We Americans don’t need many excuses to put out a spread of food. It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without pounds of chocolate. The Fourth of July inspires red, white and blue fruit pizza. Thanksgiving is almost all about the food (and Black Friday). The December holidays are loaded with celebratory eating, drinking, candy canes, cookies, eggnog, rum balls (my weakness) and the mandatory roast beast.
I think I’m feeling a bit nauseated.
To the rescue for our next eating “holiday,” the Feb. 3 Super Bowl XLVII, comes DMU’s new wellness intern, Kristal Mordhorst. The Iowa State University senior is completing her degree in kinesiology: health and fitness management with a minor in psychology. A high school basketball, softball and volleyball athlete with a passion for running, she completed her first half-marathon in Frederick, Maryland, last May and hopes to run another this summer.
Kristal’s Super Bowl suggestions include the standard game-day fare with a slimmed-down, yet still delicious, twist. Below are three to get you started on your shopping list; I’ll feature additional recipes on the Fridays prior to the big game.
Regardless of whether you’re rah-rah-ing for the Ravens, pushing for the Patriots or favoring the 49ers or Falcons (the four teams seeking AFC/NFC conference championships and the chance to play in New Orleans), Kristal’s finger foods and dips will make you a fan.
- 6 medium Idaho or russet potatoes
- Cooking spray (Kristal uses her Misto)
For the chicken:
- 12-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast or tenderloins
- 1 celery stalk
- Half an onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 16 ounces fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/3 cup hot cayenne pepper sauce (like Frank’s)
For the topping:
- 12 tablespoons reduced-fat shredded cheese
- 1/2 cup carrots, cut into 2-inch matchsticks
- 1 large celery stalk, cut into 2-inch matchsticks
- 1/4 cup low-fat blue cheese dressing (find a great homemade version here)
In a crock pot, combine chicken, onions, celery stalk, garlic and broth (enough to cover your chicken; use water if the can of broth isn’t enough). Cover and cook on HIGH 4 hours or LOW 6 hours.
Remove the chicken from pot, reserve 1/2 cup broth and discard the rest (or save for other recipes). Shred the chicken with two forks, return to the slow cooker with the 1/2 cup of the broth and the hot sauce; cook on HIGH for an additional 30 minutes. Makes 1 1/2 cups chicken.
Meanwhile, pierce potatoes with a fork a few times all around. Place in microwave and cook on high about 5 minutes per potato; set aside to cool. Cut potatoes in half horizontally. Scoop out potatoes (Kristal saves the extra potato to make skinny garlic mashed potatoes the next day), leaving about a quarter-inch thick wall. Skins will weigh about 1 ounce each.
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly spray potato skins on both sides with oil and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and bake 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, add 2 tablespoons of chicken meat filling into each potato skin, top with 1 tablespoon shredded cheese and bake 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Top each with 1 teaspoon blue cheese dressing, shredded carrots and celery and start eating!
Servings: 12 • Serving size: 1 potato skin, loaded • Old Weight Watchers points: 2 pts • Points+: 2 pts Calories: 82 • Fat: 2 g • Carbs: 7 g • Fiber: 1 g • Protein: 8 g • Sugar: 0.5 g Sodium: 110 mg
Hot spinach dip
- 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess liquid squeezed out
- 1/2 cup light sour cream
- 5 tablespoon light mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1/4 cup scallion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Place in an oven-proof dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, until hot and cheese is melted. Serve right away.
The dip can be made one day in advance and stored in the refrigerator before baking. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
Servings: 10 • Serving size: 1/4 cup • Old Weight Watchers points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts?Calories: 92.2 • Fat: 6.8 g • Carbs: 3.0 g • Fiber: 0.7 g • Protein: 5.3 g
- 14-ounce package) fresh mushrooms, stems separated
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach
- 4 slices center cut bacon
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese
- Smart Balance cooking spray
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a foil-lined baking pan or baking dish with cooking spray.
Remove stems from mushrooms and mince fine. Heat a medium-sized skillet.
Rinse spinach and add to the skillet; cook until it wilts, about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan, squeeze excess liquid and chop fine. Set aside.
Dry the skillet, add bacon and cook on low heat until bacon is cooked through. Set aside on a paper towel. Coarsely chop.
Clean the skillet and add olive oil. Add garlic and saute until golden, about 2 minutes. Add minced mushroom stems and saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and combine mushroom stems with sauteed spinach, bacon, bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese.
Season mushroom caps with salt if desired. Fill mushrooms with spinach mixture, rounding tops off. Place on an oven-safe dish and lightly spray the tops with oil. Bake 20 minutes or until golden. Eat warm.
Servings: 11 • Serving size: 1 mushroom • Old Weight Watchers Points: 1 pt • Points+: 1 pts Calories: 34.7 • Fat: 1.5 g • Protein: 2.9 g • Carb: 3.2 g • Fiber: 0.9 g • Sugar: 0.7?Sodium: 58.3 (without salt)