Whether you're a football fanatic or couldn't care less, we can all unite around one thing on Big Game Sunday: the food.
This is America's second largest eating day, falling behind only Thanksgiving in terms of calories consumed. An average daily intake for Americans is 2,000 calories, but during the big football show we eat that much in less than three hours.
Top picks for game day include chicken wings, chili, meat and cheese trays, nachos, chips and dips galore. Often missing from the spread, however, are fruits and vegetables. If you're afraid a veggie platter will play second string to the standard fare, pull a kitchen quarterback sneak by incorporating fresh foods in creative ways.
Imagine the cheers you'd get if you carved bell peppers into football-helmet shapes and used them to hold carrot and celery sticks. Watch the crowd go wild when you present a tray of dark chocolate-dipped strawberries decorated as miniature footballs. And savor a big win when guests throw back a few of your potato pigskins-a lighter and veggie-filled take on fried potato skins. Fruits and vegetables can add more variety, nutrition and color to the traditional super spread-and that's a touchdown any day.
Loaded potato pigskins
Serves 12 (2 potato skins each)
All You Need: 3 large russet potatoes 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 4 tablespoons light sour cream 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese 1 small tomato, diced 1/2 cup shredded cabbage
All You Do: 1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut each half into quarters. Arrange potato quarters on a parchment-lined baking sheet, skins facing up. Brush olive oil over the skins of the potatoes. Sprinkle salt and pepper over potatoes. Bake about 20 minutes or until potato flesh is easily pierced with a fork and skins are crisp and golden. Allow potatoes to cool to room temperature. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. 2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine sour cream, oregano and garlic powder; stir until well combined. 3. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, use a serrated knife to remove most of the potato flesh from each quarter, leaving just a quarter-inch of the potato skin. Return skins to the same baking sheet, skin-side down. Sprinkle cheese over potato skins and bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. 4. Top each potato skin with a spoonful of the diced tomato and shredded cabbage. Drizzle sour cream mixture over loaded skins and serve immediately. Nutrition per serving: 104 calories, 4 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 7 mg cholesterol, 232 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrate (2 g fiber, 1 g sugars), 3 g protein.
Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. Email her at email@example.com.