Sunday, February 5, 2012

Dan's Weight Loss Update and a Healthier Game Day Snack

I had this whole production planned today.  As I did last year, I was going to do a video for our entire Super Bowl meal, but life got away from me.  I am sure you are all disappointed.  LOL.  Yeah, okay...  Maybe another time for the video.

I am happy to report that Dan has officially lost about 12 pounds! 

Let's congratulate Dan on working toward his goals.  And a special shout out to his friends at work for helping to keep him on track!

Light, Warm and Spiced-Up Spinach and Artichoke Dip

I was talking with my friend Laura the other night (LaDiva Cucina) about all of the fattening snacks we consume on Superbowl Sunday.  People really use this as an excuse to fall off the wagon, and so close to making those New Year's resolutions.

I began thinking about how I could lighten up our own menu.   I am making a new chicken burger recipe tonight before the game.  If that turns out as I think it will, I'll post that recipe later on this week.  Since the Jet Stream is keeping all that nasty winter weather away from the US this year, I'll bet many of you are dragging out your grills early.  I'll bet you are ready for a nice grilled chicken burger.  On the side I am making a warm red cabbage slaw.  ;.)  You are sure to love that recipe, too. 

That is for another post.

On days like this when we know we might eat a higher calorie snack, we have a light protein breakfast.  I made this snack mid-day so it's not weighing on us right before we go to bed.  We have time to go outside, walk Eddie (our Golden), or throw a football around the yard.  Our main dish will be served during the game.

When I came up with this recipe, I thought about a recipe I prepared around the holidays.  It was cold spinach and water chestnut dip.  Dan loved it but suggested if I make it again, I make it even lighter using yogurt and add more vegetables. 

So, after my guests revived me -- just kidding --   this appetizer was born.  I have been waiting for the right occasion to make it.  Seriously, we don't make things like this for everyday snacking.  Once in a blue moon and for a special occasion is fine, but as Laura cautions, don't overdo it on those "special occasions."   I agree.

Is this tasty snack entirely low cal?  Of course not!  In moderation -- and that is the key -- calorie for calorie, ounce for ounce,  this dip is better for you than more traditional recipes.   A dish this size of this would be enough for a half dozen or even eight people if this was your only snack offering, and enough for an entire crowd if serving other snacks.

If you having a main course meal (burgers, pizza, etc), I suggest limiting the snacks to one nice item like this.  Your guests will thank you tomorrow.


If you like this recipe, you still have time to make it to the supermarket to pick up the fixings.

Happy game watching! 

May the best team win!

Light, Warm and Spiced-Up Spinach and Artichoke Dip

1 package (10 ounce) of frozen Cut Leaf Spinach, defrosted and well-drained of any excess water
1 can (8 ounces) of diced Water chestnuts
1 cup chopped Artichoke Hearts (packed in water, not oil)
12 ounces Fat Free Sour Cream
1 5 1/2 ounce container Fat Free Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup Fat Free or Light Mayonnaise
1/4 cup 1% or 2% Milk
1 package Knorr's® Vegetable Recipe Mix
1 tablespoon Mexican Hot Sauce, more or less to taste
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese, plus a bit more for topping
1/2 teaspoon Spanish Paprika, plus a bit more for topping

Other:  Canola Oil Cooking Spray

Combine all ingredients except for extra cheese and paprika for topping.  Mix well and refrigerator for 1/2 hour. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove desired amount of dip to broiler-safe baking dish treated with cooking spray. 

Note:  The less you bake, the smaller your baking dish should be... Like I had to say that!  ;.)))

Top with remaining cheese. 

Bake for 25 minutes until bubbling. 

Turn on broiler and finish cooking for 1 or 2 minutes until cheese is browned.

Top with remaining paprika (just a sprinkle).

Let dip cool about five minutes before serving.

Serve with tortilla chips.

Our pre-game snack: 
Dan, chippin' and dippin'.

Friendly reminder:

Immediately refrigerate any remaining  COLD dip that you do not bake.   You can enjoy the dip cold if kept properly stored and refrigerated for up to three days, or serve as a cold option along side of the warm dip at your party.

Do not refrigerate the leftover dip that you baked.  Discard any leftovers.

If you like this recipe, you might also enjoy:

Looking for more healthy game day options?   Check out last year's video, my big hair and my oversized shirt (to hide my belly).  This was taken before I lost more weight.  It is amazing what can change in one year!  ;.)

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