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. E-mail her at

The big game is just around the corner. Where will you watch it? If you’d like to host a party but don’t have a lot of time, energy or creativity to make it a hit, try some of the following simple ideas.

Think Theme. Each team has its own colors and mascots so find out what they are and buy colorful tablecloths, napkins, plates and streamers.

Even balloons would instantly make your room festive and exciting.

Think Space. How big your TV room is will determine how many friends you can invite. If you ask for an RSVP, you can better determine how much chili to make.

Think Food. Do you want finger foods and snacks or do you want to make a big spread with your favorite tailgate foods? Either way will work. If you go with finger foods, you can even ask each person to being one along with them. A big pot of game-day chili might be just the ticket for a chilly February day. How about a potato bar? Try the recipes below. Remember to get plates, bowls, spoons, forks, crackers, shredded cheese and sour cream.

Think Sides. What else should you prepare with the chili? How about a tray of fruit or vegetables with dip? Even though you can make these yourself, if you’d like to save time and energy, just pick one up at your local grocery. They’re well-done, easy and good for you! Another easy choice is tortilla chips and salsa.

Think Beverages. If you’re thinking beer right now, be sure to also have plenty of non-alcoholic drinks available, and for those who do drink alcohol, help them drink responsibly. Designate a driver who’s not drinking.

Turkey white bean chili

Serves 7

All you need:

1 lb ground turkey breast

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper, to taste

2 cups chicken broth

2 cans (15 oz each) Great Northern beans, undrained

1 can (4 oz) diced green chilies, undrained

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

All you do:

In a large saucepan, combine turkey, onion and garlic. Cook until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes.

Nutrition information per serving: 190 calories, 20 g carbohydrate, 25 mg cholesterol, 8 g dietary fiber, 1.5 g fat, 23 g protein, 0 g saturated fat, 740 mg sodium, 1 g sugar, 0 g trans fats.

Game day potato bar

Serves 8.

All you need:

8 medium russet potatoes, washed and dried

1/2 cup chili with beans

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup fresh broccoli florets

1/2 cup salsa

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

All you do:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

With a fork, pierce each potato 2 or 3 times.

Place on a baking pan and bake 60 minutes or until tender.

Serve with an assortment of warm chili, cheese, broccoli, salsa and sour cream.

Nutrition information per serving: 240 calories, 41 g carbohydrate, 15 mg cholesterol, 5 g dietary fiber, 5 g fat, 8 g protein, 220 mg sodium, 2 g sugar.