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Skinny Super Bowl Sunday
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Just when you think you've got a handle on those New Years resolutions, the big temptation day arrives - Super Bowl Sunday. Chicken wings, nachos, chili - the calories can add up quickly. This year, you can still enjoy tasty snacks while watching the game -- without breaking the bank on your calorie budget. My favorite choice for such occasions is a scrumptious spread of dips - creamy,chunky, spicy, tangy - everybody loves 'em. Hot-cold, spooned or dipped - the possibilities are endless. As a cook, it's a slam dunk because there's nothing easier to prepare for impromptu get-togethers. But my favorite part is that they can be made well ahead of time so I can enjoy my parties with my guests.
No, you won't find me stirring up a zippy sour-cream based French onion dip or melting handfuls of gooey Cheddar over crispy fried chips -- not in my kitchen. I am still a nutritionist afterall. There's no doubt that high fat ingredients add flavor and texture to just about any thing. But as a chef first, I've learned how to make recipes sing without a boatload of fat grams. Instead of focusing on a rich sour cream or cheese base for a dip, I use vegetables or beans as my primary ingredient. An unctuous puree of eggplant or garbanzo beans is the perfect place to start. A spoonful of healthy fat such as olive oil or tahini is all that's needed to add layers of texture and flavor to just the right melange of spices and seasonings.
The other thing I love about dipping is that it's a great way to kick up your daily vegetable intake. A colorful array of crisp dippers can include crunchy sticks of Bell pepper, fennel, jicama or celery and baby carrots. Asparagus spears work well too but should be blanched* first to soften them slightly.
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