healthy superbowl and game day recipes

Call me crazy, but I believe you don't have  to eat unhealthy just because it is the Superbowl. It is the one day each year we all give ourselves a pass to eat greasy, fried and fatty food. We also expect to be hungover and useless at work the next day, barely able to button that top button of our pants. Why do we do this? Because it is a tradition or because we have limited healthy options at Superbowl parties, bars and events? Or because we throw guilt to the wind and believe the sky high calories and indigestion will make the game more enjoyable?

Well, guess what. I hate to break it to you, but you can absolutely eat healthy on Superbowl Sunday by swapping in healthier alternatives of the classics you know and love. I would also venture to guess that you or someone you know has a food allergy, so these recipes will keep all party guests happy and well fed. Check out the delicious and nutritious recipes below. Be sure to scroll all the way down so you can grab recipe ideas for the appetizers, main course, desserts and even a surprisingly healthy game day cocktail. Lighten up, eat up and enjoy Sunday's game! I will be just a few miles from MetLife Stadium, watching Superbowl XLVIII. Go NJ!  #skinnybowl

FIRST QUARTER - APPETIZERS:

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Avocado & Lime:

Everyone loves guacamole and what better time to enjoy this superfood than during the Superbowl!  I love guacamole but the taste of avocado is so incredible, who needs the onion, cilantro, tomato, jalapeno? I keep it simple and classy - avocado, lime and sea salt. Add some gluten free chips and veggies and everyone is a winner!

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Gluten Free Baked Polenta Fries with Tomato Basil Goat Cheese Sauce:

I realize that title is a mouthful. But not as big of a mouthful as you will experience when you try these fries. It's hard to avoid eating them by the handful, but let's keep this Superbowl party classy, okay? Swap out greasy fries for a lighter, healthier option, baked to perfection. The creamy dipping sauce is made with tomato sauce, basil and goat cheese. Your guests will love these so be careful not to get in the way because you might be tackled!

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Hummus Recipe:

Hummus is so unbelievably easy to make. I can't bring myself to buy it at the store when it is this easy. I also prefer the hint of lemon over excessive garlic or tahini so I prefer this recipe. Hummus should be at every party to accommodate guests with food allergies and because it is just so darn good. Place this next to the avocado and lime so guests have easy access to dip the veggies and gluten free chips into both bowls!

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Baked Chick Peas (Salty, Sweet and Spicy):

What to do with all of those leftover chick peas...? Bake them! This recipe could not be any easier or more delicious. I like to make these three different ways, depending on the mood my tastebuds are in. Try and or all of the flavors - salty, sweet or spicy. All you need are chick peas, a handful of spices and an oven. These are a fabulous alternative to nuts or popcorn, especially for any guests that may have a peanut allergy. Yum!

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Steamed Mussels with Lemon & Garlic:

Whether you're hosting a classy or crazy Superbowl party, these mussels are the perfect fit. Mussels are not terribly expensive and with just 4 ingredients, you can whip up as many batches as you like. The added bonus? They smell ridiculously, incredibly delicious so your guests will be impressed (and pleased) by the aroma when they walk in your home. Just don't forget the gluten free bread for dipping!

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Gluten Free Baked Zucchini Sticks:

These gluten free zucchini sticks are a great alternative to mozzarella sticks. They are not deep fried, do not have gluten, are not filled with heavy cheese and have actual nutrients since they are veggie based. The best part? The delicious dipping sauces are not made with gross, fatty mayonnaise. You're welcome.

 

 

HALFTIME - MAIN COURSES:

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Gluten Free Zucchini Lasagna :

Speaking of zucchini...here is another brilliant strategy to sneak veggies into a traditionally unhealthy dish. Swap out gluten lasagna noodles with thinly sliced zucchini and yellow squash. Once this is fully cooked, you can't even tell the noodles are imposters. This dish also swaps out ricotta cheese for goat cheese which is why this might be the tastiest dish ever. Seriously. And don't worry about the mess - Superbowl food is meant to be messy and saucy so be sure to put some napkins out!

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Gluten Free Quiche:

Want the cheese without the sauce? Then make this amazingly delectable quiche. The quiche crust is gluten free so all of your guests can enjoy this meal! Well, except for your lactose intolerant friends. Be sure to scroll down for more recipes to feed them (all of those Superbowl drinks need to be accompanied by some hearty food!). The quiche filling has cheddar cheese, green chiles and tomatoes. I mean, quiche is a super manly dish for football, right? Dave seems to think so... :)

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Gluten Free Veggie Burgers:

I am not a vegetarian, but I do enjoy the occasional veggie burger. If you are making burgers or steak, it would be a really nice surprise to have some veggie burgers for your animal loving friends. These are really easy to make and are so, so delicious. They are basically like an enchilada, minus the gluten and cheese. Rice, beans, avocado with the hint of lime. Veggietastic!

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Chimichurri Skirt Steak:

Steak. That is a manly meal for a manly game day Sunday. Now add some chimichurri sauce and your party will explode with manliness and testosterone, like Gaston. Well, I just ruined that by referencing Disney's Beauty and the Beast (but come on, Belle is my cartoon doppelganger). I digress. If you plan on grilling or broiling, you must try this skirt steak. You can even use the rice and beans leftover from the veggie burgers for your vegetarian friends as a small side. Look at that efficiency.

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Healthy Mac N Cheese

You read that right. A healthier version of mac and cheese, the classic comfort food. This could be a great side dish or even the main course itself! How can mac and cheese be healthy, you ask? Swap out the gluten filled pasta for quinoa pasta and use chevre (creamy goat cheese) with a hint of lemon. It is as simple, and delicious, as that.

 

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Quinoa with Feta, Pomegranate Seeds and Raisins:

I can't say enough about this dish. I brought it to four different events over the holidays and it was a huge hit at all of them. It might seem like a wimpy salad for a Superbowl party, but it packs a ton of flavor as a delicious side dish. It doesn't hurt that the lemon, mint and parsley dressing helps digestion so it may keep the man burps and belches at bay. I said it might - there are no guarantees!

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Gluten Free Chicken Francese:

Oh, you're hosting a classy Superbowl party? Well, who doesn't love lemon chicken? This is an easy gluten free chicken recipe with only a few ingredients. This does require you to actively dip, coat and saute so I suggest making this is you are having a small party. It will look up your game in the fancy and impressive department and leave your guests feeling just full enough to grab one more cocktail. And still leave room for dessert!

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Sausage, Rice, Red Pepper and Artichoke:

Sausage and pepper heroes are a big Superbowl party hit. But they leave indigestion and general destruction behind. This recipe is not only crazy easy (ready in 10 minutes for those of you who prefer minimal party prep) but it is also gluten free and healthy. Sub in chicken sausage and brown rice, along with this insanely tasty tapenade. Done and done. Now back to the game.

 

OVERTIME - DESSERTS:

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Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Every good party needs chocolate chip cookies. This super simple and basic gluten free and dairy free recipe tastes just like the real thing, without the consequences. Take it from someone who has recently had to break up with gluten, sugar and heavy dairy. It is really hard to go to a party that does not have something sweet that I can eat. Be kind and have something for your special friends to nosh on.

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Dairy Free Almond Chocolate Fudge

No bake, healthy fudge. Need I say more? The prep time is less than 5 minutes and you just pop it in the freezer for 20 minutes. This is not nut allergy friendly but does pass the test for the remaining food allergies. This is great to make for a party because you can break it into small pieces for your guests to snack on throughout the game or when you bring out dessert. It is totally worth the wait!

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Gluten Free White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies:

Think chocolate chip cookies are boring and too juvenile? Though I disagree, I do have a more mature, classier version of this cookie for your Superbowl party. This cookie is magical, with both a chewy and crunchy texture. Add the sweetness of the white chocolate chips and you are guaranteed to eat more than one. You can make them ahead of time or bake them while your guests are over. Guess which one will impress them more.

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Strawberry, Apple, Cucumber and Mint Salad:

Fruit salads belong at every party. It helps satisfy the dieting friends, the food allergy friends and the plain old stuffed to the max friends. I love all fruit and don't discriminate, but sometimes the traditional fruit salads can get, well, boring. I love, love, love this crunchy, beautiful salad because it has a great balance of sweet and tangy. The olive oil and mint adds an unexpected flavor which will make this quick and simple salad look like a labor of love. Oh, and it helps digestion so you know that will be a game day plus.

 

THE MVP: SUNDAY MARGARITA

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Lime-a-Rita Margarita

So I will start by saying that the only healthy alcohol is no alcohol at all. But that would make for a very boring game. Beer is obviously not gluten free or healthy by any means but will forever be a Superbowl party staple. Shake things up by making this healthy margarita as your signature cocktail of the night. This margarita is fresh, frozen and fabulous so go stock up on limes and tequila immediately! I call this the Limearita.