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
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)
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.
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.
Fat-free refried beans with green chili and lime
Chopped green pepper
Fat-free sour cream
Fat-free shredded cheddar cheese
Thinly sliced green onions
Small handful of sliced black olives.
Mix together and serve with baked tortilla chips.
Baked Crispy Chicken Fingers
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
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!