So what if your bracket is busted? You can still cheer along your favorite teams, old and new, with these snacks by your side. These crowd-pleasing appetizers are lighter than your average party food, but still packed full of flavor. Enjoy the games and, more importantly, the munchies!!
I took my kids to Coronado, Calif., last week, and David Woods at the Loews Coronado Bay in San Diego sent us home with a giant batch of their killer guacamole. (Thanks, David!) The restaurant has some of the best guac I’ve ever had, but since the recipe is proprietary, I’m giving you a basic recipe to create your own crave-worthy version at home. I call it “As You Wish” Guacamole, because you simply add more or less of a handful of ingredients for a custom flavor.
“As You Wish” Guacamole: Scoop the flesh of 2-3 ripe Haas avocados into a bowl, add grated or finely diced white onion, minced jalapeno peppers, ripe tomato, fresh cilantro and fresh lime juice. Mix well, season to taste with salt; cover with plastic and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.
Crowd-Pleasing Chicken Fingers
These super-simple chicken fingers are perfect for dunking in your favorite tomato sauce. They’re baked, so they have fewer calories and less fat than the typical fried kind, but they still pack a flavorful, crispy punch thanks to grated Parmesan cheese.
Parmesan Chicken Fingers With Tomato Sauce (pictured above): Cut 1 1/2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts into thin strips; roll in 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese until coated on all sides; transfer to a baking sheet that’s been coated with cooking spray; bake at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through; serve with warm pasta sauce or pizza sauce on the side.
On the Side: Stuffed Tomatoes
You can jazz up these tomatoes any way you like, but I like the briny olive-caper combination.
Olive and Caper Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes: Slice off the top of 16 cherry tomatoes. Use a small spoon to scoop out the flesh and seeds; season the inside with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then set aside. Mix together 4 ounces cream cheese, 2 tablespoons chopped Greek olives, 1 tablespoon chopped capers, and 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley; transfer mixture to a small freezer bag and press into one corner; slice off about 1/4-inch of the corner; pipe the cream cheese mixture into each tomato. Sprinkle the top with chopped fresh chives.
TELL US: What March Madness munchies are you snacking on?
Robin Miller is a nutritionist, host of Quick Fix Meals, author of “Robin Rescues Dinner” and the busy mom of two active little boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at www.robinrescuesdinner.com.