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5 Ways to Add Big, Low-Calorie Flavor with Roasted Red Peppers

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist

Both smoky and sweet, roasted red peppers add instant oomph to any dish. While it’s easy to make your own (remember to turn on the hood fan as even sweet red peppers can make your eyes sting), the jarred versions can also be good. For instance, I just discovered Trader Joe’s house brand, which are dead ringers for homemade.

Here are five ways I like to use them, and you’ll no doubt enjoy, too!

roasted peppers
Add to salads, just as you would any other vegetable. This Balsamic Tomato and Red Pepper salad recipe includes instructions for roasting the peppers.

Purée in dips, like the red pepper and walnut-based muhammara from Syria that’s popping up in Middle Eastern restaurants, or this lower calorie Roasted Red Pepper Dip.
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8 Healthier Dips For Your Game Day Spread

I don’t know about you but I’m getting pretty excited about the big NFL bowl game this Sunday as it holds a special place in my heart. Ironically enough, though my husband and I aren’t the biggest big sports fans we met at a bowl party several years ago where we became friends. Not more than one year later we were married, so every time the big game rolls around in February I think back on that special day.

Being the foodie that I am, the immediate second place my mind goes to when thinking about football is food. Lucky for me there will be no short supply of good eats come February 3, and we have you covered with some healthier options for your game day spread. Instead of filling your guests with queso and bacon-wrapped meat, serve up these eight healthier dips that any football fan would love.


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2 New Avocado Recipes: Cucumber Avocado Soup and Avocado Spread with Tomatoes

By Team Best Life – TheBestLife.com

Avocados take the starring role in many healthy recipes for a reason—they contain vitamins E and K, folate and fiber. Not to mention, they’re delicious! Don’t be scared off by all the fat; avocados are high in monounsaturated fat, the variety that can help lower cholesterol, especially LDL or “bad” cholesterol, which contributes to heart disease and other health problems. Still, to keep calories in check, you have to limit your intake of all fats, even the healthy kinds, so try using about a quarter of an avocado (about 60 calories of creamy deliciousness) in your favorite recipes.

How to Buy an Avocado

Avocados start green and turn black as they ripen. In the store, you should gently squeeze and examine avocados to find the right one for your needs: If you don’t plan on using it until later in the week, choose one that is green and firm. If you want to eat the avocado immediately, pick one that is dark in color and just slightly soft when you squeeze it.

How to Use an Avocado

To ripen a hard avocado, place it in a brown bag with a banana and it should be ripe in two days or so. If your avocado is ripe but you aren’t ready to use it, stick it in the refrigerator. You can also save parts of an avocado for later—just leave the pit in before wrapping it to help maintain freshness.

Avocado is delicious plain, and also works well in tons of recipes, including salads, wraps, sandwiches and spreads. Or, try one of these tasty Best Life recipes.
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A Lighter Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe

We’re just two days out from Super Bowl Sunday and the anticipation is building! There’s not much to do between now and kick-off except plan Super Bowl recipes and watch Super Bowl commercials. A staple of any proper football tailgate (whether at an actual tailgate or on your sofa) is buffalo chicken. The popular buffalo flavor has many iterations, and this morning, the web wants to know all about buffalo chicken dip.

Yesterday, Mike Valenti published his buffalo chicken dip recipe on CBS Detroit. It looks tasty, no one wonder people are scrambling to find it. However, it also doesn’t look very good for you at all. His original recipe includes regular cream cheese, ranch dressing, an entire rotisserie chicken, and regular cheddar cheese. We estimate a serving of his has at least 487 calories per 3.2-ounce serving. So, we did what we do best, we gave his dip a makeover!

We trimmed a lot of calories, fat, and saturated fat off of his recipe. You’ll get the exact same results, just as much flavor, and feel way better about eating it. With the adjustments we’ve made, the recipe now has about 206 calories per 3.2 oz. serving (this does not include the chips).

DIR’s Buffalo Chicken Dip

Ingredients

  • 2 8-oz. packages of reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 16 oz. 0% fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 ranch dip seasoning packet
  • 3/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • 24 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast shredded and skin removed (bake, grill, or stew in the slow cooker with some of the hot sauce)
  • 1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
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Throw a Dip Party for Super Bowl Sunday

Abra Pappa for NutritiousAmerica.com

I am not a sports fan… but I do love a great football movie (like Rudy, oh I cry and cry). I imagine that’s what the actual game feels like to sports fans? Regardless, I am a healthy food advocate and I know what goes on at Super Bowl parties. The food is typically a wasteland of processed, packaged food, filled with weird chemicals and fake flavors, and of course tons of unhealthy fat, sodium and sugar. I don’t want to spoil your Super Bowl fun, I want to increase it. After all, wouldn’t it be better to eat food that gives you tons of energy to emphatically scream at the TV screen all the way through the fourth quarter?

I love the idea of hosting a Super Bowl dip party, snack-y food that you can continue to munch on throughout the game. Just don’t tell your guests they are healthy dips, that’s your little secret. So put down that pre-made grocery store dip (food-like-product) and walk away from the shelf.

Here are some healthy dips and dipping agents worthy of an endzone dance.
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