Ahh…Super Bowl Sunday, that festive time of year when we settle down into the easy chair for 6 solid hours of seven-layer bean dip, fried tortilla chips, chili con carne, buttered popcorn and buffalo wings. At an average of just a couple servings per quarter, the average American can easily consume 700 calories per hour during the big game. For many of us, that’s the past 2 weeks of workouts down the drain, or more specifically, down the esophagus.
Whether you’re throwing your own party or crashing someone else’s, here’s 5 healthy recipes that will leave you fit, trim and satisfied long after the game has ended, without feeling like you have to complete a marathon workout on Monday morning.
1. Low-Fat Crab & Dill Dip
In a mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup plain fat free yogurt, 1/4 cup fat free mayo, 3oz fat free cream cheese, and 1 package of a dill dip mix. Then add two 6oz cans of chopped crab (preferably fresh, but artifical is OK too), 1 chopped celery stick, and 1/2 of a whole chopped onion. Refrigerate for 2 hours, salt & pepper to taste, and serve. Use carrots, celery, cauliflower, or whole wheat crackers for dip.
2. Eggplant Dipping Platter
Dice an eggplant and boil it for 7 minutes. Then throw the diced eggplant in a blender with 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, 1/2 a lime, 1 small diced shallot, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1 red chile (deseeded). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with broccoli, carrots, baby corn, celery, and red cabbage for dipping.
3. Griddled Smoked Salmon
Use a couple packets of sliced smoked salmon (or smoked trout for a less expensive option). Cook the salmon on a griddle for 2 minutes, on one side only. Meanwhile, whisk together 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 crushed garlic clove, 2 teaspoons chopped dill, 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and drizzle over the salmon. Fold the salmon like an accordion and serve over a bed of mixed salad greens with toothpicks.
Grate 2 cucumbers and stir into 2.5 cups of plain fat free yogurt, 3 crushed garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon chopped dill, 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt/pepper to taste. Cover and chill for 3 hours. Top with sesame seeds and cayenne pepper. Serve with whole wheat pita strips.
5. Vietnamese Rice Wraps (my personal favorite)
On a large plate, arrange in sections: 2 cups small shrimp, 2 sliced avocados, 8-10 asparagus tips (preferably boiled), 1 small sliced red onion, 15-20 sliced scallions, 15-20 sliced olives, 15-20 halved cherry tomatoes, 1-2 cups fresh cilantro leaves, and 1 lime cut into small, very thin slices. Provide rice paper wrappers available at any grocery store, and make sure to briefly dip them in a bowl of warm water to soften. Let your guests fill their own wrappers with a mixture of any ingredients from the plate. Serve with fresh, raw honey for dipping or drizzling.
There you have it – non-traditional Super Bowl fare perhaps, but in a traditionally obese country, that might not be a bad thing. And remember, beverages have just as much (and sometimes more) calories as most food – so go easy on the booze, and if you must have it, go diet on the soda, although I recommend a naturally flavored sparkling water as a great diet pop alternative. Let me know if I can help you out with other recipe ideas, and have a great weekend!
Until next time, train smart, and GO SEAHAWKS!
M.S. PE, NSCA-CPT, CSCS