Tag Archives: Super Bowl

Healthy Super Bowl snacks and calorie swaps

football Did you know that Americans consume more calories during the Super Bowl than nearly any other day during the year – second only to Thanksgiving?

That’s why Rachel Berman, RD, CSR, CD/N, the Director of Nutrition for CalorieCount.com (where I get the nutritional info for many of my recipes) is offering up some tips on how to cut back and stay healthy this Super Bowl Sunday.

Cut back on saturated fat

  • Add more beans instead of meat to a chili recipe.
  • Use reduced-fat cheese for nachos.
  • Swap no fat Greek yogurt for sour cream when making dips and spreads.
  • Make a healthier version of chicken wings by baking chicken tenders that are lightly seasoned with your favorite spices – and serve reduced fat blue cheese.

Skip the chips

  • Serve a big platter of veggies like like jicama, artichoke hearts, radishes, mushrooms, and grilled asparagus. Pair with hummus, salsa or a yogurt dip.
  • Make a healthier version of chips by slicing whole-wheat pitas or tortillas into wedges and then lightly toasting these in the oven

Eliminate excess calories

  • Beer, even light beer, can pack on the calories. It can also lead to mindless munching. Keep track of how much you drink and steer clear of any specialty cocktails prepared with juice or soda.
  • When it’s time for kick-off, relax and enjoy the celebration – but keep an eye on portion size and make a plate of food when hungry instead of grazing throughout the day.

Go to CalorieCount.com for great game day recipes

Check out This Mama Cooks! On a Diet’s Super Bowl, healthy snacks and party food recipes, too!

Healthy football party recipe roundup

Healthy football party recipe roundup at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com A few more days to the big game! Have you decided what you want to serve yet? Here are some healthy recipes to help you out whether you’re throwing a party or just bringing a dish over to a friend's home.

Here at This Mama Cooks!:

At Mom Central Food:

Healthy snacks from EatBetterAmerica.com:

From Prevention.com:

From Diets in Review:

Healthy Super Bowl dishes: Beefy Squash and Zucchini Stew

taste of home ultimate ground beef cookbook If you’re looking for a healthy Super Bowl party dish that uses ground beef, you may be interested in making this dish since it feeds 16 and is only four Weight Watchers POINTS per serving.

It’s based on a recipe from Taste of Home: The Ultimate Ground Beef Cookbook, which is now out of print. It’s a terrific cookbook for anyone who has a freezer full of ground meat. Try your library or used book store to find a copy.

I made this last week for dinner. The kids loved it so much they asked for seconds. If you’re making it for supper, either halve it or freeze the leftovers for later.

Beefy Squash and Zucchini Stew

Serves 16

Prep time: 15 min. Cook time: 20 min.


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef, buffalo or venison
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 medium green peppers, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 16 oz bags of frozen butternut squash
  • 3 small potatoes, diced
  • 2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes (with juice)
  • 1 16 oz bag of frozen yellow squash and zucchini
  • 1 Tbsp of low sodium salt seasoning salt*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


  • In a large stew pot, cook ground beef, onions, green peppers and garlic until meat is no longer pink. Drain.
  • Add potatoes, tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and cover and cook until potatoes are tender.
  • Add the tomatoes, butternut squash, yellow squash and zucchini, and seasonings. Heat through.
  • Serve in bowls and sprinkle with the cheeses before serving.

Nutritional information

  • Calories 234
  • Calories from Fat 61
  • Total Fat 6.8g 10%
  • Saturated Fat 3.2g 16%
  • Cholesterol 58mg 19%
  • Sodium 723mg 30%
  • Total Carbohydrates 20.7g 7%
  • Dietary Fiber 4.2g 17%
  • Sugars 6.9g
  • Protein 23.8g
  • Vitamin A 139%
  • Vitamin C 81%
  • Calcium 16%
  • Iron 18%

Nutrition Grade A from CalorieCount 

Weight Watchers POINTS = 4

*I used NutraSalt’s Robusto Adobo. Their Bold Chipotle would go well in this dish, too.


Disclosure: I was sent samples of NutraSalt’s products to try out.

Healthy Slow Cooker Pork, Squash and Zucchini Stew

Healthy Slow Cooker Pork, Squash and Zucchini Stew at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

With the Super Bowl coming up, preparing a healthy slow cooker dish ahead of time is a great way to keep your family and party guests fed while you watch the game. This recipe is based on Pork and Butternut Squash Stew found in the February 2010 issue of Ladies Home Journal. The original recipe used frozen corn and lima beans. I’ve substituted a bag of frozen yellow (summer) squash and zucchini. I also used frozen butternut squash, since it’s already peeled and cut.

I made this last weekend during the playoffs. The pork was tender and the stew was full of flavor. It was a hit both with the adults and the kids, and will be something I’ll make again when pork shoulder is on sale or I have an abundance of squash and zucchini.

This Mama’s tips

  • You can use an all purpose gluten free flour or a combination of white and whole grain brown rice flours. If you’re not gluten free, regular whole wheat or white flour is fine.
  • Frozen vegetables cook up very quickly. If you are using raw squash and/or zucchini, make sure to adjust the cooking time.
  • Serve this over rice if you wish!
Healthy Slow Cooker Pork, Squash and Zucchini Stew at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Healthy Slow Cooker Pork, Squash and Zucchini Stew

Inspired by Pork and Butternut Squash Stew from the February 2010 issue of Ladies Home Journal


  • 1/3 cup all-purpose gluten free flour
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 (16-ounce bag) frozen butternut squash
  • 1 (16-ounce bag) frozen yellow (summer) squash and zucchini


  1. Stir together flour, paprika, coriander and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Cut pork into 1-inch cubes. Make sure you trim as much fat off as possible.
  3. Toss pork in flour mixture with your hands to coat the meat.
  4. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet, Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add pork and reserve any excess flour mixture. Reduce heat to medium and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a your slow cooker.
  6. Add remaining flour mixture to slow cooker along with 1 cup water, tomatoes with juice, broth, onion, bay leaf and vinegar.
  7. Cook for 7 hours on low.
  8. After 7 hours, add the frozen vegetables.
  9. Continue to cook until vegetables are heated through, about 30 minutes. Serve!
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 7 Hours 30 Minutes
Total Time: 7 Hours 50 Minutes
Servings: Serves 8
  • Serving size: 1/8 of recipe
  • Calories: 257
  • Calories from Fat: 130
  • Total Fat: 14.4g
  • Saturated fat: 4.8g
  • Unsaturated fat: 0.0g
  • Sodium: 436mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 16.4g
  • Sugar: 4.4g
  • Fiber: 3.1g
  • Protein: 16.3g
  • Cholesterol: 51mg

Weight Watchers POINTS = 5 per serving

Taco soup revisited: less junk, more yummy goodness

taco soup I’ve been making Taco Soup for years since 1 cup equals 4 Weight Watchers POINTS. It’s so delicious my family loves it, too.

Over time, I’ve tried to “health it up” by eliminating the dry ranch dressing (too fake in my opinion) and using store brand organic canned beans and corn. Since my kids thought the diced green chilies made the soup too hot, I’ve switched to using Muir Glen’s Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies instead. They give the soup a smoky and spicy flavor.

Finally, if you have a leftover can of pumpkin puree from Thanksgiving, add it to the soup. It will add fiber and increase the veggie content of the soup and the other ingredients will cover up the pumpkin flavor.

Taco Soup Revisited

(1 cup = 4 Weight Watchers POINTS)

Brown 1 lb. very lean chopped meat (I used ground venison) with one large diced onion in a large stew pot.


Heat to boiling. Immediately lower heat to simmer for 30 minutes. Serve.


A healthy Super Bowl dip recipe from Weight Watchers

I blogged about healthier pulled meat sandwiches and if you go to that post, you’ll see oodles of links to other healthy Super Bowl party recipes (look in the comments, too!) Hope you’re ready for another healthy dip recipe because here’s one from The Weight Watchers Momentum Cookbook, which is available for $9.95 at a Weight Watchers meeting near you.

Black Bean-Tomatillo Dip

Makes 6 servings


  • j0438499 2 (15½ ounce) cans black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 (12 ounce) can tomatillos, drained, chopped
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Combine beans and tomatillos in a food processor and process to a chunky puree.
  2. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and add remaining ingredients.
  3. Stir until well combined.
  4. Serve with crispy, juicy jicama sticks. Just peel a jicama and cut into sticks or slices.

Nutritional information

One serving = 1/3 cup

  • 102 calories
  • 1 gram fat
  • 0 gram cholesterol
  • 390 grams sodium
  • 17 grams carbohydrates
  • 7 grams fiber
  • 6 grams protein

Weight Watchers POINTS = 1

Healthy Super Bowl party recipes: crock pot pulled meat sandwiches and more

super bowl xlIII 2009 logo Just when Thanksgiving and Christmas weight gains have finally been dieted off, here comes another eating holiday – SUPER BOWL. I love celebrating this American iconic event with a feast and have done healthy Super Bowl recipes and not so healthy (New England clam chowder and Philly cheese steak anyone?) in the past.

Since I’m traveling the week before the big game, I want something easy to put together that eliminates the need to be in the kitchen. (No way am I going to miss Springsteen during half time.) Well, I can’t think of anything easier than doing a crock pot meal.

Making “pulled pork” healthier

Recently I made “pulled venison” (like pulled pork) that was as easy as putting a few smallish venison roasts (about 4 pounds worth) in the crock pot, pouring a 18 oz. bottle of Country Bob’s Barbeque Sauce on top (about 2 pounds of meat to 1 cup of sauce is about the right ratio with venison), and letting it simmer away for 12 hours. When the meat was tender, I used two forks to “shred” the meat and served it on buns for dinner that night.

Not exactly the healthiest, low cal meal, right? Well here are some tips to make it better.

Instead, you may want to make your own barbeque sauce. (Remember 1 cup to about 2 pounds meat though you may prefer more.) Here are a few to consider:

The meat – I realize that not everyone has access to lean game meats, so why not use chicken breasts instead? Or you could choose lean beef cuts like chuck shoulder roast or arm pot roast. Buffalo meat is a good (but pricey) choice, too. Believe it or not, lean pork is still an option – try boneless pork loin roast.

Another way to cut back on the meat is to add some vegetables to your pulled meat dish. Add shredded carrots, pepper strips, or French style green beans (frozen is O.K.) to the crock pot about an hour before the meat will be tender enough to shred. (If necessary add a bit more barbeque sauce.) Even the most veggie-phobic family members won’t realize that you’ve mixed in some healthy vegetables since the sauce covers everything.

The bun – If you must have your shredded meat with a bun, pick one that uses whole grains and check the ingredient labels for sweeteners. You may want to see if you’re store carries organic wheat buns, since those tend to use cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.

Alternatives to buns are whole wheat pita pockets or serving the meat on brown rice. I served my pulled venison on top of cooked spaghetti squash, which was delicious. My kids liked it, too. (They love spaghetti squash.)

More healthy Super Bowl recipe ideas

For more ideas on healthy dishes to serve during your Super Bowl party, here are some links:

No fuss Super Bowl food

Sbxl_cmpnt_teamsEvery year at Super Bowl time, I say I’m going to make something simple so I can watch the game. And every year I get very ambitious and find myself in the kitchen missing wardrobe malfunctions and stupid GoDaddy.com commercials.

This year’s going to be different. Really. I’m going to make food ahead of time. Then I’m going to park myself on the couch, watch the festivities, graze, and forget for the day that I’m back on Weight Watchers.

So what am I going to make? First, I’ll go to the Longmont Cheese Importers, load up on yummy goodies, and make a fruit and cheese plate. Then I’m going to go to the grocery store to buy a couple of pounds of precooked shrimp to dip in cocktail sauce.

Finally, I may make a dip, but it has to be something the kids will eat, like a layered taco dip. This one comes from from Linda Larsen,Your Guide to Busy Cooks at About.com.

Prep Time : 25min
Cook Time : none
Type of Prep : Assemble
Cuisine : Tex-Mex
Occasion : New Year’s, Party, Superbowl


  • 16 oz. can refried beans
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 Tbsp. lime or lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. sour cream
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
  • Tortilla chips


In medium bowl or platter, mix beans and 1 cup salsa and spread evenly on a 12" round platter. Top with 2 cups sour cream. Mash avocados with lime juice, garlic and 2 Tbsp. sour cream. Spread over sour cream on platter. Top with remaining 1 cup salsa. Sprinkle with lettuce, then tomatoes and cheese. Refrigerate 2 hours to blend flavors, then serve with tortilla chips and vegetables. Serves 10-12.

And that’s it. No cooking. No dishing out food. Just macking out at the coffee table while enjoying the game and some quality family time.

Go Steelers! Go Seahawks!

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Crock Pot Ham with Gluten Free Beer and Chutney Glaze

Crock Pot Ham with Gluten Free Beer and Chutney Glaze at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Having company or family over for Thanksgiving or Christmas is stressful enough without having to spend the whole day in the kitchen roasting a turkey and preparing elaborate side dishes. Spiral cut ham is a great option since it's already precooked and pre-sliced and can be heated up in a slow cooker. You can put your own spin on it by creating a spicy – and gluten free – beer glaze as an easy and healthy alternative to using the sauce packet. It requires very little prep time and only a small amount of attention.

Spiral cut ham cooked in the crock pot also works well for parties and brunches. Plus, you'll have plenty of leftover ham for sandwiches, ham and eggs, omelets and quiche!

This Mama’s tips

  • You’ll need to make sure that your slow cooker is big enough – or your ham small enough – to use the lid. If it doesn’t quite fit, you can cover the top with several sheets of aluminum foil instead.
  • If you cannot find chutney at your local supermarket, use a cup of mild mango salsa plus a cup of peach or apricot preserves instead.
  • This is a great recipe for Easter, too!
  • For a roasting rack, I use two small, round cake racks at the bottom of my slow cooker.
  • During the holidays when spiral cut ham is on sale, buy an extra to freeze. Use this recipe at your Super Bowl or March Madness party!
Crock Pot Ham with Gluten Free Beer and Chutney Glaze at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Crock Pot Ham with Gluten Free Beer and Chutney Glaze

Based on a recipe by Fances Towner Giedt in her cookbook, Heartland Cooking Crockery Favorite


  • 1 5 to 6 pound fully cooked, spiral cut ham
  • 1 jar mango chutney
  • 3 tablespoons spicy or Dijon-style mustard
  • 24 ounces gluten free beer


  1. Trim off any excess fat. Place ham on a metal roasting rack or trivet in a 5-quart or larger crock pot or slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours or on HIGH for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  2. Remove tongs and metal rack from your slow cooker.
  3. Pour off and discard pan juice.
  4. Return ham to crock pot. If cooking on LOW, change setting to HIGH.
  5. Place chutney in a small bowl. Stir in mustard and beer.
  6. Pour chutney and beer mixture over ham into the crock pot. Cover and continue to cook for 30 minutes, basting every 5 minutes with the chutney and beer mixture.
  7. Transfer ham to a warm carving platter or a cutting board. Cover with foil and keep warm with a clean dish towel. Let stand for 15 minutes before uncovering and slicing.
  8. Spoon chutney and beer mixture over ham when serving.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 6 Hours 30 Minutes
Total Time: 6 Hours 45 Minutes
Servings: Makes 8 servings
  • Serving size: 1/8 of recipe
  • Calories: 415
  • Total Fat: 13g
  • Saturated fat: 4.4g
  • Unsaturated fat: 8.6g
  • Total Carbohydrates: 18g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 51g

Weight Watchers POINTS = 9