It’s so exciting to live in Alabama. Last year, the University of Alabama played (and won) the national championship game, and now this year Auburn faces Oregon in the Tostitos BCS Championship Bowl for the national championship. So many friends went to Arizona to partake in the fun (and get warm). I will be making this Lightened-Up and Healthier Mexican Layer Dip since it features Tostito Scoops. The mixture of Greek yogurt and salsa makes a wonderful base for the dip. I love using nonfat Greek yogurt because it is so high in protein and low in carbohydrates with zero fat. Feel free to substitute chicken instead of beef or any of your favorite taco toppings. This is a great appetizer for the Super Bowl too or anytime you’re having company. My kids loved it, but it was so funny because they said it was almost too pretty and perfect to eat.
I saw a version of this idea given as a holiday gift, and I couldn’t wait to try to create my own recipe for it. Roasted Chickpeas with Parmesan and Smoked Paprika make a wonderful snack, salad topping and even appetizer. I combined Parmesan cheese, a tiny amount of olive oil and smoked paprika, and they came out wonderful. Chickpeas, also called “garbanzo beans”, are an excellent source of fiber, folic acid and even protein. Eating them can help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar levels, so this is a great way to add them to your diet. Each 1/4-cup serving has 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein so enjoy.
I love to make Brie for an appetizer because it’s so simple, and people love it. This recipe is almost a joke-just too easy for words, only 4 ingredients. If you’re having guests over for a weeknight or weekend gathering, Super Bowl party or entertaining friends, this recipe is as simple as it is delicious. Go Saints!
I had so much fun on “Talk of the Town” yesterday in Nashville. I thank my Nashville friends, Lisa and Rob, News Channel 5 and all of the Nashville subscribers and facebook fans for tuning in to watch me. One of the recipes I shared was this Spiced Nuts mix which I posted before Thanksgiving. It was very popular and is perfect for Super Bowl Sunday. It’s a lower-fat nut recipe and is ideal for a Super Bowl Party, holidays, or you can enjoy them as a snack or also tossed in a salad. Feel free to use any type of nuts that you want. These are worth every bite, and there’s no oil or butter in the recipe.
Spiced Almonds and Pecans
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Yield: 41/2 cups
2 (6-ounce) packages pecan halves
1 (6 ounce) can whole natural almonds
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
11/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. Combine pecans, almonds and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in egg whites. Spread mixture evenly onto a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes. Stir mixture; bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp. Transfer foil to a wire rack; cool almond mixture. Break almond mixture into small pieces.
Note: Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to one week.
Whether it’s a huge football game like tonight’s National Championship game, the Super Bowl, weekend entertaining or just for the fun of it, I love to make a hot Spinach-Artichoke Dip. Probably because my kids love to eat it! This is a lightened version that works great with light cheese, low-fat sour cream and reduced-fat mayonnaise. Processing it in the food processor contributes to its awesome texture. So, if you’re watching your weight right now and trying to keep your New Year’s resolutions, you can still enjoy this hot dip.
Low-Fat Spinach Artichoke Dip
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Yield: 12 servings
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 cloves garlic
1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, excess liquid squeezed out
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded 2% milk cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Pita wedges or crudites, for serving
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until onions are light-golden but not browned. Remove from heat and cool.
3. In the bowl of a food processor combine the artichoke hearts, spinach and next 7 ingredients. Process until smooth. Fold vegetable puree into sauteed onions, then spread into an 8-inch glass square baking dish or 9-inch glass pie plate which has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through. Serve with pita wedges or crudites.