Katie Coffman, a clinical dietitian at Millard-Henry Clinic shares some great ideas for enjoy Super Bowl Sunday. Here are some strategies and recipes to help you eat well while avoiding too many excess calories.
Whether you actually care about the game or, you are like me and will be browsing Pinterest while occasionally glancing up to catch the commercials, we all know the Super Bowl is really an excuse to eat, drink, and be merry. We take our game day food traditions seriously. In fact, Americans consume more food during the Super Bowl than almost any other day of the year- 2nd only to Thanksgiving! Whether it’s pizza, nachos, or wings, everyone has a game day “essential.” The Calorie Control Council (I know, it doesn’t sound like a group to invite to the party) estimates that the average person will consume about 1,200 calories Sunday night. While it is only 1 night, for people who have just made a New Year commitment to healthier eating, that 1 night can start a spiral effect of overindulging. In other words, for some people, once they get off track it is extremely difficult to get back on track. So if you are trying to make healthier choices and already worried about what you will do Sunday night, here is the playbook for eating healthy this Super Bowl.
- One Trip, One Plate
Check out all the food and make one plate to sit down with to watch the game. When you make one plate rather than continuously snack and refill your plate throughout the game, you have a better idea of how much you are actually eating. If you really want seconds, help yourself to the crudités. Fresh veggies are low in calories but high in fiber, so they fill you up without filling you out!
- Don’t Come Hungry
Whenever you are going to a party and you are worried you may overeat, have a healthy snack before you head out. Starving yourself all day to “save up” calories for the party usually backfires causing you to feel famished when you arrive. I know when I am that hungry and surrounded by tempting treats, it is hard to make the best decision. If I am not overly hungry, I am more likely to select only the foods I really want. Don’t set yourself up for disaster- have a healthy snack so you won’t be craving everything in sight!
- Share a Healthy Dish
If you will be going to a party, bring a healthy dish to share like a large veggie platter with low fat dip. Try mixing up the traditional veggie tray by adding some interesting items like artichoke hearts, radishes, mushrooms, grilled asparagus, or snap peas. If you are hosting a party, make some traditional favorites and try some of these healthier versions listed below. The Super Bowl is only 1 night, so as long as you plan ahead and remember “everything in moderation” you can have a great time without blowing your New Year’s resolutions!
These chicken quesadillas are a meal in one! Loaded with chicken and veggies and very filling. As a type 1 diabetic, I am always looking for ways to lower my carb intake. I have experimented with all types of low-carb tortillas and have to say the Tumaro’s brand has become a staple in my house. If you prefer a standard tortilla, just use a soft taco size to help with portion control.
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 quesadilla
- 16 oz skinless chicken breast, fat trimmed
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- cooking spray
- 1/2 small onion, cut into strips
- 1 bell pepper (red or green) cut into strips
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1-1/3 cup reduced fat Mexican blend shredded cheese
- 1 cup mango salsa
- 8 low carb whole wheat flour tortillas, Tumaro’s Multigrain
- 1 large ripe mango, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1-2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp minced jalapeño, seeds removed and diced
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, season to taste with salt and pepper.
1. Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes. Season chicken generously with salt, pepper, cumin, oregano and garlic powder.
2. Lightly spray a skillet on medium heat with oil or if using a grill, grill chicken until cooked on both sides. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. To the skillet, add 1 tbsp oil and cook onions and peppers, season with salt and pepper. Cook about 2 minutes, add garlic and continue cooking until vegetables are soft being careful not to burn the garlic. When cooked, set aside.
4. Heat skillet on medium heat and lightly spray with oil. Add tortilla, top with cheese, chicken, onions, peppers, and mango salsa or your favorite store-bought salsa. Top with the other tortilla. Cheese should be melted and the bottom of the tortilla should be golden brown. To turn the quesadilla, put a plate on top of the quesadilla to flip it over onto the plate and then slide the other side onto the skillet. Cook another minute and remove with a spatula. Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream or fat-free Greek yogurt.
Calories: 386.9 Fat: 18.6 g Carb: 31.6 g Fiber: 16.3 g Protein: 37.7g
Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip
When I asked my family and friends which Super Bowl essential they would like to see lightened-up, the most popular response was “dip!” I have to say, in my house, game day really is all about the dips. When I started this experiment, I knew I wanted to make a hot, cheesy dip that definitely does not taste “healthy” and this is it! Replacing some of the mayo with Greek yogurt trims the fat without sacrificing the creamy texture. I could make a meal out of this spinach and artichoke dip! Serve with pita chips or some fresh celery, carrots, and bell pepper strips.
Servings: 15 • Serving Size: 1/4 cup
- 13.75 oz artichoke hearts, packed in water, drained
- 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and thoroughly squeezed of liquid
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
- 4 oz reduced-fat cream cheese
- 2/3 cup Parmesan
- 4 oz shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
- salt and fresh pepper to taste
- olive oil spray
1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Coarsely chop the artichoke hearts with the garlic and onion. I like to use my food processor for this.
3. Combine all the Greek yogurt, mayo, and cream cheese in a bowl and mix until smooth.
4. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl. Place in an oven-proof dish and bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes, until hot and cheese is melted.
This dip is best served right away, because as most cheesy baked dips, it will harden as it cools. It can be made one day in advance and stored in the refrigerator before baking..
Calories: 73.3 Fat: 4.4 g Carb: 3.4 g Fiber: 0.9 g Protein: 5.2 g
Baked Mozzarella Sticks
These mozzarella sticks took some trial and error but I promise if you follow the recipe, you will be happy with the result. Who doesn’t love breaded cheese? These are baked instead of fried so they are tasty while being kind to your waistline. The thing I really like about them is they are freezer-friendly. You can bread them all ahead of time then place them on a tray with wax paper and freeze until game time. These are freezer friendly, in fact these must be frozen before you bake them or you will have a big ‘ol cheesy mess in your oven! The good news is you can bread them all ahead of time then place them on tray with wax paper and freeze them until you are ready to bake.
Servings: 12 • Serving Size: 2 pieces
- 12 sticks part-skim, reduced sodium mozzarella string cheese
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 tbsp flour
- 5 tbsp Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 5 tbsp Panko crumbs (these are found in the Asian food section of most stores)
- 2 tsp parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- olive oil cooking spray
To make these gluten-free, you can use a mixture of crushed cornflakes and Rice Krispies. Just place about ½ c of each in a small food processor and blend individually then measure out 5 tbsp of each.
1. Slice cheese in half to give you 24 pieces. Place cheese in the freezer until cheese is frozen.
2. In small bowl, whisk the egg. Place the flour on another small dish. In separate bowl, combine bread crumbs, Panko, parmesan cheese and dried parsley.
3. Dip the frozen sticks first in the flour, shake off excess. Then dip into the egg, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture.
4. Place cheese sticks on a tray with wax paper. Place cheese sticks back into the freezer until you are ready to bake them. They must go into the oven completely frozen or they will melt in the oven before the crumbs get golden.
5. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with oil.
6. Place frozen cheese sticks on baking sheet. Spray the tops of the mozzarella sticks with a little more oil and bake in the bottom third of your oven until crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and bake an additional 4 – 5 minutes watching them closely so they don’t melt.
Calories: 86.8 Fat: 4.8 g Protein: 7.4 g Carb: 3.5 g Fiber: 0.2 g
This refreshing drink is the perfect accompaniment to football and game day food. In my opinion, this tastes even better with light beer. You can also find light limemade to cut extra calories, but even with regular limemade, this still comes in at under 150 calories a serving- that beats a top-shelf margarita any day!
- 4 (12-oz) bottles of Corona Light (or your favorite light beer)
- 1 can Limemade concentrate thawed
- 4 oz tequila (I like Jose Cuervo Especial)
- Lime and lemon wedges
Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and pour over crushed ice.
Calories: 140 Carb: 23 g
Katie is a clinical dietitian at Millard-Henry Clinic. In addition to helping people with weight management, she also counsels patients with various conditions including: diabetes, types 1 and 2, cardiovascular disease, as well as food allergies and intolerances. As a type 1 diabetic, Katie understands the challenges many of her patients face. She offers one-on-one nutritional counseling to help people improve their quality of life through good nutrition. Her objective is to work closely with each person to develop a balanced approach to eating, incorporating the individual’s preferences and goals. Whether you have special dietary needs or you are simply looking for ideas to stay fit and healthy, Katie will give you the tools and knowledge to develop a personalized nutritional program because one size does not fit all! To schedule an appointment with Katie, simply call (479) 968-2345 Katie lives in Russellville with her husband, Josh, and 2 dogs. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and reading.
Katie Coffman, MS RD/LD
Certifications: Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian in state of AR, Certified in Adult Weight Management through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics