9 Healthy Game Day Recipes

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Tori Avey is an award-winning food writer, recipe developer, and the creator of two cooking websites: The Shiksa in the Kitchen and The History Kitchen. She explores the story behind the food. Follow Tori on Facebook or Twitter.

The Super Bowl is just days away, and many of you are planning your game day menus. While unhealthy, greasy junk food is the normal Super Bowl fare, it doesn’t have to be that way. In my family this game is a big (huge, ginormous!) deal, and I’m always there to provide a constant supply of tasty bite-sized nibbles. I’ve worked hard over the years to create delicious options that won’t pack on the pounds. A lot of these recipes are inspired by heart-healthy, flavorful Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Your guests won’t miss the grease, promise!

Spiced Up Turkey Burgers (pictured above)

Recently I discovered the perfect blend of flavors to make tender, juicy and flavorful turkey burgers –the opposite of boring and bland. I like to serve these spiced-up bad boys topped with freshly sliced tomato, baby kale, and a simple Lemon Herb Mayo sauce. They don’t really need a lot of “dressing up” with so many awesome herbs and spices in the mix. Make them slider-sized and try some different toppings… dill pickles, ketchup, mustard, sriracha… whatever you fancy!

Avocado Cilantro Hummus

This hummus, originally created by my friend Gaby Dalkin, is a great alternative to guacamole and a unique twist on Middle Eastern-style hummus. Pair it with baked pita chips, tortilla chips or fresh vegetable crudités. Your guests will love the flavor, and it’s so much lighter than guacamole!

Baked Eggplant Sandwiches

These “sandwiches” taste deep fried, but they’re actually baked. They’re crispy and golden on the outside with warm gooey cheese and sweet sun dried tomato within. Top them with a bit of marinara or arrabiata sauce makes them more scrumptious… sort of like individual eggplant parmesans, but better. Serve them with tahini sauce (recipe after the jump) for a light and creamy alternative to blue cheese dip. Buon appetito!

Spicy Middle Eastern Chicken Wings

Buffalo wings are probably the most famous game day appetizer, with good reason– they’re spicy, salty, and addictive. I created my own spin on the spicy chicken wing by marinating them in a blend of Middle Eastern spices. Rather than frying, I bake them in a hot oven. They are full of flavor and finger-licking good, perfectly spicy – just the way I like them.

Mediterranean 7 Layer Dip

This dip is a twist on the popular American Tex Mex appetizer. It combines some of my very favorite mezze into seven layers of deliciousness – hummus, labaneh or Greek yogurt, Israeli salad, green Greek olives, tahini sauce and crumbled feta with chopped herbs on top. Pair it with homemade baked pita chips and prepare to swoon!

Baked Pita Chips

These chips are ridiculously easy to make and every bit as tasty as potato chips, with a lot less fat and sodium. Pair them with any of the dips pictured here, or your own favorite dip, for a Middle Eastern twist on chips!

Smoked Salmon Club Sandwiches

This smoked salmon club is a lot healthier than the traditional version– the Greek yogurt lightens the spread, and the salmon is packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Plus who doesn’t love the flavor of smoked salmon with cream cheese? Cut into little quarters so that all of your guests can have a taste.

Eggplant Tahini Basil Crostini

One of my all-time favorite flavor combinations has to be eggplant and tahini. The rich creamy flavor of sesame tahini paste, when stirred together with tender roasted eggplant, turns into something magical. It’s like smoky, creamy perfection. These two foods were destined to be together. When paired with fresh basil and spread on grilled sourdough crostini, the result is so fabulous you’ll forget it’s good for you.

Dark Chocolate Fruit Candies

You’ve planned a healthy Super Bowl menu, now splurge a little with dessert! These dark chocolate candies are not only delicious, they’re also good for you. The dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and the fruits have their own unique health benefits, so you don’t need to feel guilty about treating yourself while you cheer on your favorite team.

Tori Avey is an award-winning food writer, recipe developer, and the creator of two cooking websites: The Shiksa in the Kitchen and The History Kitchen. She explores the story behind the food. Follow Tori on Facebook or Twitter.

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