I am looking forward to this weekend’s Super Bowl. While my beloved Steelers will not be playing on Sunday, I thought I would still give you some insight as to what a Super Bowl Party, dietitian style, would look like for Sunday’s big game. My menu’s overall goal is to provide good sources of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, heart healthy fats, incredible taste and eye-catching color.
Being a dietitian, the first thing I swapped out is your typical wings dish with my delicious and meaty honey-baked sriracha chicken strips. By using chicken breasts cut up into bit size pieces, I was able reduce the fat by 30% and reduce the calories by 20% when you compare the chicken bites to a comparable amount of wings. To help make the chicken pieces have a bit of a crunch, I simply rolled them in some panko bread crumbs after letting them marinate for about 30 minutes in the sriracha sauce. The result is a tasty, crispy and healthy alternative to your standard wings. Your guests will not be disappointed.
Next up is one of my favorite pairings, homemade hummus and colorful sliced bell peppers. This arrangement helps to bring the “colors of the rainbow” to your table during the Super Bowl party. As a dietitian, I am always searching for food pairings that will bring the most nutrients to the body in fun and tasteful ways. By pairing the high protein, anti-inflammatory hummus with the antioxidant rich bell peppers, you have a side dish that is colorful, refreshing, filling and fun to eat. It is also as side dish that can draw kids to partake in some yummy and nutritious foods. What kid doesn’t like to eat the colors of the rainbow?
For dessert, give some pizazz to your typical fruit offering by pairing it with Greek yogurt mixed with peanut butter and honey. I used strawberries since they were on sale at the store, but really any sort of fruit (blueberries, raspberries, apples, pears, oranges) pair well with the yogurt dip. By combining fruit with the peanut butter honey yogurt dip you will increase your intake of fiber and antioxidants from the berries and increase your intake of protein, calcium, phosphorus and monounsaturated fatty acids (heart healthy fat) from the yogurt dip. This is one food pairing sure to leave guests satisfied.
Last but not least, instead of your typical high fat/high sugar cookies, go with my homemade granola bars. These bars are packed with the wholesome goodness of oats, flaxseeds, almonds, almond butter, avocado, honey and mini chocolate chips. These bars will not make you miss the standard cookie. They are packed with lots of vitamin E, fiber, protein and monounsaturated fats (good fats for your heart). While I do use a little bit of butter in these, the high fiber content within the bars, will help decrease the amount of cholesterol actually absorbed by your body. These wholesome bars are a great alternative to your standard chocolate chip cookie since the butter is cut by half and replaced with heart healthy fats found in the almond butter and avocado.
Overall, at my house, color is key, for I always strive to have foods that represent the colors of the rainbow. I also look for nourishing and creative ways to increase the protein and fiber intake of my guests as well. I hope that you like these ideas and try some of them for your own Super Bowl Party.
Honey-Baked Sriracha Chicken Strips
To bake chicken:
- 2-4 lbs. chicken breasts, cut up into bite size strips
- 6 Tbsp. sriracha sauce
- 3 Tbsp. canola oil
- 5 tsp. salt
- 5 tsp. fresh ground pepper
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup honey
- 4 Tbsp. apricot jam
- 4 Tbsp. sriracha sauce
- 2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
- 4 tsp. lime juice
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- Heat oven to 425°F. Line two glass casserole dishes with foil and spray with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, mix together Sriracha sauce, oil, salt and pepper.
- Place chicken strips into a bowl and pour srirancha sauce mixture over top. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- In a shallow bowl, add ½ cup of the panko bread crumbs. When chicken strips are done marinating, roll each strip in the panko crumbs to evenly cover it and then place the finished strip into the lined casserole dish.
- Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Turn the strips over and rotate the casserole dishes. Bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown and juice from thickest breast strip runs clear or the thickest part registers at 165°F.
- While the chicken in baking, add all of the ingredients for the glaze into a small 1-quart size sauce pan and heat until a simmering boil over medium heat. Continue to simmer, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Once strips are done baking, take them out and cover them with the glaze and serve immediately.
- 1 16-ounce can chickpeas
- 1 to 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, bottled or fresh
- 1 clove garlic or ¼ tsp garlic powder to taste
- 2 to 4 tablespoons tahini or peanut butter
- Salt and pepper, as desired
- Optional: dash of cayenne; 1 Tbsp. parsley; ¼ tsp. cumin; ¼ tsp. paprika; diced or shredded veggies for topping
- Drain the chickpeas, saving ¼ of the liquid
- In a blender or food processor, mix the chickpeas, ¼ cup reserved liquid, lemon juice, garlic, tahini, and seasonings.
- Blend until smooth. If you don’t have a blender, mash the chickpeas with the back of a fork.
Serve with fresh veggies (carrots, cucumbers, red pepper) OR serve with whole wheat pita bread cut into triangle wedges OR spread 1/3 cup hummus on a tortilla. Add ½ cup diced or shredded veggies of choice: tomato, peppers, scallions, beans, nuts, carrot or lettuce.
Yield: 1. 5 cups of hummus; about 5 servings
To Make Additional Varieties Consider the Following:
Simply finely chop the ingredients below and stir in by hand for chunky consistency. For a more smooth consistency, simply add the ingredients below to the food processor with original hummus above and pulse a few times until preferred blended consistency is achieved.
- Artichoke hearts
- Fresh cilantro, dill or parsley
- Green or black pitted cured olives
- Jalapeño or poblano pepper
- Lightly cooked beets
- Raw or wilted spinach or arugula
- Roasted red bell pepper
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Toasted pine nuts
Peanut Butter Yogurt with Honey Dip
- 1 (5.3 oz.) plain yogurt (Greek, soy or coconut)
- 1 (5.3 oz.) vanilla yogurt (Greek, soy or coconut)
- 1/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter (Jif Natural is yummy)
- 1 Tbsp. honey, or to taste
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk to blend until smooth
- Serve with fruit such as bananas, oranges, raspberries, strawberries, and grapes
- Makes plenty, so be sure to store in an airtight container in the fridge
See my blog for the Homemade Granola recipe.