Superbowl Sized Snacking (and Fox Segment)

Super Bowl is just two days away and whether cheering on their team or hanging with friends, most people watch the game.  Super Bowl Sunday is the second highest food day consumption behind Thanksgiving and more parties are held on this day than New Years Eve.  People will spend approximately $55 million dollars on snacks for the big game and each person will consume roughly 1200 calories and 50 grams of fat in party snacks.

To avoid being one of the 6% of working Americans who call in sick to work on Monday morning and participating in the 20% rise in antacid sales the day after the game, why not try one or two of these simple tricks to "healthify" your traditional Super Bowl snacks.  Remember, small changes, over time, add up to big results.

Today, I was on Fox45 sharing three traditional Super Bowl recipes that are sure to please any crowd, such as guacamole (with a secret ingredient), chili and chocolate chip cookies.  Each one of these dishes has a small tweak that gives it a nutritional boost or cuts out some of the unwanted fat and calories. (You can watch the segment here)

Guacamole.  The secret ingredient is... peas! Trust me, you can't taste them and being that peas and avocado are the same color, they blend right in.  By swapping out one avocado for 2 cups (or a 10 ounce bag) of peas will cut the fat by 1/3 but still allow you to enjoy Super Bowl's favorite dip.  If you're making nachos, you can use this in place of full avocado guac.

Ingredients:

  • 2 avocados
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1/4 diced red onion
  • 1/4 diced jalapeno (optional)
  • juice from 1/2 fresh lime
  • salt, garlic salt, paprika as needed/wanted
  • parsley or cilantro (optional)

Directions:

  1. Steam the peas or run them under hot water until they are soft
  2. Scoop out the avocado flesh and add to a bowl with the cooked peas.
  3. Squeeze the lime juice over the bowl.
  4. Mash the greens together with a potato masher (here // here) or fork.  If you're determined to hide the peas from guests, you can use a blender for this step.
  5. Add the onions and jalapeno (if using) and stir together.  If you like tomato in your guacamole, you can add it here as well.
  6. Season with salt, garlic salt and/or paprika to your liking.
  7. Serve with chips (This recipe can easily be doubled for a crowd.)

Chili is a hearty, warming and filling, but it can hide a lot of oil and fat.  By making this "skinny" veggie chili, you can keep the soup low-fat and allow your guests to create their own meal by providing add-in options.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes (if you prefer it less chunky, you can use crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 10 ounce bag of frozen corn
  • 1 chopped green, red or yellow pepper
  • 1/2 diced red onion
  • 3-4 stalks of celery
  • Salt, Cinnamon, Cumin, chili powder and cayenne pepper as needed. 
  • Any add-ins such as: light sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips, chives, parsley, cilantro, cooked ground turkey, hot sauce

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the beans and tomatoes in a soup pot.  You can use either 15oz cans (for a smaller group) or the larger 28oz cans, but keep it consistent for this recipe.  If you use a 15oz can of black beans, use 15oz cans for the remaining ingredients.
  2. In a pan, add 1 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil and saute the onions, peppers and celery.  If you like it spicy, you can use some of the left over jalapenos from the guacamole.
  3. Add the spices and flavor it to your liking.  It's always better to go light on spices in the beginning stages and add more at the end as needed.  It's impossible to remove flavor from the soup at the end of the hour.
  4. Add the sauteed ingredients to the soup pot and continue to simmer for about an hour. 
  5. 5 minutes before removing from the heat, add one bag of frozen corn to the pot.
  6. Serve in bowls with different add-ins and toppings so that guests can create their own, personalized bowl

This chili recipe is great because it feeds everyone: meat eaters, vegetarians and kids alike.   it's packed full of fiber (in the beans) and has an abundance of veggies, in every color, creating a healthy and tasty meal.  Mostly hands-off, this recipe allows you to mingle with your guests or relax with your family instead of being in the kitchen.

Chocolate Chip Cookies: Why these cookies? Because if I want dessert, "I want dessert."  These aren't healthy cookies, but they are cookies made healthier

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites 
  • 1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips (see note below)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Measure flours and level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
  3. Combine sugars and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add vanilla and egg whites; beat 1 minute. Add flour mixture and chips; beat until blended.
  4. The dough may look crumbly, which is okay.  Pack it together and roll it into a ball
  5. Drop dough by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with Parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on pans for 2 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

By swapping out some of the white flour with whole wheat flour, you add a bit of fiber; Egg whites instead of whole eggs takes out some of the fat and the recipe still has butter, but is half of that found in traditional chocolate chip cookie recipes.  The fun trick is substituting mini chips for the larger chips traditionally found in chocolate chip cookies.  Why? Because you can cut the amount of chocolate in half, which means less fat/calories, but the chips are smaller and you get more chips per bite, still feeling as though you're getting enough chocolate. 

Whether you're cheering on the Bronchos or pulling for the Seahawks, stick with these recipes and you won't feel let down come Monday.  Let me know which ones you make and have a great weekend!