Sara Pokorny

QUICK APPS & FOOTBALL SNAPS: Week 1 – Mediterranean cucumber cups

QUICK APPS & FOOTBALL SNAPS: Week 1 – Mediterranean cucumber cups
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The season is upon us!

Football, yes, but overall it means gathering with other fans and noshing away as the quarters go by. It’s the time for getting balls deep in chicken wing dip and Tostitos Scoops, pizza by the pound, and food that you aren’t even necessarily hungry for, but, hell, why not? You have nothing else to do as padded men wearing gorgeous color combos make fantasy football owners weep with either joy or actual sadness every Sunday.

It can become very heavy on the stomach. There’s a way, however, to make some apps that aren’t that bad for you without sacrificing taste or imbibing an “Oh my god, this is so healthy!” vibe in a room packed with testosterone. That shit doesn’t go over well when mere decimal points separate the winners from the losers in that week’s fantasy standings.

As someone who cohabitates with a huge football fan, I have a lot of experience with finding this balance. To be completely honest, I’ve come to enjoy NFL Sundays. Cooking for them began as an escape from a day glued to the TV, but then it became a precursor to a day of bonding with the Boy and being able to obtain info that would help me hold my own around the office. Plus, some butts just fit really well in football pants. I’m looking at you, Arian Foster.

No worries – I have you covered. Every Thursday (games for the week run Thursday through Monday), I’ll not only give you a recipe to shoot for for that weekend’s throwdowns, but I’ll also clue you in to what the hell is going on. A lot of games take place at many different times, so consider this your cheat sheet (with info pulled from the official NFL page).

Need a full schedule? Hop to it after the food!

Week 1 (Sept. 4-8): Mediterranean Cucumber Cups

Knowledge while you nosh:

It’s Week 1 – welcome to the show! Apparently the last time the Seattle Seahawks hosted the Green Bay Packers in 2012, the Fail Mary went down, so this game (8:30 p.m. Sept. 4 on NBC) will be fun to see, especially because the Seattle Seahawks are the defending Super Bowl champs. Also happening: Peyton Manning faces the Colts for the second time in his career (Denver Broncos vs. Indianapolis Colts, 8:30 p.m. Sept. 7 on NBC), and the two Monday night games are New York Giants vs. Detroit Lions at 7:10 p.m. on ESPN and San Diego Chargers vs. Arizona Cardinals at 10:20 p.m. on ESPN. Watch that Fail Mary video whilst you cook.

*Note that all times are EST and you may not be able to get certain games, depending on the area in which you live.

Courtesy of The Comfort of Cooking
Yields about 15 cups


  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 vine ripe tomato, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/8 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 cup fresh feta, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon plus 1/2 tablespoon zest
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper


  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together onion, bell pepper, tomato, olives, oregano, feta, parsley, lemon juice and zest, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. (Truth be told, I did this the long way and assembled each cup as I went, sprinkling a mix of lemon juice, zest, olive oil, parsley, salt, and pepper over each at the end. Whatever floats your boat.)
  • Peel the cucumbers partially, leaving thin strips of skin going down the entire length of the cucumber to make it look super fancy. Cut each cucumber into 1-inch thick slices, enough so that scooping out the center won’t make a hole in the bottom. Proceed to scoop out the center of each slice with a melon baller (or teaspoon if you don’t have one of those), leaving a shell of flesh.
  • Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the mix you previously made into the cucumber cups. Garnish with additional parsley and feta, if desired.

It’s delicious. It isn’t fried. It’s a vegetable food vehicle. You can’t go wrong.

Full schedule for the week:

Quick Apps & Football Snaps showcases healthier snacking alternatives for the pigskin season. It runs every Thursday through the NFL season to help you get a jump-start on your snacks for a weekend of sports.