January has come and gone, and we’re all feeling just a little healthier after a fresh start to the new year. Whether you avoided making New Year’s Resolutions or you jumped right into a detox diet, your eating habits have most likely changed for the better since the holidays.
And now that we’re feeling a little cleaner and maybe even leaner, the first major temptation of the year is upon us. No, it’s not the sweets, chocolate tortes, wine, and truffles that surround Valentine’s Day.
It’s the greasy appetizers and salty snacks of the Super Bowl. I’m envisioning a spread of bacon-wrapped sausages, sour cream dips, honey-glazed chicken wings, 7-layered taco dips, and sweet and sour meatballs amidst the packages of every chip and store-bought dip imaginable.
This is a recipe for a serious diet train wreck unless you arrive prepared.
Regardless of whether you even enjoy watching football, chances are you’ll either be attending a Super Bowl party or providing half-time treats at home. Don’t let this event become a giant binge fest. Enjoy some treats and have a fun evening, but leave feeling satisfied and proud of your choices.
If you are gluten-intolerant, most of the options on the appetizer table at Super Bowl parties will be off limits. So how can you have a fun evening, make healthy choices, avoid that feeling of deprivation, and prevent getting glutened next Sunday?
The most important survival tip is to provide healthy, tasty, gluten-free options yourself.
Bean dips are a great alternative to the synthetic Ranch dressing or sour cream dips that everyone will be dipping their chicken wings and celery sticks into. Bean dips are packed with protein, providing you with a feeling of satisfaction so you don’t keep heading back to the table for more chips and salsa.
Now even if you label your dip “gluten free” you know that some ignoramus will most likely plunge his breaded chicken fingers into your gluten-free bean dip and contaminate the entire thing. So, keep a container of extra dip in the refrigerator and help yourself to that clean batch when you are ready to eat.
Bring a platter of colorful veggies. Go beyond the carrot and celery sticks. The more color, the more nutrients, the more taste, the more satisfaction. Slice up some green, yellow, and red peppers. Crunchy cucumbers and snap peas are a great addition. How about some spicy radishes and jimica sticks?
Bring some gluten-free tortilla chips and homemade guacamole. The avocado is a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, again providing you with that satisfaction factor. And count out one serving of chips. A serving isn’t going to kill you, and it will help you to feel “normal” and less like a rabbit.
Along with a bean dip, gluten-free chips, and homemade guacamole, you may want to bring this Parsley Hummus. I was never a hummus fan until I started straying from the traditional recipe and adding fresh herbs. I adore this hummus. It has a deep sesame taste with a little kick. And it’s delicious on raw veggies.
- 2 cans chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 2 large cloves fresh garlic
- 2 T tahini
- 1 1/2 T lemon juice
- 1 T sesame oil
- 1 T olive oil 1
- 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 T water
1. Drain chickpeas and rinse well.
2. Place chopped parsley and garlic cloves in the food processor and process until the parsley is finely chopped.
3. Add drained chickpeas and all remaining ingredients. Process until the mixture is very smooth.
Serve hummus with gluten-free Baked Lentil Chips, gluten-free crackers, or veggie sticks.
Makes 3 cups
And here are a few other Super Bowl survival tips:
1. Eat a light, healthy snack before the party. A fruit smoothie would be perfect. Then you won’t arrive famished and ready to hoover.
2. Wait to fill your plate until you truly feel hungry. The Super Bowl a long event. If you start nibbling right away, chances are it will be hard to stop.
3. Enjoy conversation with a glass of water in your hand. Women especially tend to gather in the kitchen, hovering above the table, nibbling while they chat.
4. Fill your plate with a variety of gluten-free foods when you are ready to eat. Commit to only eating off your plate and not directly from the platters or packages.
5. Sit down to eat. Taste, enjoy, eat mindfully.
6. Give yourself grace. Did you eat too much? Did you make some unwise choices? Focus on the positives. Congratulate yourself for the good things you put into your body.
Have a great time and make it a healthy evening.
Other bean dips you may enjoy:
Not into bean dips? If you head on over to The WHOLE Gang, Diane has collected a fantastic list of gluten-free Super Bowl appetizers from a variety of bloggers that you might enjoy.
Do you have any other Super Bowl survival tips to share?