Enjoy Game Day and Good-For-You Foods!

by Donna Quirk, RD LD MBA, Lexington Medical Center
Football season is upon us. Whether you’re a high school, college, or pro football fan chances are you’re planning your pre-game get together. One of the best parts is the delicious food! Unfortunately, many game day favorites are loaded with calories. Here are some ideas to help you eat healthier and enjoy the party.

• Avoid fried foods. It is tempting to stop for a bucket of fried chicken on the way to the big game, but plan ahead and grill or smoke Chicken Breast Tenders or Chicken Thighs. Bring along a zesty hot sauce or drizzle with buffalo sauce for an extra kick.
• How about BBQ Pork and Coleslaw Sandwiches? Use thinly sliced pork tenderloin and a vinegar tossed coleslaw for a lower fat alternative. Serve on multi-grain or whole wheat rolls.
• Love your Brats? Switch pork brats for Turkey Brats to save over half the calories and fat. As always, simmer in beer and top with mustard! Yum!
• When the weather turns cooler bring Chili with beans and turkey or chicken. Use reduced fat shredded cheese and reduced fat sour cream to garnish. Take the chili to the party in a slow cooker to keep it warm.
• Replace potato chips and dips with baked corn chips and salsa, guacamole, or hummus. Salsa is virtually fat free. Guacamole and hummus have heart healthy oils from the avocado (guacamole) and olive oil.
• Make your own pita chips for dipping. Cut pita bread into triangles, lightly brush with oil and season with a salt-free seasoning of your choice. Bake until browned and crispy.
• Include Fruits and Vegetables! How about a Three Bean Salad topped with toasted walnuts and feta cheese. Bring the walnuts separately and top right before serving. Or, a Broccoli Salad? Slices of melon or apple are easy to include. Dip apple slices in orange juice to stop them from browning. Use yogurt as a fruit dip.

There are so many options for healthier game day eating, but a word about food safety. Take hand sanitizer to use before eating. When taking hot foods to a tailgate or party, it is best to keep them warm at a temperature over 140 degrees. If that is not possible, eat these foods within an hour. Cold foods should be below 40 degrees. Have ice available to keep cold foods cold. And finally throw out foods that are leftover.

Enjoy football season and may your team be victorious!

Apple Pear Slaw

This is an easy portable salad that will go great with grilled meat at any tailgate party. The dressing can be made ahead of time.

Apple Pear Slaw
• 1/4 cup cider vinegar
• 1 tablespoon brown sugar
• 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 2 cups thinly sliced Granny Smith apple (about 1 large apple)
• 2 cups thinly sliced pear (about 1 large pear)
• 1 (12-ounce) package cabbage-and-carrot coleslaw

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
2. Combine apple, pear, and coleslaw in a large bowl; stir in dressing. Chill up to 2 hours.

Recipe and Photo from Cooking Light Magazine

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