Ok…so I’m not super excited about the Superbowl this year. I mean my Pats were only one game away from making it in, and let’s be honest, it wasn’t a very respectable loss. So while I certainly go big for the Superbowl when the Pats are in it, this year I’m trying my best to keep it a bit simpler and healthier. My Pats are worth the calories and effort…the Niners and the Ravens, not so much. So I thought I’d include a few more veggies in our spread this year. Yes, some will be smothered with cheese, but hey, it’s a start.

So first up…those delicious looking Spicy Broccoli Rabe & Provolone Grinders above. Yes, Grinders. I’m from MA, after all…no Subs or Hoagies here!. I made these for the first time this year and while they may slightly disappoint that guest who sees them and excitedly asks if they’re Cheesesteaks, they are pretty fabulous.

The soft french rolls are slathered with a homemade spicy white bean spread (store-bought spicy hummus will do in a pinch), piled high with crispy oven roasted broccoli rabe, smothered in melty provolone and sprinkled with red jalapenos. Yum.  I know I certainly didn’t miss the meat. The original recipe can be found here…but, like I said you can simplify buy using store-bought spicy hummus instead of making your own spread (although the homemade stuff is yummy). I also simplified by oven roasting the rapini rather than cooking it the way they suggested.  I think it works even better (adds some crisp!) and dirties way fewer dishes, which I always like. C’mon…you know you want to grab one!

Next up…some snack-y finger food without all the calories of nuts. Pan fried shishito peppers!  These little peppers are relatively easy to find these days since they’ve really grown in popularity.  They’re not spicy peppers, but slightly sweet and so delicious when cooked up this way. So simple and easy…they’re best warm, but they go fast so cook up a big batch!

Heat heavy-bottomed pan over very high heat.

Toss the peppers with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and coarse salt.

Drop the peppers on the hot skillet…no more than enough to fill one bottom layer of the pan (otherwise they’ll end up steaming vs. pan-frying). Cook, tossing the pan to flip the peppers around occasionally, until the peppers have softened and are blistered in spots.

Remove from heat and sprinkle a bit more coarse salt over the peppers. Serve immediately.

Last, but certainly not least is a chickpea avocado dip that my friend Kristin recently introduced me to.  Sadly, although I’ve had it twice now, it has always gone too fast for me to get a picture of…but trust me it is super delicious and very easy to make. Just mix the following ingredients together in a bowl and serve with pita chips.  Done!

1 can of garbanzo beans
2 cups of spinach, chopped
1 avocado
2 chopped roma tomatoes
1/2 red onion
crumbled feta
zest and juice of one lemon
tablespoon of white vinegar
2 tablespoons of chopped flat leaf parsley
dash of sea salt

So there you go…three delicious, easy vegetarian appetizers that will make any Superbowl crowd happy. Will I be serving any meat at all? Yes…I mean this is Football we’re talking about here. But it’s my go-to healthier (and I think tastier) version of wings…mini buffalo chicken meatballs. It wouldn’t be a SavoryGirl Superbowl Party without them.