ZendyHealth Not-So-Unhealthy Football Recipes

Fall is here, the kids are back in school, and the weather is cooling off….and since many members of our team are football fans, we decided to make things light and easy for this blog topic and provide some not-so-unhealthy food choices for the football season….so you can potentially avoid having to think about getting one of our more recent offerings in our Heart Scan.

That means one thing: the NFL football season has begun; and with it, the big hits, the end zone dances, the endless tailgating… and of course, the food! A huge part of watching football is gathering with your friends and family to argue over players and teams, and eat – usually enormous amounts – of unhealthy food. However, you don’t want to end up looking like an NFL linebacker at the end of the season. There are plenty of ways to keep your summer body going well into the fall by enjoying some lighter versions of the same tasty delicacies you traditionally enjoy while watching football games. We at ZendyHealth are just as big of fans of the NFL as you are, and we have your back when it comes to choosing nutritious options for your game-time decision. Check out our healthy football recipes, and don’t worry, we’re not including things that will get you laughed out of the stadium (we’re looking at you, quinoa burgers). We’ve taste-tested each one of these items (some repeatedly) not only for your guaranteed enjoyment, but also to make certain your waistline doesn’t receive any 10-yard/10-lb. penalties.

Pregame Warmup

Baked Sweet Potato ‘Fries’

sweet potato fries

Baking these sweet potatoes in the oven not only negates all the fat you’d usually get from deep-fried tubers, but still retains the crunch and flavor you love so much. Sweet potatoes are also packed with nutrients like beta-carotene, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.



  • 4 medium potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 teaspoons sugar, powdered
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt



1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

  1. Wash and peel potatoes, cut in half lengthwise, and cut each half into 6 wedges.
  2. In a large bowl, combine potatoes and oil. Toss until potatoes are evenly coated.
  3. On a baking sheet, arrange potatoes in the oven. Bake until edges are crisp and potatoes are cooked thoroughly, about 25 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and powdered sugar and serve immediately.


Nutrition Information

Calories 270, Fat 10g, Cholesterol -, Sodium 260mg, Saturated Fat 1.5g, Protein 4g, Fiber 6g, Carbohydrates 42g


Turkey Meatballs

turkey meatballs

Aside from being MUCH lower in fat than traditional beef meatballs, lean turkey contains tons of protein and other necessary nutrients. Again, baking them lowers the fat content you’d normally find in pan-fried meatballs.



  • 2 pounds 100% Lean Ground Turkey Breast
  • 1/2 cup Unseasoned Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Carrot
  • 1/4 cup Onion
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • Dash of Red Pepper Flakes (optional)



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Finely mince carrot and onion by hand or in a food processor and then combine all ingredients. Use your hands to gently mix.
  2. Shape meatballs into 2-tablespoon-sized-balls and place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, checking at 30 minutes to ensure there is no pink in the middle of the meatballs. Cook for 5 more minutes if needed.


Nutrition Information

Calories: 142; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 92mg; Sodium: 298mg; Total Carbohydrate: 4g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugars: 1g; Protein: 16g


Pita Chips with Red Pepper Dip

pita chips

You’ll find NO dairy in this delicious, flavorful dip, meaning it’s perfect for anyone with a lactose allergy and those looking to cut cholesterol.



  • 2 medium pepper(s), red, bell
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash(es) pepper, red ground
  • 1 clove(s) garlic, minced
  • 1 recipe(s) pita chips, baked



  1. To roast peppers, cut into quarters lengthwise; remove seeds, membranes, and stems. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the peppers, skin sides up, on baking sheet, pressing peppers to lie flat. Bake in a 425° oven about 20 minutes or until dark and blistered. Remove from oven and place in a clean paper bag. Close bag and let stand about 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel the dark skins from peppers; discard skins.
  2. Place roasted peppers in a blender container or food processor bowl. Cover; blend or process until finely chopped. Add tomato paste, sugar, thyme, salt, ground red pepper, and garlic. Cover; blend until nearly smooth. Serve with Baked Pita Chips. To store, cover and refrigerate dip for up to 1 week. Makes about 3/4 cup (six 2-tablespoon servings).



Nutrition Information

Calories 74, Fat 0g, Cholesterol -, Sodium 208mg, Saturated Fat 0g, Protein 3g, Fiber 1g, Carbohydrates 15g



Lemon-Drop Chicken Wings

chicken wings

You may remember the lemon-drop from your college days as the shot of choice for many a sorority sister. We’re utilizing a similar technique for these delicious wings by using vodka! No shot glass required…



1/2 cup vodka

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 1/2 pounds chicken wings, tips trimmed off



  1. In a large bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine vodka, lemon juice, sugar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir to dissolve sugar and salt. Add the chicken wings and mix to coat. Cover bowl or seal bag and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°. Line a 9 by 13 in baking pan with two layers of foil. Arrange the chicken wings in a single layer in the pan, and pour the marinade evenly over all. Bake until meat is well browned and pulling away from the bone, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Serve hot or warm.


Nutrition Information

Calories 173, Protein 14g, Fat 11g, Saturated Fat 3g, Carbohydrate 2.7g, Sodium 189mg, Cholesterol 45mg

Zucchini Fries

zucchini fries

Another baked take on fatty fries, these zucchini fries offer a crunch and some intense flavor, not to mention packing some serious protein, Vitamin A, and Niacin.



  • 2 zucchinis
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable cooking spray



  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Cut zucchini into 3-inch sticks.
  2. Whisk an egg white in a small bowl, and add milk.
  3. Combine Parmesan and seasoned breadcrumbs in a separate bowl.
  4. Dip zucchini sticks into egg mixture, and then roll in breadcrumb mixture.
  5. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray, and place zucchini on sheet.
  6. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until golden brown.

Nutrition Information

Calories 172, Fat 8.58g, Carbohydrates 11.82g, Protein 13.91g

Spicy Blue Cheese Dip

cheese dip

And what would wings and zucchini fries be without blue cheese dip? The traditional version is loaded with fat and calories, but we’ve used sour cream instead of cream cheese to increase the flavor while staying low on the bad stuff.


  • 2/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2/3 cup blue cheese
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper



Whisk sour cream, blue cheese, vinegar and cayenne in a small bowl.


Nutrition Information

Calories 67, Fat 6g, Cholesterol 16mg, Sodium 165mg, Saturated Fat 4g, Protein3g, Fiber 0g, Carbohydrates 1g


California Flatbread Pizza


What’s better than pizza? Pizza packed with protein from chicken, Omega 3’s from avocado and flavor in everything! Enjoy a slice, knowing you won’t have to run it off for 2 hours at the gym after the game.



  • 16 ounce ball of pizza dough, halved
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
  • 1 cup grated Cotija cheese
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 1 Fresh, ripe California Avocado, peeled, sliced and diced into cubes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 550 degrees or to the highest setting.
  2. Dust a cookie sheet with a little flour. Dust a worktop lightly with flour.
  3. Roll the pizza dough into a rectangle shape until it’s at least 12 inches long and 10 inches wide without being stretched. Lay it on the cookie sheet and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Prepare the avocado by scooping out the flesh and cutting into cubes.
  5. Drizzle the olive oil over the rolled out piece of dough.
  6. Lay the chopped chicken and avocado onto the flatbread. Lastly sprinkle the cheese on top. 7. Place the flatbread into the oven and bake for about 5-7 minutes watching it carefully as it can burn very easily. Garnish with some fresh cilantro leaves and serve at once.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 310, Fat: 12.5g, Sodium: 801mg, Carbs: 28g, Fiber: 8.5g, Sugars: 3.5g, Protein: 29g

Chili and Beer-Braised Brisket


This traditional go-to doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Dress up your beef with dried green chilies for extra bite, and add tomatoes for Vitamin C and onions for healthy Folates.



6 medium pepper, green chile, dried, such as New Mexico, Anaheim, or ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded

14 ounces tomatoes, fire-roasted, diced

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

1 1/3 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoon cumin, ground

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup beer, Mexican lager (such as Dos Equis or Corona)

1 tablespoon oil, canola

2 pounds beef, brisket, first-cut, trimmed flat

15 ounces beans, pinto, rinsed


  1. Tear chiles into 1-inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Cover with hot water and let sit until softened, at least 20 minutes. Drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place tomatoes and their juices, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt and the drained chile pieces in a food processor. Process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in beer.
  3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add brisket and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes total. Pour the chile sauce over the meat and bring to a simmer.
  4. Cover, transfer to the oven and bake for 2 hours. Stir in beans and continue baking until the meat is fall-apart tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour more.
  5. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and pull apart into long shreds using two forks. Stir the shredded meat back into the sauce.

Nutrition Information

Calories 285, Fat 9g, Cholesterol 54mg, Sodium 492mg, Saturated Fat 2g, Protein 31g, Fiber 6g, Carbohydrates 18g

So enjoy a long, healthy, and fun NFL season. May your team be victorious and your snacks low-fat. These delicious and healthy recipes should win you a lot of fans, and not add any unsightly yardage to your waistline. Remember to keep up with ZendyHealth for year-round health advice, as well as the latest in healthcare technology and alternative healthcare education. You can check us out on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for the latest news and updates.


  • MRI
    MRI Scan
    Diagnostic imaging available via Pick Your Price or Buy Now
  • Mammogram
    Screening and diagnostic imaging available at your own price
  • Lasik
    Pick Your Price on LASIK corrective surgery for Both Eyes