Healthy Twist on Super Bowl Favorites


Better Mornings Atlanta with Jennifer Valdez

The Super Bowl is almost here! And I love a good excuse to put together yummy food with a theme. Football provides the perfect opportunity, there are so many ways to spin it. The team colors are always fun to play up in food with fruits and veggies. But you can also honor the hometown themselves, or the halftime entertainment, in the dishes on your spread. So for my fun this morning on CBS’ Better Mornings Atlanta, I whipped up some super tasty treats honoring Green Bay, Pittsburgh, the Black Eyed Peas, and of course featuring green, gold and black throughout. 

Green Bay vs Pittsburgh Potato Skins

Potatos have gotten such a bad reputation for a while. But they are actually quite healthy, especially the skins which contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (fancy word for other properties in plant foods that boost our health). To prepare the potato skins, take several russet potatoes and pierce with a fork. Bake in the oven directly on the rack at 350 degrees for about one hour, or until done. Allow to cool slightly, then quarter each potato lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh, leaving about a 1/4 inch. Reserve the flesh for another use. Put skins on a pan and put back in oven at 425 degrees for about 5 minutes. Then take out, put on your favorite toppings and put back in the oven until heated through and browned. 

Green Bay toppings: 

Ground turkey breast bratwurst  with stoneground mustard and reduced fat cheddar cheese 

I used the linked recipe above from Cooking Light, with some minor changes. First, I used ground turkey breast which is much leaner than ground turkey. I also cut the recipe in half as this makes a good bit. Rather than forming into patties, I just browned in the pan, stirring to crumble. 

Pittsburgh toppings: 

Lean turkey kielbasa, sauteed onions and yellow bell pepper, sauerkraut and reduced fat Swiss cheese 

Black Eyed Pea Layered Dip

I have to admit, I’m a sucker for a good 7 Layer Dip or Southwestern Dip. It has always been a favorite, but the calories and fat content can make it over the top. I found this recipe, Southwestern Layered Dip, on Eating Well and made a few changes of my own. Instead of using refriend beans and black beans, I decided to pay homage to the Super Bowl halftime entertainment, the Black Eyed Peas. I pureed one can of drained and rinsed black eyed peas in my food processor, adding about a tablespoon of water to help the consistency. Then I stirred in another can of drain and rinsed black eyed peas along with the rest of the ingredients called for in the recipe. Also, I opted to use reduced fat cheddar cheese. It is super tasty, I must admit! 

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

This Spinach and Artichoke Dip  recipe was first published by Cooking Light in 2000 and it is a keeper. The green and yellow play nicely on the Green Bay Packers team colors. 

Black Bean, Corn and Avocado Salsa

Of course guacomole is another great way to eat avocados, but I wanted something a bit different and this Black Bean, Corn and Avocado Salsa fit the bill. I couldn’t resist this tempting dip from Not only is it really tasty, but the colors are the perfect representation of the teams playing in the Super Bowl this year. Avocados are a nutrition powerhouse! Did you know that 3 slices of avocado (1 oz) has only 50 calories and nearly 20 vitamins and minerals? You may have heard that avocados contain fat, but it is heart healthy monounsaturated fat mostly, which we need more of in our diet. There are so many fun and unique ways to eat avocados and has some great ideas. 

When I am eating dip, I want a good chip choice to go along with it. Frito Lay has really made strides in the chip category, with many of their chips now featuring all natural ingredients without any artificial ingredients or preservatives. Tostito Scoops are the perfect vehicle to get all of the beans and veggies into your mouth, and with only 3 ingredients: corn, corn oil and salt, it is a choice that I can feel good about. Many of their flavored chips are also all natural now – just look for the all natural stamp on the outside of the bag. 

CBS Better Mornings Atlanta with Jennifer Valdez

  So, what’s going to be on your Super Bowl table this Sunday? 

My Super Bowl spread on CBS Better Mornings Atlanta

Note: I did receive compensation from Frito Lay and Avocados from Mexico for featuring their products. However, these are products that I routinely use anyway for the reasons stated above and feel are in line with my approach to nutrition. I wouldn’t feel comfortable being a spokesperson for just any chip, snack or food as my credibility as a dietitian and nutrition expert are more important than anything else. But we live in the real world where people enjoy chips, especially during the Super Bowl!  I would rather help people make a better choice and have stated my reasons above as they are a true reflection of my feelings and knowledge on the subject.