Spatula Diaries: Three easy game day snacks to celebrate fall football season

This weekend’s historic “Capital City Catfight” between LSU and Southern University at Tiger Stadium—a face-off between two beloved hometown teams—is a great excuse to break out a few homemade eats to share with friends. Easy is the watchword with these three recipes, which you can pull together with minimal effort. But easy doesn’t mean boring. We’ve chosen flavors that provide a nice compliment to heavier eats, like chicken wings and boudin. When the game’s over, these tasty snacks are great for incorporating into your weeknight menu.

Use sliced fresh figs in this easy bruschetta.

Fig and bleu cheese bruschetta with honey and fresh mint

This is so easy it doesn’t require an actual recipe, just a set of instructions you can modify with different combinations of ingredients: Heat oven to 350. Cut a fresh baguette or loaf of ciabatta into thin slices and brush each slice with olive oil. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until just crisp. Slather each slice with a little cream cheese and top with slices of fresh figs. (Substitute ripe pear if you can’t find figs.) Top with bleu cheese crumbles and broil until cheese melts and bread is golden, about 1-2 minutes. Drizzle slices with a little honey and fresh mint.

Lettuce wraps are a fresh, light alternative to heavier game day eats.

Chicken lettuce wraps

Makes 8-10 wraps

These easy lettuce wraps can be assembled in minutes. While lighter than most game day eats, they’re bold enough to satisfy big eaters.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground chicken

1/3 cup shredded carrots

2 cloves garlic, minced

4-6 scallions, white and green parts separated and chopped

1 tablespoons fresh grated ginger

Hoisin or stir fry sauce

Two heads butter lettuce, leaves washed, dried and separated

Fresh lime

Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy skillet or Dutch oven. Add chicken, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Add carrots, garlic, chopped white parts of scallions and ginger. Stir until chicken and aromatics are cooked through. Add 1/4-1/3 cup sauce, depending on preference, and combine thoroughly. Take each lettuce leave and fill with about 2 tablespoons of chicken filling, being careful not to overfill. Top with chopped green parts of scallions and a squirt of fresh lime juice.

Corn and black bean salsa with chips. 

Corn and black bean salsa

You can’t go wrong with salsa on game day, and this one is fresh, easy and a great compliment to traditional tomato salsa, guacamole, queso and bean dip. It also travels well and can be served at room temperature.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

1 cup canned black beans, rinsed

1 cup cooked corn, drained if using canned

1/4 cup chopped scallions

1/4 cup chopped fresh tomato

1 teaspoon chopped jalapeño, optional

Chopped, fresh cilantro

Juice of one lime

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Taste, and correct seasonings. Make at least 30 minute ahead to allow flavors to blend. Serve with chips.