Scaled Back Super Bowl Snacks

It’s time again to plan some Super Bowl snacks (or Puppy Bowl if you prefer). Most of us will probably be scaling back the parties. Who am I kidding, it’s been years since I attended a SB party that ended with someone puking on their shoes. I scaled back years ago.

The most popular contenders for Super Bowl menus vary depending on who you ask, but Buffalo chicken wings, chips & dip, chili, and pizza seem to be universal entries. But a pizza that you’d eat for dinner any ole day won’t make the evening feel festive. Here are a few ideas for easy, gluten-free snacks to fit the immediate family and still make it feel like a party.


If your family loves pizza, make party-style mini pizzas using parmesan crisps as the crust. If you make your own crisps, go for a football shape. The crunchy cheese will hold up to sauce and add even more cheesy flavor.

An easy way to play with variations is to start with Whisps. These cheese crisps are gluten-free, keto friendly, and come in many flavors including Hot & Spicy, Asiago and Pepper Jack, Tangy Ranch, Nacho, Cheddar, and Barbecue. Using cheese crisps as crusts will reduce carb consumption and add protein to your spread.

Football Frittatas

If you have young children, individual frittatas baked in mini football cupcake pans are easy, healthy finger food. The ingredients can be personalized for each child to reduce potential interruptive whining.

Chili (in dip, pie, or nachos)

Cooking a big pot of chili and then using it to make chili/cheese dip, Fritos® chili pie or chili/cheese nachos appeals to me. I can serve part of the chili as party food and save the rest for dinner later in the week.

Microwave Snack Mix

Crunchy snack mix is always welcome, but if I make too much, I eat too much. For smaller occasions, I make it gluten-free and in the microwave. I’ve shared this recipe before, but here it is again so you won’t have to search.

Here’s the recipe:

1/4 cup butter

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

3/4 tsp seasoned salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

2 cups Rice ChexTM cereal

2 cups Corn ChexTM cereal

1 cup Kix® cereal

1 cup gluten-free pretzels

1 cup mixed nuts (optional)

In large microwave safe bowl, place butter, Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Heat in microwave on high for 1 minute. If butter is fully melted, stir ingredients together until fully mixed. If butter is not melted, microwave in 30 second increments until it is.

Once spices and butter are mixed, add Rice Chex and Corn Chex. Mix making sure to spoon plenty of the spiced butter up from the bottom of the bowl. Add Kix and pretzels and mix again. Return bowl to microwave and cook on high for 6 minutes. Stop the microwave every two minutes and stir the mixture. Allow to cool.

Mozzarella-Stuffed Mushrooms

For years, before I created recipes or lived gluten-free, my favorite potluck contribution was mozzarella-stuffed mushrooms. The recipe I used came from the 1982 Beta Sigma Phi International “Desserts & Party Foods Cookbook: Entertaining with a Flair” and was submitted by Miriam H. VanDermay of Lafayette, Indiana.

I have no idea how that cookbook ended up in my hands, but I still have it and that’s good for you! Why? Because I’m including the recipe…

20-25 mushrooms

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup breadcrumbs (substitute gluten-free)

1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese

3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1 tsp parsley flakes

1 tsp. salt

Dash of pepper

1/3 cup melted butter

Remove…stems from mushrooms.

Combine…remaining ingredients in bowl.

Stuff…mushrooms with cheese mixture.

Place…on baking sheet.

Bake…at 450 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.

Easy, peasy. And you won’t believe how delicious! You could cut this recipe in half, but I’m not sure that’s wise. You can always reheat leftovers the next day.

I never should have pulled that cookbook out of the bookcase. Now, I can’t stop reading the recipes. I’m not sharing any more because I haven’t tried them, but some certainly sound interesting.

Okay, I lied. I’m going to share one because I can’t envision it in my head so while I’m eating chili, I want you to try it and get back to me. This one was submitted by Janice E. Grover of Paradise, California.

Applesauce Dream

4 cups sweetened applesauce

1 bar semisweet chocolate, grated

1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Spread…applesauce in 8 x 8-inch dish.

Sprinkle…with chocolate.

Top…with whipped cream.

Chill…for 2 hours.

Garnish…with additional grated chocolate.

Yield…8-10 servings.

I also see a recipe for Ritz Cracker Pie in this book. My mother used to make a pie with Ritz crackers called Mock Apple Pie. I remember as a kid thinking it must be magic because it really tasted like apple pie.

That’s enough digression. It’s nice to have dessert on the party table.

Cookies and Cupcakes

Any rolled cookie can become a football. You just need the proper cookie cutter. It’s also easy to turn a regular cupcake into a football by piping brown icing across the top in the shape of a football, then adding white icing laces.

Cotton Candy & Cracker Jacks

If you don’t want the usual, but don’t want to cook, consider colorful containers of cotton candy and Cracker Jacks. These would go great with gluten-free corn dogs, hot dogs, and chili dogs, or cheese on a stick.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Cheesecake Bites

Daiya offers a variety of frozen, gluten-free, dairy-free cheesecake flavors: New York Cheesecake, Key Lime, Chocolate, Strawberry, and Pumpkin Spice. Buy two or three flavors, cut them in bite-sized cubes, add a fancy party pick and mix and match on a cute tray to thaw and serve.

I’m going to stop there. There are millions of options from which to choose and you won’t need much for a scaled back watch party. I’m hoping these suggestions will help you expand, or narrow down, the possibilities you consider. Now it’s time to choose a quarterback – the young guy or the younger guy or tune in to the Puppy Bowl. Happy snacking!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

My Top Five Gluten-Free Summer Snacks for 2016

asparagusHere’s a list of my top five gluten-free summer snacks for 2016. I don’t know about you, but I am a snacker. If I don’t eat a little something every three hours, I begin to feel bad. Three hours isn’t really enough time in between meals so snacking seems like a good solution to keep me feeling great all day!

Of course there are a million snacks available so sometimes it’s hard to know what to choose. I’ve already picked my favorites for this summer. Perhaps you’d like to try them out too:

Number 5: Medjool Dates
These dates are large, soft, and incredibly sweet. Each date has approximately 66 calories,4 grams of protein, 18 grams of carbohydrates, and 1.6 grams of dietary fiber. These dates also contain Vitamins A, K, Niacin, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Choline, and Betaine along with Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, Copper, and Manganese.

Number 4: Raw Cashews
I love raw cashews. They have a subtle flavor that borders on sweetness. The crunch is good, but softer than that of almonds or peanuts. One ounce of cashews has 155 calories, 5.1 grams of protein, 12 grams of fat, 9 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of dietary fiber. Cashews contain Vitamins C, E, K, Thiamin, Niacin, B6, Folate, and Pantothenic Acid along with Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, and Selenium. The amount of Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Manganese range from 17 to 23% of the recommended daily allowance for these minerals.

Dried fruit and nuts are great snacks that require no refrigeration, preparation, or fancy packaging.

Number 3: Chilled Asparagus Spears
When I eat asparagus hot, I prefer thin spears, but often those aren’t available. Luckily, I prefer thicker spears when I eat them chilled. I lightly steam the spears until they’re firm, not crunchy. Then I sprinkle on some lemon pepper and salt or lightly salt and squeeze some lemon juice over them. Other times, I just salt the steamed spears and put them in the refrigerator. One cup of asparagus has 32 calories, 5 grams of protein, 3 carbohydrates, and 3 grams of dietary fiber. It also gives you 73% of the RDA of Vitamin C, 29% of the RDA of Vitamin A, plus calcium and iron along with Vitamins E, K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, 61% of the RDA of Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Choline, and Betaine.

Number 2: Ice Cold Honeydew Melon
When it’s really hot outside, an ice cold honeydew quickly quenches your thirst and cools you down. It’s lightly sweet and surprisingly filling. One cup of honeydew has 64 calories, 1 gram of protein, 16 grams of carbohydrates, and 1 gram of dietary fiber. It also contains 53% of the RDA of Vitamin C plus Vitamin A, Calcium, and Iron along with Vitamin K, Thiamin, Niacin, B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, and Choline.

Number 1: Cooking2Thrive Dorm Room No Bake Cookies

You didn’t think I’d only choose healthy snacks did you? While these cookies have added sugar, they also contain peanut butter, oatmeal, and dark chocolate which add nutritional value and antioxidants. Two cookies contain 208 calories, 4.37 grams of protein, 12.27 grams of fat, 22.09 grams of carbohydrates, and 2.8 grams of dietary fiber. These cookies take less than 10 minutes to make and they’re chocolate. Need I say more?

Next year may be different, but in 2016 when the hot sun blazes and humidity hovers, I’ll be feasting on these 5 favorite gluten-free snacks. Yummy!

5 Simple Solutions – Last Minute Gluten-Free Super Bowl Snacks

Need some last minute gluten-free Super Bowl snacks? I have a five simple solutions ’cause goodness knows, I need some.

I didn’t plan ahead for tonight’s event. In fact, it was just this morning that I decided to join the party frenzy that is the Super Bowl. In my state, the fact that it’s Sunday eliminates the possibility of grabbing some beer to take along, so at my regular Super Bowl party, I am required to bring food.

I didn’t wake up early. I don’t really want to cook anything. I don’t want to spend a fortune. I want to just run in my neighborhood grocery store on the way to the party and grab some food that everyone will enjoy and that is gluten-free…for me!
Herdez salsa

Here are 5 simple solutions:

1. Salsa and chips
I can grab some HERDEZ® Salsa Verde and a bag of my favorite tortilla chips. Made with freshly harvested green tomatillos, savory onions, spicy serrano peppers, salt and fresh cilantro, the HERDEZ variety is delicious.

While I prefer the green salsa, HERDEZ also makes red salsa. It’s sold in several varieties in small cans at my local store. I can grab a variety so everyone can enjoy their preferred flavor.

2. Guacamole and chips
For added pizazz, I can pick up a container of Wholly Guacamole® ready-made guacamole. It may be prepackaged, but it’s made from natural ingredients and does great in taste tests.
3. Hummus and baby carrots
If it turns out I’m not in the mood for Hispanic flavors, I may opt for hummus with a large bag of baby carrots. Like the salsa, hummus is often stocked in several varieties in addition to the original – roasted red pepper, garlic, black olive, artichoke garlic, etc.
4. Nuts, or Nuts and M&Ms
While I’m on the chip aisle, I will walk past jars and cans of mixed nuts, bags of pistachios still in the shell, and bags of roasted cashews. I’m careful about dry roasted nuts that may not be gluten-free, but there are many options that are just fine as an addition to my party contribution. I might even throw in some M&Ms in the color of my favorite team’s jersey.
5. Pickles, peperoncini, and olives paired with cheese
If I’m in a real hurry (very possible today), I will take a serving plate out of my cupboard and then head straight for the pickle aisle at the store. My usual choices are a crispy dill pickle, a sweetish bread & butter pickle, some peperoncini peppers, and almond stuff olives. If I have an extra minute, I’ll get some white cheddar cheese too. Once I arrive, I’ll arrange it all on my serving plate and call it good.

Even if you live in a remote area, most of these items will be available in your local grocery store. You don’t have to worry about searching for the words gluten-free on the label. Just make sure to glance at the ingredients to make sure there are no questionable items included.

Thank goodness, I have these simple solutions because I’ve got to get back to the laundry or I’ll be wearing dirty clothes all week.

I’m sure you have some great simple solutions for Super Bowl food as well! Share them with us. We’d love to hear them.

Now, go…have fun!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Travel Tip #7 – Ship it!


Planning a trip, want to make sure you have your favorite gluten-free snacks on hand, but don’t want to pay for extra baggage – ship it!

Shipping Box

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you probably already know that for me to feel my best, I have to eat at very regular intervals. In order to make sure I have something gluten-free available on the road, I have to prepare in advance.

I’m planning a more lengthy trip than usual and I just don’t want to deal with the hassle of calling every health food store in the area in advance to see if they carry my favorite snacks. I certainly don’t want to carry a week’s worth of food and have to wrestle heavy bags through the airport and into my rental car.

I tried talking myself into the idea that I can always eat the salty, oily peanuts available at every convenience store, but I’d really rather have raw almonds. More gas stations now have bananas or apples available, but it’s never guaranteed. And, of course, I’ll be meeting up with some other folks on totally different schedules. The required timing of a 10-mile trip to the grocery store may prove to be inconvenient either for them or for me.

So, I’m going to do the easy thing. When I do my regular shopping, I’m going to grab an extra bag of raw almonds, some gluten-free pretzels, some dates or golden raisins, and ingredients for orange chocolate or carrot muffins. I may also grab some protein bars.

At home, I’ll make the muffins and package everything in small, easy to carry containers that I can grab and throw in a backpack each morning while I’m traveling. Of course, I’ll carry some of these on the plane for immediate consumption, but I’m going to pack the bulk of these snacks in a box and ship them in advance to arrive just before I do.

While I’m at it, I’ll probably ship some extras shoes so that I’m prepared for all the possibilities that may arise.

Whew! I don’t know about you, but I always feel better when I have a plan in place that makes my life seem easier. From now on, when destination resources are in doubt, I think I’ll just ship it!