Get Your Menu Ready for the Super Bowl

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The Super Bowl is all about football and commercials, but if your team isn’t in play, it’s really all about the food!! Funny thing is that the game happens just as you get into your diet and exercise groove! Here are a few ideas, that are a little more “guilt-free,” but I surely do not mean tasteless! From hot to savory and sweet, add these to your list!!

 Sweet Pepper Horseradish Dip

Ingredients

  • 4 large red, green, yellow, or orange sweet peppers, seeded and cut up
  • 1 small onion, cut up
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 (8 ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup low-fat mayonnaise dressing or light salad dressing
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Few dashes bottled hot pepper sauce
  • For serving, 3 small red, yellow, orange, and/or green sweet peppers, tops and seeds removed
  • ¼ cup assorted vegetable dippers, such as baby carrots, sliced zucchini, and/or celery sticks, and/or breadsticks

Directions

  1. In a blender or large food processor, combine about one-third of the cut-up sweet peppers, the onion, and the water. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Add the remaining cut up peppers; cover and blend until smooth.
  2. Place pureed vegetable mixture in a fine sieve; press mixture gently to drain off excess liquid. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise dressing, lemon juice, oil, horseradish, salt, and hot pepper sauce. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed. Beat in pureed vegetable mixture. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours.
  4. To serve dip, spoon into the sweet pepper shells. Serve with vegetable dippers and/or breadsticks.

 Serves 20, each serving contains; Calories 46, Fat 3g., Cholesterol 9 mg., Sodium 104 mg., Carbohydrates 3 g., Fiber 1 g., Protein 1 g.

Extra Crispy Baked Chickpeas

Ingredients

  • 15.5 oz. can of chickpeas
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F and place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven while it preheats. Pre-heating the baking sheet ensures the chickpeas crisp as soon as they hit the hot pan, you will hear the sizzle!
  2. Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas, then pat very dry with paper towels. Any residual moisture will cause the chickpeas to steam instead of crisp.
  3. When they’re dry, toss the chickpeas with olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven, place the chickpeas on in an even layer, and return to the oven. Roast, shaking the pan halfway through, until crispy, 20 to 25 minutes. If you want, try switching up the seasonings— I like a little powdered ranch and some Parmesan cheese.

Ginger Garlic Chicken with Tomato Sauce

(Adapted from Food & Wine)

Ingredients

Chicken

  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 ½ pounds chicken nuggets (chop tenders to make these)

Dipping Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 large clove, minced
  • 3 stalks of fresh lemongrass, tender inner bulb, minced
  • 2 cans whole tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the vegetable oil with the parsley, garlic, basil, ginger, lemon juice, salt, and crushed red pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. Stir in the ginger, garlic, and lemongrass and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Blend using the immersion blender. Let cool to room temperature, then stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Season with salt. Transfer the sauce to ramekins.
  3. Light a grill. Loosely thread the chicken onto 10 skewers. Grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly charred and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to plates and serve with the tomato sauce.

Sliced Pizza Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 18- to 20-inch whole-grain baguette
  • ⅓ cup pizza sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 22 to 25 pepperoni slices
  • 22 to 25 fresh basil leaves

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil.
  2. Cut vertical slits in baguette, stopping just before you cut through so that the slices stay connected at the bottom. Space the slits about 1/2 inch apart. Place the baguette on the prepared baking sheet. Using a small spoon, dollop a scant teaspoon pizza sauce into each slit. Divide cheese among the slits and add 1 slice pepperoni and 1 basil leaf to each. Bake until the cheese melts and the bread is toasted, 10 to 15 minutes.

Serves 22, each serving contains:  83 Calories, Fat 2.4 g., Cholesterol 6 mg., Sodium 202 mg., Carbohydrates 12.5 g., Fiber 0.6 g., Sugar 1 g., Protein 3.5 g.

Mini Mac and Cheese Bites

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus melted butter for greasing the tins
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 packed cup)
  • 4 ounces deli-sliced American cheese, chopped
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon (about 3 ounces), cooked and chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Brush the wells of four 12-cup, nonstick mini muffin tins with melted butter. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese, pressing it up the sides of the wells.
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, shaking off the excess water.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt the 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook, whisking constantly, until boiling and thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the cheddar and American cheeses and whisk until melted. Remove from heat, whisk in the egg yolk and pepper. Fold in the bacon and macaroni.
  4. Fill the wells of the muffin tins to the top with macaroni, using damp fingertips to pack the macaroni into the tins. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top.
  5. Bake the mini macs in the upper and middle thirds of the oven for about 10 minutes, until golden and sizzling, rotating the pans halfway through cooking. Let cool for 5 min­utes. Using a spoon, carefully loosen the mini macs, transfer to a platter and serve.