Ditch the ‘Wings: Healthy Food for Super Bowl XLV

The verdict is in: billions of Americans will consume chicken wings during Super Bowl XLV weekend (and tons of chips, too!). Yikes! Could there be a healthier way to enjoy Eli and friends crushing the Patriots this Sunday?

Cheese Dip Days

Eight or nine years ago when Rob and I were dating, we decided to re-live our Southern youth and make Rotel cheese dip to celebrate that year’s super bowl. One of the easiest recipes in the book, all you do is mix Velveeta cheese with a can of Rotel tomatoes (unless you want to boost its nutritional make-up and add ground beef or sausage!). We knew we had embraced healthier ways when we could only eat a few bites of it.

Chicken Nachos

Fast forward seven years, and we caved to our craves by making chicken nachos. In fact, I prepared a recipe I’d seen Tyler Florence make on TV. They tasted pretty good but were a lot of effort for something that could have been easier to prepare. And who am I kidding? Just because they are made with chicken instead of beef doesn’t give them the heart-healthy seal of approval.

Holy Taco

I’m pondering healthier alternatives, yet I don’t think the Holy Taco stadium and its 58 Twinkies will do the trick. (But boy does it make me laugh!)


Nor will I create a Colts stadium rendition of Luke’s BSU birthday cake (yes, I realize the blue is a little off, but it was the best I could do).

Ditch the Chicken Wings.

So what are some healthy Super Bowl ideas? Here goes.

Tortilla Soup. OK, it’s not a bag of tortilla chips but gives the illusion that tortillas are involved. And who doesn’t like tortilla soup? This one from the Pioneer Woman looks pretty tasty, or perhaps the rendition that Emeril offers up.  The latter has some crispy bits on top that are sure to make the hubby happy.


Black Beans. I know this will never fly in my family, but aren’t black beans often included in a pile of nachos? I really liked Jenna’s twist to the black bean theme by adding shrimp, avocado and onion. (There are lots of great recipes on her site, Eat Live Run).

Pork Verde. I know this would be a hit any day of the year. And you can’t beat pork verde for ease of making. For those of you who don’t eat pork, there’s a similar recipe using chicken.

Buffalo Chicken Salad. Well, I suppose this might be the next best thing to buffalo chicken wings themselves. And I also like some of the other ideas from Canyon Ranch. Better yet, ditch the Super Bowl and go visit the Ranch in person!


Marinated Chicken Thighs. Instead of wings, why not try a slightly less fatty cut of chicken that nicely absorbs the flavors of a marinade? Here are a few that sounded yummy: beer marinated chicken thighs, delectable marinated chicken, and grilled citrus marinated chicken thighs.


Fake Chicken Fingers: You can try these baked chicken fingers from She Knows Food & Recipes or try Big Daddy’s Yummy Chicken Fingers (recipe here).

All else. This wonderful post from ItSuxToBeFat includes all your favorite Super Bowl dishes, appetizers and desserts — and offers a healthier alternative of each.

Enjoy your Super Bowl treats, and GO GIANTS!


Melinda Hinson