The ultimate bites for Gameday
College Football Saturdays and NFL Sundays have hit the ground running and for the first time in what may seem like forever.. gameday gatherings are a bit more socially acceptable than they’ve been in the past few years even though the pandemic hasn’t fully hit a halt yet.
I love hosting gatherings and being able to unleash my food creativity for the day. While we currently don’t host any gatherings in my house due to everyone's hectic schedule, I’ll be daydreaming of becoming the ultimate host one day in my own place.
I have so many good snack ideas with a bit of a healthier twist that are sure to make an entrance into your home to keep everyone satisfied, happy, and focused on yelling at their favorite team on the TV.
English Muffin Pizzas
I love English muffin pizzas so much. I actually don’t know that I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t love an English muffin pizza. It’s super easy to make, customizable to dietary preferences and provides a great balance of macronutrients. My current go-to is using a whole wheat or sourdough English muffin as the base. I add Primal Kitchen Foods Tomato Basil Marinara on-top and then switch up the toppings. Mozzarella cheese, bell peppers, olives and spinach are my go-to topping. My dad is lactose intolerant, so I always make his English muffin pizzas without cheese and we use all the veggies for him. Another fun way to amplify your mini English muffin pizzas is to add meatballs on-top. We tend to use turkey meatballs as my mother makes the best turkey meatballs.
Sticking with the pizza theme here and going with Pizza Tortillas instead. I use two low-carb tortillas and top them with sauce, cheese, and veggies. The wraps add more space for toppings than an English muffin, bagel or toast per say, but you do want to be cautious about how much sauce you put on-top since they are a thinner base and will certainly be messy if you overdo it. Another fun option is to put the ingredients in the middle of the two tortillas and make a Pizza Quesadilla.
Egg White Frittatas
Cheating a tad bit here as I never make these homemade. I use the Veggies Made Great Spinach Egg White Frittata muffins. Microwave a bunch of them up and display them on a plate for a quick, easy and healthy grab. I spotted these in BJ's Wholesale Club the other day which would make even more ideal for party settings. Bulk purchasing is key for gatherings, and money saving.
You're probably thinking I’m going the bagel pizza route which, yes, is a good one. However, I’m taking this one back to a savory breakfast option. I suggest buying mini whole wheat bagels and mashing avocado on top of the mini bagels. Add some Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Seasoning on-top and you are good to go. This one is particularly a gem, because you don’t have to worry about cheese and meat being out of the fridge for too long. Additionally it also serves vegan guests if you use a vegan bagel as the base.
Nachos have such a bad rep, but the ingredients you put in your nachos make all the difference. My favorite chips to use are the grain-free tortilla chips from Siete Family Foods. I like to use the Sargento light string cheese on my chips and then load them up with all the veggies: Spinach, Peppers, Tomatoes, and Olives. I HAVE to dip mine in guacamole because chips without a dip are most certainly not my type of thing.
I like to go fancy with my quesadillas, but when you are serving a large group of people. Simple is most certainly best. Grab tortillas, add some lettuce and cheese on the inside and you have a delicious cheesy snack for your pickiest eaters.
Build your own Taco Bar
This was one of my favorite meals growing up. I always begged my mom for “wrap” nights because they are super customizable. I like to encourage a wide range of tortilla options for everyone’s dietary preferences. Then you can place all the different ingredients in different bowls. We always made ground turkey, shredded mozzarella cheese, olives, tomato, cucumber, fajita peppers, fresh peppers, salsa, sour cream, tzatziki and guacamole as options in my household.
Don't forget the dips, crackers and veggies on the table! I know a lot of people love charcuterie boards, but leaving meat and cheese out for long periods of time isn't necessarily food safe. When you are focused on the game time can certainly get away from you and monitoring the snack station isn't at the top of your priority list. I love to leave out a variety of crackers like Wheat Thins, Ritz, Back to Nature Crispy Wheat Crackers, Hu Grain-Free Crackers, Goldfish etc., with a variety of dips. My top dip choices are from Trader Joe's with the Chunky Guacamole with Greek Yogurt, Avocado Tzatziki dip, Pico de Gallo, Chunky Mild Salsa, Everything but the Bagel dip, and Guacamole. We always make a simple dip as well using sour cream and the Hidden Valley ranch seasoning packets. It's a family staple at all our gatherings. However, you still want to be cautious about the length of time the dips are out on the table as many are perishable. I always like to have cut-up veggies and fruits as well to provide some nutrient dense options. If you want something different than crackers pretzels are always a hit in my household and so is the Organic Popcorn with Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Trader Joe's.