Super Bowl Fun Food When You Don’t Count Calories

guaca-bowle-Hass Avocado Board_282_282The Super Bowl is the one day when people splurge on calorie-laden foods for grazing. Some say it’s the biggest eating day besides Thanksgiving.  According to the National Chicken Council’s 2015 Wing Report, 1.25 billion wings will be eaten during Super Bowl XLIX, as fans watch the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots.

To put that into perspective, if 1.25 billion wing segments were laid end to end, they would stretch back and forth from CenturyLink Field in Seattle to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts… almost 28 times.  With the Super Bowl being played in Arizona, 1.25 billion wings would circle the Grand Canyon 120 times.  That is enough wings to put 572 wings on every seat in all 32 NFL stadiums, according to the Council.

Super Bowl Fans Choose Sides

The data shows that more than four in five U.S. adults (81 percent) eat chicken wings, holding steady from last year.
More than half (56 percent) of U.S. adults who eat chicken wings say they typically like to eat their wings with ranch dressing, according to a new National Chicken Council poll conducted online in January 2015 by Harris Poll*.  Ranch is once again the #1 side or sauce typically eaten with wings, up from 51 percent last year but shy of the record of 57 percent two years ago.  Only about one-third (36 percent) like to eat their wings with blue cheese dressing.  This is up from 32 percent last year.  Barbecue sauce even topped blue cheese, coming in at 42 percent.

The survey asked which dipping sauces or snacks chicken wing eaters typically like to eat with their wings. They could choose more than one option.

Northeastern wing eaters are significantly more likely to prefer blue cheese dressing (49 percent) than those in the Midwest (36 percent), South (30 percent) and West (30 percent), while those regions are more likely to prefer ranch dressing.

“I was shocked to see Blue Cheese go down by this margin, again,” noted Super.  “Although, I’m from the Northeast – for me, putting Ranch on wings is like putting ketchup on a hot dog.”

After ranch dressing at the top:  42 percent of wing lovers choose barbecue sauce as a typical snack or dipping sauce; 36 percent said blue cheese; 36 percent hot sauce; 35 percent celery; and 20 percent choose carrots. Ten percent of wing lovers describe themselves as purists who eat nothing with their wings.

What’s A Super Bowl Without Guacamole?

It’s estimated Americans will eat nearly 120 million pounds or 240 million fresh avocados during the week leading up to the Big Game on Feb. 1. That’s a whopping 3,785 avocados per seat in the University of Phoenix Stadium and it’s 21 percent more avocados than in 2014 – higher rates than ever before. The total amount of avocados consumed during the Big Game would be enough to fill an entire football field from end zone to end zone over 46 feet high.

While fresh avocados consumed during the Big Game are eaten in many ways, the most common is in the form of guacamole, and new research reveals that as rowdy Americans gather for the game, they try to stay well-mannered when they huddle around the bowl of dip.

To Dip or To Spoon?

Despite the communal aspect of eating guacamole, most Americans who consume it (67 percent) use a spoon to scoop the dip from the serving bowl on to their plate before eating it, rather than dipping directly into the bowl with a piece of food. In fact, only 32 percent of consumers directly dip chips or crudités into the serving bowl. Cultural clichés may hold some truth when it comes to guacamole manners as well. Women are more likely than men to spoon onto a plate rather than directly dip (75 percent vs. 56 percent) and polite Southerners are more likely to be spoon-users than their Northern counterparts. Plus, the Northeast and the West tied (22 percent) as the regions most likely to take an “unfair share” of guacamole by scooping up as much as possible onto a food item before taking a bite.

Beer’s Big Day

And, what washes down all of the chips, salsa and other snack foods?  Why, beer of course.  Some 325 million gallons of beer will be consumed on America’s most favorite sports day.


To get you into the party swing, here are some Super Bowl recipes guaranteed to be fun and NOT helpful to your waistline.  It’s only one day!

Guaca-Bowl and Nachos Stadium Recipe

8 ripe fresh avocados, peeled and pitted

1/2 cup lime juice

1/2 cup yellow onion, minced

1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

1 large clove garlic, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 cup sour cream

5 black olives, pitted

8 baby carrots

1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro, reserve 10 additional leaves for garnish

1 bag (13 oz.) tortilla chips

4 cups shredded sharp cheddar or jalapeño jack cheese

2 small bell peppers, different colors, seeded and cut into small squares to resemble flags

4 radishes, thinly sliced

3 scallions, thinly sliced

Heat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl combine 7 avocados, lime juice, onion, jalapeño pepper, and garlic. Mash to desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the guacamole into a 6-cup rectangular dish (or aluminum foil carry-out container); smooth out the top with the back of a spoon.

Place the dish of guacamole in the center of a large platter or tray. Scoop the sour cream into a small plastic bag. Snip a tiny piece from the corner; pipe lines on the guacamole to resemble a football field. Pipe lines on one olive to resemble a football; place in center of the field.

Pare down one end of each of 4 baby carrots and fit one end of each carrot into one of the remaining black olives to make football players with helmets; press “players” into the field. Slice remaining 4 carrots crosswise and reserve for garnish.

Sprinkle the edges of the guacamole with chopped cilantro.

Place half of the tortilla chips on two large foil-lined, baking sheets. Top with half of the cheese and bell peppers. Top with remaining chips, cheese and peppers. Bake 3 to 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Working quickly, place the tortilla chips around the guacamole, mounding them up on the outside edges to appear as stadium seating.

Sprinkle chips with radishes, remaining cilantro leaves, baby carrots and chopped scallion. Cube remaining avocado; add to nachos as garnish.

Note: Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly

 Courtesy of the Hass Avocado Board


Caribbean-Style Chicken WingsCaribbean-Style Chicken Wings_Heinz

Makes 15 servings

2 lb. chicken wings or wing dings

2/3 cup Heinz® Tomato Ketchup

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon all spice

1/4 teaspoon red pepper

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400 F. Place wings in broiler pan. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until crisp, turning once. Meanwhile, combine Ketchup and remaining ingredients. Take wings out of oven and carefully brush sauce on wings. Broil wings 2 to 3 minutes. Turn wings; brush with additional sauce. Broil 2 to 3 more minutes.

Courtesy of Heinz Ketchup


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