Having snacks doesn’t mean a huge plate of nachos and beer (though, for real, nachos are great). If you, like the COOLS team are attempting to stick to healthy intentions in the new year, we’ve rounded up the best halftime snack alternatives that rival Frito pies and bacon dip. Even if you’re not into American football, you could really be into these snacks. Read below for fun and healthy recipes for you to try this Sunday.

Two types of Artichoke Crostinis:

A.) Olive Artichoke Crostini via Traci York of Vanilla And Bean 

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 6 -7 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 14 oz Artichoke Hearts canned, drained
  • 2-4 Cloves Garlic your choice, peeled and rough chopped *See Note
  • 1/2 C Kalamata Olives drained
  • 2 Tbs Capers drained
  • 1/2 C Fresh Parsley chopped, divided
  • 1 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 4 Tbs Olive Oil + 2-3 Tbs for brushing
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt + a pinch for finishing
  • 1/8 tsp Red Pepper Flakes optional
  • 1/4 C Shredded Parmesan Cheese optional
  • 1 Baguette

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, add the artichokes to the bowl and pulse until finely chopped, not pureed. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the garlic, olives, capers and 1/3 C parsley to the food processor bowl. Pulse until finely chopped, about the same size as the artichokes. Pour into the large mixing bowl with the artichokes.
  4. In a small bowl, whip the lemon juice and olive oil into an emulsion. Pour over the artichoke mixture. Add the sea salt, adjust to taste. If using pepper flakes, add them now. Mix well.
  5. Cut the baguette into 1/2″ pieces on the bias. Brush each piece with olive oil. Bake crostini until toasty and golden, about 8-10 minutes, turning the toasts over 1/2 way through baking. Spread artichoke mixture on top of each piece and garnish with optional parmesan cheese, the remaining parsley and a light pinch of sea salt.

B.) White Bean Artichoke Basil Crostini via Pinch of Yum

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 5 mins

Total time: 20 minutes

Yield: about 10 toasts

Ingredients:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 14-ounce can chickpeas or white beans, rinsed and drained
  • a handful of fresh basil
  • juice of one lemon (or two, if you love tangy like me!)
  • a generous drizzle of good quality olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 heaping cup canned or jarred artichoke hearts, drained
  • about 2 cups fresh baby spinach or other greens
  • 10 small pieces of whole wheat bread, toasted

Instructions:

  1. Pulse the garlic and chickpeas and about half of the basil in a food processor until finely minced and crumbly
  2. Cut the remaining basil into ribbons and chop the artichokes. Toss the chickpea mixture with the lemon, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper, and artichoke hearts. Taste and adjust to your liking.
  3. Add the spinach or greens just before serving. Serve on the toasted bread. You can also serve this with chips or in a wrap… endless possibilities, really.

2. Baked Rosemary Sunchoke Chips via Rachael Ray Every Day

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound large sunchokes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center. Using handheld slicer, slice sunchokes lengthwise 1/8 inch thick; toss with salt. Place slices on paper towels in single layer, cover with 2 paper towels and let sit 15 minutes, pressing to absorb liquid. In bowl, gently toss sunchokes with olive oil and rosemary. Place in single layer on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake, flipping halfway through, until golden and crisp, about 30 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet.3. Fernanda’s Pineapple Guacamole mine! 

Ingredients:

  • 2 very ripe avocados
  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped
  • 1 handful of fresh cilantro, minced
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • ½ pineapple, chopped
  • Extras: salt, cumin, grated ginger and lime juice to taste

Instructions:

In a large bowl, mash the avocado with a fork. Add the tomato, onion, pineapple and cilantro one at a time and mix well. Sprinkle in salt, cumin and lime juice to taste.4. Spiced “Cheesy” Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon Nutritional Yeast 
  • 1/2 tablespoon chillli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, divided

Instructions:

  1. Combine spices in a small bowl and mix together.
  2. Place ½ tablespoon coconut oil in a medium sauce pot over high heat. Once hot, add the popcorn kernels and cover with a lid.
  3. Shake the pot to coat the kernels in the melted coconut oil.
  4. Once kernels start to pop, shake the pot continuously to prevent burning. Keep the pot on the heat until popping slows to about 3 seconds apart.
  5. Pour the popcorn into a large bowl and toss with the remaining ½ tablespoon coconut oil.
  6. Add the spice mixture to the bowl and toss well with a spatula until it coats all the popcorn evenly.
  7. Serve immediately.

5. Spicy Edamame via Elizabeth Rider

Ingredients:

  • 1 package frozen edamame (about 16 ounces), shelled or not, your preference
  • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and grated or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil*
  • 1 tablespoon of another healthy oil of your choice – flax, macadamia nut and avocado oil are all great (or, you can use 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil)
  • Red chili flakes (1/4 to ½ teaspoon, depending on how spicy you like it)
  • Sea salt (about 1-2 teaspoons), large flakes are especially nice here

Instructions:

  1. Bring a large pot of  water to a boil. While you’re waiting for the water to boil, press the garlic into the bottom of a large mixing bowl then add the toasted sesame oil, red pepper flakes and sea salt. Mix well.
  2. Cook the edamame in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Frozen edamame is already cooked, you just need to heat it up.
  3. Drain and add the hot edamame to the mixing bowl and toss well with the other ingredients.
  4. Serve warm, room temperature or even cold.
  5. Can be kept in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator up to three days.

Notes: *Toasted sesame oil has a wonderful deep flavor and can be purchased in the ethnic food aisle of most grocery stores. Make sure it’s toasted sesame oil and not plain sesame oil, there’s a big difference in flavor.

6. Delicata Squash with Miso Maple Butter via Emily Clifton of Nerds with Knives

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 40 mins

Total time: 50 mins

Serves: 4 side servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 Delicata squashes, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into ½-inch inch thick pieces
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon miso (preferably white) (click here for Gluten Free miso options)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (honey and agave are fine substitutes)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 scallion, finely sliced, for garnish (optional)
  • Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF / 220ºC
  2. In a bowl, add the sliced squash and toss with sesame oil to coat. Spread the squash in a single layer on a parchment-lined or well-greased baking sheet and roast for 30-35 minutes, turning once halfway through, until lightly golden on both sides.
  3. In the meantime in a small bowl mix together the miso, maple syrup and butter.
  4. Brush one side of the roasted squash with the miso-butter mixture and roast for another 10 minutes until squash is glazed and brown (if you have any glaze left, you can drizzle it over the warm squash once it’s out of the oven). Remove to a platter and sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds if desired. Serve warm or room temperature.

 

Enjoy!!

 

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