Tracy Miller
Colorful Cooking
Vail, CO Colorado

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January 29, 2013
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Huddle up for a healthy Super Bowl spread

Following Thanksgiving, Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest eating day for Americans. According to Fox Sports, on average we shove down 1200 calories and 50 grams of fat while snacking during the game. Polls also show that vegetables are the No. 1 food eaten at house parties after kickoff.

One of the secrets to being a good host is pre-planning. Menu planning can be tricky when trying to be healthy, accommodating guests' expectations and dietary restrictions. For a casual, American tradition like Super Bowl a mix of cheesy dips and bacon are a must - or else you're talking big time fumble - and adding fresh ingredients and a little prep will get you to the end zone with style.

Tortilla chips are a safety on the table with 8.2 million eaten on this day alone. Colorful Cooking's Southwestern Skillet is a hearty dip filled with a combo of tomatoes, black beans and sausage (substitute chopped turkey for a lower fat version), cheese and rice.

Oatmeal, banana and peanut butter treats can be shaped into footballs are healthy with a sweet, fun yogurt stitch.

Bacon wrapped figs are sweet and salty and a half piece of bacon per fig helps keep those calories in check. The pineapple and shrimp salad is fresh and low calorie with a little spice.

Spice it up even more with a creamy, roasted jalapeno popper topped with a crunch that includes oatmeal, almonds and panko. They are as good as the fried kind but without all the fat and grease. When I plan a party, I try to have something I call "filler" so picky eaters or those who have dietary restrictions can enjoy without hassle. Here a simple, fresh kale salad and microwave popcorn are quick table fillers that are good for you.

Parties are fun and snacking is fun, with Colorful Cooking you can have both! Log onto ColorfulCooking.com for full recipes.

Southwestern Skillet

Start to Finish: 30 minutes

Serves: 4 as main course, makes 6-8 cups

16 ounces ground sausage (or 2 cups chopped chicken)

1 cup cooked brown rice or barley

14.5 ounces black beans, rinsed and drained

14.5 ounces diced tomatoes in their juice

1/3 cup chopped green onions

1 packet taco seasoning

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a cast iron pan or skillet over medium heat, cook sausage and break into small pieces with a fork while cooking. Drain if necessary. If using cooked turkey, chop into small pieces and heat in skillet with olive oil.

Mix in rice, beans, tomatoes, green onion and seasoning. Stir until warm.

Add cilantro and cheese, stir until melted and serve.

Serve with chips, tortillas, avocados and spicy chipotle cream or lime sour cream.

Oatmeal Footballs

2 cups raw oatmeal

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup peanut butter

1 Tablespoon jelly or jam (strawberry is my choice)

1 very ripe banana

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

In a saucepan, melt butter and peanut butter together.

When melted, using a potato masher, mash banana into PB mixture until well combined.

In a bowl, stir together oatmeal and chocolate chips.

Pour melted mixture over oats and stir.

In a greased pie pan, spread mixture evenly with hands, pressing down to set.

Place on plate and put in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Using a sharp knife, cut into footballs.

For the yogurt frosting: Mix 1/2 cup plain yogurt with 1/4 cup powdered sugar in a plastic sandwich baggie. Cut off a tiny tip and use it to draw the stitches.

Serve cold with a glass of milk.

Makes 10.

Tracy Miller adds fruits and veggies to all her meals. She teaches culinary classes at Colorado Mountain College and Rocky Mountain Olive Oil in Edwards and shares recipes Sunday mornings on TV8's Good Morning Vail. To contact her email Tracy@colorfulcooking.com or log onto Colorfulcooking.com.


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The VailDaily Updated Jan 29, 2013 02:54PM Published Jan 29, 2013 02:51PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.