With over a hundred million people planning parties to watch the biggest football game of the year, it marks the second largest food-centric event that happens on a yearly basis. The fact that it happens just a little over a month after the vast majority of people make New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier or lose weight is not lost on us at Pure Flavor®. What if we told you that you can have some healthy, delicious options that won’t have you drop kicking your goals and will score some touchdowns in flavor?
Millions of football fans are gearing up to watch the big game and whether you’re into watching the actual game, checking out the hyped-up commercials, or just tuning in for the famous half-time show, sometimes the most memorable thing from game day is the food. This sacred day of football is synonymous with fried chicken wings, cheesy nachos, and adult beverages – a menu that is going to cause a fumble when it comes to sticking to your health goals. While it is ok to indulge in these foods occasionally, it’s much better to have a game plan. We have put together some healthy, flavorful options that we think will score a touchdown with your guests.
PEPPER SPINACH PINWHEELS
Pinwheels are mini-sandwiches that are typically made with a large flour tortilla as the base, with a spread and some fillings, that are then rolled up into a log and cut into slices. The slices resemble the colorful spinning child’s toy, which is how it got its name. They are an extremely versatile finger food and can be filled with practically any flavor combos you wish.
This recipe for Pepper Spinach Pinwheels, sent to us by our friend Tanya Anurag from @tanyas.bowlsandbrushes, is the perfect finger food for any gathering! Packed with rainbow-colored veggies, like our Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers, makes them not only nutritious, but delicious too.
Did we mention that they’re super easy to make?
In a medium-sized bowl, whip the cream cheese to soften it. You can do this by hand, or you can use a mixer. Add your seasonings and mix it well. Once the seasonings are mixed in, add in pepper slices, shredded carrots, and cabbage. Mix to coat the veggies and set aside.
Lay the tortillas on a flat surface and spread a large spoonful of the filling mixture over the whole tortilla. Carefully roll them into tubes. You may need to use some of the mixture to help seal the edges closed. Cut the rolls into one-inch slices and top them with extra peppers before serving.
Chef’s Tip: You can opt to use a low fat cream cheese and/or low carb tortillas to customize these pinwheels further to your dietary needs.
SWEET PEPPER TIKKA
Tikka is an Indian dish that has small pieces of meat, vegetables, and paneer that are marinated in a mixture of spices, and then skewered on a stick to be cooked. There are so many variations and flavor combinations that can be created with tikka. From full out carnivore to 100% vegan, tikka is very versatile and customizable to tastes, preferences, and dietary needs.
Our friend Prashi Srivastava from @rasoikigupshup shared her favorite Sweet Pepper Tikka recipe with us which is the perfect, unique appetizer to add to your game day menu. Using our Sweet Bell Peppers and her special blend of spices for the marinade, this authentic Indian snack will be memorable for sure!
With only ten minutes of preparation, this recipe can be prepared ahead of time and then cooked just before you’re ready to serve it.
First you make the marinade which consists of Greek yogurt or hung curd, ginger garlic paste, Kashmiri red chili powder, kasuri methi, turmeric powder, black pepper, lime juice, garam masala, and salt. Once the marinade ingredients are all mixed together, add the peppers, paneer, and onions, then stir to coat them well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
When you’re ready to cook your tikka, preheat the oven to 425° F. Skewer the cubes of paneer alternating with peppers and onions. Place the skewers on a rack in the center of a baking sheet and bake them for 15 minutes, turning once halfway. After 15 minutes, switch your oven to broil for 2 to 3 minutes until the paneer has a slight char. Arrange the skewers on a serving platter and top with cilantro and lime juice. You can serve them with a spicy coriander dip and sliced onions on the side.
Chef’s Tip: For more protein, you can opt to add chicken, beef, lamb or even tofu! The marinade will work well with any of those options.
TOMATO & SAUSAGE POPOVERS
Popovers are the American version of the British Yorkshire pudding. They are a light, buttery pastry made from a thin batter that puffs up, or “pops over” the top of the pan while they bake. They can be sweet or savory, it’s all up to you and what ingredients you add to them!
For your die hard, meat and potatoes guests, this recipe for Tomato & Sausage Popovers from our friend Abigail at @bon__abbetit is sure to be a touchdown! They are bite-sized, flavorful, and a healthier alternative to the traditional game day snacks. She took our RedRoyals® Sweet Cherry Tomatoes On-the-Vine and paired them with spicy pork sausage and a hint of gruyere cheese for the perfect balance of sweet and savory.
To get started with Abigail’s recipe, you’ll preheat the oven to 425° F and grease a mini muffin tin with butter. Then, over medium heat, add olive oil, sausage, tomatoes, and herbs to a pan. Cook everything until the sausage has browned and blended with the tomatoes, about 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then let it cool.
Next, you will prepare the batter for the popovers. Place milk in a bowl and microwave it for about 40 seconds to warm it up. Whisk in the eggs, butter, flour, and salt until it’s smooth. Heat up the empty muffin tin in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes. Working quickly, add the batter to fill each mini muffin cup three quarters of the way full, then add a spoonful of the sausage and tomato mixture to each cup. Top each mini muffin cup with more batter until the cup is full, but not overflowing. Sprinkle cheese over each and bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown and puffed up over the sides. Serve immediately.
Chef’s Tip: If your popovers are falling after taking them out of the oven, you probably didn’t cook them long enough. Under-baked popovers retain too much steam inside and if they’re removed from the oven before that steam has time to cook out, it will condense again causing them to fall.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A GAME PLAN
Just like any other gathering that involves food, you should definitely have a menu and a strategy of when food is to be served. You could start with something simple, like veggies and dip, that guests can munch on and that you can keep replenishing throughout the afternoon and evening. We have a full line up of snacking veggies that are perfect for these occasions! From our super tasty and extra crunchy Mini Cucumbers, to our premium Cloud 9® Bite-Sized Fruity Tomatoes that will satisfy any sweet tooth, we have a flavor for every palate. All you need to do is add dip!
Time your other appetizers to coincide with breaks in the game so that you’re not throwing a Hail Mary trying to make it back to the couch or possibly missing out on any of the action on the field!
If you’re looking for other recipes to expand your menu for game day celebrations, be sure to check these out:
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