Here are a few suggestions for enjoying your sports snacking without too much guilt! Many of the typical TV snacks are loaded with both fat and calories, but with a little planning ahead, there are still many yummy munchies you can try!

Stock up
Here are some foods you can stock up on that are better than most of what's out there:

  • Mini popcorn cakes, cheddar cheese flavor (taste surprisingly like cheese curls -- beware!)
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Don't forget the veggie and fruit trays, with some light Ranch dip. Try cutting the top off a bell pepper, removing the seeds and using it as a dip bowl. To make it even prettier, zigzag the cut!
  • Light microwave popcorn
  • Shrimp cocktail
  • Hummus and pita toasts (Either buy hummus or quickly make it by pureeing a can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), a couple teaspoons of lemon juice, and as many cloves of garlic as you like (try starting with two). I also like to add a handful of roasted red peppers if I have them on hand.

If you need to bring a dip to a viewing party, try one or more of these:

Asiago Cheese Dip
Ingredients:

1/3 cup light or fat-free cream cheese
1/4 cup shredded asiago cheese
1 clove garlic
1 to 2 Tablespoons chopped green onions
1 to 2 Tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:
In food processor, combine 1 cup 1 percent or fat-free cottage cheese (drained as much as possible), 1/3 cup light or fat-free cream cheese, 1/4 cup shredded asiago cheese, 1 clove garlic and process until combined. Stir in 1 to 2 T. chopped green onions, and 1 to 2 T. chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Spoon into small casserole dish, microwave until heated through (about 3 to 4 minutes). If desired, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and finish under broiler just until lightly browned. Let stand a few minutes before serving to thicken. Garnish with green onion. Serve with thin slices of French bread (sprayed with buttery cooking spray, sprinkled with garlic salt and broiled), or crackers.

Artichoke/Parmesan Dip
Ingredients:
1 cup 1 percent or fat-free cottage cheese
3 Tablespoons light or fat-free mayonnaise
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic
1 14-ounce can of artichoke hearts
1 teaspoon dried dill weed (optional)

Directions: In food processor, combine 1 cup 1 percent or fat-free cottage cheese, 3 T. light or fat-free mayonnaise, 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese, and 1 clove garlic and process until combined. Spoon into bowl. Drain and chop artichoke hearts, add to cheese mixture, combine. Spoon into small casserole dish, microwave until heated through (about 3-4 minutes). Finish under broiler just until lightly browned. Serve with same as above. If you like dill, this dip also tastes good with 1 t. dried dill weed mixed in. It gives it different taste, but good if you like dill.

7-Layer Lite
Ingredients:
Fat-free refried beans with green chili and lime
Chopped tomatoes
Chopped green pepper
Salsa
Fat-free sour cream
Fat-free shredded cheddar cheese
Thinly sliced green onions
Small handful of sliced black olives.

Directions:
Mix together and serve with baked tortilla chips.

Baked Crispy Chicken Fingers
Ingredients:
1 lb. chicken breast sliced into thin strips
1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
1/2 cup crushed corn flakes or cheese crackers
1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium glass or plastic bowl, combine 1 lb. chicken breast sliced into thin strips with 1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk. Cover and put in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. Combine 1/2 cup crushed corn flakes (or cheese crackers), 1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, 1 t. garlic powder, 1/2 t. oregano, and 1/4 t. black pepper in large Ziploc bag. After chicken is chilled, drain off liquid and add to Ziploc bag, shaking to coat. Add 1 T. olive oil to shallow baking pan. Add chicken. Bake for approximately 4 minutes on each side, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Serve with honey mustard dip or light ranch dressing.

Final note: Just because you're heading to a party where you know you're going to eat, drink and be merry, don't pass on your regular exercise session. A nice, invigorating workout will help you resist some of the more decadent food offerings, will give you more energy and keep your healthy lifestyle on track!

Go team!

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