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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
Buffalo Chicken Dip

Super Bowl Snacks

It's hard to believe that it's already February. And even harder to believe that the weather has been in the 50 and 60 degree mark this week! Even with the unseasonably warm weather we've been having, there's one more football game to be played. Super Bowl Sunday is this Sunday, and if you're like me, the game isn't as important as the commercials and the food! But most of the traditional Super Bowl fare is tasty but not exactly healthy.

Whether your family is hosting a Super Bowl gathering or just watching the game as a family, consider having some healthy treats available. This doesn't mean you have to spend the whole day in the kitchen. Buy a variety of pre-cut veggies and a tub of low-fat dip. Be careful if buying the pre-made veggie tray; they usually come with regular high-fat dip. Or you can easily make your own dips, using a combination of fat-free or low-fat sour cream, mayonnaise or plain yogurt mixed with a seasoning packet of choice. Besides veggies, pita chips, pretzels or whole grain crackers can make healthy dipping companions. Of course, pre-cut fruit is another addition to help people get in those fruits and veggies. Try arranging them on a skewer for a colorful and easy to grab fruit kabob.

Instead of nachos, baked chips with salsa are a great low calorie option. Or try low-fat bean dip or hummus for a protein packed option. If you're looking for something heartier, a warm bowl of chili made with lean ground turkey and various types of beans will surely do the trick. Instead of ordering a bucket of hot wings, make your own boneless wings by using boneless chicken strips and dredging them in low-fat buttermilk and hot sauce and them coating them in whole wheat flour and a little cornmeal. Then, bake them in the oven instead of frying them.

If it's as nice out as today, you have to get outside and enjoy it! Organize an outdoor football game or throwing contest before the game. Or if the weather turns yucky, get out the Nintendo Wii or Xbox Kinect and get the party goers moving!

Buffalo chicken dip has always been a party favorite in my household, but it can be full of calories and fat. I use the recipe below to offer a healthier version of a fan-favorite.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 (8 oz) package fat free cream cheese, softened

½ cup fat free blue cheese or ranch salad dressing

½ cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup hot sauce

2 (9.75 oz) cans chicken breast in water, drained

Green onions, diced as garnish (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir the cream cheese with a fork or whisk until it's smooth. Stir in the dressing, hot sauce and mozzarella cheese. Stir in the chicken and transfer mixture to a 9 inch deep dish pie plate or baking pan.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until chicken mixture is hot and bubbly.
  4. Stir before serving. Garnish with green onions and serve with assorted vegetables, baked chips, and/or crackers.

Nutrient analysis: 80 Calories, 10 g protein, 2 g fat, 4 g carbohydrate

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