Just because sporting events can bring out our worst eating habits doesn’t mean you have to blow your diet while cheering on your favorite team. Leave the planning to us with this full spread of healthier-for-you dishes themed by region of the Final Four teams. And just in case you don’t know who this year’s top four are, the Kansas Jayhawks are facing off with the Ohio State Buckeyes, and the Louisville Cardinals are going head-to-head with the Kentucky Wildcats. Let the (healthy) games begin!
Ohio State Buckeyes: Let’s start with dessert first, shall we? Ohio State’s mascot – the Buckeye – is well recognized not only for its sports teams, but also for the peanut butter chocolate dessert residents of Ohio love most. Try a spin on the classic with these Healthy Buckeyes. And since Ohio’s state fruit is the tomato, whip up a Bloody Mary to kick things off in a healthier fashion.
Kansas University Jayhawks: Call me biased being from Kansas, but this is my favorite team. And since I grew up here, I know that the Midwest is in no short supply of meat and potato lovers. Feed your hungriest of guests with these deceptively Healthier Beef Burgers and a few perfectly crispy Baked Steak Fries. And don’t forget the alcohol. Enjoy this hearty meal alongside a light wheat beer to quench your Kansas-loving thirst.
Louisville Cardinals: In Kentucky, they love their beer cheese. But if I was gambling woman, I wouldn’t bet that it falls in the healthy food category. Fix that problem with this lighter Beer Cheese Soup. And to put on a true local front, try these Benedictine Sandwiches. Either prepare as suggested, or lighten them up by swapping out the full fat ingredients for the half or one-third fat options.
Kentucky Wildcats: I say Kentucky, you say bourbon. Folks in Kentucky love the stuff. That’s why they’ve been producing it since the 1700s and even host an annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival to celebrate the spirit through history, art and of course, cocktails! Try this Skinny Mint Julep in honor of the ‘Bluegrass State.’ And for snacking, serve up these savory Bourbon Scallops for even more boozy fun.
You didn’t think we’d let you get away without any greens did you? Serve up this nutrient-packed Spinach Salad with Pears and Pomegranates for plenty of fiber, folic acid and antioxidants. And just in case you’d rather go the non-alcoholic route this weekend, sip on this delicious and refreshing Blackberry Lemonade With Basil. It’s sure to satisfy kids and grown-ups alike.
March 31st, 2012