Friday, January 30, 2015

Top 10 Tips for a Healthy Homemade Super Bowl Party!

"Are you ready for some footbaaaaaaaaaaaaawl?"

I'm not a dedicated fan to this high impact aggressive sport, but I do have fond memories of sitting on my dad's lap as a kid while he cheered on the 49'ers. The sound of football on tv in the background on Sunday afternoons brings me right back to my childhood. Once I was married, I sort of adopted my husband's team and followed them during the playoffs. Hey, I enjoy a good beer and wings were sort of my "thing."

Super Bowl parties can be loads of fun. Getting together with a room full of people excited to root for their team can be pretty exciting. Unfortunately, this can also mean enduring some not so healthy food options. I'm all for letting loose every once in a while, but some of the stuff that gets offered at these parties can be pretty scary. Does accepting an invitation to your super bowl party mean I have to subject myself to loads of preservatives, additives and GMO's?


So I decided to search for some pretty awesome Super Bowl party staples that could be tweaked in order to not completely abandon all my beliefs. For me, it isn't so much about the indulgence of it all. More so, when you've spent all year eating whole foods in an all natural well balanced diet, the guacamole stadium stacked with frozen/ boxed or canned food made of artificial flavors just doesn't seem appealing at all. If you've ever felt this way, then keep reading!

So here are a few tips that helped me to keep my family happy AND healthy this football season.

Tip#1 Recipe's Were Meant To Be Broken:
    Daphne Oz: Relish Recipe
  • Don't feel pressured to stick to the recipe. If there is an old favorite you absolutely love, you don't have to completely abandon ship. You can replace a few simple ingredients to turn a "heavy" dip into a simple and light surprise. I substitute sour cream or cream cheese with plain greek yogurt, it keeps the texture the same without the dense flavor. Daphne Oz's Fish Taco Coleslaw is the best I've ever had, I was able to substitute with plain greek yogurt and it was still amazing!
Tip #2 Up the Ante On Your Ingredients:
  • You can switch all of your ingredients to healthier options i.e., organic, free range and grass fed dairy if any at all. During the holidays or for special events I will pay the extra for raw milk, it's a stretch for the wallet, but the fresher the ingredients the better the taste.

Tip #3 Keep It Conscious:
  • I prefer fair trade whenever possible. You'd be surprised how different you can feel about a dish if you know its ingredients were naturally grown, cruelty-free or the employeespaid fair wages for their work. If I can't find organic or raw ingredients, then I shoot for locally grown fruits or veggies. I'm infamous for scouring the local farms on the weekend to gather my bounty. 

French Onion Greek Yogurt Dip w/
Kale, Pita & Carrot Chips
Tip #4 It's Never Too Late to Teach An Old Dog New Tricks:

  • If your dedicated to your dip recipe, then try changing the sides for variety. Chips don't necessarily have the market cornered, feel free to change it up with some veggies or fresh toasted pita bread. 

Tip #5 Change Is Good (Or So I've Heard):

  • Try changing how you prepare your dish. Skip the frying and try baking or roasting for a different, lighter approach. This alone will be appreciated by all party goers who are watching their waistline. The Crockpot is a wonderful friend in the kitchen, these Honey Bourbon Glazed Wings were made in my Crockpot and they were so tender and delicious! You can find the recipe here.

Tip #6 Get Creative, Be Inspired:

  • I love the fried green beans appetizer at P.F. Changs, the boys just go wild over it. I'm addicted to their Spicy Mayo, so I decided to re-create it at home. One of the best parts of making everything from scratch is you get to put together all the pieces in your mind as you go along, using your senses. It makes it all the more rewarding when you finally nail it! Turns out, I like my Spicy Mayo a lot more!

Tip #7 Round Up The Troops:

Quinoa Pizza Bites - just add your
favorite Marinara to dip!
Tip #8 Challenge Yourself:
  • I always like to use special occasions / parties to help push my own limits. I use it as an opportunity to take an ingredient I'm not particularly fond of, and incorporate it into my theme. Therefore, I'm challenging my mind and my taste buds. Turns out I wasn't much of a fan of Quinoa, as healthy as it is I just wasn't interested in the texture. In this case the quinoa bites replaced the traditional pizza pie at most football parties. These Vegan Quinoa Pizza Bites helped to change my mind and inspire me to incorporate more quinoa in my repertoire.  Which leads me to my next tip..
Tip #9 Diversify Your Portfolio:
  • Appetizers are like shoes, you can never have too many. I'm pretty sure that's a famous quote, right? It's always best to have some diversity for all the meat lovers, vegans, vegetarians or pescaterians in your life.
Tip #10 Have a Backup Plan:
  • When in doubt, the Internet is your friend. If a new recipe is a total flop and you don't have time to get super creative, Pinterest can be a lifesaver. If you don't keep a well stocked pantry with a variety of different grains, spices or condiments, then you don't have time to sort through a million pins only to find out you are missing items. In which case, SuperCook is for you. It's an awesome website where you can type in the ingredients you have in your pantry, and it will provide you with a list of all the possible recipes you can make. Brilliant!
Bonus Tip:

Entertainment is key at any soiree, and that isn't exclusive to the adults. Sometimes the sitter cancels and being a parent I find it best to make other parents feel as though a gathering is "kid friendly". There isn't much we do without our little ones, so we understand completely. Making them feel apart of the occasion by providing crafts or activities is a great way to spend time with your friends and family. At the end of the day isn't that what it's all about anyway?

And so it begins..

What is your favorite go-to Super Bowl Party Recipe? 

Essentially Yours,


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