By Ali Lopez
MRG Contributor

One of my favorite snacking holidays is almost here. Super Bowl Sunday! Regardless of whether or not your team is playing, the one thing everyone agrees on is yummy snacks for game day. I have put together a few of my favorite snack ideas, and these are good for any party and not just the Super Bowl, of course.

By now you all know I have a deep love (okay maybe it’s a slight obsession) for avocadoes. And while most of the time I love a big bowl of traditional guacamole, I still like to come up with new variations. This one is great for two reasons. #1 – it’s a great way to lighten up and add some new flavors and great nutrition to the traditional version. And #2 – it’s a great way to stretch the guacamole AND keep it bright green. Give it a try!


2 ripe avocadoes

3 cups broccoli, florets and peeled stems (or you can use frozen)

¼ to ½ red onion, finely diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 jalapeno, seeded and diced

juice of 1 lime

Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse broccoli. Steam broccoli until really soft – you don’t want any crunch. Let the broccoli cool in ice bath, then drain. (This helps keep the color bright green!) Halve the avocados and scoop the flesh into a large bowl. Mash but leave some chunks.

Put cooled broccoli in blender or food processor and pulse until it becomes a puree and then spoon the broccoli puree into the bowl with the avocado. Add garlic, jalapeno and onion to the bowl with the broccoli and avocado. Start with 1/4 of the red onion and add more to taste, if you like. Add lime juice, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Taste and season again if needed.

Okay, so you won’t fool anyone into thinking that cauliflower is chicken, but I promise they will still love this version of “hot wings.”

Cauliflower Buffalo “Wings”

1 small head cauliflower

1 cup water

1 cup flour (all purpose, whole wheat, or gluten free)

1 Tablespoon garlic powder

1 Tablespoon butter

1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (or hot sauce of your choice)

1/2 cup blue cheese dressing (recipe below)

celery sticks

Preheat oven to 425. Trim the cauliflower into appetizer sized florets and set aside. In a bowl stir together water, flour and garlic powder, so the consistency is like pancake batter. Dip each piece of cauliflower into the batter and let the extra batter drip off. Place on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes until crispy. While cauliflower cooks, melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, add the hot sauce and stir. Toss cooked cauliflower pieces with the sauce. Remove and serve with a side of blue cheese dressing and celery.

For the Greek yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing, mix together:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

Juice of 1 lemon

Sprinkle of garlic powder, onion powder

Salt and pepper to taste


Have a fueling question for Ali? Post it below in the comments section or email MRG with your healthy-eating questions at heather [at] michiganrunnergirl [dot] com 

Ali will answer your questions in upcoming columns here on MRG. You can read her post about the Power of Smoothies, here »  She’s also written about superfoods and shares a great recipe for kale salad here »


Ali Lopez is a northern Michigan runner, chef and health coach. You can learn more about her at her web site Healthy Chef Ali. She’s also on Facebook here »

You can listen to a conversation about running and eating between Ali and Heather on a recent MRG podcast episode here »

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