Game day has always been a nostalgic tradition for my family and me, even more now with my new husband. We often host friends or family to watch Saturday and Sunday football games, or baseball watch parties during the long season. With “The Big Game” approaching soon, there will be a lot of food prepared and consumed, as it is often referred to as the second-largest food holiday of the year in America.1
Whether you are a guest or the host, making substitutions with produce-forward game day eats will help your party attendees stay stay happy and healthy while enjoying tasty, satisfying food. Here are some simple hacks and dishes that will make your entertaining successful and easy.
- Aim to include salsa, hummus or guacamole dips in addition to creamy and cheesy options. Serve with a bean-based chip, Air Fryer Herbed Root Vegetable Chips or cut up raw veggies. Try this recipe for Super Guacamole which sneaks in frozen peas for added fiber and protein or a creamy Avocado Ranch Dip made with Greek Yogurt for added protein.
- Add in veggies like sauteed onions or spinach, kale, or artichokes to savory dips to give a boost of nutrients and fiber. Healthified Caramelized Onion Dip, Hot Spinach and Kale Dip with Homemade Tortilla Chips and Baked Everything Bagel Spinach Dip are great options that will please any crowd.
- Jalapeno poppers are often stuffed with cheeses and deep fried. This unique twist for Jalapeno Poppers with Sun Dried Tomato Ranch mixes sauteed spinach and green onions into the filling, baked in the oven and served with a sundried tomato and ranch dipping sauce.
- Make a fruit and veggie forward charcuterie board with an assortment of flavors, textures to compliment cheese, meats and crackers.
- Pepperoni Pizza Pepper Bites and Mini Bell Pepper Nachos are a veggie-forward twist on pizza and tacos that uses bell peppers as the base.
- Offer a Taco Layer Dip made with beans, tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole and sour cream and salsa. Or for a more traditional option, mix ground beef, turkey or chicken and mix in beans to stretch your protein further, while also providing a boost of fiber.
- Serve a hearty plant-forward soup or chili that uses a variety of canned beans and tomato products. Add in diced frozen onions and peppers for convenience and a boost of nutrition. Try this recipe for a Hearty 3 Bean Pepper Stew that can feed a large crowd and uses a lot of canned vegetable staples.
- Nix the tortilla chips and swap in smashed roasted cauliflower for Nachos! This recipe for Smashed Cauliflower Nachos uses lots of veggies and adds shredded chicken for a boost of protein. This one is so tasty, you won’t even miss the chips!
- Lastly, stuffed mushrooms are a convenient and pop-able appetizer. Try this recipe for Pizza Mushroom Poppers that provides similar flavors to pizza that you can feel good about.
However you are participating in your game day activities, just remember to add in some fruits and veggies during the gathering for a boost of flavor and to help everyone stay happy and healthy.