Over the weekend I played around with a few recipes that would be easy to make and serve on game day. I’m not a huge football fan, but for the sake of my loving husband, I’m *trying* to rally.

Truth be told, I love sports, and competition even more. I just don’t follow football in any way, shape or form. I think it all goes back to fifth grade when I a fellow classmate punted a football right into my face during gym class. It was all downhill from there.

Moving on.

I still love to socialize, getting together with my friends and family. If that socialization requires a tasty, but healthy recipe, I’m there. So the dishes I threw together this weekend had to fall into three categories:

1. Healthy
2. Easy
3. Crowd Friendly

I wanted something that was high in protein, another that was low fat, and another that was a healthy spin on a comfort classic. Here is what I came up with.

Pulled BBQ Chicken Sliders
These were really good, easy and done in about 45 minutes. The sliders are packed with protein and are great for leftovers.
Serves 8

2 1/2 lbs chicken breasts
1-15 oz can of tomato sauce
1-4 oz can diced green chile (fire roasted if possible)
1/2 c coarsely chopped onion
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp soy sauce (or substitute 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce)
2 tbsp coconut oil (or substitute olive oil)
3 tsp chipotle sauce
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp dry mustard
salt

1) Bake chicken breasts at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes, or until cooked through. As chicken is baking, prepare BBQ sauce.
2) Heat oil in stock pot or dutch oven. Add onion until translucent.
3) In separate bowl, mix together all other ingredients until smooth. Add mixture to onion and oil.
4) Shred baked chicken with a fork and add to sauce. Allow chicken to simmer in sauce until ready to serve. Add desired amount of salt.

Serve sandwich-style between two grainy slices of bread, or small roll. If you’ve got time to prepare this in advance, do so! The longer the chicken can simmer in the sauce, the more flavor it soaks up.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries
The combination of the sweet and savory really stands out in this healthier version of a fry.
Serves 8

4 large sweet potatoes
2 tbsp coconut oil
Sea Salt

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Peel and chop sweet potatoes into wedges.
3. Toss sweet potatoes in oil* and spread out onto baking sheets. Bake until browned, turning over halfway though. Total baking time is 30 to 40 minutes. Season with sea salt before serving.

TIP: *Coconut oil melts at 76ºF. If your kitchen is cooler than 76, chances are the oil will be in a solid form. The only time this is an issue is when you need to “toss” coconut oil. You may need to warm the oil beforehand. The reason I avoid baking with olive oil at high temps is because it breaks down and oxidizes. Oxidation means free radicals, and no one needs more of those.

Corn and Black Bean Lettuce Wraps
Trade in a traditional tortilla shell for a leaf of lettuce and you get this simple, fiber-filled appetizer. No real cooking, just throw together a few ingredients.
Serves 8

head of romaine lettuce (substitute iceberg if desired)
2 c frozen corn*
3/4 c canned black beans, drained
1/4 c canned roasted diced green chile
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
juice from half of fresh lime

1. Thaw corn, gently patting off any excess moisture. Drain black beans thoroughly and add to corn. Add in chiles, tossing gently. Add in remaining ingredients, mixing gently. Chill until ready to serve.
2. Serve with individual leafs of lettuce. Spoon a small amount of black bean and corn mixture. Enjoy.

TIP: *During the summer months, try substituting roasted corn cut from the cob, rather than frozen corn.

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