It’s Week 4 of “healthier” foods for the New Year, and I’m hoping I haven’t lost you yet.

I know we’ve been “lightening up” on our cooking, but this week, I decided I wanted to “lighten up” in the opposite direction. We need some fun. And less beans. So this week, I thought it would be a good time to look at some lighter fare for watching football, in preparations for the Super Bowl next weekend.


Personally, I don’t think I will be watching the game. If the Ravens aren’t in it, or don’t even make it to playoffs (hanging my head and sighing as I type this), then I lose interest. I only know what happened in the playoffs through my Facebook feed.

But I realize I’m probably in the minority when it comes to tuning out for the big game. And there is an upside to your team not being in the grand finale — you can focus on the food of the party instead of the actual game. Am I right?

Be careful while watching football, or binge watching on Netflix or any other sedentary marathoning you might be doing. It’s so easy to overindulge when you’re focusing on something else besides eating. Do not sit next to a bowl of chips or a platter of anything. Make yourself a plate, try to balance your food groups and consider this a meal. And then stick with it — don’t go back to the buffet over and over again.

Make it easier on your guests, and yourself, by making healthier options. Here are three suggestions on how to do that.

This week I have more dinner recipes because these looked like recipes I actually want to make.

First, loaded mashed potato bites. Here you take pre-prepared mashed potatoes, add some eggs and plain Greek yogurt for extra protein and more creaminess, and then add a little cheddar and cooked bacon. You top it with an additional dollop of Greek yogurt and green onions or chives. These are like mini-loaded baked potatoes, but with a little extra protein and a little less fat from using the Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.

Next up, Philly cheesesteak crostinis. These aren’t particularly healthy, except that they’re miniature. A two-bite cheesesteak is much healthier than a foot-long one.

And finally, crispy baked jalapeno poppers. Again, these aren’t super healthy, but if you stick to eating two or three, it’s not that bad for you either. And baking them to get the crispy Parmesan and breadcrumb topping is certainly better than dipping them in batter and frying them.

I hope you can enjoy these recipes, and your Super Bowl Sunday. Go 2018 NFL Draft!

Healthier loaded mashed potato bites

Oil spray

2 large eggs

1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt (or light sour cream)

2 cups prepared mashed potatoes

Sea salt to taste

1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper


1/3 cup chives or green onions, chopped

3/4 cup cheddar cheese, freshly grated and divided

1/4 cup cooked bacon, crumbled

Additional nonfat plain Greek yogurt or sour cream for topping

Chopped chives for topping

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Generously spray a mini muffin tin with oil.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and yogurt. Stir in potatoes, salt, pepper, green onions, 1/2 cup of the cheese, and bacon. Use a mini cookie scoop or spoon to scoop potato mixture into prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle tops with remaining cheese.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly before gently removing from pan. Top bites with a dollop of Greek yogurt or light sour cream and chives, or serve on the side for dipping.

Source: https://livelytable.com

Easy Philly cheesesteak crostini

2 cups diced yellow onion

1 1/2 tablespoons salted butter

10 ounces French baguette

2 tablespoons crushed garlic

12 ounces deli cut roast beef

1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese

Thyme to garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In large skillet sauté onions in melted butter over medium heat until lightly caramelized, about 25 minutes. Remove from flame and allow to cool in skillet till needed.

While onions cook, slice baguette and coat each slice with an even layer of garlic. Toast slices in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes until just beginning to brown, then remove and set aside.

When ready, build crostini with a slice of roast beef, a spoonful of onions, and a sprinkling of cheese. Return to oven at 350 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes until tops have melted, then immediately plate and serve. Garnish with fresh thyme if desired.

Crispy baked jalapeno poppers

10 jalapenos

8 ounces light cream cheese

5 ounces bacon, finely diced

1 cup cheddar cheese, finely grated

1 green onion finely diced

4 tablespoons breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons Parmesan finely grated

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Salt and black pepper to taste

Olive oil

Preheat oven 390 degrees.

Begin by mixing your breadcrumbs, Parmesan, smoked paprika, salt and pepper in a bowl and place to one side.

Next, fry your bacon bits over medium/high heat until nice and crispy. Pat dry with a paper towel and when cool enough to handle, combine in a separate bowl with your cream cheese, green onion and cheddar cheese until a smooth like texture.

Grab your jalapeños and slice them horizontally, forming two boat-like shapes. De-seed with a teaspoon and begin filling with your cream cheese mixture. You want them filled to just above level height, around 1 tablespoon per “boat” should be fine, depending on jalapeño size.

Flip each boat upside down in to your breadcrumb mixture and gently press so the crumbs attach, forming the crispy layer.

Place evenly spaced on a baking tray (lined with aluminum foil) and bake for around 8 to 10 mins just to heat through the center, until they start to bubble. Then switch to the grill and broil for around 5 mins or until golden and crispy on top. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.