Celebrate with a Don’t Bust your Diet Super Bowl Party

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This year marks the 50th Super Bowl and here in North Carolina we have something to celebrate, our very own Carolina Panthers are in the contest. Seems to me that Super Bowl parties are the “unofficial” diet season breakers. Right when you get into the flow of eating healthy, here comes the Super bowl party and all of those fabulous recipes that come with it!! Traditional game day foods are crowd pleasers, but they can also be some of the worst foods for you health-wise. Here is some good news, with these simple makeovers; you don’t have to find new foods to serve on Super Bowl Sunday!

Steer clear of the mayonnaise and cheese filled dips, it takes only a minute and a few chips to rack up a days worth of calories, fat and sodium! Use fresh veggies or homemade toasted pita chips for dippers to lighten the load even more.


Sun-Dried Tomato and Artichoke Dip

1 box (9 ounces) frozen artichokes, thawed and chopped

1/2 cup feta, crumbled

1 garlic clove

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (oil-packed), chopped, plus more for garnish

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1/2 cup basil leaves, torn

Coarse salt and ground pepper

Whole-wheat baguette slices, for serving

In the bowl of a food processor, combine 1/2 cup artichokes, 1/4 cup feta, garlic, lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons water; puree until smooth.

In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, pine nuts, basil, remaining chopped artichokes, remaining 1/4 cup feta, and reserved artichoke puree; season with salt and pepper. Garnish with sun-dried tomatoes, if desired, and serve on baguette slices. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days. Serves 6.

Veggie Pinwheels

1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese

2 tablespoons Vidalia onion salad dressing

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh broccoli

1/4 cup grated carrot

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1/2 teaspoon dill weed

4 whole-wheat tortillas (8 inches)

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and salad dressing until blended. Stir in the broccoli, carrot, onion and dill weed. Spread over tortillas. Roll up tightly; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Unwrap and cut each into eight slices. Yield: 32 appetizers.

Yields 32 pieces, 1 piece contains: Calories 40, Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 5 mg, Sodium 56 mg, Carbohydrates 4 g, Protein 1 g.

Oven Fried Chicken Fingers with Honey-Mustard Sauce


1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup spicy brown mustard



1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders (about 16 pieces)

1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

1/2 cup coarsely crushed cornflakes

1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon instant minced onion

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

To prepare sauce, combine honey and mustard in a small bowl; cover and chill.

Preheat oven to 400°.

To prepare chicken, combine chicken and buttermilk in a shallow dish; cover and chill 15 minutes. Drain chicken, discarding liquid.

Combine cornflakes and next 5 ingredients (cornflakes through pepper) in a large zip-top plastic bag; add 4 chicken pieces to bag. Seal and shake to coat. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken. Spread oil evenly in a jelly-roll pan, and arrange chicken in a single layer in pan. Bake at 400° for 4 minutes on each side or until done. Serve with sauce.

Serves 8, each 2 tender serving contains; Calories 185, Fat 3.7 g, Cholesterol 49 mg, Sodium 306 mg, Carbohydrates 16 g, Protein 21.6 g.

Chili Cheese Wonton Cups

24 wonton wrappers

Refrigerated butter-flavored spray

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

1/2 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese

1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, well drained

1 tablespoon minced chives

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

3 tablespoons sliced ripe olives or sliced jalapenos

Press the wonton wrappers into miniature muffin cups coated with cooking spray, forming a cup. Spritz with butter-flavored spray. Bake at 350° for 8-9 minutes or until edges are golden.

In a small bowl, combine the cheeses, chilies, chives, salt and cumin. Spoon into cups. Top with olives. Bake for 10 minutes longer or until golden brown and bubbly. Serve warm.

Yields 12, 2 wonton cup servings, each serving contains:  s equals 229 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 14 mg cholesterol, 542 mg sodium, 38 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 10 g protein

Dry Roasted Edamame Sesame

2 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

In a bowl, toss the edamame with the oil and season with salt. Transfer the edamame to a baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Return to the oven and bake an additional five minutes.

Yields 4 servings, each serving contains:  Calories 153, Fat 8.3 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 473 mg, Carbohydrates 10.5 g, Protein 13.4 g.

Light Seven-Layer Dip

2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 avocados, mashed well
1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
2/3 cup black beans
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Sliced black olives and scallions, to garnish

Spread chopped romaine lettuce at the bottom of a large bowl. Add avocado layer on top, and smooth out with a spoon to even height. Spoon Greek yogurt layer, and smooth if necessary.

Layer black beans, then diced tomatoes on top. Sprinkle cheese, and add olives and scallions.

Yields 8 servings, each serving contains:  Calories 209, Fat 12.6 g, Cholesterol 7 mg, Sodium 78 mg, Carbohydrates 16.7 g, Protein 9.3 g.

Cucumber Cups with Spicy Tapenade

2 English cucumbers
1/4 cup capers, rinsed (about one small jar)
1 1/4 cups Kalamata olives, pitted, rinsed
3 tablespoons finely diced red onion
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 small red jalapeño, or red serrano, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon lemon zest (1/2 lemon rind)
1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon
1 tablespoon olive oil

Slice cucumbers into 1/2-inch-thin rounds. To create the cup, scoop out half the seedbed of each round using a small teaspoon. Make sure not to cut all the way through. Set aside. Mince the capers and olives, and mix with onion, garlic, jalapeño, lemon zest, oregano, tarragon, and oil in a small bowl to make the tapenade.

Fill each cup with a heaping tablespoon of tapenade. Garnish each filled cucumber cup with any leftover herbs you may have, and serve.

Each serving contains:  Calories 88, Fat 6.9 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 663 mg, Carbohydrates 8.3 g, Protein 1.6 g.