When a lot of us think of chili, we think of indulgent bowls of cornbread topped with juicy beef, beans and tomatoes. We think of mounds of cheddar cheese, sour cream topped with crushed tortilla chips.
If you’re feeding the family on Super Bowl Sunday and you want to keep your menu on the healthier side, opt for a lighter chili loaded with blood pressure-lowering fiber and no-salt-added beans and tomatoes.
Instead of serving with bread or chips, serve chili over whimsical wagon wheels for a fun, lighter spin on a hearty winter favorite.
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Fall and winter mean a lot of things, but amidst all the holiday talk we can’t forget about tailgate parties! The typical football-party fare is filled with calories but you can pull it all together and leave many of those calories behind! Don’t forget that when you make your own food, you control what goes into each recipe!
Chips and dip can be slimmed down with a few tricks.
- When making dips, avoid using mayonnaise, cream cheese and sour cream. I like to substitute greek yogurt in my recipes and most people hardly know the difference. Guacamole, salsa, and hummus are all delicious, healthy and easy to make!
- Serve your homemade dips with crudites instead of chips. Carrots, celery, cucumber, bell peppers and other crunchy veggies can be just as fun to dip and dunk!
- If you’re surrounded by the vegetable-wary, just make sure you buy baked chips. Go one step further (and that much closer to healthy hors d’oeuvres) by making your own. Buy pita bread, cut it into small triangles, add some seasoning and bake them. It’s simple and you can control how much salt you add.
Alcohol plays a big part at football parties, but it also plays a big part in ruining diets.
- Blue Moon is a good craft beer that’s relatively low in calories at only about 100 calories per serving.
- Lime and orange slices go a long way to improve the taste of light beer.
- Instead of using traditional mixers for cocktails, consider making your own and using less sugar. I found the simple combination of orange-flavored vodka mixed with some sparkling water and a Crystal Light packet to be surprisingly delicious.
Main courses pack a huge calorie-punch because of all the carbs and fats that are usually included. Instead of blowing your diet, keep in mind:
- Anything made with beef (tacos, burgers, chili and steak) can be made with bison meat as a lower fat, higher protein option.
- Turkey and tofu are also good alternatives. Turkey dogs, tofu dogs and low-sodium, nitrate-free hot dogs are all available at most grocery stores.
- If your meal includes carbs such as rice, noodles, buns or rolls be sure you go for the 100% whole wheat options.
Some healthy tailgating recipes to try:
Turkey and Black Bean Chili
Italian Turkey Burgers
Jillian Michael’s Guacamole
Roasted Red Pepper Dip
Apple Cinnamon Fruit Dip
Easy Baked Beans
With the cold weather rolling in, there’s no better time for a hearty bowl of soup. While some cream-based soups can be calorie traps, making your own soup at home is fast, economical and healthy, because you can control what ingredients and how much of them you put into the soup.
To shake up your soup routine, try some of our favorite techniques, including adding new vegetables to your favorite chowders, skipping the meat in your favorite chili and cutting down on the cream. You’ll still have that satisfying bowl of soup that will help take away the chill right up until spring.
Creamy Broccoli Soup: If the cold weather leaves you craving creamy, comforting soups, you can skip the cream, flour and butter that give most cream soups their velvety textures. Use white bean puree to add depth and consistency to a lightened-up cream of broccoli soup that delivers fiber and nutrients along with taste.
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This Halloween, send your trick-or-treaters out to gather their goodies with a healthy, hearty meal first. Halloween night can be hectic as you try to rush home from work, put together costumes and fix dinner. Don’t settle for an unhealthy option. Afterall, the kids are going to come home with literally buckets full of sugar-filled candy.
Chicken Chili – The chicken is a lean alternative to beef and you’ll get plenty of fiber and other nutrients from the kidney beans and vegetables. This recipe is just 2.5 Weight Watchers Points.
Barack Obama Chili - This recipe comes from the Democratic nominee’s personal recipe collection. He says he’s been making it since college and it’s always a hit with his family. Using lean turkey, this recipe has 291 Calories per serving.
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