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Lighter Super Bowl fare that still satisfies big appetites

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Sure the game’s great, but the other main attraction for many of us this Super Bowl Sunday will be the food (with the commercials coming in a close second, of course).

So bring on the wings, chips, dips and desserts – but hold the traditional recipes, which are riddled with calories, fat, sodium and sugar. Instead, try these modified versions, and score some points with party goers when you serve up a tasty spread that’s as healthy as it is hearty.

Baked Chicken Tenders

Cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts in to one inch strips. Soak strips in buttermilk, and then dredge them in a mixture that’s two parts Parmesan cheese to one part bread crumbs, pressing firmly to adhere. Lay the strips on a lightly-greased baking sheet, and bake at 475 degrees for 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear. Dip in assorted condiments, such as Frank’s Hot Sauce, honey mustard, BBQ sauce, ketchup or non-fat ranch dressing.

Quick-n-Easy Chili

Finely chop one yellow onion and cook in a frying pan with one tablespoon olive oil until translucent. Add one pound ground beef or turkey and cook until browned. Drain fat, and then add to a crock pot with one can each of kidney beans, black beans, corn, stewed tomatoes and tomato paste. Mix in one teaspoon each of chili powder and ground cumin, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and a dash of cinnamon (yes, cinnamon – trust me!) to taste. Cook until bubbly, and then serve topped with low-fat shredded cheese.

Sinless Spinach Dip

Finely dice two green onions plus a can of water chestnuts, and mix with one package frozen, chopped spinach that has been thawed. Add one package Knorr® Vegetable recipe mix, plus two cups of fat-free yogurt and one cup of ricotta cheese. Garnish with wheat pitas or toasted wheat bread.

Mindful Munchies

Air-popped popcorn makes a great snack that can be eaten by the handful with relatively little damage to the diet. Flavor with bold spices (equal parts chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt with do the trick) for a treat with some heat, or give it that sweet-and-salty kettle corn kick by misting popcorn with cooking spray and sprinkling sparingly with equal parts salt and sugar.

Dessert Do’s

Last but not least, even if you’ve mastered the main menu, everyone will be looking for something sweet as the grand finale while watching the game. Fresh fruit is always a healthy option, with a light drizzle of Hershey’s syrup for the sweet tooths of the bunch. Or try a healthier version of the traditional cakes, chocolate chip cookies and brownies by using more nutritious wheat flour, swapping in yogurt or applesauce for oil, opting for antioxidant-rich dark chocolate over milk chocolate, or even adding nuts and dried fruits to pack a more nutrient-dense punch.

What are your favorite Super Bowl Sunday treats and traditions?

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