Football season is here again, and with it comes hot wings and cold beer! Unfortunately, however, it can also bring unwanted calories and extra fat. Instead of sacrificing your favorite football fare in order to watch your waistline, try these easy upgrades that will allow you to enjoy your favorite game day dishes without the extra side of guilt.
Hot and Healthy Baked Buffalo Wings:
- 3 lbs. chicken wings and drumsticks
- 1 tbs. margarine
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 10 crushed garlic cloves
- 3/4 cup hot sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
Bleu Cheese Dressing:
- 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup bleu cheese crumbles
- scallions to garnish
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and lightly grease a baking dish.
2. In a large bowl, season the wings and drumsticks with salt and pepper.
3. In a sauté pan over low heat, melt margarine. Add thyme and garlic and simmer for 3 minutes. Add hot sauce and stir.
4. Pour mixture over chicken and toss to coat. Allow chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
5. Combine Greek yogurt, bleu cheese, and scallions in a small bowl. Mix well and refrigerate.
6. Transfer chicken to baking dish and place in oven. Bake for 30 minutes, turn over, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Baste wings occasionally while baking.
7. Remove pan from oven, and allow wings to cool slightly. Serve with bleu cheese dressing and celery sticks, if desired.
*1 serving of regular chicken wings: 800 calories! A serving of our Hot and Healthy Baked Buffalo Wings: 377 calories
Not So Naughty Nachos:
- 1 16 oz. can black beans
- 2 plum tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
- 1 jar salsa
- 1/2 bag baked corn tortilla chips
- 1/4 head shredded Romaine lettuce
- Greek yogurt
- Shredded cheese of your choice
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Place beans and 1/2 jar of the salsa into a food processor and combine until chunky.
3. Place chips on baking sheet. Add chunky black bean puree and spread corn, tomatoes, and remaining salsa on top. Sprinkle with cheese and bake in oven until cheese is melted.
4. Remove nachos from oven. Add shredded lettuce on top. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt.
*1 serving of loaded nachos with beef and cheese: 570 calories! 1 serving of our Not So Naughty Nachos: 250 calories
Sinless Potato Skins:
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 small onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 10 oz. bag of lettuce
- 2 scallions
- 4-6 slices turkey bacon
- 4 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1/4 cup low-fat milk
- 2 tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
- Vegetable oil or cooking spray
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake for 45 minutes or until fork-tender.
3. In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil and cook onion for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add garlic and cook one more minute. Add scallions and spinach, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes, until spinach has wilted.
4. In another sauté pan, cook the turkey bacon until crisp and transfer to a paper towel to dry. When cooled, chop into small pieces and reserve.
5. When sweet potatoes are cooked, allow to cool for 5 minutes. Slice each potato in half and scoop out the inside of each into a bowl. Add cream cheese, milk, salt and pepper and mash together until smooth. Using a pastry brush, coat the outside of each potato skin with vegetable oil. Fill each skin with the filling and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Transfer skins back to the baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until tops are golden and skins are crispy.
6. Top with turkey bacon bits and serve.
*2 potato skins with cheese, bacon, and sour cream: 160-180 calories. 2 Sinless Skins: 120 calories
Skinny Cilantro Chicken Quesadillas:
- 2 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt
- 3 tbs. reduced-fat sour cream
- 4 10 in. whole wheat tortillas
- 2 sliced scallions
- 3/4 cup reduced-fat Pepper Jack cheese
1. Preheat grill to medium heat.
2. Rub chicken breast with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill, turning over every 3 minutes until fully cooked. Allow to cool, and cut into thin slices.
3. Mix cilantro, yogurt, and sour cream in a small bowl.
4. Cover one-half of each tortilla with chicken, scallions, and cheese. Fold tortillas in half and transfer to the grill. Grill until tortillas are browned and crispy, and cheese is melted (about 1 1/2-3 minutes per side). Slice each quesadilla into 4 wedges and serve with cilantro cream.
*1 regular chicken and cheese quesadilla (4 slices): 970 calories! Skinny Cilantro Chicken Quesadillas: 238 calories