Excited for the Game Day party, but not excited to break your healthy streak? You don’t have to!
As a rule of thumb, you can enjoy food and pack it with nutrition.
Consider the 1:2 rule: For every one decadent item you incorporate into a dish, use two lighter, more wholesome additions.
For example, if you use ground beef or sausage to make enchiladas, add at least two hearty vegetables, such as kale and mushrooms, to make it satisfying without adding many calories. If your nachos are piled high with freshly grated cheese, add in chopped spinach and grilled shredded chicken to fill you up with vitamins, minerals, fiber and an appetite-curbing protein.
Healthy food swap ideas
- Lettuce Wraps vs. Tortillas: The fastest food swap is right in your crisper drawer. Lettuce is a low-calorie substitute for corn and wheat tortillas, which range between 200 and 300 calories. As a bonus, lettuce adds a satisfying crunch to every bite.
- Rice vs. Quinoa: Although brown rice has more fiber and protein than white rice, a better substitution is quinoa. One cup of quinoa has 40 fewer calories than white rice, 21 percent of your daily serving of fiber (compared with 14 percent in brown rice) and 8.1 grams of complete protein per cup.
- Low-fat vs. Full-fat Cheese: Did you think low-fat cheese is a good substitution? Think again. To compensate for the reduced richness in flavor, some low-fat brands can have more than 20 percent more sodium than full-fat cheese. Check the label to make sure, because not all cheeses are created equal.
Here are three quick and easy, tasty but better-for-you snacks for a healthy win.
Kick off with kale chips
In the last few years, kale has hit the health food world with a bang. It was (and arguably still is) the superfood of the moment—and for good reason. Kale is chock full of good-for-you vitamins, antioxidants and other healthful properties. Kale is an excellent source of vitamin E and folate, the latter of which helps to break down homocysteine, an amino acid that is responsible for destroying nerve cells in the brain. You can blend it into a smoothie, sauté it, or eat it raw in a salad. There are even kale eating competitions.
Makes 4 to 6 cups.
This is a perfect low-carb afternoon crunchy salty snack that is surprisingly tasty!
- 1 bag baby kale
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Combine kale with oil, pink Himalayan salt, pepper and garlic powder in a large bowl. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes.
Halftime guac star
Avocados are a popular game day super food that is rich, creamy and jam-packed with nutrients, including healthy monounsaturated fats, 3.5 grams of fiber per half avocado, antioxidants, 20 vitamins and minerals, and more potassium than a banana. If there is one food to have a little extra of this game day, it’s this one. Instead of adding a cheese or sour cream topper, dice up a few slices of avocado.
Serves 4 (recipe may be increased proportionally as needed).
- 4 avocado, halved, seeded and peeled
- 4 lime
- 8 tablespoons pico de gallo
- 2 tablespoons green Tabasco sauce
- 2 teaspoons Spike Seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mash avocado pieces in a bowl with lime juice.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
Nachos are the ultimate chopping-board meal. Scatter chips in a basket, then decorate your board with small bowls of diced tomatoes and cucumber, cashew sour cream and creamy avocado dressing, ready for a free-for-all.
To veganize this recipe, substitute the egg with 3 tablespoons ground or whole chia or flax seeds soaked in 4 ounces of water for 15 minutes.
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 cucumber, diced
- Cilantro sprigs, to serve
- 3 1/2 ounces almond meal
- 1 large organic egg
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
Cashew Sour Cream
- 5 1/2 ounces raw, unsalted cashews
- 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus 1 tsp extra
- 1 1/2 teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
Creamy Avocado Dressing
- 1 avocado, peeled and stone removed
- 1 heaped teaspoon cumin powder
- Juice of 1 large lime
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- Big pinch of Celtic sea salt
- 1 tablespoon cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
To make the cashew sour cream, soak the cashews for 2 hours in filtered water. Rinse and drain. Place all the ingredients in a food processor with 4 ounces of filtered water and blend until smooth. You may need to add a little more filtered water to reach your desired consistency.
To make the creamy avocado dressing, blend all the ingredients except the olive oil with 2 tablespoons of filtered water in a food processor until smooth. With the motor still running, add the olive oil very slowly in a thin stream until the desired creaminess is reached.
To make the chips, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place all the chip ingredients in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon to form a dough. Place the dough on a clean work surface between two pieces of baking parchment or waxed paper. Roll the dough out until it is 1/16 inch thick. Remove the top piece of baking parchment and transfer the dough and bottom piece of baking parchment to a baking tray. Using a sharp knife, deeply score the dough every 1 1/4 inch, then do the same in the opposite direction so you form squares. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes.
Allow to cool before breaking the chips apart. To assemble the nachos, place the chips on a chopping board, and top with the remaining ingredients.
Nutritionist Lee Holmes’ book, “Eat Clean, Green & Vegetarian,” invites us to put vegetables front and center at mealtimes. Check out more of Holmes’ recipes and visit her award-winning blog www.superchargedfood.com.