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Football is Back! Here are 8 Healthier Football Recipes to Celebrate

Football season is almost here everyone! In honor of the regular season kicking off in 8 days, here are 8 healthier recipes to bring to your football events so that all the hard work you put in doesn’t go away. Don’t let the football season be your excuse for weight gain!

1.) Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

How to Make Dairy Free Ranch Dipping Sauce
In a mixing bowl, combine the following ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1 cup low fat mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped
  • fresh chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

How to Make Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Prepare the batter for the buffalo cauliflower bites by combining the following:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  1. 1. Whisk until smooth and thickened. 
  2. 2. Gently toss the cauliflower with the batter, being sure to coat the cauliflower thoroughly…
  3. 3. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a rack on top of the foil. Generously spray the rack with cooking spray and place the coated cauliflower bites onto the rack, being sure to leave space between each one… 
  4. 4. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the cauliflower bites start to brown. While the cauliflower bites are baking, melt 3 tablespoons dairy-free butter and mix with 1 (5 ounce) bottle of cayenne pepper sauce and 1 tablespoon honey. Whisk to combine. Give it a taste and adjust the flavors to your liking. If it’s too hot, add more honey. If the buffalo sauce is too sweet for you, add more cayenne pepper sauce.
  5. 5. When the cauliflower bites are ready, remove them from the oven and toss with the buffalo sauce mixture.
  6. 6. Spray the rack with cooking spray again and place the buffalo cauliflower bites back on the rack. Put back in the oven for 10 more minutes until browned to your liking. Remove the buffalo cauliflower bites from oven and allow to cool slightly. Transfer to a serving dish with the Dairy-Free Ranch Dipping sauce and enjoy!

2.) Veggie Pizza

 Prep Time 10 minutes

 Cook Time 2 hours

 Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes

 Servings 16 servings

 Calories 244 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 packages refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 packet dry Ranch dressing mix or make it from scratch
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1 cup chopped cauliflower
  • 1 cup chopped or shredded carrots
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup each additional chopped vegetables such as bell pepper, tomato, scallions, or black olives

Instructions

  1. 1. Bake the crust according to the package instructions, about 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely, at least 30 minutes.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, and salad dressing mix. Chill in refrigerator to blend flavors while crust cools.
  3. 3. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cooled crust. Top with broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. Sprinkle with cheese and any additional vegetables, if using.
  4. 4. Chill at least one hour before slicing to serving.

3.) Paleo Mini Pepper Nachos

 Cuisine American

 Prep Time 10 minutes

 Cook Time 20 minutes

 Total Time 30 minutes

 Servings 4

 Calories 192 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2small packages mini peppers organic if possible or one large package
  • 1pound ground turkey or lean grass fed beef
  • 1/2 garlic powder
  • ground cumin
  • chili powder
  • 1/2- 1cup organic salsa
  • pinchsalt
  • 2 chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4-1/3cup shredded cheese optional

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. 2. Slice the peppers length wise, then remove the stem and seeds. Place on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil or parchment paper for easy clean up (spray with coconut oil to ensure they don’t stick – not required but recommended).
  3. 3. Place peppers in the oven for 12 minutes.
  4. 4. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Spray the skillet with coconut oil (or add 1/2 tbs. coconut oil and allow to melt). Add ground turkey and allow to cook through, breaking up the turkey into small pieces.
  5. 5. Cook about 7 minutes, until no longer pink in any place.
  6. 6. Add the garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, organic salsa and pinch of salt. Allow to cool slightly while waiting on peppers to finish.
  7. 7. Stuff the peppers with a small spoon once they come out of the oven. Top with grated cheese (optional) or just sprinkkle with chopped fresh cilantro.
  8. 8. If you add the cheese, turn on the oven’s broiler. Place the nachos under the broiler for 2 minutes (use foil to line the baking sheet with if you are going to use the broiler).
  9. 9. Serve hot or at room temperature.

4.) Paleo Sweet Potato Sliders

RECIPE

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb grass fed lean ground beef
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil 
  • 1 tsp sea salt 
  • 1 tsp cajun seasoning 
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced 
  • 2-3 fresh Boston, Bib or Iceburg lettuce leaves

Directions: 

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
  2. 2. Form beef into small meat patties and press into flat into muffin tin.
  3. 3. Place in oven and bake for approximately 10 minutes or to desired doneness. 
  4. 4. While burger patties are baking, slice sweet potatoes into discs. 
  5. 5. Place discs in a bowl and coat with coconut oil and cajun seasoning. 
  6. 6. Line discs on a baking sheet and place in oven for approximately 25 minutes, turning over mid way through. 
  7. 7. Once patties and sweet potatoes are done, assemble by stacking sweet potato, beef patty, lettuce, avocado slice, tomato slice, sweet potato.  
  8. 8. Serve and enjoy! 

Makes approximately 6 sweet potato sliders. 

5.) Skinny Buffalo Chicken Dip

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 8 ounces Neufchatel cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces crumbled bleu cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (such as Frank’s)

Instructions:

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. 2. Mix all ingredients together well.
  3. 3. Bake in the preheated oven until hot and bubbly, about 20 minutes.
  4. 4. Enjoy!

6.) Cheesy Cauliflower Nachos

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 33 minutes

Total Time 43 minutes

Servings 4 servings

Calories 157 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower cut into florets
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt or Himalayan salt
  • ¼ tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ cup shredded Monterey jack or pepperjack cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped tomato
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped orange bell pepper
  • 1 medium jalapeño seeds and veins removed (optional), sliced (can add a second if desired)
  • ½ cup mashed avocado
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 425º F.
  2. 2. Place cauliflower on baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with cumin, salt, chili powder, and garlic powder; toss gently to blend. Spread evenly on baking sheet.
  3. 3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until tender-crisp and golden.
  4. 4. Top evenly with cheese. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  5. 5. Top evenly with tomato, onion, bell pepper, jalapeños, avocado, and cilantro; serve immediately.

YIELD: about 40 bites

PREP TIME: 15 minutes

COOK TIME: 30 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes

7.) Sweet Potato Bites With Avocado and Bacon

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon (about 3 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean, peels on
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 medium avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake bacon according to these directions. Remove to a paper towel–lined plate and lightly pat dry. Once cool enough to handle, dice and set aside.
  2. 2. If necessary, move the racks to the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil (if reusing one of the bacon sheets, change out the foil for a fresh piece). Brush sheets with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil each. With a mandolineor very sharp knife, slice the sweet potatoes into 1/2- to 1/4-inch slices. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the oiled baking sheets, then brush tops with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown underneath, rotating the pans 180 degrees and changing their positions on the upper/lower racks halfway through. Remove the pans from the oven, flip the slices over, then roast for an additional 8 to 11 minutes, until golden on top.
  3. 3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the avocado, lime juice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and smoked paprika. Mash lightly with a fork, leaving the mixture slightly chunky. Set aside.
  4. 4. Transfer the baked sweet potato slices to a serving plate. Top each with a dollop of the avocado mixture, chopped bacon, and cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.
 
 

8.) Cowboy Caviar Recipe

Cowboy Caviar is packed with colorful, fresh ingredients that also happen to be healthy. Makes a great salsa, dip, or salad at your next party or barbecue! Naturally vegan and gluten free.

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Servings 12 servings

Calories 194 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (11 ounce) can super sweet corn, drained (see notes)
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro (from 1 bunch)

Instructions

  1. 1. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, sugar, white wine vinegar, chili powder, and salt. 
  2. 2. Add tomatoes, black-eyed peas, beans, corn, red onion, and bell peppers. Stir to combine.
  3. 3. Stir in cilantro. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or overnight to blend flavors. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

  1. 1. Regular canned sweet corn or frozen corn may be substituted for the extra sweet corn. The closest measurement for either option is 3/4 cup, but feel free to use the whole 15-ounce can of corn.
  2. 2. 1 sweet onion or a bunch of green onions may be substituted for the red onion.
  3. 3. A single bell pepper may be substituted for the 1/2 cup each of chopped red and green bell peppers.
  4. 4. In the Midwest, we like the sugar in this recipe. I personally think it tastes great. BUT. If you think 1/4 cup sugar sounds like too much, feel free to use less. Perhaps add 1 tablespoon at a time. A couple of readers have suggested this is way too sweet and they were disappointed. It breaks my heart. You can always add more vinegar and salt if you want to try to save your batch. But I swear, this is how we eat it in America’s Dairyland. And we love it.
 
Recipes courtesy of
https://www.culinaryhill.com/cowboy-caviar-recipe/#comment-31351
https://www.ourlifetastesgood.com/2015/10/baked-buffalo-cauliflower-bites.html
https://www.culinaryhill.com/vegetable-pizza/print/?m
https://bitesofwellness.com/paleo-mini-pepper-nachos/
http://thefitfoodiemama.com/foodie-friday-paleo-sweet-potato-sliders/#_a5y_p=4476459
https://happyhealthymama.com/skinny-buffalo-chicken-dip.html#_a5y_p=4847676
https://www.beachbodyondemand.com/blog/cheesy-cauliflower-nachos
https://www.wellplated.com/sweet-potato-bites/print/

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