You Don’t Have to Feel Guilty for Eating Your Favorite Super Bowl Dishes

Eat whatever the hell you want, and don't feel bad about it.

Photo via Getty Images

If you’re still mourning the fact that we won’t see Tom Brady and the Patriots strut out onto the field this Sunday, I see you. The team I root for hasn’t been to the Super Bowl in 56 years, which should help put things in perspective. In the spirit of a Brady-less Super Bowl, it’s time to embrace what the big game is actually about: the food! It’s what the rest of America, which doesn’t experience the thrill of a winning team almost every year, enjoys. We should be grateful!

Now, I’m not just talking any food. I’m talking wings drowning in hot buffalo sauce, nachos piled so high you have a hard time seeing the person across the counter from you, and those foot-long subs overflowing with an assortment of cured meat (and that thinly diced iceberg lettuce). And I’m here to tell you to eat it all. And don’t feel bad about it.

When holidays and special events like these roll around, the food guilt can seem real and diet culture makes everything at the party feel “off-limits.” Well, it’s not. And wellness is just as much about balance as it is about moderate indulgences. I’m not talking cheat days—I’m talking living life. I’m talking letting go of the expectations of what health should or shouldn’t look like, and simply being—with our wings, nachos, and giant subs. The gym, and our green smoothies, will be there on Monday. With that in mind, there’s nothing wrong with partaking in healthier options, whether loaded with veggies or baked instead of fried—you do you.

If you’re looking to aim healthier, here’s a list of five Super Bowl dishes to try this year:

1. Mediterranean Nachos
Via Shape

Loaded with sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and avocado, these nachos have plenty of healthy fats in them. Baked beets are used instead of chips, for an added crunch factor, and you can squeeze fresh lemon juice on top if you prefer.

2. Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
Via Delicious Gimme

These buffalo cauliflower wings are great for vegetarians, and carnivores won’t even miss the meat. Dripped in all-purpose flour (you can sub for gluten-free rice flour), they hold onto their texture during the baking process.

3. Avocado Shrimp Salsa
Via Jo Cooks

Shake up your salsa flavors by adding shrimp and cucumber. Fresh orange and lime juice bring out the other flavors in the dip, and, if you’re missing an ingredient, just substitute with whatever else you have on hand.

4. Vegetable Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Via Damn Delicious

After you get past all the chopping, the assembly for these rolls is really quite simple. Lettuce leaves encase cucumber, purple cabbage, matchstick carrots, and avocado into rolls made even better with a drizzle of peanut sauce.

5. Bourbon Apple Cider Glazed Turkey Meatballs
Via Recipe Runner

Sometimes ground turkey can become a little dry, but not in these meatballs. Apple cider gives the turkey added moisture and extra flavor, while the bourbon gives them a little punch.