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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

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

Super Bowl Control

Posted by Jenna Smith - Holidays

I'm pleased to introduce a guest blogger today! Laura Monson is a student intern at Illinois State University in Normal.

When I think about the Super Bowl, the first things that come to mind are the commercials and the food. With many people's New Year's resolutions focused on losing weight, eating healthy can be hard at Super Bowl parties. Many delicious, fattening foods do have healthy alternatives that will taste just as great.

One of the most popular foods to have while watching the biggest football game of the year is chicken wings. Although wings are usually fried, grilling them is a great alternative. Marinating your wings in your favorite sauce before throwing them on the grill can be just as tasty with a third of the calories. Super Bowl food also means many different things wrapped in bacon. While everything does always taste better with bacon, it's a good idea to use half the amount of bacon as normal. When wrapping the bacon, cut the bacon in half long ways. You will have half the bacon as normal, but still the same great taste. When using chopped bacon, just use half of the bacon that the recipe calls for.

Many people also love to eat chili during the Super Bowl. While everyone has their own special recipe, try substituting ground turkey for beef which is a much leaner meat. It's also great to bulk up the chili with many different veggies like zucchini, carrots, or celery. Also, if you have little picky eaters at your party, making homemade pizzas are always a safe choice. Have the pizzas partially prepared before the guests arrive, but allow them to add their own fresh toppings.

Now on to the drinks. While many party goers think that drinking light beer is best, this is not always the case. If you choose to drink, make sure to do it responsibly and sensibly. Light beer still has calories and they can easily add up after just a few drinks. While dark beer has more calories per ounce than light beer, they tend to be more filling so you can slowly drink them and appreciate their taste. There are also many low-calorie, non-alcoholic drinks that you can make, like a virgin sangria. Just mix one 12 ounce can of diet lemon lime soda with 2 packets of sugar-free raspberry powdered drink mix, such as Crystal Light®, and stir in any fruit (strawberries, mandarin oranges, peaches, etc.) that you like!

The last iconic food for the Super Bowl is the potato skins. These are best loaded up with bacon, sour cream and cheese, but why not try this healthier alternative using sweet potatoes, which are loaded with vitamin A.

Sweet Potato Boats

2 medium sweet potatoes
3 ounces Canadian bacon, diced
2 tablespoons reduced fat sour cream
3 teaspoons fresh chives, chopped
2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese

Pierce potatoes with a fork.  Place on paper towels. Microwave on high for 4 minutes; turn potatoes over and continue microwaving for another 4 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Cut each potato in half lengthwise, and scoop out the pulp. Mash pulp with Canadian bacon, sour cream, and 2 teaspoons chives in a bowl. Spoon mixture into shells. Sprinkle cheese over tops of potatoes. Microwave on high 2 minutes, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon chives.

Nutritional analysis per serving:  200 Calories, 3.5 grams fat, 35 milligrams cholesterol, 560 milligrams sodium, 28 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams dietary fiber, 14 grams protein

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