Guilt-Free Gameday Recipes from The Hungry Fan

gameday recipes cookbook

Warning: This post will make you very, very, very hungry. Like most people, I'm knee-deep in my "New Year's Diet," which basically consists of avoiding carbs, loading up on protein and veggies, and moderate self-deprivation for a minimum of 12 weeks. It sounds rough, but it's fun finding creative ways to eat well without sacrificing taste and flavor. I find myself eating more fruits and veggies, but more importantly, I'm also enjoying it.

HOWEVER, I crave cheesy, carby, greasy deliciousness just as much as the next person...or sports fan. Speaking of sports, I recently received a copy of The Hungry Fan Gameday Cookbook by Daina Falk and had a few realizations while flipping through it for the first time:

  1. Daina and I should be friends, so I can go to her all her tailgates and watch parties.
  2. I need to taste-test every single thing in the cookbook. Daina, call me for your next one! ;)
  3. There is such a thing as healthy gameday grub.
There are still two huge football weekends left with the NFC and AFC Championships and the Super Bowl ahead, so per tradition, I plan to eat, but I also want to stick to my diet plan. Thanks to Daina, I'm looking forward to my my gameday spread and won't be counting calories. I'll be chowing down on these two tasty dishes (check out full recipes below!) + some fresh veggies paired with Daina's low calorie version of french onion dip made with Greek yogurt!

Healthy Chipotle Chicken Potato Skins recipe

Healthy Chipotle Chicken Potato Skins

(Serves 6)

  • 3 medium-sized organic sweet potatoes
  • 1⁄4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3⁄4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts  (about 2 small breasts)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt and 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground  black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced chipotles in adobo
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 cups spinach, wilted (see Tip)
  • 5 ounces sharp white Cheddar cheese, grated
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Chipotle hot sauce, optional
  • Cilantro sprigs, roughly chopped

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Wash the sweet potatoes, and prick them all over with a fork. Brush the skins with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place in a Pyrex dish or on a baking sheet, and bake them for 50 to 60 minutes or until fork-tender. 
  3. Place the chicken in a baking dish, rub with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and season with a small dash of salt and pepper. Place the chicken in the oven alongside the potatoes, and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until cooked through. Set aside to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1⁄4 cup olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chipotle pepper, oregano, cumin, chili powder, and 1⁄2 teaspoon each  of the salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  5. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it with a fork  or your fingers. Then combine it with the spinach, and keep warm.
  6. Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, and let cool for 5 to  10 minutes more.
  7. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F.
  8. Using a spoon, scrape out the insides of the potatoes, leaving only the skin and a 1⁄4-inch layer of potato flesh. (Be careful not to tear the skins.) Return the skins to the baking dish, and brush the insides with the chipotle and herb mixture. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until crisp.
  9. Meanwhile, add the remaining chipotle and herb mix to the spinach and chicken, tossing to combine.
  10. Once the skins are done, stuff them with the chicken mixture, top with grated cheese, and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the skins are hot and crisp. Serve topped with Greek yogurt, the hot sauce, if desired, and chopped cilantro.

 Mediterranean Nachos recipe

Mediterranean Nachos

(Makes 1 large plate)

  • 1 (8-ounce) bag baked pita chips
  • ⅔ cup thinly sliced romaine lettuce
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives, chopped
  • ⅔ cup diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese


  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas
  • 3 tablespoons tahini 
  • 4 to 5 ice cubes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil  


  • 1 cup reduced-fat (2%) plain Greek yogurt  
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil  
  • 1 sprig dill, finely chopped
  • 1 small cucumber, half minced, half diced 
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Make the hummus: Drain the chickpeas, and skin them by placing them in a single layer on a paper towel and rubbing gently; the skins will come right off with your fingers. Place in a food processor with the tahini, blend, and then drop in the ice cubes one by one to create a very smooth texture. Transfer to a bowl, and add the juice of 1 lemon, 2 crushed garlic cloves, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Mix well. If you want a thinner consistency (similar to nacho cheese or refried beans), stir in 1 tablespoon water.
  2. Make the tzatziki: Combine the Greek yogurt, 2 crushed garlic cloves, the juice of 1 lemon, and 2 tablespoons olive oil, the dill, minced cucumbers, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Stir thoroughly so all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  3. Lay out the pita chips on a tray or serving plate. Top with 3⁄4 cup of the hummus and 3⁄4 cup of the tzatziki, and sprinkle with the diced cucumbers, lettuce, olives, tomatoes, and feta. Serve immediately  with any leftover hummus and tzatziki on the side.

Get tons more delicious recipes in the The Hungry Fan's Gameday Cookbook! It also makes a great gift for a sports fan foodie. What are you making for the big games?


The Style Ref

Images provided by The Hungry Fan's Game Day Cookbook. Recipes excerpted from The Hungry Fan’s Game Day Cookbook. Copyright © 2016 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

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