Pop it at home, take it to the ballpark; spend your $$ on better seats. (Deb Lindsey/For The Washington Post)

Faster than Trea Turner can round second base on a groundball with eyes, a couple of hungry fans at Nationals Park can spend $40 on food and drinks. There are times when only a ballpark frank will suffice, it’s true. But with a full season ahead, some strategic cost savings are in order.

We’re thinking Recipe Finder snacks and hot dog alternatives, wrapped or contained per Washington Nationals official policies, are one way to go. Vendor popcorn averages a 90 percent markup; this Herbed Popcorn (pictured above) is not as loaded with salt and is a lot tastier. The recipe makes enough for eight servings, so it can last several innings, or you can share it with your seatmates and make new friends.


Spiced Roasted Chickpeas. (Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post)

Spiced Green Pea and Potato Pasties. (Deb Lindsey/For The Washington Post)

Spiced Roasted Chickpeas can replace those roasted peanuts, with no shells to gather underfoot. Or make your own peanuts — peppery ones — and you’ll most likely consume fewer of them.


(Goran Kosanovic/For The Washington Post)

Wraps make for easier eating in the stands than a sandwich, especially if one hand’s holding a pencil to keep score. These Barbecue Chicken Wraps With Celery and Sprouts, pictured above, can be made in advance of game day and are filling yet not heavy. Vegetarian offerings are always limited at the stadium, so Spiced Green Pea and Potato Pasties would be welcome.


(Deb Lindsey /For The Washington Post)

(Deb Lindsey/For The Washington Post)

And to keep you from reaching for the sweets, pack these Pear Crisps or Fruit and Nut Truffles. You’ll be the envy of your section, and you won’t need a napkin or spoon.

Any or all these are also suitable for watching from the comfort of your own couch, of course.

Top 5 WaPo Food recipes of the week

As viewed by readers online:


(Deb Lindsey /For The Washington Post)

(Goran Kosanovic/For The Washington Post)

1. Megadarra, above, left. A hearty and savory combination of rice, lentils and fried onions, from “Unforgettable,” the new collection of Paula Wolfert recipes by Emily Thelin.

2. Turkish Yogurt Sauce, above, right. The simple accompaniment to Wolfert’s lentil dish.

3. Aunt Phil’s Blue Crab Sauce. The season’s just underway to make this sauce for a crowd.

4. Slow-Cooked Brisket With Red Wine, Vinegar and Mustard. This preparation, from Joan Nathan’s new cookbook, skews away from sweet.

5. Dorie Greenspan’s Herbed Mushroom Quiche. Looks like her vow to bring back this eggy tart is well on its way.