The Super Bowl is a strange phenomenon. It's a sporting event that, in addition to attracting millions of rabid sports fans, also manages to capture the attention of millions of viewers who have zero interest in the game. They're more interested in watching the moments in between the plays — in other words, the commercials.
While these two divergent groups normally don't have much in common, they both can usually rally around at least one shared interest on the big day — the food. For many of us, the Super Bowl is usually the first big test of our New Year's resolutions — assuming having a healthier diet made the list.
It doesn't have to be, though. There are tons of options for tasty and relatively low-cal treats for Super Bowlers to snack on between Hail Mary passes or Kate Upton commercials, and they don't all have to be veggie platters.
Greek Nachos, which consist of a platter of whole-grain pita chips topped with hummus, diced tomatoes, sweet onions, Kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese are a deliciously healthy spin on the traditional Mexican version.
A lower fat guacamole can be a great choice, too. Simply mix your favorite tomatillo salsa with a mashed avocado. The effect is a creamy, spicy dip with a fraction of the calories of full-fledged guac. Serve it with baked tortilla chips and you've scored!
Of course, you can't beat chili for the perfect game day meal. It's hearty. It's economical. It's a crowd pleaser. And if you make Game Day Chicken Chipotle Chili, it's also relatively guilt-free.
There's a lot to like about this chili, including the fact that you can make it in about 30 minutes with easy-to-find ingredients. More important, though, it's a flavor powerhouse packed full of smoky beans, tender chicken and sautéed poblano chiles. The smoke and much of the heat comes from a couple of minced chipotle chiles. I buy the canned chipotles in adobo sauce, which can be found in most grocery stores. If you like it extra spicy, you can add more, or simply serve a small bowl of minced chiles on the side.
No matter how you serve it, it's sure to please both your family and friends, whether they're watching for the touchdowns or the Clydesdales.
Meredith Deeds of Edina is the author of "Everyday to Entertaining" and "The Big Book of Appetizers." Reach her at meredith@ meredithdeeds.com. Follow her on Twitter @meredithdeeds.