When you think of the Super Bowl, the player who comes to mind the quickest is former quarterback Joe Montana. January proved to be his best month, as he led the San Francisco 49ers to four Super Bowl Championships and earned the Super Bowl MVP award three times. Montana is quarterbacking a different initiative for this year's Super Bowl. He's working as a spokesman for Take Action for Healthy BP to educate people about the dangers of high blood pressure -- a problem he faced in 2002.
"I have a family history of heart disease," says Montana. "A little over two years ago, I found out that I suffered from severely high blood pressure that needed to be brought under control. I had to change my diet, exercise schedule and take medication to get it under control. I worked with my doctor to find a game plan that was good for me and would help me achieve my blood pressure goal. My family has been supportive and helpful. My kids remove the salt shakers from the table."
Approximately 65 million Americans have high blood pressure, which puts them at a greater risk for a heart attack or stroke. Before you load your supermarket buggy with food for your Super Bowl bash, make plans to cut out items that are high in fat, salt and calories.
Montana eagerly shares his recipes with family and fans, to help them get their blood pressure under control.
"These recipes are a simple way of eating well, even when hanging out with friends watching the Super Bowl," says Montana. "While eating well isn't always enough, it is a good first start."
Post Season Pizzas
2. Bake in pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes until cheese melts and begins to brown.
3. Cut each round into four pieces and serve immediately.
Serving size: Six pizza slices.
Per serving: Calories 207, Fat 5.54g, Carbohydrate 30.55g, Protein 11.18g, Cholesterol 11.44mg, Sodium 231mg
Preparation tip: Use fingers to split fresh pitas into rounds or a sharp knife when pitas are drier.
Healthy food tip: Decrease your taste for salt (and sodium) by using little or none in food preparation. Replace salt with fresh herbs and spices or a salt-free seasoning mixture.
Kick-Off Chicken Kabobs
Veggies and dip
2. Preheat broiler on high.
3. Wear gloves while skewering one piece of chicken per skewer. Line a broiler pan with foil and spray with non stick cooking spray, place chicken on skewers. Broil 4 inches from heat, 3 minutes per side.
3. To make the blue cheese dip, mix yogurt, garlic and blue cheese until smooth. Serve with chicken and veggies.
Serving size: 5 skewers, 1/4 cup dip and 5 carrot and 5 celery sticks
Per serving (Kabobs): Calories 191, Fat 5.16g, Carbohydrate 2.82g, Protein 31.31g, Cholesterol 85.54mg, Sodium 193mg
Per serving (Veggies and dip): Calories 62, Fat 1.41g, Carbohydrate 8.24g, Protein 4.52g, Cholesterol 4.42mg, Sodium 137mg
Preparation tip: To cut back on chopping time use baby carrots or pre cut celery and carrots.
Healthy food tip: To create a healthy dip use non-fat plain yogurt. It gives the tang of sour cream without all the calories.
Half-Time Meatball Hoagie
8 whole wheat rolls, approximately 3 1/2 inch diameter
2. With wet hands make 24 meat balls about one quarter cup each, place on a baking sheet and chill until sauce is ready.
3. In a large cooking pot combine tomatoes, garlic, onion and oregano. Bring to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Finely chop one or two chipotle chilies (to taste) and add to the sauce. Simmer another 2 minutes. Remove meatballs from fridge and add one at a time to the sauce. Cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat, or until cooked through. Serve on whole wheat rolls.
Serving size: One whole wheat roll with three meatballs
Per serving: Calories 386, Fat 10.46g, Carbohydrate 36.64g, Protein 33.14g, Cholesterol 102.19mg, Sodium 451mg
Preparation tip: To make life easier on the Big Game day make the sauce ahead and freeze.
Healthy food tip: By rinsing the chipotle chilies you remove the salty adobo sauce, but still get the flavor of these smoky tasting chilies. Always look for low-salt or no salt-added condiments or sauces.
Touchdown Tortilla Chips with Salsa
Black Bean Salsa
2. Stir dry spices together and add olive oil. Mix to combine. Place tortillas in a large bowl and toss to coat.
3. Spread tortilla in a single layer on one or two cookie sheets and bake 10-12 minutes until golden and crisp. The chips will crisp up more once you remove them from the oven.
4. **Cut tomatoes into quarters and remove seeds with fingers. Then finely chop tomatoes and add to a large bowl. Add and mix onion, chili, garlic, cilantro and lime juice. Gently stir in black beans. To combine flavors, leave covered and let stand at least 10 minutes to overnight.
**If using food processor: first chop the tomatoes using several pulses and then add to a large bowl, then add onion, garlic, and chilies and pulse to chop finely. Stop motor, add cilantro and pulse two more times. Add to the tomatoes and finish with beans and lime juice.
Serving size: 16 chips and 1/2 cup black bean salsa
Per serving (chips): Calories 141, Fat 4.76g, Carbohydrate 23.19g, Protein 2.93g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 87mg
Per serving (salsa): Calories 83, Fat 0.66g, Carbohydrate 16.68g, Protein 4.46g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 13mg
Preparation tip: To save time while your guests are around, prepare the tortilla chips in advance. Let them cool and then store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days or in freezer for up to two weeks.
Healthy food tip: Any seasoning that uses "salt" as part of the name is high in sodium. Examples are garlic salt, celery salt and onion salt. Use fresh herbs or plain garlic, celery and onion powder to provide flavor. Lime juice and chilies gives this recipe extra flavor without adding salt.
Overtime Oatmeal Cookies
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg whites and vanilla and beat again to mix.
3. Add flours and cinnamon, mix to combine. Then add the oats and mix again. Lastly mix in by hand chocolate chips, nuts and dried apricots.
4. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and drop tablespoons full of the dough about two inches apart and bake about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Serving size: 4 cookies
Per serving (without nuts): Calories 314, Fat 7.25g, Carbohydrate 59.45g, Protein 5.9g, Cholesterol 7.63g, Sodium 41mg
Per serving (with nuts): Calories 361, Fat 11.84g, Carbohydrate 60.63g, Protein 7.05g, Cholesterol 7.63mg, Sodium 41mg
Preparation tip: Using parchment paper instead of a butter is a smart way to keep baked goods from sticking to the cookie sheet without adding fat.
Healthy food tip: Use dried spices to enhance the flavors of your favorite desserts without adding fat. Try, ginger, anise, cardamom, cinnamon or cloves.