Going Wild for Super Bowl Appetizers
A large part of being a Washingtonian means you are surrounded by die-hard Redskins fans. Football Sunday is always the best time to be out on the roads because everyone is inside, cheering on the Skins with friends and family. It’s not uncommon to visit a friend’s house and find entire rooms dedicated to burgundy and gold, adorned with Skins memorabilia.
Most everyone can remember watching Super Bowl XXVI when the Redskins beat the Buffalo Bills. Mark Rypien and Darrell Green were household names back then. If you were lucky enough to have season tickets, tailgating parties were the weekend mainstay. If watching from home, there was a pot of chili bubbling in the crockpot and an array of delicious appetizers on the ready.
Sadly, Super Bowl XXVI was back in 1992. Although Washington, DC is still the home of raging Redskins fans who are willing to defend their team to the very end, many of us are not as proud as we were in the good ole’ days.
But we still watch. And we still eat. Perhaps not with the same enthusiasm, but Skins fans are a loyal bunch.
At our house during football season, Sunday has become more about the food than the game. Serving up delicious foodie-inspired apps seems to take everyone’s mind off how badly our team is playing.
I love getting creative and stepping outside the box with food. This fun appetizer pairing of Wild Blueberries and cheese was the perfect muse. Traditional football watching apps have gotten an antioxidant makeover with the intense flavor of Wild Blueberries!
This Wild Blueberry Baked Brie is a delicious twist on a classic. I used a mix of Wild Blueberries and pistachios instead of the usual jam or jelly inside. Because you can find Wild Blueberries frozen year round, this is a great way to give this app a little health boost. And who doesn’t love a cheesy appetizer you can feel good about eating?
To make slicing easier, I used pie crust instead of puff pastry. I also cooked off the Wild Blueberries in a small saucepan for a few minutes and stirred in a teaspoon of chia seed to soak up any additional berry juice during cooking. It created the perfect homemade jam texture! The crunch of the roasted pistachios offered a nice balance of textures and a pinch of salty flavor, too. So good!
For my Jalapeno Poppers I knew I wanted to use goat cheese. I’ve combined Wild Blueberries and goat cheese before and love how the textures blend together. The tangy goat cheese really complements the intense Wild Blueberry flavor!
Jalapeno Poppers are pretty spicy so goat cheese and Wild blueberry filling was the perfect balance of heat and sweet. I love the way it looks; the Wild Blueberries create instant gorgeous! These were a huge hit at our house and are so easy to make.
1 oz goat cheese, softened
2 cups frozen Wild Blueberries
8-10 jalapeno peppers, sliced in half, seeds removed
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp chili powder
1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs
1 tsp olive oil
Sour cream, optional
Preheat oven to 325. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Cut peppers in half and scoop out seeds (I use rubber gloves to do this). Wash your hands after touching any of the peppers. Mix together the goat cheese Wild Blueberries, garlic powder and chili powder. Beat egg in a small bowl and set aside. In a small fry pan, heat the panko bread crumbs with the oil and pinch of salt. Stuff peppers with goat cheese and Wild Blueberry mixture. Roll each pepper first in the egg, then into the panko bread crumbs, and then place onto the prepared cookie sheet. Cook until panko is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve warm with a side of sour cream if needed to ease the heat!
To round out my Wild Blueberry appetizer extravaganza I included a creamy Wild Blueberry Ricotta and Gorgonzola Cheese dip. This dip has great flavor and pairs perfectly with vegetable crudité or tortilla chips – and it’s gorgeous, too.
About the Author
Danielle Omar is a registered dietitian, clean-eating coach, teacher and cookbook author. She is a passionate food and nutrition educator and founded Danielle Omar Nutrition to support busy men and women on their journey to becoming their healthiest self. An avid cook, she also enjoys sharing plant-based recipes and nutrition strategies on her Food Confidence blog. Danielle has a Master’s degree in Nutrition and has been teaching nutrition at the college level for over 10 years. She has contributed to local and national media outlets such as The Washingtonian, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Shape Magazine, and Women’s Health Magazine. Through her private nutrition practice, media work, and group programs, Danielle has successfully motivated hundreds of busy professionals and families to eat confidently and live a healthy life.