Eating Relatively Clean During the Super Bowl

By Laurie Ricevuto

It’s hard to believe that 256 regular season games and 14 playoff thrillers are behind us and Super Bowl LI is this weekend. In just a few short days, Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons will be facing four-time Super Bowl Champ Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

During the big game, we will laugh at some of the best commercials, anxiously await the half time show, and obsess over our Super Bowl boxes to figure out every winning scenario. But beyond the game, its all about the football spread, and I don't mean the point spread. I am talking about the food. 

It is very easy to indulge on Super Bowl Sunday. Like the game, it's better to go on offense and have a strategy to eat reasonably clean, yet still enjoy all the festivities. Here are a few of our favorite recipes

TURKEY CHILI

Chili and Super Bowl are basically synonymous and this is our favorite version, hands-down.

  • One pound lean ground turkey
  • One cup chopped onion
  • Two cloves garlic, crushed
  • One tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • One teaspoon cumin
  • One teaspoon dried oregano
  • One teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Two cups diced or crushed tomatoes from a 28 ounce can (undrained)
  • One can beans of choice (19 ounce)

Directions:

In a large pot, cook turkey, onion and garlic over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until turkey is brown. Drain and return to pot. Stir in remaining ingredients and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

BUFFALO CAULIFLOWER

To avoid the temptation of chicken wings and to try to stay semi-healthy so you can indulge in other areas, consider Buffalo Cauliflower Bites (http://realhousemoms.com). They are perfect with celery, carrots and blue cheese dressing (we love the Bolthouse Greek Yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing).

  • One medium cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • One teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Two tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup Buffalo hot sauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. In a bowl, wisk together flour, water, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add cauliflower florets and toss to coat. Spread evenly onto cookie sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, flipping once. Remove from the oven.

In a separate bowl stir together melted butter and buffalo sauce. Add baked cauliflower and toss to coat. Spread evenly onto cookie sheet. Place back in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until crispy, flipping once. 

Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving.

AVOCADO SALSA

When salsa and guacamole collide, nothing but a good thing is created!

  • Six medium Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • One cup chopped red onion
  • One large or two small jalapeños, seeded and chopped ( Leave seeds if you like heat)
  • Three medium avocados, semi-­firm but ripe, peeled, cored and diced
  • Three and a half tablespoons of olive oil
  • Three tablespoons of fresh lime juice
  • One clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste as desired)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, chopped

Directions:

Place red onion in a strainer or sieve and rinse under cool water to remove harsh bite. Drain well. Add to a mixing bowl along with diced tomatoes, jalapeños and avocados. In a separate small mixing bowl whisk together olive oil, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper until mixture is well blended. Pour mixture over avocado mixture, add cilantro then gently toss mixture to evenly coat.

Enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday and may the best team win!