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3 Game day recipes that you'll never know are low-cal

A fun loving drama queen who is head over heels in love with food. Culinary school hopeful (Le Cordon Bleu - Paris), full time recipe creator, food, home and travel writer for She Knows.com and "mom" to a furbaby. Wife of a social media ...

Your favorite game day bites made lighter and with a healthy twist

Who's ready for some football eating? I have to say, my favorite thing about Super Bowl Sunday isn't the game or even the commercials — it's the food. I'm such a sucker for game day eats, like wings, nachos and hearty dips. As much as I love those foods, my jeans don't, which is why I'm totally redoing the way I munch on game day. Instead of high-fat apps and dips, I remade my favorites with a very skinny twist.

Instead of using chips, I subbed in vegetables for my famously loaded nachos, and in place of wings, I baked some cauliflower for crispy and crunchy "tastes like fried" finger food. And don't forget the skinnier version of potato skins. With snacks these good, you won't even miss the calories.

Your favorite game day bites made lighter and with a healthy twist

Loaded zucchini nachos recipe

Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod and Table for Two

Forget salty potato chips in your nachos. These amazing nachos are made with low-calorie zucchini slices. Topped with your favorite healthy toppings, this delicious rendition of a classic game day food will be a favorite in no time.

Serves 6

Prep time: 10-15 minutes | Bake time: 2 hours | Total time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients:

For the chips

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the toppings

  • 1 cup shredded part-skim cheddar cheese
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies, very well drained
  • 1 large avocado, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup corn
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions: 

  1. To make the chips, carefully slice the zucchini into 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness using a mandoline or hand slicer. (I prefer the mandoline, since it evenly slices the same size and shape, making it easier to bake consistently). Place the slices between paper towels to remove the excess liquid.
  2. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper, place the zucchini slices on the parchment paper, and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly on each chip (be careful to not overseason). Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Bake the zucchini chips for about 2 hours or until crispy. Remove from the heat, and let them cool.
  3. Once cooled, place the zucchini chips into a large basket or bowl. Top with the black beans, diced tomatoes, avocado, corn and jalapeño. Sprinkle with cheese and fresh cilantro.

Your favorite game day bites made lighter and with a healthy twist

Cheesy Parmesan cauliflower poppers recipe

Forget chicken wings or loaded tater tots. Make these crispy cauliflower bites instead! Baked instead of fried, these bite-size snacks are perfect for any game day noshing. If you don't like spice, then skip the Sriracha mayonnaise, and opt for your favorite dipping sauce instead.

Serves 10-12

Prep time: 10 minutes | Bake time: 20-22 minutes | Total time: 30-32 minutes

Ingredients:

For the cauliflower

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
  • 3 cups crispy breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and green onions
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

For the dipping sauce

  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking dish with parchment paper, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk the eggs, and place them into a shallow bowl. In another bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, mozzarella and chopped herbs. Mix in the chili powder.
  3. Dredge the cauliflower bites into the egg mixture and then into the breadcrumb mixture. Liberally coat the cauliflower with breadcrumbs, and place them in the prepared baking dish.
  4. Repeat until all the florets have been coated. Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes or until golden.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the dipping sauce by whisking together the mayonnaise, Sriracha sauce and green onion. Serve the cauliflower bites with the Sriracha mayonnaise.

Your favorite game day bites made lighter and with a healthy twist

Vegan loaded baked potato skins recipe

These vegan baked potatoes are so good your friends and family won't even know they're lacking any dairy or cheese. Topped with extra Sriracha sauce and fresh herbs, this spicy app will be a huge hit with all your partygoers.

Serves 8

Prep time: 15-20 minutes | Bake time: 1 hour 45 minutes | Total time: 2 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 russet baked potatoes
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2-4 tablespoons Earth Balance (or your favorite vegan spread)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup vegan cheddar shreds
  • 1 cup vegan sour cream (optional)
  • 1/2-2/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sriracha sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking dish with foil, and set aside.
  2. Place your potatoes in the foil, and poke them with a fork. Bake for about 1-1/2 hours or until soft and tender to the touch. Let cool slightly.
  3. Slice the potatoes in half, and remove some of the insides. Place the insides in a large mixing bowl, and add the Earth Balance, leeks, green onions, 3/4 cup of vegan cheddar shreds and the vegetable broth. Mash with a potato masher, and add salt and pepper to taste. Either put the mashed potatoes back into the potato skins, or put them into a piping bag, and pipe them in (for a fancier potato).
  4. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese (about 1 tablespoon per potato), and bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  5. Serve the potato skins with vegan sour cream (optional), cilantro, green onions and Sriracha sauce.

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