Healthy Dishes for Super Bowl Parties

For many people, the best part about Super Bowl Sunday is overindulging in all sorts of unhealthy foods.  But those who are a bit more calorie-conscious shouldn’t have to miss out on the fun.

Here are some healthier alternatives for your pigskin pig out:

Football Favorite: Chili
Replace With: Lentil Stew

Lentils are a great source of protein, fiber, iron and other nutrients, and turmeric is thought to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.  This dish is sure to be a touchdown even with your non-vegetarian friends.

Here’s what you’ll need:
1 small shallot, chopped
3 tbsp. olive oil
1¼  cup dried green lentils
4 cups water
1½ cups frozen vegetables
1 tbsp. turmeric
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
plain fat-free yogurt

In a medium-size pot, brown the shallot in olive oil.  Add lentils and 4 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add frozen vegetables (I use a mix that has carrots, corn, peas and green beans) and turmeric and simmer for another 20 minutes.  Stir in lemon juice and add salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in additional turmeric if desired.  Serve topped with yogurt (optional).  This recipe makes about 6 servings.

Football Favorite:  Potato Chips
Replace With: Crispy Kale

Kale is high in vitamins A, C and K, and a good source of iron, calcium and fiber.  This recipe gives the kale a great crunchy texture and a taste similar to salt and vinegar potato chips.

Here’s what you’ll need:
2 bunches of kale
safflower oil
seasoned rice vinegar
sea salt
parchment paper

Rinse the kale and tear into small pieces, leaving out the hard stems.  Place the kale in a large bowl and drizzle on oil and rice vinegar.  Mix the kale to lightly coat all pieces.  Spread the kale onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle it with sea salt.  Place in a 375 ºF oven and bake for 20 minutes or until crispy.  Serve immediately.  This recipe makes about 4 servings.

Football Favorite: Sour Cream or Cheese-Based Dips
Replace With: Hummus

Made with chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), hummus is packed with protein and fiber.  Serve it with pita bread or carrots for dipping.

Here’s what you’ll need:
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (about 2 cups)
¼ cup tahini
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp sea salt
paprika for garnish

Combine all ingredients (except for paprika) into a food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Put hummus into a bowl and sprinkle paprika on top.  For a twist on the basic hummus, add extra lemon juice, horseradish or tomato paste while blending to create several different dips.  Serves 4 to 6 people.