By Holly R. Layer – Contributing Writer
You can have your nutritional fun on Super Bowl Sunday without giving up on healthy food choices that will have you reaching for the Rolaids on Monday.
Here are some recipies that can help.
Dips seem to be the star player of any good football game day spread. Unfortunately, high-calorie dips, coupled with pita chips are just the item to get you and your waistline in trouble standing by the buffet. Instead, spoon a small amount of dip onto a plate and use veggies instead of chips. When preparing the dip, substitute plain Greek yogurt for sour cream in Ranch or French Onion recipes, or create a healthier layered dip with smashed black or pinto beans (instead of refried beans), plain Greek yogurt mixed with taco seasoning, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, black olives and a sprinkle of grated cheddar cheese.
Try these recipes:
2 C cashews, soaked in water for 2 hours and drained
¾ C salsa
½ C lemon juice
¼ C water
1½ tsp sea salt
¼ C nutritional yeast
Add all ingredients to blender or small food processor and mix until smooth.
Florets from a half head cauliflower (about 2½ cups), steamed until very soft and cooled
4 ounces Neufchâtel cheese
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
12 ounces (about 3½ cups) shredded cheddar and jack cheeses
3 lightly packed cups (about 5 ounces) baby spinach leaves
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until very smooth. Add Neufchâtel, mayonnaise, jalapeño, garlic, salt and all but ½ cup of the cheese shreds and pulse until very smooth. Add spinach and pulse until chopped. Scrape into a 1-quart ovenproof baking dish or casserole, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake until hot and bubbling, about 35 minutes.
PB & J Hummus from Cooking Up Fun for Kids with Diabetes
¾ C chickpeas, rinsed and drained
¼ C peanut butter
¼ C apple juice
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ C fruit jam of choice
Place all ingredients except jam in a blender, process until smooth. Top hummus with jam and serve with sliced cucumbers or wheat crackers.
1 tablespoon finely diced sweet onion, like Vidalia
1 teaspoon finely diced seeded jalapeño pepper
1 teaspoon lime juice
2 tablespoons finely diced peeled Granny Smith apple
2 tablespoons finely diced peeled Asian pear
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1 teaspoon thinly sliced basil, preferably Thai
2 ripe Haas avocados
1 tablespoon fresh pomegranate seeds
In a nonreactive mixing bowl, combine onion, jalapeño, lime juice and a pinch salt. Mix well, and add the apple, pear, cranberries and basil. Mix again.
Cut the avocados in half, scoop out the pulp and mash it with the ingredients in the bowl. Adjust salt to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with pomegranate seeds.
Serve this dip with homemade cinnamon chips by spraying store-bought tortillas with cooking spray, sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar and toasting in the oven until crisp.
MAKE YOUR OWN PIZZA
If pizza is another must-have on your party table, consider making your own. All you need is some store-bought pizza dough (whole wheat, regular or gluten-free) and a variety of toppings, such as sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, pepperoni or sausage and lots of veggies. Allowing your guests to make their own individual pizzas is a nice way to have fun, cut down on calories and fat, and be creative. Follow your pizza dough instructions for rising and baking times and temperatures.
First, make sure your buffet table has a fruit tray with a yogurt-based dip. Chocolate-covered strawberries and pretzels are other creative and easy-to-make crowd pleasers. Drizzle air-popped popcorn with a little caramel and stir in peanuts for a sweet and salty treat.
One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons of applesauce (or canola oil)
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon peppermint extract, optional
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil or coat an 8-by-8-inch baking pan or dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Place the black beans in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, applesauce, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and peppermint extract as desired, baking powder, and salt and process until smooth. Add ¼ cup of the chips and pulse a few times until the chips are incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top with a rubber spatula, and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before slicing into 2-inch squares.
2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
2 cups plain nonfat or reduced-fat Greek yogurt
½ cup superfine sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
Fresh fruit or other toppings, for garnish
Whisk both yogurts, the sugar and corn syrup in a bowl until combined. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. For a soft consistency, serve right out of the ice cream maker. For a firmer texture, transfer the frozen yogurt to a covered container and freeze for up to 2 hours. Serve with cut-up fruit.
Holly R. Layer is a registered dietitian and a freelance writer. She works as a clinical dietitian at DeGraff Memorial Hospital in North Tonawanda and teaches fitness classes at the Southtowns Family Branch YMCA. She lives in East Aurora with her husband, Andrew, a village native. She blogs at thehealthypineapple.com and her work appears monthly in the online version of Refresh. Send her nutrition-related questions at email@example.com.