Healthy Super Bowl Spread Ideas That’ll Surely Score Points with Your Guests

While Minnesota prepares to host the 52nd Super Bowl, fans across the country are polishing up their family rooms and man caves to host a party. Everybody knows, though, the Holy Grail of success for any Super Bowl gathering is the food spread.

Surpassed only by Thanksgiving, Super Bowl Sunday is the second largest food consumption day in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. With hundreds of millions of people shoveling in stuffed potato skins, cocktail wieners and jalapeño poppers, it’s no wonder the antacid industry reportedly sees a bump in sales the day after.

To help guarantee an indigestion-free victory at your party, we’ve rounded up tips and recipes from local nutrition experts that’ll surely score points with your guests.
“By simply replacing sour cream or mayo with nonfat Greek yogurt and swapping out cheddar cheese with mozzarella cheese when making your favorite dips and apps, you save 3 to 4 grams of saturated fat per serving,” says Janel Hemmesch, RD, LD, a dietician in Allina’s weight management program. “That equals 3 to 4 strips of bacon!” she adds.

A few of Hemmesch’s go-to Superbowl favorites are:

Spinach artichoke dip: Replace the traditional butter, cream cheese and heavy cream with reduced fat cream cheese and non-fat Greek yogurt. Use mozzarella cheese, which is made from skim milk. Serve with whole grain pita chips or crackers.

2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
½ cup nonfat greek yogurt
¼ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
¼ tsp. black pepper
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 8 oz. block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 8 oz. block fat-free cream cheese, softened
½ 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1 13.5 oz. package baked tortilla chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine 1½ cups mozzarella, yogurt,
2 tablespoons of Parmesan, and next 6 ingredients (through spinach) in a large bowl. Stir until blended.
3. Spoon mixture into 1½ quart baking dish.
4. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup mozzarella and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan.
5. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
6. Serve with tortilla chips.
Taco dip: Season non-fat Greek yogurt (gluten-free and high in protein) with garlic powder, black pepper, cumin and parsley. Spread it over a layer of beans. Add in vegetables of your choice and serve with corn tortilla chips or cucumber slices.

1 can nonfat refried beans
8 oz. nonfat plain greek yogurt
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. parsley
⅓ head lettuce, chopped
1 tomato
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1 bag tortilla chips

1. Spread refried beans out on a platter.
2. Mix greek yogurt, garlic powder, black pepper, cumin and parsley in a bowl and spread over refried beans.
3. Top with lettuce, tomato and cheese.
4. Serve with tortilla chips.
Turkey meatballs: Mix in a small piece of mozzarella string cheese for some gooey goodness. Slow cook in no-added-salt tomato sauce seasoned with basil, oregano, garlic powder and thyme. “Nobody will even be able to tell you used turkey instead of ground beef,” Hemmesch says.

For Meatballs:
2 eggs
½ cup rolled oats
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. Italian seasonings
½ tsp. pepper
½ tsp. garlic powder
2½ pounds ground turkey
4 string cheese sticks cut into 6 pieces

For Sauce:
1 28 oz. can no-added-salt tomato sauce
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley
½ tsp. pepper

1. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, oats, Parmesan cheese and seasonings together.
2. Add ground turkey and mix.
3. Roll into 24 meatballs.
4. Insert 1 piece of cheese into the center
of each meatball and set aside.
5. In a separate bowl, stir together sauce ingredients.
6. Pour enough sauce to cover the bottom of the crock pot.
7. Place meatballs in crock pot and cover with remaining sauce.
8. Cover and cook on high 3 hours or low 6 hours.

Kid Zone

For kids, reserve a snack table just for them and you can transform it into a football field with a grass green tablecloth. Then fill it with the healthiest vittles you think they’ll consume.
Instead of chips and dips, Adele Lillie, food service director for Robbinsdale Area Schools, suggests serving lunch-line veggie hits—such as watermelon radishes, carrot coins, cucumbers, and sugar snap peas—in small, disposable cups with parsnip and a dollop of chickpea hummus.

Another item she says goes over surprisingly well is creamy broccoli and apple slaw tossed in yogurt dressing. Place it next to a platter of mini chicken quesadillas or thin-crust pesto pizza slices, and you’re ready to go.

Lillie also suggests a macaroni and cheese bar. Add fiber with whole grain or 50 percent whole grain noodles. Substitute some of the cheddar cheese with low-fat cottage cheese or pureed cauliflower or squash. Let the kids pile on healthy toppings, such as mushrooms, peas, broccoli, peppers and onions. OK, maybe a few bacon bits, too.

“Whatever you do, it needs to be fun,” Lillie says.

Kid Friendly Recipe: Chickpea hummus

1 ½ cups chickpeas, liqud drained but save for later.
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp. tahini paste
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. salt

1. Combine chickpeas and garlic in food processor until well blended.
2. Add remaining ingredients and puree
until creamy.
3. If mixtures seem dry or too thick, add liquid from chickpeas to proper consistency.
4. Pair hummus with local parsnip and watermelon radish “chips.”

Beyond the Food

Now that you’ve mapped out your menu, you can focus on the little things that’ll help make your guests feel at home. Start with a place to hang their coats by clearing your front closet or renting a coat rack, says Allison Munsell, sales associate for Ultimate Events in Plymouth.
Cocktail tables set a tone for mingling. Ultimate Events rents tables of all shapes and sizes, even shortened ones for young guests, and table cloths to match your favorite team if you want to go all out. Need appetizer plates, glassware, chafing dishes, coolers or even an extra fridge? They have those, too.

“We’re the support of the event. Not the shining star of it. What we do is support a theme, a look, a vision and help to complete it,” Munsell says.