Sometimes the best part about the Big Game is the food. Nachos. Wings. Chili. Beer. Sure, you might be consuming a day’s worth of calories in one sitting — but the gluttony is worth it, right? In honor of Sunday’s Big Game between the Eagles and the Patriots, we decided to offer up a competitive food faceoff. Five classic takes vs. five healthier versions of our favorite game day foods. Which one wins? You decide.
We’ve devoted entire blog posts to our love of nachos — so the appearance of this famous game day dish should be no surprise.
Traditional Version: Fancy Game Day Nachos
We love them simple; we love them complicated, and any which way, quite frankly. This chic version of nachos from Chef Ron Silver of Bubby’s in New York City elevates the Gam Day staple with black beans, white cheddar, quesa fresca, guacamole and pickled veggies.
Healthy Version: Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos
In this slimmed down version of nachos from Today show nutrition expert Joy Bauer, the tortilla chips are subbed for thin and crispy sweet potato slices — for a fiesta-ified shot of beta carotene and fiber.
2. SPINACH ARTICHOKE DIP
Sunday will be all about the dips. Look no further than this classic American appetizer popular since the 50s — the Spinach Artichoke Dip.
Traditional Version: Spinach Artichoke Dip
This Spinach Artichoke Dip recipe from Bon Appetit comes from the magazine’s collection of essential recipes — and it’s a bonafide winner. Pro tip: to create the perfect creamy harmony, squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the spinach.
Source: Bon Appetit
Healthy Version: Creamy Artichoke Spinach Greek Yogurt Dip
Skip the heavy cream or mayo — in this healthier version of Spinach Artichoke Dip, opt for Greek yogurt instead. Greek yogurt is much lower in fat, plus it’s chock full of protein.
Source: Food Heaven Made Easy
Since Americans are expected to eat a record-breaking 1.35 billion wings this weekend, according to the National Chicken Council, we could not resist offering up two great options.
Traditional Version: Sticky Spicy Chinese Chicken Wings
Andrew Zimmern’s easy homemade Sticky Spicy Chinese Chicken Wings for the win! These wings combine everything from cinnamon and anise to ginger and oyster sauce for “sticky, fatty, salty and sweet” goodness.
Source: Fox News
Healthy Version: Buffalo Cauliflower Poppers
Ok, ok. We know that deep-fried chicken is what makes a wing a “wing.” But bear with us. In nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner’s version, she swaps the chicken for whole grains and veggies. Only 12 calories per popper!
Source: Dawn Jackson Blatner
A bowl of chili is all about warmth and comfort. If your team loses this Sunday, it could be the only thing that soothes you.
Traditional Version: Pat’s Famous Beef and Pork Chili
This Dutch oven recipe from Pat Neely of the Food Network’s “Down Home with the Neelys” has all you could ever want from a chili: bacon, ground beef, ground pork, black beans, kidney beans seasoned with garlic, onions, bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder, oregano, smoked paprika and more.
Source: Food Network
Healthy Version: Three Bean Chili
This meatless, Latin American twist on chili is a crowd (and tummy) pleaser.
Source: Forks Over Knives
A good slider is hard to beat — plus it’s about as American as… well… you know.
Traditional Version: Waffle Fry Sliders
This adorable and modern take on the classic burger-and-fries delivers a juicy ground beef patty between two waffle fries, and we think it’s brilliant.
Healthy Version: Zucchini Turkey Burger
This veggie powerhouse from Food Wine Thyme (a.k.a. Olive & Garlic) is loaded with zucchini and herbs, and served with great toppings like heirloom tomatoes and tzatziki sauce. Amazing flavor without tons of calories? What’s not to love?
Source: Olive & Garlic