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Project Best Life | Game Day Recipes

This series is sponsored by Project Best Life. Buffalo Rising and Project Best Life have teamed up to produce a series on wellness inspiration and advice to direct readers to the people, places, and experiences in Buffalo and beyond that will help them fulfill their health, nutrition, and wellness goals. For more information on how you can live your best life, subscribe to the Project Best Life newsletter.


During football season, Sundays are a specialty here in Buffalo and for good reason. Food, friends, and football seem to be the holy trinity of the 716 and we have all the reason to be proud of the palpable culture that is our city. However, once game day rolls around it becomes very easy to overindulge, stress eat, or let loose a bit with our diets. Though indulging is a fine thing to do within reason, we would like to provide a couple ways to dial back on the caloric intake without having to restrict on any flavor. Here are three game day recipes that will be sure to impress your guests while still leaving everyone just as satisfied.


Focaccia Pizza

This beautiful focaccia pizza has both light and rich flavors. This process begins with an herb oil that combines:

  • 1 ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 6 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp parsley
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 Tbsp crushed red pepper (option)

Bring all of these ingredients to a low simmer in a small saucepan for about a half hour. From there, remove from heat and allow it to steep while we make the focaccia dough.

Our focaccia dough is a somewhat tedious, but relaxing process. In a bowl stand mixer, we are going to combine

  • 5 c flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp instant yeast

Whisk to combine all of the ingredients. From there, we are going to add

  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups room temperature water

Mix these ingredients with the paddle attachment until they come together into a very sticky ball. We are going to then switch to the dough hook and mix on a medium setting for five minutes. This dough should be very sticky, but also clear the sides and bottom of the bowl. If you find you need to add a little more flour, do so but a little at a time.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and pat the dough into a ball, without overworking the dough. Drizzle a little olive oil over the dough and cover with plastic wrap for 15 minutes. When 15 minutes have passed, unwrap and fold the dough into a reworked ball, drizzle with a little oil, wrap and let sit for 15 minutes. Repeat this process THREE more times.

Once we are done with the rising process, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle olive oil onto the pan. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and pour the herb oil mixture over the top. Use your fingertips to dimple the dough, around the majority of the pan and make sure the entire top is covered with the oil mixture. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours, or even overnight. Remove from the fridge and let come to room temperature for about an hour. We are going to preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Once we are ready to bake we will immediately turn the oven down to 450. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate a full 180 degrees, and bake for another 5-8 minutes.

Allow this to cool before serving, but we can add the toppings as it cools. Toppings for a focaccia can really be as simple or as complex as the person making the dish. Today we are going to use a store bought tomato bruschetta and a light pesto made from scratch. For the pesto we will need:

  • 1 cup of fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • ½ cup of parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup of Romano cheese
  • Garlic Powder and salt to taste

Simply blend these ingredients in a blender or food processor and top the focaccia after baking!


Cauliflower Wings

The most simple and easy substitute for chicken wings has to be cauliflower wings. If you are looking for a lighter option, please give this a try. For this we will need:

  • Large head of cauliflower
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup oat milk
  • 1 tsp Adobo seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Your favorite hot sauce (Franks) for coating
  • Your favorite dipping sauce (blue cheese) for the side

This is so easy to make. Preheat your oven to 350. Combine the flour, milk, and seasoning. From there we are going to break our cauliflower into pieces, whatever size you feel is appropriate. I tend to keep mine on the larger side, and find it is really easy to break up if you just smash to stalk on a hard surface – the florets will just break off. Spray a lined baking sheet with nonstick spray. Coat each piece of your cauliflower in the batter. Bake for 8 minutes, flip over, then bake for an additional 5-8 minutes. Once we pull from the oven, we can immediately toss in our favorite hot sauce and serve!


Deconstructed Beef on Weck

Our final recipe is our take on a deconstructed Beef on Weck. This recipe is as easy as it is delicious. The ingredients for this include:

  • ½ lb London broil or your favorite roast beef deli choice
  •  French baguette
  • 2 Tbsp horseradish
  • 2 Tbsp cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp mayo
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Fresh arugula
  • Weck seasoning
  • 1 shallot

Preheat the over to 350 degrees. We are going to start by cutting our baguette into about ½ inch pieces, sprinkling with a little olive oil, and topping with a kiss of our Weck seasoning. If you can not find Weck seasoning, “Everything But The Bagel” seasoning is a great substitute. Bake those in the oven for about 4 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the horseradish, sour cream, cream cheese, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice. Whisk this together really well so it is easily spreadable.

Once this is mixed and our bread is lightly toasted, we are going to start to build these crostinis. I start with layering the bread with our horseradish spread, layer the arugula, place our London broiled slice atop, and garnish with the thinly sliced shallots!


There are so many options to recreating a dish and making it something of your own. What are some of your favorite game day dishes? Any recreations you would like to share? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to tell us if you gave any of these recipes a try!

As always, Go Bills!

For more tips and inspiration to help live a healthy, happy and balanced life to the fullest, subscribe to the Project Best Life newsletter.


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Written and Hosted by Alyssa Nicotera
Photography and Editing by Vin Berbano
Produced by Alyssa Nicotera and Jessica Marinelli

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