With a full serving of veggies in every half cup, the makers of Ragu pasta sauce have some ideas for game-time foods without the guilt and hassle.
♦ Cut the grease. French fries and frozen appetizers may seem like the easy way out when faced with a crowd of hungry guests, but there are more nutritious solutions when feeding a group. As an alternative that is just as easy, try cutting up veggies and pairing them with a dressing-based dip, or serving cubed turkey and cheese to dunk in warmed pasta sauce.
♦ You are not a waitress. Don't be afraid to ask your guests to serve themselves, and clean up after themselves. Spread all food and drinks out on a table, buffet-style, and let guests take what they want when they want it. Use disposable plates, napkins and cutlery and have everyone deposit their used items into a prominently placed trash can. At the end of the night all you'll have to do is say goodbye.
♦ Don't try to be a gourmet chef. Pick simple recipes with few ingredients. You'll please even the pickiest of eaters and still have time to enjoy the game yourself. Try the following recipes that easily feed a crowd:
Brown ground beef or turkey and add in a 26-ounce jar of pasta sauce for each pound of meat. Toss in some flavorful add-ins, heat through and serve. And feel free to mix and match ingredients to please your game-day guests. Try adding the following to make:
Add in sauteed onions, chili powder and red kidney beans. Serve over rice and top with cheddar cheese.
Add in sauteed veggies such as bell peppers, yellow squash, zucchini and onions, about 4 teaspoons of chili powder and some canned corn. Serve rolled in flour tortillas, which you can bake when your guests are ready to eat.
Increase the ground beef to 2 pounds, then add in sauteed onions, about half a cup of brown sugar and some sweet relish. Serve on whole-wheat hamburger buns.
Add in sauteed veggies like bell peppers, corn or black beans. Serve over a bed of lettuce with tortilla chips.
For more game-day recipes, and even more recipes and tips, pick up a free copy of the Ragu Soccer Moms Shortcuts book, available at www.ragu.com.