Healthy Party Tips for the Big Game
By Kimberly Stein, RD, CDN
The Big Game is just around the corner, which means a day full of football, friends, family, and lots of food. Most of us are guilty of overindulging on game day and it can be easy for this feeding frenzy to ruin your New Year’s resolutions.
Luckily, there are some easy strategies for maintaining the healthy new you. Here are five simple tips for avoiding the excess calories during Sunday night’s game and feel great when you wake up Monday morning.
1. Use a smaller plate. Overeating is more likely when your plate is big. A smaller appetizer plate will help with portion control. Rather than overloading with lots of noshes, try picking smaller bites for your plate this year.
2. Healthier foods first. Start with fruits, veggies, shrimp skewers, etc. We are more likely to have larger servings of the foods served first. Starting with the healthier items lets you enjoy more goodies without the added guilt. Plan to fill your plate with 75% healthy foods and 25% with the not-so-healthy options.
3. Small meals during the day. Don’t devoid yourself of meals in prep for the big game. Going to the party on an empty stomach will result in overindulging. Have a few small meals throughout the day with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables and lean protein. Most importantly, don’t forget breakfast!
4. Alternate your drinks. Alcohol can really pack on the calories on top of all the snacks. It can also dehydrate you. Try alternating your alcoholic drinks with water to balance it out.
5. Hosting your own party? Make the classic snacks with some simple ingredient swaps. For dips, Greek yogurt can easily substitute sour cream. Love chili? Try ground turkey or chicken in lieu of beef. Instead of the typical deep-fried chicken wings, make your own by breading skinless chicken breast strips and baking them in the oven.
Here are some healthy game day recipes that taste just as delicious as the real deal without the additional calories and fat. Enjoy!
Find other tasty recipes on the NWH website.
Mini Mushroom & Sausage Quiches
Courtesy of Eatingwell.com
The combination of turkey sausage and mushrooms makes for the perfect light and savory snack.
8 ounces turkey breakfast sausage, removed from casing and crumbled into small pieces
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup sliced scallions
1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 egg whites
1 cup 1% milk
1. Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Coat a nonstick muffin tin generously with cooking spray or use foil baking cups.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Add oil to the pan. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to the bowl with the sausage. Let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in scallions, cheese and pepper.
3. Whisk eggs, egg whites and milk in a medium bowl. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of the sausage mixture into each cup.
4. Bake until the tops are just beginning to brown, 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Place a rack on top of the pan, flip it over and turn the quiches out onto the rack. Turn upright and let cool completely.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Courtesy of LiveBetterAmerica.com
By using reduced and fat-free options this buffalo chicken dip recipe delivers the same great flavor while cutting the total calories and fat.
1 package (8 oz) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened
1/2 cup fat-free ranch dressing
1/3 cup buffalo wing sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend or reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
2 tablespoons chopped green onions (2 medium)
Whole grain crackers or celery sticks, if desired
1. Heat oven to 350°F.
2. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in dressing, buffalo wing sauce and water until blended. Stir in chicken and cheese. Spread in ungreased 1-quart baking dish or 9-inch pie plate; cover with foil.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Stir; top with onions. Serve hot with crackers or celery sticks
Party Bean Dip with Baked Tortilla Chips
Courtesy of MyRecipes.com
Your favorite layered dip without the extra sodium and calories!
6 (8-inch) flour tortillas
½ tsp paprika
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 (16 oz.) can organic refried beans
1 cup bottled salsa
2/3 cup frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
¼ cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons chopped black olives
¾ cup (3 oz.) preshredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
¾ cup light sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges, and arrange wedges in single layers on 2 baking sheets. Lightly spray wedges with cooking spray; sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Cool.
3. Combine juice, cumin, and beans in a medium bowl, stirring until well combined. Spread mixture evenly into an 11 x 7–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread salsa evenly over beans. Combine corn, onions, and olives; spoon corn mixture evenly over salsa. Sprinkle cheese over corn mixture. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes. Top with sour cream; sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips.