ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Score Big With Game-Day Entertaining
(Family Features) – Every winter, football fans come together for the viewing party of the season. This year, as you prepare to host a hungry crowd for the big game, intercept unhealthy appetizers and lighten up your favorite game-watching dishes by infusing vegetables. Jodie Shield, mom and childhood nutrition expert, knows first-hand the challenge of making dishes that not only taste good, but are good for you.
“People don’t traditionally think veggies when they think about game-day entertaining, but incorporating vegetables into your favorite recipes is an easy way to feel good about the food you are serving while still scoring points for home team health,” says Shield. “Veggies are full of nutrients and flavor, are a great way to add flavor, texture and color to your recipes, and can even be used as edible serving pieces.”
To ensure your guests enjoy their veggies before and after the final whistle is blown, here are some of Jodie’s tried-and-true tips for making vegetables delectable on game day and every day.
Shred the evidence. Shred veggies, like broccoli, carrots, bell peppers or mushrooms, and toss them into turkey-sliders, sloppy Joes, quesadillas, tacos or pizza. A small amount will blend right into your favorite dishes and boost the nutritional value, too.
Contain their interest. Tempt big and small appetites by using the vegetables themselves as edible serving pieces. Serve veggie dips in hollowed-out bell peppers, mashed potatoes in potato skins or even squash soup in mini pumpkins.
Dip it. Don’t be afraid to pair up vegetables with tasty sauces or dips. A 2006 study found that children eat more vegetables when paired with a moderate amount of ranch dressing.
Introducing Farmhouse Originals
It’s no secret that adults and kids alike enjoy dipping their veggies into Hidden Valley Original Ranch dressing. The makers of Hidden Valley dressing are excited to introduce four new flavors that will make vegetables delectable for the entire family.
New Hidden Valley Farmhouse Originals dressings step beyond ranch to add robust, fresh-from-the-farm tasting flavors to even the simplest of dishes. Flavors include Roasted Onion Parmesan, Hickory Bacon & Onion, Garden Tomato & Bacon and Creamy Parmesan.
To learn more about the Farmhouse Originals dressings, and for great tips and kid-friendly recipes, visit www.hiddenvalley.com.
Original Ranch Spinach Dip
- 1 (1.1-ounce) packet of Hidden Valley Original Ranch dip mix
- 16 ounces sour cream
- 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
- 8 ounces water chestnuts, rinsed, drained and chopped
- 1 round loaf French bread
- Fresh vegetable sticks
- Combine Hidden Valley Original Ranch dip mix, sour cream, spinach and water chestnuts.
- Chill 30 minutes or until just before serving.
- Cut top off the bread and remove center (use firm bread pieces as dippers).
- Fill bread bowl with dip.
- Serve with cubed bread and vegetables.
Makes 2 cups
Pick-a-Peck-of-Peppers Fiesta Ranch Dip
- 1 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
- 1/2 cup nonfat, plain yogurt
- 1 (1.1-ounce) packet ranch dip mix
- 2 each: green, red, orange and yellow bell peppers
- Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, yogurt and ranch dip mix in a medium-size bowl; place in the refrigerator to chill.
- Meanwhile, remove the tops of the bell peppers, rinse and remove seeds.
- Slice one green, red, orange and yellow bell pepper into quarters. Place one quarter of each color bell pepper into a food processor and chop until fine. Remove and drain excess water.
- Add the diced bell pepper mixture to the fiesta dip and stir until well combined.
- Pour the dip into each of the remaining whole bell peppers and serve with the remaining bell pepper cut into strips.
Carrot Oven Fries
- 1 pound carrots (about 5 or 6 large) peeled and cut into 4 x 1/4-inch sticks
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 (1.1-ounce) packet ranch dressing & seasoning mix
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- Vegetable cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a large bowl, combine the carrots together with the olive oil, corn starch and ranch dressing & seasoning mix, and toss until well coated.
- Use a sheet tray or quarter sheet pan. Spray generously with cooking spray.
- Arrange the carrots in a single layer on rack and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until crispy. Bake for 35 minutes for extra crispy fries.
Serves 4 to 6