The winter holidays may be over, but pigskin lovers across America know that it’s still the season to party. Word is already out that your house is the place to be for the most popular kickoff of the year. It’s time to start thinking about the food you’ll serve your guests, who are not just football fans but foodies as well.
The first of the year is typically the time when guys loosen their belts a notch and ladies panic when they can’t quite get into that favorite pair of jeans. This means that some of your guests will be frequenting the gym and making dietary changes to lose those extra five pounds from eating too many Christmas cookies and raiding the refrigerator for leftovers.
The great news is that nutritious snacking is in vogue, so make yourself popular at this year’s championship game by laying out a spread of healthier foods. Your game plan should be one that is guilt-free. If you’re looking for some wholesome but hearty ideas, check out these five football favorites.
- Kick off your party with bowls of steamy, homemade turkey chili made with fresh garlic, onion and a mixture of black, pinto and kidney beans. Top each bowl with finely grated cheese and add a dollop of low-fat sour cream.
- Bean dip is always a favorite finger food. Serve it with celery and carrot sticks for dipping. Offer baked chips instead of fried. Many popular snack crackers now come in “light” versions with less fat. Make up a batch of mock deviled eggs by scooping out the yolks and replacing them with bean dip.
- Salsa is a great low-fat, tasty sidekick for baked tortilla chips. Make your own fresh batch of pico de gallo. Mix it up several hours before the party so the diced tomatoes and avocados can soak up all those savory spices.
- Don’t forget to keep the popcorn bowls filled. Instead of butter, drizzle olive oil sparingly over the popcorn and then season with crowd-pleasers like garlic powder or Old Bay seafood spices.
- After halftime, put out skewers of fresh fruit as an alternative to sugary desserts. Slices of melon, bananas, pineapple and kiwi along with whole strawberries and seedless grapes will satisfy the sweet tooth of even your biggest candy enthusiast.
Your lineup for the big game is looking good, but not half as good as it’s going to taste. You’ve got a crowd of football fans coming, a mouth-watering menu to serve and a big screen to capture all the action. Now all you need is a touchdown!