For many people, the Super Bowl is an all-day couch and snack fest, but if you are watching your weight and trying to stick to your diet, this big game can mean a big diet crash.
To help make your Super Bowl dishes more waist-friendly this year, celebrity chef Katie Lee shares some of her favorite healthy game day dishes.
“I always say that Super Bowl is like the ‘Thanksgiving’ of junk food, but if you're trying to watch your weight, you can still have all of those good junk food classics, you just have to make them healthier,” Lee told FoxNews.com.
Here are some tips for making some of your favorite snacks a little healthier for game day.
Baked Jalapeno Poppers
Jalapeno poppers are a staple at most sporting events and tailgates, but all that deep-fried crunch and creamy filling can add up to a hefty amount of calories and fat. Lee’s version turns this fried favorite into a healthy, baked alternative.
“I love jalapeno poppers, but they are deep fried and generally really greasy and fattening,” Lee said. “So instead, I bake them and use low--fat cream cheese to help save some calories. I also crush up cornflakes to bread them with so you can get the same crunch you would get from frying them, but without all the extra fat.”
16 jalapenos split lengthwise, seeds and membranes removed
1 (8-ounce) package low-fat cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 ½ cups cornflakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg, plus one egg white, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 400 F. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
In a bowl, combine cream cheese and mozzarella, and salt. Use a spoon to fill the cavity of each jalapeno with the mixture, pressing down to pack it in.
In a food processor or in a sealable plastic bag, finely crush cornflakes. Season with salt and pepper. Dredge each jalapeno first in the flour, then the egg (letting the excess drip off), and then completely coat in cornflakes. Place on baking sheet and lightly spray with cooking spray. Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
Don’t let this protein-packed meat fool you, chicken may be better for you than red meat, but once you deep fry it, it can turn into one, big, unhealthy fat trap. Many entrée-sized chicken fingers served at chain restaurants come packed with calories and fat—a plate of Friendly’s Chicken Strips will set you back 1,260 calories and 74 grams of fat.
“I make chicken fingers that aren't really chicken fingers. I use a product to make these called ‘Gardein,’ which is a meat alternative” Lee said. “A lot of people are eating more plant-based diets to stay healthy these days, and it’s a great option if you have any vegetarian or vegan friends coming for your Super Bowl party.”
4 Gardein chick’n scallopini cutlets, thawed and cut into strips
2 cups cornflakes, finely crushed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
BBQ sauce or honey mustard, for dipping
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Dip chicken strips in flour, then egg (letting the excess drip off), then roll in cornflakes to completely coat. Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
An average slice of cheese pizza can have around 400-500 calories, so how can you keep this classic, cheesy dish on your Super Bowl spread without going over your daily caloric intake for the day?
“I make my pizzas with whole-wheat pitas,” Lee said. “Pitas are a great alternative that [are] high in fiber and whole grain. I add tomato sauce, which is rich in lycopene, some low-fat cheese, turkey pepperoni and some veggies -- so you get all that nice color and some antioxidants and vitamins.”
Whole-wheat pita bread, split open
Shredded part-skim mozzarella
Toppings like vegetarian or turkey pepperoni, bell peppers, spinach, etc.
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Top each pita half with pizza sauce, cheese, and desired toppings. Bake 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.
Baked Sweet Potato Skins
While a regular white potato is not naturally bad for you, once you fry and smother it in butter, cheese, sour cream and bacon bits – it’s a different story.
“I take sliced sweet potatoes and I bake them,” Lee said. “Then I top them with all of those good potato skin toppings like turkey bacon, cilantro, pickled jalapenos and low-fat sour cream.”
Another tip the chef recommends is to put your sour cream in a squeeze bottle so you can drizzle it across your potatoes instead of scooping big globs onto your dish.
“You still get sour cream on all of it, just not as much - it's about moderation,” she said.
2 sweet potatoes, sliced like coins about ¼ inch thick
2 slices turkey or chicken bacon, cooked and crumbled
Low-fat sour cream
Preheat oven to 400 F. Coat a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
Arrange sweet potato slices on baking sheet in an even layer. Spray with cooking spray. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until tender.
Place sour cream in a squeeze bottle and lightly squeeze onto sweet potato slices in a zig-zag pattern. Top with crumbled bacon, pickled jalapeno and cilantro.
For more recipes visit KatieLeeHome.com