We hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing Labor Day weekend! Now that it is officially September, fall is nearly upon us. Some of my favorite fall pastimes (besides delicious root vegetables, the changing colors of autumn, & the crisp weather of course) are game day gatherings. Now, believe me, I am not one to really care much for sports, but it is the family togetherness that I truly enjoy.
Pre-game foods don't typically have a reputation for being healthy. Do not fear! Here are some healthy pre-game party food alternatives that not only will appeal to your taste buds, but you can pass on the tums.
Mini Greek Sliders with Garlic Sauce & MicroGreens
- 1 pound lean ground beef or lamb
- 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, finely chopped
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons seasoned dry breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons crumbled feta
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Mini brioche buns, split and toasted (or hot dog buns cut to size; you can also use flatbread if making appetizers)
- MicroGreens for garnish
- 1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt or mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Kosher salt
Beat 1 egg in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
Add the onion, green onion, dill weed, salt, pepper, oregano, feta, breadcrumbs. Mix to combine.
Add the ground beef or lamb. Using a fork, incorporate the meat into the mixture. Do not over mix.
Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan or griddle over medium-high heat.
Form the mixture into 20 golf-ball sized patties, about 1/2-inch thick.
In batches, place the mini burgers into the hot pan and cook 3 minutes per side until cooked through, or to desired doneness.
In the meantime, for the garlic sauce: in a small bowl combine the yogurt with the garlic. Season with salt, to taste.
To assemble the burgers, place a burger on the bottom half of the mini bun. Top with a pinch of MicroGreens and drizzle with the garlic yogurt sauce. Finish with the top half of the bun. Serve as mini brioche sliders or insert toothpick to hold flat bread closed to make appetizer-portion mini gyros.
Loaded Vegan Potato Skins
makes 8 skins
4 medium russet potatoes
cheezy mash filling:
1 1/2 - 2 cups scooped baked potato flesh
3-4 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, but adds the "cheezy" part)
1-2 Tbsp vegan buttery spread (Earth Balance) - melted
1 1/2 Tbsp vegan sour cream
splash of almond or soy milk (unsweetened or plain)
dash of cayenne for heat (optional)
3 Tbsp vegan buttery spread (Earth Balance) - melted
8 Tbsp vegan cheese shreds (Daiya Pepperjack used)
8 Tbsp vegan sour cream (or less if desired - add to taste)
2 green onions, chopped
1 Tbsp chopped chives
1/4 cup tempeh bacon bits (use store bought or THIS recipe)
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
herbs or micro greens on top (optional, but essential)
1/2 jalapeno, sliced into rings
shaved or roasted mushrooms
diced bell pepper
1 1/2 cups scooped potato flesh
1 Tbsp vegan sour cream
2 tsp vegan buttery spread
1/4 cup spicy salsa
nutritional yeast to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Wash and scrub your potatoes so that any dirt or brown residue is removed. Dry potatoes and pierce a few times with a fork.
3. Place potatoes in oven, directly on the rack is fine, and bake for about 30 minutes or until baked through the center. This will vary depending on the size of your potatoes.
4. Remove the potatoes from the oven - the skin should be nice and crispy. Slice into long halves. Scoop out about 3/4 of the potato flesh using a spoon. Place all flesh in a small bowl and set scooped skins aside.
5. Melt your 3 tablespoons of vegan butter in a small shallow bowl.
6. Line a baking sheet with foil.
7. Dip your scooped skins in the melted vegan butter. Dip so both sides get shiny coated in vegan buttery residue. Also drizzle about 1/8 tsp of the vegan butter inside each scooped skin. Repeat until the butter has been used up and all the skins are coated in shiny melted Earth Balance. (Tip: you can use less melted vegan butter in this step if you want to cut back on a few calories. You coudl also substitute with EVOO + a pinch of salt if needed.)
8. Place all the skins on your baking sheet and sprinkle with a bit of fine black pepper. Place in oven on top rack and broil for 2-3 minutes or until the edges begin to brown and become very crispy. Then pull out the rack and flip each skin over so that the round bottom faces up. Place skins back in oven and broil for another 2-3 minutes or until the skins brown. (Use less or more broil time if needed!) Set baking sheet aside.
9. Add all the cheezy mash ingredients to the scooped potato flesh bowl. Mash and fold until rich, thick and creamy. Add the splash of non-dairy milk to help loosen the mash. (You could also do the salsa mash filling version above)
10. Next, fill the potato skins with the mash. About 2 Tbsp per skin.
11. Add the cheese shreds and place the filled and cheesed-up skins back in the oven. Broil for 2-4 minutes or until the cheese melts and starts to bubble.
12. During all these broiling sessions, you can be prepping your veggies and sauteing your tempeh bacon bits. Arrange all these topping on a platter for easy potato skin "decorating."
13. Top those skins! Add a dollop of chilled vegan sour cream, and as many toppings as you'd like. Serve right away so you get that cold meets hot taste sensation. Enjoy!!
Make Ahead: You can make these skins up the the part where you broil with the cheese on top! This makes game day much easier for you.
Nachos Ignacio with Micro Cilantro- watch the video!
I love the show The Farm with Ian Kanauer- he always has fabulous, farm fresh recipes on his show and website. On a recent episode that I saw, Chef Jose Garces made Nachos Ignacio with MicroGreen Cilantro and I think this recipe or some version of your own would be delicious for your game day party!