The following article was written by Heinen’s Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek RD, LD.
Two things I love are parties and healthy food. However, the tailgates my well-meaning husband dragged me to over the years were filled with everything but the rainbow of colors highlighted in Fx Pillar 2: Eat the rainbow, at least one fruit and two vegetables every day. The food rainbows at these parties were various shades of orange and brown- from nacho cheese and beef sliders, to pizza and potato chips!
Some argue, “It’s only one day, what’s the harm?” While I agree, I’d also like to challenge you to think about upgrading a few items with these simple swaps available at your local Heinen’s. Don’t worry, your friends won’t suspect a thing because these substitutions are just as tasty as their traditional counterparts.
1. Heinen’s Organic Mild or Medium Salsa (In the Grocery Aisle)
Quality salsa is akin to veggies in a jar. I love Heinen’s salsa because it’s organic and contains no added sugar or preservatives. Serve with Xochitl chips (see below) or use as a topping for sliders!
2. Xochitl Chips (Pronounced sow-cheel)
Whole grain and low sodium, Xochitl mirrors the crunch of other tortilla chips, but without inflammatory seed oils. Serve with Heinen’s Organic Medium Salsa, Wholly Guacamole (see below) or as a base for nachos. Xochitl Blue Corn Chips are my personal favorite!
3. Wholly Guacamole
When an avocado gives birth to good guacamole, the world is a much happier place. Every spoonful of creamy Wholly Guacamole is loaded with flavor and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Now you can feel good about dipping your chips!
4. Mary’s Gone Crackers
These crunchy gluten-free seed crackers are a true upgrade from those popular refined crackers you often find served with cheese. The first four ingredients in Mary’s Gone Original Crackers are whole grain brown rice, whole grain quinoa, brown flax seeds and brown sesame seeds. A true whole food cracker! Bonus points for serving these with Miyoko’s Garlic Herb cashew-based non-dairy cheese.
5. Primal Kitchen Spicy Queso Style Plant-Based Dip
Pumpkin seed butter and organic carrot and roasted red bell pepper puree come together to make this yummy queso style plant-based dip. Use in place of cheese for a mouthwatering, better-for-you quesadilla or plant-based nachos. It makes a great dip for veggies, too! Your vegetarian friends will love you for it. Don’t be surprised if the meat-eaters go back for seconds!
6. Actual Veggies Veggie Burgers (In the Meat Department)
My meat-loving husband gives these veggie burgers two thumbs up! You won’t find processed soy ingredients in Actual Veggies, only real food like beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale and broccoli. Cut each burger into quarters and serve alongside deli meats to give your guests a choice. If you really want to win them over, serve with Primal Kitchen Buffalo Sauce for dipping!
7. Bilinski’s Chicken Sausage
If animal welfare matters to your guests, they will be pleased to learn that Bilinski’s is animal welfare certified by the Global Animal Partnership. This means they support farmers who raise free range, antibiotic-free chickens that spend time outdoors and are treated with respect. In addition, these sausages contain no GMOs, added hormones or animal by-products. Did I mention they are a delicious swap for hot dogs? My favorite is the Cajun Style Chicken with Peppers.
8. Pre Ground Beef
Upgrade your favorite meatball recipe with Pre Ground Beef—a 100% grass-fed and grass-finished meat. When compared to grain-fed beef, grass-fed and finished beef is higher in omega-3 fats and lower in calories and overall fat. A winning combination!
9. Kevin’s Natural Foods Cilantro Lime Chicken (In the Meat Department)
Short on time? Kevin’s Cilantro Lime Chicken is fully cooked and ready in five minutes! Thread onto skewers with Nature Fresh cherry tomatoes for a quick gameday appetizer. The mission of Kevin’s Natural Foods is “clean ingredients.” They achieve this by replacing not-so-good ingredients with natural ones that add taste to every bite.
Taste is the number one factor influencing our food choices, but nutrition is important, too! Add a couple of these items to your shopping list and enjoy the best of both worlds this football season.