Healthy Recipe Roundup for the Big Game

This Sunday is the Big Game. I’ve been warned I cannot use its official name due to copyright laws, so I’m going to assume you know what the heck I’m talking about. Whether you enjoy football or not, the Big Game is a great opportunity to enjoy time with friends and family … and to eat. Following is a roundup of healthy recipes you can enjoy during the festivities. In Big Game Appetizersall cases, you can feel free to use a substitute for any ingredient you wish to avoid. Most of these recipes are dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, corn-free and free of other unhealthy ingredients. The final section lists recipes which may need “tweaking,” with my recommendations for substitutions. Please also note that all ingredients should be organic.

I want to sincerely thank my blogging friends who shared their recipes with me. I am sincerely grateful for their assistance with this post.

Quick and Easy Appetizers

Following are a few quick and easy ideas you can use to create unique appetizers folks will love:

  • Make or buy hummus, stirring in one of the following combinations: avocado and peppers; pesto; pepper jelly; Dijon mustard and cracked peppercorns; chopped spinach and diced garlic; or any other combination of spices, veggies and condiments.
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  • Slice cucumber or zucchini into 3/4″ wheels, scoop out the center (leaving a base), and fill with any of the following: hummus; salsa; pesto; crab and onions; nut butter combined with hot peppers; egg salad; homemade fermented veggies; or any other creative combination.
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  • Cut a slit in large dates and stuff with almonds, spiced nuts or any of the fillings shared previously. Wrap in bacon and cook until done for an extra treat. Not all of the fillings shared previously will cook well, so use wisdom in selecting which combinations to wrap in bacon.
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  • Skewer a folded basil leaf, cherry tomato and mozzarella cheese (substitute) on a toothpick. Arrange on a platter and drizzle with Italian dressing for super-simple Caprese salad appetizers.
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  • Make nachos, substituting zucchini slices, sweet pepper cubes, cauliflower florets or other veggies for the chips and using a cheese substitute. My favorite cheese substitute is Daiya, but others are available. To make, slice your chosen veggie, lay them on a cookie sheet, spread with your favorite organic salsa or tomato sauce, and top with your cheese of choice and other toppings.
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  • Make good ol’ salsa, but add unique ingredients such as diced artichoke hearts, cucumbers, sunchokes or water chestnuts, black olives, avocados, peas, corn, bacon, etc. Your imagination is the only limit to what fun ingredients might be used.

Healthy Allergen-Free Appetizer Recipe Roundup

The following appetizer recipes are relatively easy and will add pizzazz to your event:

Quinoa Bars, Fortville Mama 

Guacamole in a Pinch – AKA 5 Minute Guac, Scratch Mommy

Paleo Zucchini Fritters, Stupid Simple Paleo

Simple Marinara, Good Works Wellness Research, LLC

Organic Roasted Cauliflower Poppers, Whole Lifestyle Nutrition

Bacon-Wrapped Butternut Squash Bites, Low-Carb One Day at a Time

Gluten Free Coconut Breaded Vegetables, Poor and Gluten Free

Fully-Loaded Spring Samosas, My New Roots

Healthy Recipes that May Require Some Tweaking

Easy Dill Party Pretzels, Solid Gold Eats:  These are so simple and are absolutely delicious. My recommendation is to use gluten-free pretzels. I also recommend using melted organic coconut oil instead of canola, as canola is often genetically modified and is extremely high in inflammatory Omega 6 fatty acids. Instead of using Ranch dressing mix, which typically contains monosodium glutamate and other less than appealing ingredients, use 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon onion powder and 1 tablespoon parsley.

Baked Zucchini Sticks, For the Love of Cooking:  To completely avoid all of the top eight allergens, I recommend substituting olive oil for the eggs; nutritional yeast for the Parmesan cheese; gluten-free bread crumbs for the Italian bread crumbs; and please never use cooking spray. Put a bit of coconut oil on a paper towel and rub the pan with that instead of using spray-on cooking spray which often contains rancid oils and oils which are highly inflammatory.

Sweet Potato Puffs, The Lean Green Bean:  Substitute any cheese alternative for the goat cheese. If tree nuts are an issue, either leave them off or use chopped sunflower or pumpkin seeds instead.

Chocolate Covered Bacon, My Kind of Cooking:  Substitute dairy-free chocolate if needed and use nitrate-free bacon. Other than the healthy fat in bacon and the antioxidants in the chocolate, this isn’t exactly healthy, but it sounds delicious!

Your turn! What’s your favorite snack for get togethers?

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Dr. Pamela Reilly is a Naturopathic Physician dedicated to helping people improve their health and eliminate symptoms using natural, integrative methods. She has over 25 years of experience and has helped men, women and children improve their health using a holistic, client-centered focus. She sees clients in Indianapolis, does house calls, and also conducts consultations via Skype or telephone. Please feel free to contact her or visit her Consultations page for more information. Dr. Pamela speaks nationwide on a wide variety of health topics and welcomes speaking invitations.

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