Contributed by: ARA Content
(ARA) - When it comes to sports get-togethers, enthusiasm for the food is often rivaled only by that for the game itself. If you're hosting a party for a bowl game or other event, put together a winning game plan that features a selection of delicious, healthy foods rather than the typical menu of high-fat, high-calorie foods and beer.
Keep your snack options healthy by offering bowls of pretzels instead of potato chips, popcorn instead of candy, and wedges of flatbread with garlic hummus or whole-wheat crackers and this delicious hot spinach dip instead of your usual chips:
Spinach Crock-Pot Dip
Mix all ingredients together in a crock-pot. Turn on high until cheese is melted, about 20 minutes, then turn to low.
Simply Organic also has a full line of regular and spicy dip mixes you can prepare with low-fat mayonnaise, low-fat sour cream, or plain yogurt to make them even healthier. The packets are perfect to have on hand when there are last-minute additions to the guest list.
A crock-pot of hot and hearty chili with a selection of toppings on the side - tortilla chips, chopped onions, jalapeno peppers, grated sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, sliced black olives, hot sauce, diced cilantro and small shakers of chili powder and cumin for those who want a little additional pizzazz - is a sure bet. It's not only healthy, tasty and filling, but it can be prepared a day or two in advance so you, too, can enjoy all the game-day festivities. If you don't have a favorite chili recipe, here's one that's particularly zesty and healthy:
Vegetarian Tex-Mex Chili
Preparation time: 10 minutes - Cooking time: 35 minutes
Heat oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic 5 minutes or until softened. Add next 8 ingredients and salt to taste. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to medium low and simmer 15 minutes. Add beans and corn and simmer another 20 to 30 minutes, adding additional stock or water if chili becomes too thick. Stir in jalapeno pepper and cilantro just before serving. (If you're looking for a quick and easy chili that's delicious, Simply Organic makes a ready-to-go Vegetarian Chili Seasoning Mix.
Bring those baked tortilla chips into play for the second half or the second game. Serve alongside a bowl of homemade salsa using this easy-to-prepare recipe:
Combine the dip mix with the diced tomatoes and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving. For milder heat, use more tomatoes.
To satisfy those with a sweet tooth - and to provide something cool to counteract the heat of all the hot dishes - offer a big bowl of fresh fruit salad. A mix of melons, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, and other favorite fruits makes a colorful selection that guests will come to time and time again. A simple bowl of fresh orange wedges is another healthy option.
Even if beer is the beverage of choice, plan to have other beverages on hand for those who prefer not to drink or want to drink less and for the final stretch of the party before everybody heads home. A pot of hot, spiced cider made with Simply Organic's Mulling Spice Mix makes a delicious seasonal drink. Other beverages you may want to offer include coffee or tea (hot or iced), hot cocoa, or a pitcher of plain ice water.
So use the game for getting together friends and family for an afternoon or evening of fun, fanaticism, and food. And remember - when you offer healthy foods, everybody wins! For more tips and recipes for game day fare, go to the Game Day feature on the Simply Organic Web site at www.simplyorganicfoods.com/gameday.
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