Published on August 06, 2018

Fair Food Frenzy 2018

Teresa Farrell, RD, LD Essentia Health St. Joseph’s-Brainerd Clinic

With the Minnesota State Fair just around the corner, the question is what is a foodie to look forward to?

Some people go to the fair for the exhibits, competitions, demonstrations, entertainment or other reasons, and some go mainly for the food!

This year the Minnesota State Fair website states that there are officially 27 new foods being introduced. I will highlight a few of them, but for a complete list go to the mnstatefair.org website.

Five of the most outrageous new foods:

  1. Pepperoni Chips with Roasted Red Pepper Queso: Thinly sliced fried pepperoni chips served with a warm roasted red pepper cheese sauce.
  2. Zesty PB&J Sausage: Peanut butter, cherry jelly and a hint of cayenne pepper and cilantro blended into a quarter-pound sausage.
  3. Irish Tater Kegs: Jumbo deep-fried tater tots made with a blend of corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, sour cream and potatoes drizzled with house-made Thousand Island dressing and nestled on a bed of sauerkraut.
  4. Za-Waffle Sticks: Waffles blended with pepperoni and mozzarella, topped with a parmesan herb blend and served with pepperoni-infused maple syrup or marinara sauce.
  5. Rainbow Cloud Roll: Three scoops of ice cream sprinkled with fruity cereal and wrapped in a pillow of cotton candy. Hand-rolled on-site.

I’ll admit they are creative! But fried pepperoni with cheese, PB&J sausage, corned beef-sauerkraut-cheese-sour cream-with Thousand Island dressing and more sauerkraut, waffles made with pepperoni and cheese and served with pepperoni infused maple syrup or ice cream and sugary cereal wrapped in cotton candy?! Really?! If these don’t make your arteries clog, blood pressure and in some cases blood sugar go up, I don’t know what will.

Thankfully there are other, dare I say better, food choices in the 2018 new foods category!

Three of these choices are:

  1. Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl: Ahi tuna, avocado, mango and pico de gallo tossed in a Hawaiian ginger-soy sauce served cold over rice with a fried wonton.
  2. Firecracker Shrimp Stuffed Avocado: Gulf white shrimp tossed with lime, onion, black beans, tomato and fire-roasted corn in a garlic aioli, drizzled with cilantro-infused olive oil, stuffed in avocado halves and served open-face with flatbread.
  3. Shrimp Ceviche: fresh shrimp, cucumbers, jalapenos, onions, tomatoes and cilantro tossed with a citrus lime juice and served cold with tortilla chips.

I like that these choices include seafood, avocado, mango, black beans, tomato, olive oil and cucumbers.

There are many, many food options at the State Fair, it’s all about choices. The food choices you make and the quantity you eat of it, consider sharing.

Thankfully there are many miles of walking to be done, to help balance those Calories out! It should be easy to meet your 10,000-step goal on fair days. Also remember to hydrate with Calorie free beverages or milk.

Enjoy the many sights, sounds and flavors of the State Fair!

Cucumber and Tomato Salad
This is a light refreshing summer salad. The tofu and kidney beans make it a great main dish. May be served over a bed of leafy greens. The nutrition facts are based on a side dish portion.

Ingredients:
1 tomato, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
¼ cup kidney beans, canned, drained
¼ cup firm tofu
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or parsley
¼ cup Lite balsamic vinaigrette dressing*
*other vinaigrette dressing, Zesty Italian or Greek salad dressing may be substituted

Directions:
In a large bowl combine all the ingredients. Serve immediately or let marinate overnight.
Nutrition facts for ¼ of the recipe:
50 Calories
2 grams of fat
7 grams of carbohydrate
2 grams of protein
150 mg sodium