Super Bowl Sunday is a celebration of some of the best athletes in the country. Ironically, it is also one of the most difficult days for amateur and athletes in training to stay true to any healthy eating. For the vast majority of the day friends and family pick over various Super Bowl party appetizers and entrees, most of which are greasy enough to put in a car. However, there are ways to at least somewhat mute the effects of one of the biggest eating days of the year. Centered Chef Founder and CEO Ryan Hutmacher said the key isn’t to completely restrain from the food fun, but make that food better for you.
“It’s tough to be the complete antidote to the gluttony of the Super Bowl,” Hutmacher said. “I would like to position this as being more consciences rather than a complete healthy Super Bowl.”
His recipes focus on using pure ingredients, rather than trying to hide calories using ingredients that are “lite” or “fat free.” Instead, Hutmacher said the food should be tasty and simple. Recently the chef was featured on ABC’s cooking show The Chew where he is competing for the opportunity to become the next Weightwatchers Chef. On the show, Hutmacher made his Salsa Joe Boats, which he said are great for events like the Super Bowl. In the recipe he takes two Super Bowl staples in the sloppy joe and potato skins and created something new. The Joe Boats take a homemade meat sauce that substitutes the bbq or ketchup for salsa and puts them in freshly made potato skin “boats.”
Hutmacher said a recipe like this isn’t meant to be a typical healthy and lite alternative. Instead it’s a hearty, true to form party food that is still healthier than something from a can. Food like this fits Hutmacher’s overall theme of cooking, “clean comfort,” food that will fill an appetite without the extras that can often slow a body down.
While the Salsa Joe Boats are more filling and take considerable time, Hutmacher also has recipes for the more wide ranging flavor pallet. An easy way to make sure a dish satisfies everyone’s dietary needs is to bring a simple salsa bar. Hutmacher has three different very unique salsas that can work for any specific need that a guest or party goer may have. His Salsa Roja is completely vegan and made without any fat, the Tomatillo Avocado Salsa is mixes creamy avocado with a fresh crunch from the tomatillo.
Finally, Hutmacher has a classic bean dip that gives the entire flavor of the party classic without the extra ingredients found in cans. His Black Bean Tequila takes all the vegetables normally found in a pico de gallo salsa mixed in with black beans. Also, as Hutmacher said, “any time you cook with booze and make it healthy, you are going to win some people over.” That is the beauty of the salsa’s, Hutmacher said. While they deliver the vegetables the body needs, no one thinks of it as eating healthy. Even the chips can be at least slightly healthy. A bag of whole grain tortilla chips is less harmful than other options.
For those who won’t be cooking but still plan on enjoying the work of others, there are a few ways to prevent over eating, Hutmacher said. Most importantly, if the plan is to enjoy off of the food on Sunday then make sure to eat extra healthy on the days leading up to the game. Save those extra calories for Sunday’s big meal. Additionally, eat a big lunch. Those who eat a full breakfast and lunch on Sunday will be less tempted to graze over appetizers all afternoon.
Like other holidays, the following day can be the most difficult. Who hasn’t felt bogged down and tired for all of Monday after a fun filled Super Bowl Sunday, complaining that Monday should be a national holiday? This is something, depending on the beverages of choice, that can be avoided. Hutmacher said avoiding especially greasy food is the key. Those foods are often filled with sugar which causes a food hangover the next day.
With these tips, Super Bowl Sunday can be the perfect mix of fun and health. Don’t forget to follow Hutmacher on his attempt to become the Weightwatchers Chef. The Chicago native has already started the competition, which will return to air on ABC on February 6 and continue every Thursday.