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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

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

Kicking Off a Healthy Super Bowl

This week's blog post is written by ISU student, Jade Umberger.

Whether you're going to be wearing blue and red or blue and green for the Super Bowl, we all know that food is the real MVP of the game. According to Huffington Post, more than 1 billion chicken wings, 11 million pounds of chips, 80 million avocadoes, and 50 million cases of beer will be consumed this Sunday. With all that food being thrown around, here are some tips and tricks for keeping your eye on the ball and not losing sight of your New Year's weight loss goals.

  • Prepare Your Offense

Whether you're headed off to a friend's house or huddling up at home, the best way to make sure there is going to be a healthy option is to make one yourself! Low-fat and low-carb Super Bowl recipes can be found all over the internet (think Pinterest!) and many of them are super easy or can be prepared the night before. My favorites to make are Taco Cupcakes and guacamole, recipes that I've included below. Or you could always opt for a store-bought vegetable or fruit tray!

  • Pick-Six

When arriving at your celebration, survey the playing field and decide what options are the healthier ones before preparing your plate. Here are six head-to-head challenges, try and pick the winner!

1) Guacamole vs. Cheesy Bacon Ranch Dip

46 calories 90 calories

2) Popcorn vs. Potato Chips

55 calories 160 calories

3) Chicken Wings vs. Pizza

250 calories 600 calories

4) Flavored Seltzer Water vs. Cola

0 calories 140 calories

5) Unfrosted Brownie vs. Frosted Chocolate Cupcake

122 calories 230 calories

6) 1 Meatball vs. 4 Cocktail Wieners

55 calories 100 calories

All calorie counts based off of

  • Set Up Zone Defense

"Everything is good in moderation." No doubt you've heard this saying many times, so keep it in the playbook this Sunday! Don't torture yourself and miss out on those amazing homemade jalapeno poppers that your friend makes every year. Go ahead and pick one or two up, but don't go eating the whole plate. Try a small bite of everything if you must, but aim to fill up on more of the healthier foods, such as veggies, fruits, or lean protein.

  • Don't Fumble

Alcohol is a part of the game plan for most of us on Super Bowl Sunday, but play it smart. One bottle of beer will run you up as much as 140 calories. If you're trying to keep your calorie count low, keep in mind that regular beer has a lot more calories than it's lighter counterpart. And remember that hard alcohol has even less calories, as long as you mix it with lower-calorie choices like fruit juice or seltzer water. No matter what alcohol you choose, make sure you are responsible and choose a designated driver if you are leaving after the game.

  • Post-Season

Don't let a big loss (or gain) from the Super Bowl weekend get into your head. Stay positive and get right back into your healthy eating game plan and exercise regimen on Monday.

When there is an event like Super Bowl Sunday, you bet I'm making 2 or even 3 dishes to bring along! I love making food for a crowd! I work at a restaurant that's known for its guacamole, so all my friends are always asking me to make guacamole for them. I've shared one of my trusty guacamole recipes so you can impress your friends too! One of my family's favorites are "taco cupcakes," which I tweaked a bit to make healthier. So get your head in the game, stay healthy, and may the best team win!

Game-Time Guacamole

4 avocados, halved, seeded, and peeled
1 jalapeno pepper,seeded, and minced
1/2 of a red onion, finely chopped

2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
4 heaping Tablespoons of Cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 of a lime, juiced

1 clove of garlic, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place avocadoes, jalapeno, lime juice, and cilantro into a large bowl, and mash together until smooth. Fold in onions, tomatoes, and garlic. Add additional lime juice or salt to taste.

Yield: 16 servings (3 tablespoons/serving)

Nutritional analysis per batch: 170 calories, 14 grams fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 180 milligrams sodium, 12 grams carbohydrate, 7 grams dietary fiber, 2 grams protein

Taco Cupcakes

6-8 large, whole-wheat tortillas

2 cups lean ground turkey, cooked

1 cup salsa of choice

1 packet low-sodium, dry taco seasoning

1 cup fat-free refried beans

1 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar (or Mexican blend) cheese

Optional toppings: sliced black olives, shredded lettuce, low-fat sour cream, guacamole, etc.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Lay out each tortilla individually and use a cookie cutter, empty can or glass cup and cut out 3-4 circles from each tortilla. Press each circle down into the muffin tin. It doesn't have to cover the whole side of the tin, it just needs to cover the bottom. In a small bowl, mix together cooked ground turkey, salsa, taco seasoning, and refried beans until well combined. Scoop an 8th of a cup of meat mixture into each wrap. Top each with shredded cheese and any additional, pre-oven toppings. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Wait for them to cool, and then serve with sides of sour cream, tomatoes, lettuce, or anything you wish!

Yield: 12 "cupcakes"

Nutritional analysis per "cupcake": 150 calories, 4 grams fat, 15 milligrams cholesterol, 640 milligrams sodium, 17 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams dietary fiber, 9 grams protein

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