Tag Archives: healthy snacks

Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

Healthy snacks for the big game this weekend

Thousands of football fans will descend upon Phoenix this week for the Super Bowl, but what about locals who plan to skip the fury and watch the game from home?  When it comes to the big game, the battle for best snacks gets as much hype as the competition on the field.  Whole Foods Market has supplied Scottsdale Living with some ideas for any Super Bowl party planning you might be working on this week:

Creamy Cucumber Dip

Creamy Cucumber Dip

·         Chip and Dip Trends – Whole Foods Market experts compiled six trends that might be worth adding to your playbook this year.

·         Game day snack ideas – Recipes for lighter, healthier alternatives and indulgent game-day dishes that are delicious without all the artificial coloring, flavoring and preservatives. Ready-to-cook appetizers and whole hot pizzas on sale Sunday, Feb. 1

·         “Pass” on extra calories, “go long” on flavor – From cauliflower buffalo “wings” to lentil sloppy joes to apple and cheddar whole wheat quesadillas, tasty ideas on healthier swaps for traditional game day fare.

·         Top 10 vegan game-day recipes

Chips and Dip Trends – Whole Foods Market experts compiled 6 trends from that might be worth adding to your playbook this year.

1.       Naan is the new pita – the ubiquitous pita chip is getting a flavorful, crunchy upgrade with new naan chips. Using a recipe for the traditional Indian flat bread and baking it into chips (instead of frying), the new 365 Everyday Value Naan Chips come in three flavors inspired by iconic Indian spices: Tamarind, Green Chili Chutney and Tikka Masala.

2.       Bean chips – forget bean dip, bean chips are everywhere and offer a host of nutrients and fiber, and are often gluten free. Fan favorites include:

a.       Beanitos – Chips are made with black or pinto beans and one serving contains four grams of protein. Flavors include Chipotle BBQ, Better Cheddar, Original Black Bean and Simply Pinto Bean.

i.      Beanitos Puffs are made from a blend of beans and other wholesome grains, and come in game-ready flavors like Hot Chili Lime, Nacho Cheese and more.


3.       Sprouted grains – sprouted grains offer a great new texture and flavor, and are believed to have an increased amount of vitamins and enzymes. Often, these grains are gluten free, but check labels. These are Whole Foods Market’s heavy hitters:

Basil Crispbread Snacks

Basil Crispbread Snacks

a.       Way Better Snacks – This brand offers a tasty, healthy alternative to traditional tortilla chips, pita chips and crackers for all your crunching needs on game day.  Football-friendly flavors include So Sweet Chili or Sweet Potato tortilla chips, Mustard & Cheddar or Black Bean & Salsa crackers, and Heritage Grains Pita-ahh Chips in Sea Salt or Smoked Havarti flavors. (More varieties available)

b.      Engine 2 Popcrisps – made with 100% whole grains, and without added oils, these “un-salty” snacks offer a better-for-you crunch without compromising flavor. Available in Garlic Quinoa & Purple Corn or Cinnamon Sweet Potato.

c.       Food for Life – Sprouted Corn Tortillas, use these for tacos, bake your own tortilla chips or  heat up and dip directly in queso.


4.       Nut-based artisan cheese – whether you want your game day cheeses to include something out of a can, or something more high brow, today’s nut-based (vegan) cheeses have delicious options for both.

Apple and Cheddar Whole Wheat Quesadillas

Apple and Cheddar Whole Wheat Quesadillas

a.       Heidi Ho – plant based cheeses and spreads free of additives and fillers, such as Chia Cheeze Sauce (in Spicy, Smoky and Creamy flavors) can be a nacho cheese substitute.

i.      Heidi Ho also offers a goat cheese-inspired spread called Ne Chevre that comes in several flavors, like Black Lava Salt with a layer of crushed hazelnut and black lava salt (more flavors available). This product was just featured on Shark Tank and is launching nationwide in February.

b.      Kite Hill – plant-based cheeses that demonstrate how traditional cheesemaking methods combined with an alternative milk source can create a new flavor experience. Options include Cassucio, a soft fresh cheese with a supple, silky texture; Cassucio Truffle, Dill & Chive, a soft fresh cheese with an earthy flavor; and White Alder, a soft ripened cheese with a delicate white rind, pungent aroma and velvety texture.

Lentil Sloppy Joes

Lentil Sloppy Joes


5.       Whole new hummus – the latest spreads are made with creative ingredients like lentils and avocado, and come in flavors that will make football fans want to take a time-out.

a.       Hope Hummus –lentil spreads that combine the wholesome legume with simple ingredients to create tasty dips. Flavors include Original Lentil, Garlic, Habanero and Curry. Their selection of traditional garbanzo bean hummus comes in very non-traditional flavors like Spicy Avocado, Kale Pesto, Sriracha, Jalapeño Cilantro and Thai Coconut Curry.

b.      Love & Hummus – this brand blends chickpeas with tahini (sesame seed butter) and other innovative herbs and ingredients. The Spicy Harissa flavor uses the uber-trendy exotic spice blend for an upgraded hummus.


Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

6.       A better Buffalo – Ditch the scary orange sauce with mystery ingredients for the real deal with Blazing Buffalo Cheddar cheese. Handcrafted in Wisconsin by a family-owned cheese company, this is a mild to medium creamy white cheddar blended with spicy buffalo flavor. It’s calcium-rich with no trans-fats and no growth hormones, but it’s a more delicious take on classic game day fare.


Big Game Party on the Go

For those who’d rather relax pre-game, Whole Foods Market offers ready-to-cook appetizers like organic chicken wings, frozen pizzas and guacamole dip (these items and more on sale game-day weekend, Friday, January 30 to Sunday, February 1). And, all prepared hot pizzas will be on sale for $10 on game-day Sunday, February 1.


And a few more recipes:

Appetizers and Dips

The Main Course

Workplace Perks Create Productive Company Culture For Valley Businesses

From cubicle farms to cafeteria food, life at the office can be pretty boring and, at times, annoying. But some companies have figured out that if you get a little creative, and offer a few extra perks, it can go a long way toward keeping employees happy – and more productive. Scottsdale-based telecommunications company Nextiva is gaining recognition for its emphasis on a positive, productive company culture, offering a wide range of amenities to employees typically provided by major national companies.

It is not unusual to hear about major tech giants, such as Google or Facebook, using their resources to promote a positive, productive company culture. Well, local firms are approaching company culture in this same way, particularly Nextiva. This rapidly growing locally based telecommunications firm is taking a new-wave approach with company culture usually only seen in national companies, providing a whole host of various perks and incentives in order to foster the best environment possible for their employees.

Their benefits include lots of free food, flexibility, stress-relieving activities, and more. For starters, employees never have to frequent vending machines because Nextiva offers free catered breakfast every day, catered lunch on Fridays, free healthy snacks all day, free coffee, a fully stocked kitchen and even vegan kitchens to accommodate staff dietary restrictions and choices. For those with difficulty balancing work and outside life, Nextiva offers flexible scheduling for school or other obligations, as well as flexible “Zen” scheduling designed to stagger employee arrival to cut down on emissions from high volume traffic during rush hour and lessen employee stress

“I think that our company culture helps our staff feel connected at work,” said Thomas Gorny, CEO of UnitedWeb, parent company of Nextiva. We care about the wellness of each of our employees and our emphasis on positive company culture shows the value we place on our teams,” he said.

Employees are also regularly rewarded for their hard work, with weekly raffles for cash and incentive programs where they can earn prize money in good-old fashioned competition with co-workers. The company also provides amazing medical and dental insurance packages, giving employees peace of mind as well as saving them money. Health and wellness is very important with the company, as there are bikes around the office that can be taken for a quick ride, as well as a fully stocked game room and entertainment center with ping-pong, pool, and video games.

And yes, they’re hiring. Nextiva’s approach to company culture is paying off, as the company is exploding with growth. The company is preparing for technology, service and VoIP platform enhancements and expansion and is on track to hire more than 150 new employees during the year.

For more information about Nextiva and their positive, productive company culture, visit their website at nextiva.com.