Football fun doesn't have to be junk; some unique game day party recipe ideas

The Big Game
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Football fans are loading up on what they’ll need for a game day feast on Sunday. If you’re going to be hosting a group for the big game Sunday, it doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton of money and you don’t need to load up your cart with junk.

“With this type of meal, you’ll feel energized after. It has fiber, carbs, and protein,” Rocket City Dietitian writer Rachel Brown said.

Rachel Brown is a dietitian who shares recipes with the group Rocket City Mom.

“This is one of my favorite recipes, a hot chicken dip,” Brown said. It’s her unique take on deviled eggs she calls ‘hot chicken eggs’. “It has a little more protein. It’s low carb, gluten-free, it’s good cold or hot.”

1) Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip
1lb Chicken Breast
1 12oz bottle Franks Hot Sauce
1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1 pkg 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese
Crockpot chicken and bottle of franks for 6-8 hours on low (3 hours on high)
*shred quickly by adding to stand mixer and it shreds in seconds!
Add back into crockpot. Stir in cream cheese and plain Greek Yogurt.

Serve with fresh cut veggies: cucumber, bell peppers, celery, carrots, and even boiled eggs!

She also mixes up some mini Mexican stuffed peppers roasted in a cast-iron skillet.

“It’s black bean and corn, a little bit of taco seasoning, some Italian dressing. It’s 15 minutes on 400 in the oven. I love it because it’s bite-size,” Brown said.

2) Black Bean & Corn Sweet Pepper Bites
1 can black beans (drained & rinsed)
1/2 Cup frozen corn
1/3 Cup Italian dressing
1 TBS taco seasoning

Half mini sweet peppers and fill with bean/corn mixture
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes
+garnish with cilantro
+frozen veggies are a cost-saving

She also uses the cast iron to make kebabs, with peppers, squash, pineapple, and sausage.

“If you don’t have a grill, it’s a great way to cook it, maybe five minutes a side,” Brown said.

3) Chicken, Sausage & Veggie Kabobs
Aidelles/alfresco Chicken Sausage
Cut Veggies into cubes: zucchini, bell peppers, onion, pineapple
+Soak wooden skewers in water to keep them from burning.
+ No grill? Assemble kabobs and Cook the kabobs on a cast-iron skillet.

Still, if you’re not big on cooking, Brown said all you need is a few veggies and a sharp knife.

“It looks prettier when it’s fresh cut. And you’ll find if you make a veggie board, people will eat it,” Brown said.

If you really want to impress your friends, tell them to come hungry and take out your smoker, which works out great, especially for large groups. For the game, I’ve picked up a rack of ribs, a Boston butt, and a package of chicken thighs. All three of those, you should be able to find on sale for less than $3 a pound.

The chicken, I’ll marinate for about 12 hours. The pork, I’ve mixed up a Kansas City dry rub. For this, you’ll need a half cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of paprika, a tablespoon each of black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder. Coat your pork and ribs with your dry rub and turn on your smoker. Fair warning, the Niners and Chiefs kick off at 5:30, and Boston Butt takes about an hour per pound to smoke, so you need to get started before noon. Set your smoker to 225 and continue adding your wood chips as needed. The ribs and chicken only need between three and four hours to smoke. Once it’s done, you can slice or shred your pork for sandwiches.

If you try any or all of these recipes, you may make a few fans of your own. And there’s no reason for anyone to go hungry while watching the big game.

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