by Megan Callahan, Hy-Vee Corporate Dietitian
“Our state fair is the best state fair – don’t miss it, don’t even be late.”
Unfortunately, we have to miss out on all the fabulous state fair festivities due to the effects of COVID-19. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t reminisce about the way food is consumed while walking around the fairgrounds – on a stick.
From one delicious bite after another, try some of these unique sandwiches that’ll be just the ticket to take you to fair memories of the past. From wacky food combinations to melt-in-your-mouth meals, your Hy-Vee dietitian encourages you to bring the fair food home.
Italian Club Sandwich:
The crunchy baguette gets the blue ribbon with this stick. Simply drizzle a little Italian salad dressing over each piece and alternate the baguette slices with low-sodium Di Lusso ham, cherry tomatoes, torn lettuce leaves, and provolone cheese. Serve with a side of baked veggie tots and – bam! – you’ve got a fair-tastic meal.
Your whole family will never want to eat this popular sub on a hoagie bun again. Heat up some Italian meatballs and thread onto a skewer. With a strip cut from refrigerated pizza dough, wrap around each meatball. Add a mushroom to each end and brush your masterpiece with marinara sauce. Bake and your typical sub may taste better with this new linear look.
Rather than dirtying a dish, just dirty a napkin or two. This satisfying stick creation alternates between fully cooked cubed chicken breasts, garlic bread sticks, and half slices of zucchini. Drizzle with marinara sauce, top with mozzarella cheese and bake until cheese melts and your mouth is watering. When a meal covers three food groups, you know you’re in for a filling treat.
Philly Cheese Steak:
This skewer is stacked with sirloin steak strips, onion wedges, bell pepper pieces, and cubed hoagie buns. Grill to your liking and add a slice of provolone cheese at the end of cooking. No need to wait in long lines under the blazing sun for this one – enjoy a finger-licking skewer without the heavy feeling you’d expect from your favorite fair vendors.
The grand final is dessert, and – get this – you can even eat the stick with this one. Simply thread your favorite fruits onto pretzel rods and dip in vanilla or strawberry yogurt. Cleanup is simple and the natural sweetness from the fruit won’t even make you miss the funnel cakes (well, for a little while at least).
Truth be told, people don’t actually go to the fair anticipating healthy options galore, but with little tweaks here and there, you can make celebrating the typical end-of-summer event a little lighter without limiting flavor.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be deep-fat-fried to be delicious. Pull out the sticks and get to creating some skewers that’ll make you forget the fair was ever canceled. Fork-free is the way to be – find all the recipes for the above foods on-a-stick in the August issue of Hy-Vee’s Seasons magazine.
The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.
Megan Callahan is one of your Hy-Vee Corporate Dietitians. She is dedicated to helping people live healthier and happier lives. Megan received a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Missouri State University. She completed her dietetic internship at the University of Kansas Medical Center, where she also received her Master of Science degree in dietetics and nutrition. Megan has been working with Hy-Vee full-time for 10 years. With a passion for nutrition and wellness, Megan is dedicated to educating customers and promoting healthy lifestyles to our Hy-Vee community. Megan lives in Lee’s Summit with her husband Matt, and their 2 children Kennedy (4) & Carsyn (2).