Healthier Choices for The Big Game


*Updated 1/29/15

Did you know that Super Bowl Sunday is second to only Thanksgiving for the day Americans eat the most calories? You shouldn’t have to sabotage your health to enjoy food and have a good time. Here are some tips on how to swap out common game day foods.

Instead of buffalo wings…
Cut chicken breast or extra firm tofu in to small pieces. Add Frank’s Red Hot sauce (the hot sauce, not buffalo sauce), or Tessemae’s hot sauce. 

Use with one of the following options:

  • Buffalo chicken wrap with grass-fed cheddar or Heidi Ho brand cashew cheese instead of blue cheese
  • Buffalo chicken calzones. Mix the chopped chicken/tofu with grass-fed ricotta or tofu ricotta. Use whole wheat pizza dough (store bought is fine, just read your ingredients) and stuff with the mixture.
  • Buffalo chicken/tofu pizza – use red sauce instead of making it “white” and top w/ organic bufalo mozzarella or Miyokos brand dairy free mozzarella

Want simple chicken fingers without the hot sauce? Or with? Here is a good baked chicken finger recipe from another RD, Lauren Harris-Pincus, at
Spicy Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders

You can also dip chicken or tofu in an egg wash or lightly coat with hummus and then dip in almond meal before baking at 350 for 20-30 minutes (depending on size of pieces of chicken/tofu). 

Queso dip:
Over low heat stir 1 Cup shredded low-fat extra sharp cheddar with 1/4 cup (or more depending on the consistency you like) skim milk. Then, add your favorite salsa and some chopped jalapeno’s. If it isn’t thick enough, stir in 1 teaspoon flour
(You can even add the buffalo chicken to this!)

Alternative to cheese dip or cheese log: chickpea cashew spreadchickpea-cashew-spread-with-veggies

A little involved, but this is an awesome vegan recipe to try from!


Creamy vegan spinach & artichoke dip
The texture & taste you want without the cholesterol and unhealthy fats
Sweet Potato Fritters:
For this recipe, make sure you go heavy on the cayenne if you like spicy food, a little lighter on the ginger, and add garlic powder (not garlic salt). Also, spray a baking sheet with cooking spray instead of frying in oil and bake at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, flipping in between.

Whole Foods Recipe: Red Lentil & Sweet Potato Hummus (Vegan)

My Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus (also vegan)


Guacamole gives you good fat but is easy to go overboard on. Try my easy homemade classic version or this altered recipe instead:


What to dip?: carrots, celery, bell pepper strips, fresh broccoli, pretzel thins, whole wheat pitas,
Try: “guiltless gourmet” brand or Trader Joe’s “reduced guilt” tortilla chips – they are baked not fried. You can have 18 chips for 120 calories versus just 14 small regular tortilla chips for 140-160 calories.

Chili: If you still want the meat, swap beef for lean ground turkey. If you aren’t a fan of that flavor use 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 ground turkey to reduce saturated fat and cholesterol. For very little fat and no cholesterol, try out my 3 bean chili which I promise is just as filling and tasty as the meaty version!


Chili Nachos: Use the guiltless gourmet tortilla chips, the 2% cheddar or low fat soy cheese, this chili, salsa, and some of the guacamole above.

Lower fat baked mozzarella sticks:
You can use panko bread crumbs instead of regular.

Potato & sweet potato wedges:

Simply chop up into desired size pieces, toss in 1 tablespoon canola oil and add ground black pepper, rosemary and chopped garlic. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-25 minutes (depending on cut size, quantity & oven).

If you don’t feel like making everything on your own, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s brands have many different baked french fries, tater tot, and appetizer options without the preservatives and excessive fat.  Nature’s Promise brand at Giant also makes french fries.

Here are some “Suprisingly Healthy Party Food Recipes” from Whole Foods!


These black bean brownies are amazingly rich and you’d never know they had beans or avocado instead of flour and butter. I double the recipe and use 3 tablespoons of applesauce instead of the oil and have made them with regular eggs but also with flax eggs.
Black bean avocado brownies

There are a lot of healthier than normal desserts on this website, but the best one is for this cookie pie.
Instead of using oil, use applesauce in equal amounts to eliminate fat. I like to make mini-cookie cupcakes instead of the big cookie pie so that it is easier to manage portions. Unless you’re having 20+ people over, halve the recipe.
(If you look at other recipes, just be sure to use real sugar instead of the no-calorie sweetener stuff!)

Fruit & some tru-whip are always a healthy dessert!

Check out my Pinterest page for other snacking ideas for The Big Game and any other day!

3 thoughts on “Healthier Choices for The Big Game

  1. Pingback: Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus | Eat Real Live Well

  2. Pingback: Vegan Stuffed Peppers | Eat Real Live Well

  3. Pingback: Dairy Free JalapeƱo Poppers & Heart Month | Eat Real Live Well

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