Monday, January 30, 2012

Snacks for Superbowl - Part 1 - Dips and Pickles

Yup, it's that time of year when most men (and some women) are tone deaf to anything unless it involves "the game." Do not despair, place healthy, great tasting snacks in front of them and wait for the victory to emerge (and hope the tears and swears are minimal!

Jalapeno Popper Dip is not the most healthy of snacks, but you need a few cheesy dips for the big game day, which only comes once a year. Lots of pickled jalapenos (make them at home!), cheese and a breadcrumb topping. What's not to love? If you have more than 3-4 people eating, consider doubling the recipe. Roars will be heard when it is gone!

Muhammara may be new to you but trust me this will not be the last time you eat this amazing dip. Walnuts, roasted red peppers and the zip of pomegranate molasses will seduce all who try it. Everyone will play the game of trying to guess what is in it - it's up to you whether you will divulge your secrets!

Do you ever try to sneak veggies into "comfort food or snack food? Here's a great recipe for just that approach, Raw Spinach and Artichoke Dip. It has just enough decadence to make eaters think that this can't be healthy, but its base is raw spinach and marinated artichokes. With just a swirl of mayonnaise for creaminess and a bit of jalapenos for kick, this baby is a winner!

Creamy white dips are hard to resist, and when you serve them with lots of cut up vegetables it is practically a salad via your fingers! With this Creamy Garlic Dressing/Dip made with a yogurt base you are not lying to yourself, so eat up! Super easy to make, it tastes best the next day after the flavors have really had time to meld.

At any party I throw, no matter the occasion, there will always be some pickled and briney item. Here's an easy one that looks so gourmet but is really a pantry dish, Moroccan Marinated Olives. Toss olives with oil, spices, garlic and some herbs a few days before your guests arrive and presto, gorgeous marinated olives!

Another reason to serve pickles or brined vegetables is that all of that vinegar helps your body handle all of the cheese and meat that is so often the centerpiece of Superbowl parties. At this time of year, making some giardineria - Italian Quick Pickles - is as simple as picking up some cauliflower, carrots and red peppers at the supermarket and submerging them in vinegar. Add some garlic or herbs to spike them up or leave them unadorned to get their full flavor.


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