What to Eat During the Superbowl (or any other TV event!)
We've all been there. The big game is on, and your hosts have a giant spread of wings, chili, nachos, and dips. Add in a few beers, and it's easy to overdo it.* There's just something about the game and that combination of food that makes all right with the world! But, of course after the game, your body might not agree. So, what's a fan to do?
Well, you can have your cake (er...wings) and eat it to, as they say. There are plenty of options out there for all your favorite snacks that won't make you feel like you have a brick in your stomach afterwards. So, let's get started.
First, of COURSE wings are on the menu. What can you do to "healthify" them? Just stick 'em in the oven! By baking them, you can cut the calories in half and the fat by....wait for it....wait for it...75%! And don't worry, you can still get that tenderness on the inside and crispiness on the outside. Try these amazing spicy honey crispy baked wings from Ambitious Kitchen, or these simple baked chicken wings from Heathy Recipes.
Second, you don't have to pack your chili with a ton ground beef, sour cream and cheese to taste amazing. You can make your chili with equally satisfying ground turkey. Don't believe me? Try this amazing turkey chili recipe. Don't care for meat? I got you covered with Cookie + Kate's delicious vegetarian chili. The spices make this dish seriously good. Just ask the almost 1200 5-star reviewers.
Okay, we're on a roll. What's next? Ooh...nachos! Nachos is one of those foods that I could never give up or turn down. I. LOVE. NACHOS. And fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make them a bit healthier. I typically line a sheet pan with parchment paper, spread tortilla chips out in one layer, and then load them with different kinds of beans, bell peppers, and jalapeno peppers. Then I sprinkle a light layer of cheddar cheese and pop them in the oven for a few minutes. After they come out, I add salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole and a dollop of sour cream. So good. If you want meat on your nachos, try these to-die-for nachos (just opt for lean ground turkey).
Finally, dips. Dips can be deceptively caloric; you think you're having an appetizer, and before you know it, you've had 600 calories and your day's recommended amounts for fat and sodium. So, what are some dip ideas that won't weigh you down? Let's start with the classics. Pico de gallo (and <--this recipe) is a winner in my book - always delicious, easy and fresh. And with pico de gallo, you must have guacamole. Though guac does have significantly more calories than pico de gallo, it also brings with it plenty of good stuff that balances out those calories: good fats, fiber, B vitamins, folate, potassium (more than a banana!) and vitamin C. Just mash up a couple of avocados, and add in some lime juice, chopped jalapeno peppers, chopped red onion, salt and pepper to taste (and some cilantro if you have/like it), and you're good to go. There are so many options out there...other equally easy and yummy ideas: black bean dip, Mediterranean lentil dip, and hummus.
Though more challenging on a day like the Superbowl, mindful eating can also come into play here. Eating more slowly, using a smaller plate, drinking water between snacks (and beers!), and eating with utensils may all be helpful. Or, just eating during halftime.
All this said, food is, first and foremost, meant to be enjoyed. And an event that has the family (and maybe a few in-your-pandemic-bubble friends) gathered together is never a bad thing. So, don't think too much, let go of ALL guilt (always), and enjoy.
* One day of indulgence is not the end of the world. We all do it, and it's okay...just as long as it's balanced out with thoughtful choices on other days.