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Go-to Game Day Solutions

Amber Graefen


Oct 24th, 2018

 By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, Wellness Corporate Dietitian

Americans consider themselves “sports fans” with football being Americans’ favorite sport to watch followed by basketball and baseball, no matter what the age group. Whether it’s about touchdowns, baskets or home runs, “game day” is celebrated in most households with foods like sliders, wings, chips, creamy dips, hot dogs and basically anything with bacon.

Just by making a few simple switches you can score big with light bites on game day:

  • Make a play call on the appetizer line-up! Serve bean dip and guacamole instead of creamy high calorie dips. Choosing beans and avocados to be the stars of your game day spread boosts smart fats, fiber, valuable plant compounds, plus protein in the case of beans. Fat free refried pinto or black beans are available in easy to use cans and fresh guacamole is available in our supermarkets or make it just the way you like it with fresh avocados. This recipe for 6-Layer Light Mexican Dip features both beans and avocados!
  • Go for the Quarterback Sneak – Dips are a must for any Game Day party, so do a trick play on your guests by swapping out the mayonnaise or sour cream with plain Greek yogurt. Just use plain Greek yogurt in most recipes calling for sour cream, and instead of mayonnaise, add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to every 1/4 to 1/2 cup of nonfat Greek plain yogurt. When you sub in yogurt, you pump up the protein and calcium while bringing down the calories and saturated fat. You won’t even notice the nutrition upgrade in this recipe for Game Day Cajun Ranch Dip or this versatile recipe for Thai Coconut Peanut Dip/Sauce.
  • Fun-to-eat finger food that’s good for you! Chicken breast skewers, in-shell nuts, fresh fruit, and raw veggies work great at a party, offering you something sweet (fruit), something crunchy (veggies) and something savory and satisfying (chicken and in-shell nuts). Raw veggies that work well are sugar snap peas, baby carrots, cucumber slices, jicama and celery sticks. In-shell nuts are slow to eat and fun to crack, a perfect snack during a game as a good source of protein, fiber, and other important nutrients. For a super tasty and super tender and super lean high protein finger food, try this game stopping recipe for Lemon Garlic Chicken Skewers using chicken tenders and Triple Zero Coconut Crème Greek yogurt.
  • Stay ahead in the fourth quarter by exercising moderation. If you are serving cupcakes and cookies toward the end of the game, go for the mini cupcakes, bite-size cookies, or fun size and mini candy bars, so your guests can feed their sweet tooth more mindfully without going into overtime with calories. For a fun take on a mini banana cream pie, try this recipe for Banana Cream Pie Whip Dip that can be served as a mini banana cream pie or as a dip with apple slices or graham cracker quarters as dippers!

Banana Cream Pie Whip Dip

Source: Elaine Magee, MPH, RD

This versatile recipe can serve as a fun dip for fruit and graham cracker quarters or it can be served in mini phyllo pastry shells (or similar) and topped with a toasted macadamia nut and dusted with graham cracker crumbs for a mini dessert.

Cooking Method: Mix
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: none


  1. Blend yogurt with CoCo Whip (or similar) in small bowl with a rubber spatula or spoon.
  2. Serve with optional apple slices and/or graham crackers broken into quarters as dippers.


1 5.3-ounce container Oikos™ Triple Zero Banana Crème Greek yogurt
2/3 cup So Delicious CoCo Whip (or light whipped topping), thawed in refrigerator

Suggested Dippers:
1 apple, cored and sliced
4 graham crackers, broken into quarters

To make Mini Banana Cream Pie Tarts, bake 1 package of Signature Select Phyllo Pastry Shells (or similar) according to directions on package. Cool for 10 minutes. Then spoon or pipe in the banana cream pie mixture. Top each with a dusting of graham crackers crumbs and a macadamia nut (or similar).

Helpful Suggestions:
To make Mini Banana Cream Pie Tarts, bake 1 package of Signature Select Phyllo Pastry Shells (or similar) according to directions on package. Cool for 10 minutes. Then spoon or pipe in the banana cream pie mixture. Top each with a dusting of graham crackers crumbs and a macadamia nut (or similar).

6 Layer Light Mexican Dip

Source: Elaine Magee, MPH, RD

This is a light and easy rendition of this popular appetizer. It can be thrown together in minutes using prepared guacamole, salsa fresca and chopped green onions from the produce section.

Cooking Method: saute, mix
Prep Time: 6-8 minutes
Total Time: 8-10 minutes
Cook Time: 2-4 minutes


  1. Add refried beans to a small, nonstick saucepan and begin to warm it up over medium low heat. After about 1 minute, when the beans soften, stir in the taco seasoning mix and continue to heat and stir another minute until blended.
  2. Spread bean mixture into an 8” x 8” square dish (or similar). Top with at least 1 cup of prepared guacamole (or follow option below to make homemade guacamole).
  3. Spread 3/4 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt gently over the guacamole. Spoon 3/4 cup of salsa or 1 cup of finely chopped tomato evenly over the yogurt.
  4. Sprinkle 1 cup of Reduced Fat Mexican-Style Shredded Cheese and the diced green onions over the top. Cover and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve!


16 ounce can Signature Kitchens Fat Free or Vegetarian Refried Beans
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
1 cup prepared guacamole (add more if desired)
3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup salsa fresca, salsa of your choice, or 1 cup finely chopped tomato
1 cup shredded Reduced Fat Mexican-Style cheese
1/2 cup diced green onions (white and part green)

To make guacamole, mash 1 large avocado with 2 teaspoons lime juice and add salt and pepper or red pepper to taste.

Lemon Garlic Chicken Skewers

Source: Elaine Magee, MPH, RD

This yogurt-based marinade infuses the chicken with abundant flavor and moisture. When boneless chicken breast tenders are used, the marinated chicken just needs to be threaded onto the skewers and they are ready to broil or grill.

Cooking Method: grill or broil
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes (3 hours 35 minutes including marinating time)
Cook Time: 14-16 minutes


  1. Add yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, smoked paprika, smoked salt, and pepper to a 2-cup measure and whisk together until blended. Pour mixture into a resealable plastic bag.
  2. Add chicken tenders to the plastic bag with marinade. Squeeze out excess air and seal the bag. Massage the chicken around in the bag to coat all of the tenders with the marinade. Place bag in a medium bowl and place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours. If using bamboo skewers, soak skewers in hot water while chicken is marinating.
  3. Preheat broiler (with rack about 6-inches from heat) or an outdoor grill for medium-high heat. Remove chicken tenders from the marinade, one at a time, and thread lengthwise, on a skewer. Place skewers on a foiled lined rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Broil skewers about 8 minutes, flip skewers over and broil until chicken is cooked throughout (about 6 minutes more). If using an outdoor grill, cook skewers for about 5 minutes then flip them over and grill until internal temperature is 165-degrees (4-5 minutes more). NOTE: cooking times depend on the grill temperature and the thickness of tenders.


5.3 ounce container Oikos™ Triple Zero Coconut Crème Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest (finely chopped lemon peel)
1 tablespoon O Organics Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon smoked salt (regular salt can be substituted)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1.5 pounds O Organics Air Chilled Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Tenders
12 bamboo skewers

Thai Coconut Peanut Dip/Sauce

Source: Elaine Magee, MPH, RD

This versatile dip with flavor notes of roasted peanuts, coconut, garlic, ginger and sesame oil, pairs well with raw veggies or satay skewers!

Cooking Method: Mix
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: None


  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend/process until the sauce is smooth. Scrape down the sides and process briefly to blend.
  2. Take a taste test of the sauce and add more cayenne if it’s not spicy enough or soy sauce if it’s not salty enough. Serve with veggies, satay, tofu, etc.


5.3 ounces Oikos™ Triple Zero Coconut Crème Greek yogurt
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons natural style peanut butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (add more to taste if desired)

Game Day Cajun Dip

This flavorful, spicy yogurt dip was inspired by Dallas Cowboy’s Dak Prescott’s love for Cajun food. This addictive dip is super quick to make with a lightness that comes from using yogurt instead of sour cream. If you don’t want to use a ranch dressing powder, just follow the Pro Tip below to make your own.

Makes about 2/3 cup Dip (5 servings)


5.3 oz container (or a slightly heaping 1/2 cup) Dannon® Oikos® plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons O Organics® Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp homemade ranch dressing mix (see Pro Tip below) or 1 Tbsp Signature Kitchens™ Ranch Dressing & Seasoning Mix
2 Tbsp So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Creamer Original, whole milk or similar
1 1/2 tsp O Organics® Cajun Seasoning (add 1/2 tsp more to taste if desired), or similar
1/4 tsp O Organics® Garlic Powder


  1. Mix the ingredients together in a serving dish. Add more seasoning to taste, if desired.
  2. Cover the bowl and refrigerator the dip until ready to serve.

Pro Tip:

  • Add more creamer or milk to make a salad dressing.
  • Add 1/2 cup cooked shrimp or crab to make a Cajun shrimp or crab dip!
  • Make 2 tablespoons of your own Ranch Dressing Mix by combining:

2 teaspoons buttermilk powder (located near the flour on the shelf)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon O Organics garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon O Organics onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes

Want to taste two of these recipes and chat with a dietitian? Stop by our Bolingbrook store (1200 W. Boughton Rd.) any dates & times below:

Thursday 11/1  2pm – 5 pm
Thursday 11/8  3pm – 6pm
Saturday 11/10 9 am – 12pm
Saturday 11/17 10am – 1pm

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