Super Bowl is this coming weekend, and there are going to parties serving all sorts of unhealthy fare. In fact, Super Bowl Sunday is the second biggest day of food consumption after Thanksgiving! Traditionally, foods served for this celebration are on the greasier, heavier side and tend to be meat heavy (think chicken wings, Italian subs and chili) and cheese heavy (like nachos and pizza).
As a big football family, my kids and husband love football snacks and Super Bowl is another excuse to eat all their favorite guy snacks. Over the past several years, I have revamped a bunch of their favorite snacks to make them healthier, including their beloved Buffalo Chicken Dip and 7-Layer Dip. I’ve also made some newer healthy dips like Skinny Spinach Dip and Philly Cheese Steak Dip. The trick is making favorite football snacks taste like guy food without all the calories and fat.
Over the holidays, Columbus Foods generously sent me samples of their new Farm To Fork Naturals product line. Although I seldom buy salamis, this particular line of products caught my eye because it is made using sustainable practices. The animals are humanely raised in stress-free environments, fed 100% vegetarian diets and are antibiotic-free and growth hormone-free. No nitrates, nitrites, additives, artificial ingredients or preservatives are used. And, the products are gluten-free.
After watching the movie Food, Inc. several years ago, my stomach was turned inside and out, and I nearly became a vegetarian after watching the industrial production of meat. Not only are industrial animals treated inhumanely, but the production process is economically and environmentally unsustainable. Ever since seeing that movie, the consumption of meat in our house has dropped dramatically. Now, I try to buy humanely raised, vegetarian fed, antiobiotic-free, hormone-free, additive-free meats whenever possible.
So, onto today’s Healthy Italian Submarine Dip. This dip has all the flavors of an Italian Submarine Sandwich, with the emphasis on the fresher, healthier ingredients. Whereas the typical Italian sub sandwich is heavy on the meat, this dip uses sustainably raised, uncured salami and low-sodium turkey as its accents, with the “toppings” playing the main character – tomatoes, roasted red peppers, marinated artichoke hearts, chickpeas and scallions.
You’ll be surprised to know that one serving (not counting the dippers) has just 83 calories, 3.3 grams fat, .98 grams saturated fat, 241 mg sodium, and 6.28 grams protein.
As I mentioned in my last post, choosing healthier dippers is just as important as making a healthier dip. I served this Italian Sub Dip with cucumber “scoopers,” purple endive leaves and whole grain tortilla chips. My boys loved the flavors in this dip – and I am adding this to my growing list of healthy dips and snacks which would be perfect for Super Bowl Sunday.
A Healthy Italian Submarine ("Hoagie") Dip
- 1/2 cup low-sodium cooked turkey breast finely diced
- 1/2 cup uncured salami finely diced
- 3/4 cup tomato chopped
- 1 cup chickpeas rinsed, drained well
- 1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts drained, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1/4 cup scallions finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- cucumber scoops peeled cucumbers with seeds removed, cut into 1 1/2" lengths
- endive leaves
- whole grain crackers or tortilla chips
- Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl. Serve with cucumber scoops, endive leaves and whole grain crackers or tortilla chips.