Beat It, Wings: 3 Superior Super Bowl Snacks

Super Bowl Sunday is a big night for party food, with Americans expected to eat more than 1.23 billion chicken wings during this year’s tussle. Can you believe that’s actually less than last year?

If you’re searching for other snacks you can make that won’t be out-shined by the spicy, fried, deliciously messy game day stable, there are pages and pages of Google results for variations of the phrase “Super Bowl party snacks.” To save you some time, here are three items my friends request again and again. They’re simple, quick and a little kinder to your waistline.

Crispy baked potato sticks: The trick to getting the perfect crunch is to chop the potato into the skinniest french fry you can manage. If it seems too skinny, trust me, it’s not. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut several potatoes into super skinny fries (I do one small potato per person). Spread them on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with black pepper and a hint of salt and bake for 20 minutes or until nice and brown. If they need more time, continue in increments of five so they don’t burn. Whip up fun dipping sauces to serve them with, like spicy ketchup (mix in a dash of chipotle or cayenne powder) or creamy mustard (add a little mayonnaise or fat free Greek yogurt to spicy brown mustard or dijon).

Chickpea dip: This will win over health nuts and wing lovers alike. Blend together one can of chickpeas with half the liquid drained, three tablespoons of chopped sundried tomatoes, one to two tablespoons of crushed red pepper (spice to taste), one teaspoon of garlic powder, three tablespoons of lemon juice and a handful of fresh basil (or three tablespoons of dried). Drizzle olive oil as needed until you reach a creamy hummus-like consistency. Serve with pita chips or veggies.

Slimmed down nachos: Nachos are my weakness, but I like them loaded and can rarely bring myself to give in to the tempting pile of saturated fat. This recipe, adapted from a Rachael Ray creation, is good enough to satisfy my craving without feeling too guilty. Caramelize one large onion. Chop one link of turkey kielbasa into bite size chunks and throw them into the onion pan until browned. Layer a baking sheet with tortilla chips (I like multigrain). Top with the onion/meat mixture. Sprinkle with chopped jalepeno and tomato. Finish with a layer of pepperjack cheese and bake until the cheese is melted and golden.

If you didn’t see anything you like, browse this endless list at

(Photo by stef yau via Wikimedia Commons.)

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