Holidays and events are generally focused around the food. While there’s nothing particularly wrong with this, the problem occurs when we choose the wrong foods on which to focus. Super Bowl is a prime example, known as the biggest eating day of the year. If you’ve made a resolution, this is your first real test and we want to help you pass with flying colors!
“Eat all the junk food you want, as long as you cook it yourself,” is a favorite quote by Michael Pollan, author of Food Rules and Omnivore’s Dilemma. It suggests that it’s OK to eat the foods you love, but only when you prepare them yourself. This allows you to control the ingredients, reduce or remove the processed and chemical ingredients, and stay closer to the whole form of the foods.
Here are some favorite homemade junk food recipes that will no doubt be a hit at your Super Bowl party, or any other food-focused event you’re hosting!
Fake Fry. Anything breaded, battered and fried isn’t good for you, no matter how healthy the original form of the food (think sweet potatoes and chicken). Use Panko, Japanese bread crumbs, to coat chicken strips, zucchini, onion rings or even green beans. Dip in low-fat buttermilk or toss in a small amount of olive oil, roll in Panko, give a light mist of cooking spray and then bake. The food comes out super crunchy and much healthier! Try this Biggest Loser’s Winning Fried Chicken.
Bake Your Own Pizza. You’ll save calories and a ton of cash by skipping delivery. Plus, everyone gets their favorite! You can try this homemade whole wheat crust from AllRecipes.com, or use a whole wheat naan (Indian bread you can find at the grocer’s bakery). Roll out a family-size crust, or make individual crusts. Then, put out a variety of turkey pepperoni, grilled chicken, fresh olives, fresh mozzarella, chopped onions, sliced bell peppers, roma tomatoes, baby bella mushrooms and even jalapenos and pineapple. Make your own homemade tomato basil sauce and you’ve really got a healthy hit on your hands!
Homemade Chips and Dips. Swap queso, cream-based dips and greasy potato chips for a variety of homemade alternatives. You can make hummus in a number of ways (try Parsley, Kalamata Olive and Tunisian Spiced), Jillian Michaels’ guacamole, or add ranch dip powder to plain Greek yogurt. For dippers, offer bell peppers, carrots and cucumbers, as well as whole grain pita (soft or chips), blue corn tortilla chips, or homemade sweet potato chips. These are easy: thin slice sweet potatoes, coat with cooking spray, and bake until crispy!
All-American BBQ. Again, save calories and money by making healthier versions of your favorite barbecue fare at home instead of ordering to-go from a restaurant. You can make a low-fat and boldly flavored Texas Shredded Pork, Hot German Potato Salad and Red Apple Coleslaw that will heartily keep everyone satisfied.
Good-For-You Grilling. Firing up the grill with greasy burgers and fattening brats might be tradition, so here are some healthier foods that will let you keep the flame burning. Rosemary Skewered Chicken, Mexican Turkey Burgers, or Grilled Salmon Burgers will lighten the meal and let you show off your chef skills. If those don’t suit, try a turkey brat, boiled in beer and tossed on the grill. Either way, make sure to use whole grain buns topped with lots of veggies!