes

  • 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 3 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 4 oz. chèvre
  • ½ cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste

Recipe by Robin Asbell, a Minneapolis-based recipe developer and cookbook author.

  1. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the onions and stir. Once the onions start to sizzle, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring every 10 minutes, for one hour. Then reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, stirring every 10 minutes, for one more hour. If the onions begin to brown too quickly, reduce the heat or add a few drops of water to the pan. After two hours, they should be golden brown and reduced to about a ½ cup.
  2. Place the chèvre in a food processor and process to soften. Add the onions, yogurt, thyme, lemon juice, and salt, then process again, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until ingredients are combined. If you like a thinner dip, add more yogurt, 1 tablespoon at a time, and process to mix. Scrape dip into a medium bowl and serve with veggies.

5-Minute Guacamole

blue corn chips with a bowl of guacamole

Makes 2 servings •  Prep time 5 minutes •  Cook time 0 minutes

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 tbs. lime juice
  • 2 tbs. cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup salsa
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Scoop avocados into a large bowl, discarding the peels and seeds. Mash with a fork.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients. If desired, chill for 30 minutes to let flavors blend.

Roasted Tomato Salsa

A jar of roasted tomato salsa surrounded by the produce used to make it

Makes 12 servings •  Prep time 10 minutes •  Cook time 30 minutes

  • 5 medium tomatoes, cut in half with seeds removed
  • 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ jalapeño, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • 2 tbs. lime juice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbs. chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Recipe by Cary Neff, the author of the New York Times bestseller Conscious Cuisine.

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the tomato halves on a baking sheet coated with the olive oil. Roast the tomatoes for 20 minutes or until they have a browned. Cool.
  2. Place roasted tomatoes in a blender with the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth (about 30 seconds).

Tip: If you like hot salsa, add extra jalapeño!

Creamy Spinach and White-Bean Dip

Creamy spinach and white bean dip with sliced veggies.

Makes 6 servings •  Prep time 20 minutes •  Cook time 0 minutes

  • 1 15-oz. can cannellini or navy beans
  • 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups packed fresh spinach
  • ½ tsp. salt

Recipe by Robin Asbell, a Minneapolis-based recipe developer and cookbook author.

  1. Drain the beans over a bowl and let stand, reserving the liquid.
  2. Heat a small sauté pan over medium-low heat and add the olive oil, then add the halved garlic cloves and reduce the heat to low to maintain a gentle sizzle. Add the rosemary and black pepper; stir. Continue cooking, stirring periodically, until garlic is browned on both sides, about eight to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  3. Place the drained white beans in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to chop. Scrape down the sides, then add the cooled oil-and-garlic mixture, spinach, and salt. Process to make a coarse purée.
  4. Scrape into a bowl. If the mixture seems too thick, stir in some of the reserved bean liquid to reach desired texture.
  5. Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to four days. Serve with veggies and crackers for dipping.

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The Life Time Health Team

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