Oh, yes! Its that time of year! Prepare for a sloppy day of pizza, beer, dips, chips, madness, TV, yelling, scores, touchdowns and debauchery. Football the one game that will keep the U.S. united for decades to come. Now, this Sunday is definitely a day where you can let yourself go. Indulge and dive into a plate of spinach-artichoke dip and jump into a fat bowl of hummus. But, do it my way and youll be able to zip up your hot, tight-ass skinny jeans the next day before work. This year, stick to eating well even on those days of naughty party-snacking and true Americana splurging.
Below are two recipes from the Minis and Munchies chapter of my new, stylish cookbook, Pretty Delicious. Keep it sexy and real all year round. Enjoy!
TDF Hummus with Veggie Sticks
FWB (Foods with Benefits) Garbanzo Beans: Helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and keeps you fuller, longer!
I swear I slather hummus on just about everything! It makes a simple carrot stick taste like a million bucks and its a way healthier option than reaching for the cheese and crackers or chips. My to-die-for (TDF) hummus gets a creamy boost from one of my favorite guilt-free ingredients, non-fat Greek yogurt. Its a great dip for company and leftovers are awesome on a skinny wich, like the ones in Pretty Delicious. Fruits and vegetables are Mother Natures very own dippers, so keep life simple and serve them up au natural.
Two 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained and drained
1/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
4 roasted garlic cloves (recipe follows)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cayenne
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sea salt
For dipping (some or all of the following):
1 large jicama, peeled and sliced into sticks
1 medium cucumber, ends trimmed, semi-peeled (so its striped), and cut into sticks
1 medium zucchini, ends trimmed and sliced into sticks
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 large apple (preferably a sweet-crisp one like Fuji), halved, cored, and sliced into wedges
1 red bell pepper, halved, seeded, and sliced
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup cauliflower florets
1.) Place all of the ingredients for the hummus into a food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and surround with a selection of raw veggies.
Slim Saver: Whether you call them garbanzos or chickpeas, you should definitely be calling on them to achieve a diet rich in filling fiber and good protein. I use these little guys on their own or to stretch a salad and bulk up a soup. Averaging around $1 per can, you cant go wrong.
FWB Garlic: Helps to lower overall cholesterol.
Back in the day, my college girlfriends were always asking me to make spinach-artichoke dip. It was their absolute party must-have. After making it dozens of times (always loaded with full-fat mayo and cream cheese), I went cold turkey and refused to make it again until I could come up with a healthier version. It took a few tries, but this skinny version is so right-on that I swear no one can tell the difference. Now everyone is happymy girls have their dip and I can feel good about serving it to them. Its extra fabulous if you let it chill in the fridge overnightso make it a day ahead of time and reheat it for 15 to 20 minutes at 350F before bringing it to the party.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
Two 14-ounce cans water-packed artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, and thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh spinach or baby spinach (about 5 ounces), roughly chopped
1 cup light cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup light mayonnaise
1/3 cup (about 2 ounces) finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 large baguette cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1.) Adjust one oven rack to the upper-middle position and keep one rack at the middle position. Heat the oven to 375F. Coat an 8-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is sticky and golden-brown, about 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the artichoke hearts and a few cups of the spinach, turning the mixture over until the spinach leaves wilt. Add the remaining spinach and continue to cook until all the leaves are wilted, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2.) Stir the cream cheese, mayonnaise, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan together in a large bowl until creamy. Add the cooled spinach mixture and stir to combine. Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Bake until the cheese is golden-brown, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly while the crostini toasts.
3.) Turn the oven up to 400F. Lightly brush one side of the baguette slices with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place them seasoned-side up on a rimmed baking sheet and toast on the middle rack until golden-brown, about 6 minutes. Serve with the warm artichoke dip and a clear conscience!
Slim Saver: When I need Parmesan as a mix-in, Ill often go for American or Argentinean alternatives and save the pricey, imported Parmesan to use as a finishing sprinkle or to shave on salads. When combined with other big flavor ingredients, you cant taste the difference.
Word up, yo! Eat well, be well and GO PACKERS!!!! We love you Brandon Chillar! Xxx
After viewers fell in love with her on Season One of Bravos Top Chef, Candice Kumai became the co-host of Lifetimes hit series, “Cook Yourself Thin” and helped create the shows NY Times #1 Best-selling companion cookbook. With a culinary education from Le Cordon Bleu in California and as a former fit and print model, Candice is dedicated to making healthful, waist-conscious food that is as delicious as it is appealing. Now, Candice is a chef contributor on Cooking Channels Unique Eats and TLCs Home Made Simple. Rodale published Pretty Delicious, her first solo cookbook, in January 2011. Tweet her @StilettoChef and check out www.StilettoChef.com for more exclusive recipes and healthy eating tips.