It's that time of year again—the time when groups gather to watch NFL football players toss around the pigskin. Nothing says "Go team" like a game-winning spread. This year, whip up these healthy takes on the classics.
Whether your team takes home the Vince Lombardi trophy or walks away empty handed, each of these six stellar recipes will guarantee you end the night with a full stomach and a smile.
Turkey Jalapeno Poppers
Jalapeno poppers are central to every football-themed spread. Take this all-star, easy-to-follow dish to the next level by wrapping these spicy pepper bites in protein-rich turkey bacon. The addition of Greek yogurt and absence of fried, breaded coating make this a treat that's sure to bring the festivities to life for your taste buds. There's no faster way to get the party started!
93% lean ground turkey 1/2 lb.
Turkey bacon 9 slices
Garlic 1 tbsp
Red onion, finely chopped 1/3 cup
2% Greek yogurt 3/4 cup
Goat cheese, crumbled 1/3 cup
Oregano 1/2 tbsp
Dill 1 tsp
Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Fire up the grill. You want the temperature at least to 350 degrees F.
- Set a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat and spray lightly with a little coconut or olive oil. Toss in the red onions and garlic and cook until the onion becomes brown and somewhat translucent. Once that happens, toss in the lean ground turkey and cook. Use a wooden spatula to chop up the turkey as it cooks, breaking up any big clumps of meat.
- Slice the turkey bacon vertically in half in order to create two long, narrow strips from one slice of bacon. Repeat for all nine strips of bacon.
- Slice the jalapenos down the middle. Using a small spoon, carve out the insides and scrape away all of the white seeds. This step is especially important if you are making this for children or individuals who cannot handle spicy food.
- In a bowl, mix together ground turkey, Greek yogurt, goat cheese, and the seasonings.
- Using a spoon, fill each jalapeno half with the mixture, then wrap 1/2 slice of turkey bacon around it. Repeat.
- Place the poppers on a grill, with the mixture facing up, and allow them to grill for 23-25 minutes, until you see the edges of the jalapeno turn brown and the edges of the turkey bacon become crispier.
- Remove from the heat, and enjoy immediately!
Serving size: 1 popper
Recipe yields: 18 servings
Healthy Chicken and Veggie Hummus Quesadillas
Combining different styles and cultures in meals is a great way to bring creativity to your diet. This is a fusion dish where Mediterranean-inspired hummus meets Latin quesadillas for a flavorful taste explosion your guests are sure to love.
Red-pepper hummus 1/4 cup
Chicken breast 10 oz. (raw)
Portobello mushroom cap, chopped 1 large
Small, 100-calorie multigrain tortillas 4
Goat cheese, crumbled 4 tbsp
Red onion, chopped 1/2 cup
Garlic, minced 2 tbsp
Fresh cilantro garnish
Pico de gallo garnish
Coconut oil spray
- Spray a nonstick skillet with coconut oil spray, and set on medium-high heat.
- Sear 1 tablespoon minced garlic in the skillet, then toss in chopped mushrooms. Sear and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring quickly with a spatula so that the mushroom does not completely wilt. Set aside in a separate bowl.
- Sear 1 tablespoon minced garlic in the skillet, then toss in chicken breast. Cook the chicken for about 12-15 minutes or until the meat is white when cut and the juices run clear. Set aside in a separate bowl.
- Thinly slice red onions, chop up fresh cilantro, and remove the pit from the avocado and cut into thin slices.
- Spread about 2 tablespoons (1/8 cup) of red-pepper hummus on each wheat tortilla.
- On one side of each tortilla, add half of the chopped chicken breast or half of sauté.ed mushrooms), a few red onion slices, 1 tablespoon goat cheese, 1/4 of an avocado, and fresh cilantro.
- Fold the quesadilla in half.
- Spray a nonstick skillet with coconut oil and set on medium heat. Allow the skillet to heat up.
- Add the quesadilla to the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes on each side. Be sure to press down on the quesadilla using a spatula so that it flattens out.
- Remove from the skillet and enjoy with fresh pico de gallo, Greek yogurt, or salsa.
Serving size: 1 chicken quesadilla (with 5 oz. raw chicken breast)
Recipe yields: 2 chicken quesadillas
Serving size: 1 portobello veggie quesadilla
Recipe yields: 2 chicken quesadillas
Grilled Shrimp and Avocado Kabobs
Don't let the colors fool you; these kabobs pack quite a punch! The avocado makes these seafood kabobs filling and even more nutritious! Here's a quick and easy grilling recipe that I whipped up in about 30 minutes using minimal ingredients. Winning.
Jumbo shrimp (prawns) 1 lb.
Large, semi-ripe avocadoes 1-1/2
Red bell pepper 1
Orange bell pepper 1
Yellow bell pepper 1
Red onion 1
Garlic paste 1 tbsp
Cayenne 1 tsp
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 tbsp
Lime juice 1 large lime
Apple cider vinegar 1 tbsp
Ginger paste 1/2 tsp
Garlic paste 1-1/2 tsp
Cilantro, finely chopped 1/8 cup
Salt and pepper to taste
- Set your grill (or oven) to about 400 degrees F.
- Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 15 minutes.
- Chop veggies and avocado into large pieces for the kabob.
- Peel shrimp (leave the tails) and season.
- Assemble the kabobs. I used chunks of red onion as the end caps, but feel free to make the recipe your own and toss in your favorite seasonable vegetables. Opt for more fibrous vegetables, as they are more filling and will likely hold well on a kabob stick under intense heat.
- Spray your grilling rack with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray if you are using an electric grill. Place the kabobs on the grill and cook for about 8-10 minutes, then flip and cook for another 8-10 minutes.
- In a bowl, mix the ingredients for the marinade. When the kabobs have finished grilling, brush them with the optional marinade and serve immediately.
Serving size: 1 kabob
Recipe yields: 5 servings
BBQ Turkey-Wrapped Asparagus
Just like salty, crunchy sweet-potato chips, I can't get enough of turkey-wrapped asparagus. Long story short, they make a great addition to any game-day spread. They're easy to prepare, high in protein, veggie rich, and most of all, delicious.
If you're looking to add some variety and additional flavor, try brushing the wrapped spears with low-sodium barbecue sauce mixed with organic, raw honey to make a delicious, sweet glaze. Also try homemade teriyaki sauce, spicy mustard mixed with organic, raw honey, or even homemade lemon glaze—the options are virtually endless.
Low-sodium turkey 8 oz.
Thick asparagus spear 8
Barbecue sauce 1/2 tsp (or favorite low-fat sauce)
- Set oven to 450 degrees F.
- Wash the asparagus, then break the thick ends off the asparagus.
- Wrap asparagus in 1 ounce of turkey meat.
- Sear the wrapped asparagus in a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat for 2 minutes so the turkey is "cooked shut" or sealed.
- Remove and place on a baking rack or sheet. Rub with barbecue sauce.
- Bake in the oven for no more than 5 minutes so that the asparagus remain semi-firm.
Serving size: 1 spear
Recipe yields: 8 servings
Smoked Salmon Guacamole
Who doesn't love a good guacamole dip? Add some extra zing (and protein) to your next spread with this flavorful combination that's powered by the tanginess of Greek yogurt and the hearty goodness of smoked salmon. It's sure to be a hit with your game-day buds. You can enjoy these with fresh veggies or stuff them in some whole-wheat tacos for power-packed bites.
Avocados 3 medium
Smoked wild salmon 6 oz.
Celery stalk, chopped 1
Red onion, chopped 1/3 cup
Cilantro or coriander 1/3 cup
Greek yogurt 2 tbsp
Dijon mustard 1-1/2 tbsp
Cumin 1 tsp
Pepper to taste
- Slice and mash the avocados. Add the sliced celery stalk, onion, salmon, cilantro (or coriander), yogurt, seasonings, and lemon juice.
- Serve and enjoy!
Serving size: 1/6 of the dip
Recipe yields: 6 servings