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Huddle up for do-ahead healthy Super Bowl party dishes. Your coach: our new weekly food columnist Ellie Krieger.
Huddle up for do-ahead healthy Super Bowl party dishes. Your coach: our new weekly food columnist Ellie Krieger. / Ben Fink for USA WEEKEND


Although I am one of those people who like to really watch the Big Game rather than just socialize before and after the half-time show, I realize that a Super Bowl party is about so much more than touchdowns and field goals. It is, more importantly, about getting together with friends and family, kicking back, having fun and celebrating life.

When I am hosting I make sure the food I serve is in keeping with that idea — informal, easy to share and fun to eat. I go for bold flavors, hearty textures, and dishes that shout “American spirit” just like football does. The crowd-pleasing dishes here hit the spot perfectly — sure to get the party started and leave everyone satisfied.

On top of that, although the menu sounds decadently rich, it is healthy too. The Cheesy Pizza Dip, Buffalo Wings and Chocolate Chunk cookies, from my latest book Comfort Food Fix, are made-over to give you all the traditional taste you expect but in a healthier way. And the Garlic-Smoked Paprika Shrimp and Marinated Vegetable Skewers are easy to make, full-flavored finger foods that are as mouthwatering as they are good for you.

Another must for my game-day menu is that the prep is minimal and most it can be done ahead — as it can here. This way I can relax and enjoy the party too — and, of course, watch the game.

Broiled Buffalo Wings

2 pounds chicken wings, split at the joints

¼ cup cayenne pepper sauce, preferably Frank’s Red Hot, plus more for serving

1 Tb. Fresh lemon juice

3 Tbs. low-sodium chicken broth

3 large ribs celery, cut into sticks

1 recipe Blue Cheese Dip (recipe follows)

Preheat the broiler.

Place the wings in a large pot and fill the pot with water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then continue to boil for 10 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cayenne pepper sauce, lemon juice and broth. Reserve.

Transfer the wings to a broiler pan and broil 5 to 6 inches from the flame, until the skin begins to blister and brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the wings over and broil 4 to 5 minutes more.

Transfer the wings to a baking sheet, drizzle with the reserved sauce, and toss well to coat. Place the baking sheet under the broiler for 1 minute to heat the wings and sauce together.

Serve with extra hot sauce on the side, celery sticks and the blue cheese dip.

4 servings

Per serving:
240 calories, 4g carbohydrates, 27g protein, 12g fat (4g saturated), 95mg cholesterol, 1g fiber, 710mg sodium

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Ellie Krieger is host of the The Food Network’s hit show “Healthy Appetite,” which airs on The Cooking Channel. The author of three cookbooks, her latest is Comfort Food Fix: Feel Good Favorites Made Healthy. A registered dietitian, Ellie has helped out with First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign and has teamed up with New York City SchoolFood initiative, where she created healthy, delicious menu items for students citywide.