Are You Ready for Monday Night Football?

It’s Monday in November. That means one thing: Monday Night Football. As America’s sport, I’m not alone in my love of the game, along with all of the must-have finger foods that rotate by quarter.  Tonight’s game is the SF 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals.  While neither team has a chance at making the playoffs, we’ll still watch–and eat!

Traditional football munchies are on my highly-recommended list. Don’t get me wrong–I don’t root for my team with carrot and celery sticks. Really, I don’t.  What I do is make some Game Day subs in my line-up for my football menu. Here are some of my strategies for a healthier Monday Night Football game.

Beer.  It’s hard to mess with beer when it’s football season. I don’t drink (for no good reason) but Craig has made the switch to light varieties including Corona Light or Sam Adams Light (100 cals versus 150 for regular) but has not yet found his “taste” for  feathery MGD64 or Michelob Ultras, where there’s a 80+ calories saved per bottle.  He thinks they’re non-alcoholic for some reason but I know plenty of female fans that are happy to shave their alcohol calories with these new beers.

Roasted Potato Pizza Slices: A slice of Pepperoni pizza can pack in 300 calories a slice and is loaded with unhealthy sat fat, so try this recipe instead.  I pulled it off the Idaho Potato website at http://www.idahopotato.com/recipes/id-56/. While checking out the recipes, you can also enter to win a HD Plasma TV and your very own catered football party.

Winning Wings: Wings pack in about 100 calories each so I use a traditional Buffalo sauce but grill skewered strips of chicken breast instead. Make any red “Buffalo” sauce that you like and you can replace the butter with a soft spread.  If you serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing, find one that’s lower in fat.

Nuts. Everybody goes nuts for nuts. I especially like in-shell pistachios because they are a great, mindful snack. The shell makes it almost impossible to overeat when you’re glued to the tube. And if that’s not reason enough, new research shows that swapping out the traditional snack food, pretzels, for pistachios may help you reduce your body fat.

Better Chips and Dips: Some of the simple chip switches I make are going with baked options like baked pita chips and I use some of the “popped”  Pop Chips (caution: the BBQ flavor can be addicting) instead of fried potato chips. Craig loves the multi-grain chips from Lundberg and Food Should Taste Good and since he works out so much, I think it’s fine on one or two days a week he wants to have some tasty chips. (I eat them too!)

Big Dipper: My favorite dips are hummus; black bean dip; guacamole and spinach dip.  For creamy spinach dips, I always use nonfat Greek yogurt as a substitution for sour cream. Every cup you swap, cuts out 300+ calories and 40+ grams of fat–much of which is heart-stopping sat fat. My favorite guacamole is the AvoSalsa recipe from the Hass Avocado Board..but I often nix the garlic. If you want some really sports-themed bowls, helmets, and more, check out WinCraft.

–Julie

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