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When I think of this time of year, two things come to mind: football and food. On Friday nights, fans all around the country gather together for high school football. Then on Saturday, parking lots are filled with trucks packed to the brim with coolers of tailgating fare and booze for college football. Living for the weekend isn’t just a popular catchphrase; it’s truly a way of life during football season. And after a long, actually fun weekend, many of us dread the upcoming workweek. Cue the perfect solution to the Monday blues: Monday Night Football.

Even though it’s Monday, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the same foods as you did during the weekend--think of this as your transition back into the work week. And sure you could opt for greasy and fattening fixes, like wings, burgers, hot dogs, pizza, and nachos... or you could sideline the meat for just one night while watching the game. If you’re up to the challenge, put a healthy, meat-free spin on your favorite game day goodies to avoid waking up to Tuesday morning feeling like roadkill. Yeah, not sexy. So just in time for Monday Night Football session watching the New Orleans Saints host the Atlanta Falcons, here are 10 family-friendly recipes that have us screaming, Are you ready for some football (meatless) grub??

Sliders and StacksTake a turn from the typical sloppy Joes and juicy burgers with bite-sized sliders that score big in taste and all the other ways that matter. The Black Bean and Mushroom sliders below are proof that the best things really do come in small packages. And just wait until you try our vegan take on the sloppy Joe, we swapped the beef for jackfruit and bumped up the fresh factor with a crisp, tangy slaw.

Black Bean Mushroom Sliders
Barbecue Slawpy Jacks

NachosThese loaded nachos offer a fresh and colorful vegetarian twist on classic beef nachos, and will have you coming back for more ooey, gooey, melty goodness.

Two-Cheese Veggie Nachos

Chips and DipsSeriously, what is game day without dip? Just let your tortilla or zucchini chips do all the heavy lifting. Or pack a favorite comforting dip into individual crunchy phyllo bites, like with our Spinach Artichoke Bites below.

Chips & queso, naturally

Chips & queso, naturally

Spinach-Artichoke Bites

“Fries”Colorful, flavorful, and better-for-you than the common white potato variety, the fresh fries below utilize a variety of seasonal root veggies, along with some unexpected fry candidates--like rich avocados and zucchini.

Root Veggie Fries
Avocado Fries

Whether you want to enjoy a little pigskin with none of the guilt or you just want to create a meatless twist on familiar football classics, give your Mondays a healthy boost with these delicious game day finger foods and snacks. being able to enjoy the game while kicking off with a nutritious start to the week is what we call a victory.

By Michelle Darrisaw and Michelle Darrisaw