I was listening to a story yesterday, on I forget what news source, about how Super Bowl Sunday has surpassed Thanksgiving as America's biggest "food" day. I didn't even have to think about it, they're right. The day of the big game has become an unofficial holiday in the U.S.
If you love football and I do, you will find yourself in front of a TV. If you don't have to go to bed at 7:30 (like I do) chances are that TV may be in the midst of a party or a bar. Either way, you will be staring down food demons that only come out once a year. I mean the amount of things that can suddenly be created with Velveeta is astounding.
So, I have two suggestions -
1. Make sure you workout that day, before the game. Getting physical will help curb your appetite somewhat. And remember, just because you expended a couple hundred calories through sweating, doesn't mean that justifies 15 hot wings - it doesn't.
2. Find healthy and tasty alternatives to your favorite snacks. Don't fall into that "it's only once a year" mentality and take a swan dive into the spinach-artichoke dip. We just got through the month and a half of that stuff and have started anew in January, don't blow it.
So, to that end, I have found a recipe from the American Heart Association (it's the beginning of Heart Month) that is a great stand-in for traditional hot-wings. Though you can find a number of other healthified favorites online.
Please note: "Real" hot-wings are breaded, fried and slathered in salt and sugar heavy flavorings. Basically that eliminates any of the good you can find in chicken. This recipe is a tasty and healthier alternative and while it doesn't address the rest of the stuff that makes it onto the table, it's a start.
2 tablespoons hot-pepper sauce, or to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 4 ounces each), all visible fat discarded
Vegetable oil spray
1 cup cornflake crumbs (about 2 cups flakes)
1/4 cup fat-free or light sour cream
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed, crumbled
In a large shallow bowl, stir together the hot-pepper sauce, lemon juice, and olive oil. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 8 hours, turning occasionally if longer than 30 minutes. Discard the marinade.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly spray an 8-inch square baking pan with vegetable oil spray.
Put the cornflake crumbs on a plate. Turn the chicken to coat both sides. Transfer to the baking pan. Lightly spray the top of the chicken with vegetable oil spray. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the coating is crisp. Transfer to a serving plate.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Spoon the sauce over the chicken or use as a dipping sauce.
Hot-pepper sauce made from cayenne peppers (a bit milder) or Tabasco peppers works well. Let your heat tolerance be your guide.
Nutrition Analysis (per serving) Serves 4 – Serving size - 3 ounces chicken and 2 tablespoons sauce per serving
Calories 220; Total Fat 4.0 g; Saturated 1.0 g; Polyunsaturated 0.5 g; Monounsaturated 2.0 g; Cholesterol 69 mg; Sodium 250 mg; Carbohydrates 16 g; Dietary Fiber 1 g; Sugars 3 g; Protein 29 g
Have fun and remember, you are not at the training table to be a 300 pound lineman, YOU are attempting to "Get Healthy".
Yours in health, Kate