Written by Kim Cox
Watching sports on television with your friends used to be an excuse for eating tons of junk food, but you can’t get away with that any more. Today, even the chefs on food networks, those old guilty pleasure shows, encourage you to eat healthier snacks. Considering more than one-third of all Americans are obese, this makes perfect sense. Do yourself and your friends a favor the next time you get together. Check the directtv listings, call the group over and make some delicious but healthy game day snacks.
Healthy Microwave Popcorn
Microwave popcorn is not only high in calories and fat, it’s also filled with a list of unpronounceable ingredients. Food Network’s Alton Brown gives us an alternative method of making microwave popcorn, with only healthy ingredients. Toss one-quarter cup of popcorn, 2 teaspoons of olive oil and one-quarter teaspoon of popcorn salt together in a brown paper lunch bag. Sprinkle on some Italian seasoning, garlic powder or jalapeno seasoning if you like. Fold the top of the bag over twice and secure it with two staples (no, the staples won’t make your microwave give off sparks). Put the bag in the microwave for two to three minutes, until there are four or five seconds between pops. Tear open the bag and pour the popcorn into a serving bowl.
Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
When it’s time to take care of the insides of that Halloween pumpkin, Bobby Flay has just the right Southwest-inspired recipe that’s made with healthy oils and low in calories. As a substitute for fatty chips, this recipe scores big points. Toss 3 cups of pumpkin seeds, 2 tablespoons of healthy oil, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, 1 teaspoon with chili de arbol powder and 1 tablespoon of salt into a large bowl. Mix all the ingredients together until the seeds are coated. Spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for eight to 10 minutes, or until they begin to brown.
Pizza is a game day staple, but the fat and calories make it one of the worst offenders when it comes to unhealthy party foods. Get the same pizza flavors without all that bad stuff with Cat Cora’s crunchy pizza roll-ups. Spread flour tortillas with pizza sauce. Tear basil leaves into pieces and sprinkle them onto the tortillas. Add black olive slices, peppers, mushrooms or any other healthy pizza topping you like. Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top, and roll each tortilla up into a cigar shape. Heat them in a toaster oven set on medium for five minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Cut each roll-up in half, and serve them with warmed marinara sauce for dipping.
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
When it comes to snacking, what could be better than a hot serving of crispy sweet potato fries? A healthier version, that’s what! Even Paula Deen, the queen of butter herself, has jumped on the healthier food bandwagon with this recipe. Peel sweet potatoes and cut them into long pieces the size of regular French fries. Toss them with olive oil until they are coated, and spread them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Pop them into the oven at 450 degree F for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally.