Fall is steadily approaching, which means two things. Your fall wardrobe is coming out of hiding (finally!) and football Sunday’s. Whether you’re cooking for your loved ones, or preparing for your friends, one thing remains the same. FOOD and a lot of it.
Football food doesn’t mean we continue our bad habits from summer and rewrap it with pumpkin spice whatever in fall. Sure, you can have some treats here and there, like classic buffalo wings. However, you can create things that are healthy and guilt-free without even tasting the difference.
We want to pair what we are going to be eating to the theme of the day: football. Just because we can’t call Dominos or house a whole thing of nachos, I’m here to show you how to replicate what we wish to have with what we should have. Here are 4 recipes that will satisfy your food football cravings but with a health-conscious twist that your body will be thanking you.
- 1/3 cup marinara sauce
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup pepperoni mini
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
(for the cauliflower crust)
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat over to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside
- To make the cauliflower crust, add cauliflower to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground, yielding about 2-3 cups
- Transfer to a microwavable-safe bowl. Cover loosely and place in microwave for 4-5 minutes, or until softened; let cool.
- Using a clean dish towel or cheese cloth, drain cauliflower, removing as much water as possible
- Transfer cauliflower to a large bowl. Stir in egg, mozzarella, Parmesan, basil, oregano, garlic powder and onion powder; season with salt and paper to taste.
- Using an ice cream scoop (or a spoon), spread cauliflower mixture into a circle for each pizza and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Spray lightly with nonstick spray and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden.
- Top each cauliflower round with marinara, mozzarella and pepperoni minis. Place into oven and cook until the cheese has melted, about 3-4 minutes.
- Serve immediately, sprinkled with basil, if desired.
Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wrap
I meal prep this into my diet because it’s so yummy and versatile. You can absolutely use this to please your guest on Sundays game day. If you read last weeks post on Tips For Meal Prepping Successfully, hopefully, you followed my advice and bought yourself a crock-pot since I did warn you’ll be using it often. If you already have one, that’s awesome! If not, you can use the oven to bake it with water in a baking dish at 400F for an hour, but it doesn’t taste as good. The recipe I follow from is delicious; I swear you’ll forget you’re eating healthy. The Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wrap recipe yields 6 servings and contains 148 calories, 5 grams of carbs, 0.1 grams of fat and 25 grams of protein! My little twist to it is that I add a little paprika and cayenne on the chicken before I set it in the crockpot. I like it spicy! If spice isn’t your thing, follow the directions, and you will be satisfied. Remember: you can meal prep this too! Double bonus!
(For the chicken)
- 24 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 celery stalk
- ½ onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic
- 16 oz fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup hot cayenne pepper sauce (I used Frank’s)
- ¼ cup pepperoni mini
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
(for the wraps)
- 6 large lettuce leaves, Bibb or Iceberg
- 1 ½ cups shredded carrots
- 2 large celery stalks, cut into 2-inch matchsticks
- In a crock pot, combine chicken, onion, celery stalk, garlic, and brother (enough to cover your chicken, use water if the can of broth isn’t sufficient)
- Cover and cook on high for 4 hours
- Remove the chicken from pot; reserve ½ cup broth and discard the rest
- Shred the chicken with two forks and return to the slow cooker with the ½ cup broth and the hot sauce and set to on high for additional 30 minutes. (This yields 3 cups of chicken).
- Prepare lettuce cups, place ½ cup buffalo chicken in each leaf
- Top with ¼ cup shredded carrots, celery, and dressing of your choice
- Wrap up and enjoy!
Baked Coconut Shrimp
Coconut shrimp might sound way fancier than good old fashion chips and dip or wings, but it’s so simple yet and fulfilling that you’ll want to make this during the week too. It’s always good to have one or two go-to recipes for those days that you decide to have guests over last minute. This baked coconut shrimp is perfect for entertaining guests. Coconut shrimp that is baked, instead of fried and it’s also gluten free! WINNING!
- 18 Breton white bean with salt & pepper crackers (1 cup ground)
- ½ cup gluten-free flour (I like tapioca, rice or coconut flour)
- 1 large egg & 1 egg white
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (2.5 oz)
- 2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil like safflower or grapeseed
- 1 ½ pound extra large shrimp (26/30)
- Koscher salt and black pepper to taste
(For Sweet and Spicy Apricot Dipping Sauce)
- 1 cup apricot preserves
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon dried chili flakes
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
- Place the crackers in a food processor and process until they are grounded into crumbs. Alternatively, you can put the crackers in a recyclable plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin
- Set up a breading station by placing the flour in a shallow dish then whisk the eggs together in a second bowl.
- Mix the crushed crackers, coconut, and oil together in a third dish, distributing the oil throughout the mixture.
- Season the shrimp with a couple of pinches of salt and pepper. Working in batches, dip the shrimp in the flour. Shake off the excess flour and then dip them in the egg.
- Finally, dredge them in the cracker/coconut mixture, pressing the mixture onto the shrimp so that it adheres.
- Place the shrimp in a single layer on one or two baking sheets lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray.
- Bake, turning once halfway through, until shrimp are cooked and topping is golden, 15-16 minutes.
- While the shrimp are in the oven, heat the apricot preserves, vinegar and chili flakes in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook a few minutes until preserves are melted.
- Serve shrimp with apricot dipping sauce
Zucchini Turkey Burger Sliders
If you’re craving a burger, this zucchini turkey burger slider is an ideal substitute. These game-day sandwiches will appeal to pretty much anyone at your party. The zucchini-packed turkey burgers stacked with lettuce, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce for a nifty yet easy snack. You can put pretty much any topping, like a fried egg and avocado, on top. Let your guest customize their zucchini turkey burger as they please!
- 1 lb ground turkey
- ½ yellow zucchini, grated and squeezed of excess moisture
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp Tzatziki
- Buns (or Boston lettuce for bun)
- Tomato slices
- Other toppings of your choice
- Mix the first 7 ingredients together. Shape into burger patties and arrange on a plate.
- Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or until ready to use
- Preheat a grill, cook burgers on both sides until cooked through
- Serve on a bun (or lettuce wrap) topped with Tzatziki and other toppings of your choice
Last but 100% not least, dessert. We all know about my sweet tooth by now so I will not post anything that doesn’t actually satisfy it. Trust me when I give you tricks on sweet recipes that won’t break your diet. Bonus: you don’t even need to bake it, and it’s vegan. Trust me guys. My nickname is Cookie Monster for goodness sake. I even crave this on my cheat day! Follow this No Bake Vegan Brownies recipe I stumbled upon a few months ago, and you’ll be happy you gave it try like I did. Spoiler alert: contains chocolate ganache. SCORE!
- 1 ½ cup walnuts
- 1 cup almonds
- 2 ½ cup dates, pitted (if dry soak in warm water for 10 minutes, then drain)
- ¾ cup cacao powder
- 2 tbsp cacao nibs
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 1 cup dairy-free dark chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- ¼-1/2 cup powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Place 1 cup walnuts and almond in food processor and process until finely ground
- Add the cacao powder and sea salt and pulse to combine. Transfer to bowl and set aside
- Add the dates to the food processor and process until small bits remain. Remove and set aside
- Add nut and cocoa mixture back into food processor and while processing, drop small handfuls of the date pieces down into the food processor or blender spout.
- Process until it becomes doughy, adding more dates if the mixture does not hold together when squeezed in your hand.
- Add the brownie mixture to a small parchment lined 8×8 dish and before pressing, add remaining ½ cup roughly chopped walnuts and cacao nibs and toss to combine and distribute evenly.
- Press down with hands until it is flat and firm.
- Lift parchment paper to remove brownies from the dish, and use hands to slightly squeeze in the sides to create a smaller square – this will make the brownies slightly thicker and denser.
- Transfer back to dish and place in freezer or fridge to chill for 10-15 minutes before cutting into 12 even pieces. (If adding ganache, slice afterwards!)
FOR THE GANACHE
- Add almond milk to a mixing bowl and microwave for 45 seconds or until very warm.
- Immediately add chocolate to warm milk and loosely cover. Don’t touch for 2 minutes so it can melt.
- Add salt and stir gently with a wooden spoon, then add melted coconut oil and use a whisk to mix. Set in fridge for 10 minutes to thicken.
- Remove from fridge and add powdered sugar a little at a time to thicken. Whisk again to combine. If it’s still too thin, add another few tablespoons powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy
- Frost brownies generously with frosting and then top with additional raw walnuts and cacao nibs
- Then slice into 12 even squares.
- Store brownies in an airtight container to keep fresh. Can keep for 3-4 days at room temperature, or in the freezer for at least 1 month. (though best when fresh)