I don’t know about you, but I find it extremely difficult to eat healthier when everyone else around you is eating everything you’re NOT supposed to be eating. Who wants to be the odd man out munching on celery and carrot sticks while you’re surrounded by pizza, chips, wings, and dessert? Especially if you’re at a Super Bowl party, where if you’re like me, you’re not there for the game, but for the food.
Rather than torture yourself and feel deprived, why not tweak your favorites to make them fit into your new way of eating?
I recently found out about air fryers and after some debate about whether to purchase one (did I need yet another kitchen gadget?), I took the plunge and have not regretted it since. Despite their name, air fryers do not actually fry food, as no oil is needed. Instead, the food is cooked by hot air that circulates inside the fryer, resulting in the crispiness associated with traditional frying but without all the extra fat and calories from oil.
This means that you don’t have to ban traditionally fried snacks such as chicken wings or fries from your Super Bowl party menu! Win-win for everyone!
One of the very first things I tried in my air fryer was chicken wings. I made them the traditional way, cooking them first and then tossing in hot sauce. They had all the crispiness of the wings we usually order out but none of the guilt from eating something that’s usually so unhealthy.
For a more desi flavor, try rubbing the wings in tandoori masala for a drier version of wings, or try this recipe which originally appeared on my blog, Spice’s Bites:
- Serves 2-3 people
2 tbsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. Indian red chili powder
1 pinch ground turmeric
1 tsp. dried fenugreek leaves
1/2 tsp. ginger paste
1/2 tsp. garlic paste
1/2 tsp. soy sauce
salt to taste
1-1.5 lb. chicken wings — frozen or fresh is fine
1. Combine dry ingredients in bowl. Juice the lemon half and add to spices. Add ginger and garlic pastes, followed by soy sauce. Stir until mixture is thick paste. Add small amounts of water as needed — you should have a spice sludge.
2. Rub spice marinade onto and into the wings, making sure to coat all sides. To let the flavors really work their magic, use a sharp knife to make a slash in the flesh. Let wings marinate for at least an hour.
3. Place wings in basket of air fryer. Cook at 400 degrees fahrenheit for about 20-22 minutes turning them over halfway through. The wings should be a rich golden brown when they’re done.
With your wings, you need fries. It’s a rule. Instead of making them from scratch, just do what I do and doctor up frozen fries with spices. You can season them however you like, but to go along with my desi-style wings, I have the perfect desi-style fries.
Serves 2-3 people
1/2 bag frozen unflavored potato wedges or steak fries
1 tbsp. chaat masala seasoning (I like Shan)
1. Toss frozen fries and seasoning in a gallon-sized freezer bag, making sure to coat the fries thoroughly.
2. Place fries in basket of air fryer, spreading out as evenly as possible. Cook at 370 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes, shaking basket halfway through cooking time. Serve as is or with ketchup.
Are wings and fries not your thing? Try making mini pizzas in the air fryer! Since it’s basically a smaller version of a convection oven, you can make anything you’d make in an oven in air fryer.
I like to use store-bought naan as a quick and easy pizza crust, mostly because I’m too lazy to make pizza crust from scratch. If you can find mini naan, use those, or else cut regular naan into thirds or quarters depending on the size and shape. Let your guests choose their own toppings, I used store-bought pesto, shredded cheese and grilled chicken here.
Serves 2-3 people
3 store-bought mini naan
2 tbsp. prepared pesto
3/4 cup shredded cheese
3 oz. grilled chicken, cut into small pieces
- Assemble pizzas by spreading the pesto onto each naan, followed by the cheese, and finally by adding the chicken pieces on top.
2. Place pizzas in basket of air fryer. Depending on the size of your air fryer and your naan you may only be able to fit 1-2 at a time. Cook at 370 degrees Fahrenheit for 3-4 minutes.
3. Carefully remove pizzas with a spatula. You can serve these whole or slice in half diagonally to make them easier to eat.
Try any of these recipes and I don’t think you’ll feel like you are missing out at all! Enjoy!