Friday Night Lites: 3 Football Favorites, Only Slimmer

By: StacyAtZeel

Just because you're watching football with the guys this weekend (or just because you are a guy) doesn't mean you have to eat like one. Yes, you can enjoy savory Buffalo wings, nachos and various other sporty snacks and still be mindful of your diet.

What's the play? Follow along as we tackle three of your favorite game day appetizers and offer great DIY ways to make them healthier for your body. Trust us, the flavors rival that of any sports bar.

Oven Broiled Buffalo Wings

Have your wings and eat them too! Simply toss chicken wings (or drumsticks, if you prefer) in a piquant concoction of cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and kosher salt. After boiling the wings for 15 minutes on the stove, transfer them to a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Broil them for 15 to 20 minutes on each side, and serve with a generous smattering of Frank's famous Red Hot Sauce. Oh, and this spicy topper has zero calories.

Turkey Chili

This tried and true recipe has won over many a health nut at Zeel. Combine a pound of ground turkey meat with corn, green peppers, white onions, salt, pepper, cumin, red chili pepper, carrots, a touch of lemon and a can of low sodium tomato sauce (all of these ingredients can be adjusted to your liking).

While the grocery list may be long, the preparation is easy. Let all the ingredients simmer together atop the stove on medium heat for an hour, then serve and enjoy while it's piping hot. If you can't live without sour cream, try adding a dollop of low-fat Greek yogurt. It has the same savory consistency with less than half the fat.

Baked Onion Rings

A single cup of raw chopped onions has a measly 60 calories, so you can bet that the majority of an onion ring's most offensive calories are picked up in the deep fryer. That's why we love this heart- and waist-friendly version of the deliciously crispy appetizer (or burger topping). A serving of about six rings has less than 200 calories!

What you'll need: two medium yellow onions, a cup of whole wheat flour, two teaspoons of baking powder, three eggs, two cups of whole wheat breadcrumbs and cooking spray. Mix spices of your choice into the breadcrumbs based on whatever flavor you're craving. Try Cajun, Old Bay or an Italian rosemary blend.

Slice your onions into half-inch rings. Dip them into egg (these should be beaten first), then flour, and finally into the mixture of seasoned breadcrumbs. Place onto a baking sheet that was previously coated with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees, then turn the rings over and place them back into the oven for another eight minutes. Game on!