'Green' and 'blue' food ideas for UofM/MSU game

- College football fans in Michigan know this weekend is the big one. The U of M/MSU game is on Saturday. Whether you're tailgating or having a party at home, Chef Pete Loren from Nino Salvaggio has got you covered with food ideas.

You can get his green and/or blue specific recipes below. To find a Nino Salvaggio location near you, visit www.ninosalvaggio.com.


Sparty Chicken on a Stick
Serves 8
2 Lbs Chicken Breast, Sliced Thin on the Bias
1 Cup Fresh Basil Pesto
8 Spinach Lavosh
1 Cup Marinara Sauce
1 Cup Shaved or Shredded Parmesan Cheese
8, 9 Inch Wood Skewers, Soaked in Water

1. Take the thin strips of chicken and toss with the basil pesto until well coated then fold each strip over itself once or twice and skewer with the point of the wooden skewer. Repeat with additional pieces of chicken until you have approximately 3" to 4" of chicken on the end of the skewer with about ½" of point of the skewer exposed.
2. Grill or griddle the chicken until fully cooked over medium heat making sure the sticks do not catch on fire,
3. Serve by rolling the cooked chicken skewers meat inside a spinach lavosh and garnish with Marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese.
4. In addition, you may also garnish with diced tomato, shredded romaine lettuce and sour cream.

Sparty Chicken Dog with Spinach & Queso Cheese
Makes 4 Dogs

1 ½ Lbs Ground Chicken
To Taste Salt & Pepper
2 TBSP Olive Oil
1 - 10 oz Bag Baby Spinach Leaves
½ Cup Sweet Onion, Chopped
1 Medium Poblano Pepper, Chopped Fine
1 TBSP Fresh Garlic, Minced
6 oz Queso Cheese, Shredded

4 - 8" Spinach Lavosh
4 Cups Baby Forest Greens (Spring Mix)
As Desired Mayonnaise

1. Sauté onion, poblano pepper and garlic on medium heat until softened. Cool.
2. Lay out a sheet of plastic film about the size of a piece of paper.
3. Divide ground chicken in 4 equal amounts.
4. Place one portion of the ground chicken in the middle of the plastic film and flatten into a rectangle shape of uniform thickness, approximately 5" x 5".
5. Season surface with salt and pepper.
6. Press all excess juices out of the chilled spinach mixture and divide into 4 equal portions.
7. Sprinkle / spread 1 portions worth of the spinach mixture on the chicken leaving a ½" border of NO filling all the way around the perimeter.
8. Sprinkle approximately ¼ to 1/3  cup of the shredded queso cheese on top of the spinach mixture.
9. Roll the chicken into a pinwheel roll shape by using the plastic film as tool to lift the leading edge over the filling and then pulling back the plastic film away from the log as you continue to roll forward (or towards you if you find it more convenient).
10. Finally, after the entire panel as been rolled into a log, roll the plastic film around it and twist the ends to make a firm, sausage shaped roll.
11. Chill until ready to cook.
12. To cook the "Sparty Dogs", heat a grill or flat, non-stick skillet to medium high, spray with a non-stick vegetable spray and cook approximately 5 minutes on each side or until firm, opaque and cooked through.
13. To serve, cut spinach lavosh to the size of the length of each dog. Spread surface with mayonnaise then top with a small handful of Forest Greens. Place the cooked Sparty Dog at one end of the lavosh and roll up to create a sandwich-like wrap.
14. Guacamole or avocado slices may be added if desired.

Spartan Potato Salad
Makes 1 ½ Lbs or servings for 4 Persons

1 Lb Baby White Potatoes
1 Cup Green Beans, Cut in 1" Lengths
¼ Cup Green Onion, Cut ¼" on Bias
¼ Cup Celery, Chopped
½ Cup Mayonnaise
2 TBSP Basil Pesto
To Taste Salt & Pepper

1. Cook potatoes whole until done, chill, then cut in halves or quarters depending on size. (Pieces should be approximately ½" to ¾" in size.
2. Simmer green beans until tender, rinse in cold water, pat dry.
3. Combine all ingredients and season to taste.

Mozzarella Stuffed Pesto Meatballs
Makes approximately 24 meatballs.

1 Lb Ground Chicken
½ Cup Bread Crumbs
1 TBSP Chopped Fresh Garlic
1 Whole Egg
1 tsp Salt
To taste Ground Black Pepper.
1/3 Cup Basil Pesto
24 Cilingine Fresh Mozzarella Balls (1")
To Garnish Grated Parmesan Cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Mix together chicken, breadcrumbs, garlic, egg, salt and pepper.
3. Divide meat mixture into 24 equal portions, flatten each portion out in the palm of your hand, place one cilingine mozzarella ball in the center and gather up the outer meat mixture to surround the cheese making sure the cheese is FULLY covered with meat. Repeat for all portions.
4. Bake approximately 25 minutes and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.

Other "green" decoration ideas:

  • MSU Popcorn Tins
  • School Flannel Blankets
  • School Banner
  • Great Divide Floral Arrangement
  • School Balloons / Latex etc
  • MSU Caramel Apples
  • School Color M&M's
  • Green Jones Soda
  • Green Gatorade


Stuffed Maize n' Bleu Big House Burgers
Serves 4
2 Lbs Ground Sirloin
3 Strips Bacon, Chopped
¼ Cup Sweet Onion, Chopped
1 TBSP Garlic, Chopped
1 Cup Fresh Sweet Corn Kernels
1 Cup Bleu Cheese, Crumbled

1. Saute chopped bacon on medium heat until crisp.
2. Add garlic and onion to the sautéed bacon and continue to cook until softened.
3. Add corn and sauté 1 minute longer then remove from the heat and allow mixture to fully cool, leaving bacon grease in the mixture. (Unless excessive).
4. Divide ground sirloin into 4 equal portions.
5. Pick up one portion of the ground beef in your palm, shape into a tennis ball shape, then press your thumb into the middle and pinch outward towards your index finger to create a large pocket on the middle. When the interior pocket is a little larger than a golf ball size stuff the inside with 2 tbsp of both the sautéed corn mixture and the crumbled bleu cheese.
6. Seal the pocket opening by pressing the exterior beef over the whole then gently flatten the ball into a burger patty approximately 1 inch thick.
7. Repeat for the remaining burger and filling. If you have any remaining filling, you can use it as a topping later.
8. Cook burgers to desired doneness as you would any burger, either by grilling or pan-frying.
9. Serve on a bun of your choice with your favorite condiments.

Go Blue Potato Salad
Makes 1 ½ Lbs or servings for 4 Persons

½  Lb Blue Potatoes
½ Lb Yukon Gold Potatoes
¼ Cup Celery, Chopped
½ Cup Sweet Onion, Chopped
½ Cup Mayonnaise
3 TBSP Prepared Mustard
To Taste, Salt & Pepper

1. Cook potatoes whole until done, chill, then cut in halves or quarters depending on size. (Pieces should be approximately ½" to ¾" in size.
2. Combine all ingredients and season to taste.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
Makes 12 meatballs

1 Lb Ground Chuck
¼ Cup Bread Crumbs
1 Ex. Large Egg
¼ Cup Cheddar Cheese
¼ Cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
¼ Cup Bleu Cheese Dressing (Of Choice)

1. Preheat oven to 450 F
2. Line baking sheet with a non-stick baking matt or parchment paper.
3. Mix all ingredients (including Bleu Cheese dressing) by hand then form into 12 equal sized meatballs.
4. Bake meatballs approximately 20 minutes or until internal temperature of the meat is 165 F.
5. Serve with additional Bleu Cheese Dressing.

Other "blue" decoration ideas:

  • U of M Popcorn Tins
  • School Flannel Blankets
  • School Banner
  • Great Divide Floral Arrangement
  • School Balloons / Latex etc
  • School M&M's
  • U of M Caramel Apples
  • Blue Jones Soda
  • Blue Gatorade
  • Blue Tortilla Chips /Corn Salsa
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