By Susan Burke March
Are you an armchair quarterback? Does your Super Bowl Sunday scenario find you sitting, drinking brews and chowing down on fatty wings, chips and dips? Well, the coach says this kind of fare won’t help you make the cut.
For some healthy football-friendly viewing fare and a chili recipe that’s a sure winner, read on! And if you’re hosting, you’ll score big points with your health-conscious guests.
Bring it on! Crunch time! Choose baked chips instead of fried. Store-bought, baked chips have 30 percent fewer calories compared to fried chips. Buy pita bread, slice into wedges, lightly toast and cool. Reduced fat doesn’t mean calorie-free, so instead of positioning yourself next to the chips and dips, serve yourself a portion and move away from the chips! Be sure to have other crunchy snacks available — besides the typical carrot and celery sticks, serve edamame, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, and cucumbers.
Bean dip is a great alternative to mayonnaise or sour cream dip. There are less than 50 calories in a 3-tablespoon serving of bean dip, compared to 150 in full-fat sour cream. Click here for some awesomely delicious dips from The Greatist, such as mango avocado and white bean with garlic.
Nuts are nutritious, but not when they’re covered with oil and salt. It’s really hard to eat one ounce, so instead snack on fresh-made popcorn. Forget about that microwave junk, and pop your own. This Popular Science column will tell you all you need to know about never burning a kernel!
Chicken Skewers. These easy-to-make and inexpensive snacks are very popular. Try this Yummy Honey Chicken Kabob recipe from Allrecipes.com.
Make it a sub! If you’re hosting the party, why not serve a healthy sub sandwich? Whole-wheat hero rolls give you that extra added fiber and nutrition (not to mention taste!) compared to white bread. Layer turkey breast, lean roast beef or lean ham, shredded lettuce and tomato slices and slice into two-inch portions — slather with a yogurt-mustard dressing (see below) and don’t forget the sliced onions and pickles. Vegan options include hummus with grilled eggplant and sliced cucumber or avocado with sliced tomato. Try these spicy chickpea sandwiches from MyRecipes.com.
Go low — use low-fat mayonnaise, and naturally low-calorie ketchup and mustard. Thick Greek yogurt makes a great mayo substitute, and make your own dressings with yogurt, Dijon mustard, and a few drops of hot sauce. You won’t incur a penalty by eliminating fat.
Timeout on brewskis — they add up really fast. One regular beer has 150-200 calories and the “light” beers only about 90 per bottle. A 5-ounce glass of wine has about 100 calories, as does one ounce of alcoholic spirits such as vodka, gin or scotch. Alternate alcohol with no-cal — make sure your guests have sparkling water — agua con gas, and plenty of lime and orange wedges.
At halftime, get up and do 100 jumping jacks! Then dance to the music!
A Winning Chili Recipe — with meat, or without
1 lb of lean ground beef or skinless turkey or firm tofu, drained
1 onion diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
1 tsp olive oil
1 ~28 ounce can tomato puree (no salt added)
1 ~15 ounce can each kidney beans, white beans, and pinto beans, rinsed and drained
3 small-medium potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
2 Tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
2 cups water
In a large, nonstick saucepan over low-medium high heat, heat olive oil. Add garlic and cook until just softened.
Add the onion and pepper and cook 2 more minutes; then add the ground meat or crumble in the tofu: cook about 5 minutes.
Drain off fat if using meat; add pureed tomatoes, canned beans, potatoes, seasonings, and water.
Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for approximately 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
For thinner chili, add a cup of broth, wine or water.
Serve with a tossed salad.
Susan Burke March, a Cuenca expat, is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a Certified Diabetes Educator who specializes in smart solutions for weight loss and diabetes-related weight management. She is the author of Making Weight Control Second Nature: Living Thin Naturally — a fun and informative book intended to liberate serial dieters and make healthy living and weight control both possible and instinctual over the long term. Do you have a food, nutrition or health question? Write to her at SusanTheDietitian@gmail.com