Thursday, January 20, 2011

Are You Ready for Some Football?!

This time of year, the only thing left to look forward to is football.  Unless you're one of those people looking forward to Valentine's day, but I'm not going to go there.  On a freezing Sunday what could be better than crowding around with a bunch of screaming fans and drinking a few beers? Oh that sounds pretty good.

Well kids, it's playoff season which means you have spent the whole regular season eating wings and pizza and drinking your fair share of bud light.  And I bet on most game days you have not given any thought to how many calories are in chicken wings or what blue cheese dressing is actually made of.  But let me tell you-it's not pretty. The spirit of the game should not prevent you from keeping your New Year's resolution or make you look like a line backer.

In honor of the playoffs and the much anticipated Super Bowl (which happens to fall on my birthday) why not snazz it up a bit?  Upgrade some of the snacks at your next party and you won't feel bad about having that extra beer.  Cut out the excess fat from fried foods and all that processed junk with these great recipes.  Plus, they are super quick and easy, so you can save all your energy for the game.

The chicken, spinach and feta meatballs will curb your craving for chicken bites and won't make you struggle with saucy fingers or meat in your teeth.  The chickpeas can replace greasy chips, salty peanuts and candy, providing the perfect pop-able snack you can munch on all game!

Chickpea Pops

1 15oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon of coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (more for extra spice)

Toss the chickpeas in olive oil and a pinch of salt.  Spread evenly onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes tossing often.  Bake until the chickpeas are slightly crispy on the outside.  Remove and place in a bowl.  Add seasoning and toss well to coat.  Serve and enjoy!

Chicken Meatballs with Spinach and Feta
Makes approximately 18-20 

1 pound ground chicken
1 small onion, finely diced
2 gloves of garlic, chopped
1 egg
2-3 cups chopped spinach
1/2 cup Better Breadcrumbs
1/4-1/2 cup of crumbled feta (depending on how cheesy you want them to be)

Drizzle olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Clean about half a bunch of spinach, remove the stems and chop to yield 2-3 cups.  Add the onion to the pan and saute until translucent.  Add the garlic and chopped spinach and cook until the spinach is fully cooked.  Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  Form into balls approximately 1 inch in diameter.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked through.

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