It’s the final game of the 2017-18 football season, and this is the one game that is ALL ABOUT THE FOOD!  We’re having neighbors over to watch the game, and since we’ve got a goal to try and eat healthier at each meal, I’ve chosen some delicious dishes to prepare that have been tweaked to be lower in fat, but they are still fabulous.

8 LAYER DIP (a healthier version of the classic)
(Adapted from Martha Stewart)

1 can (16 oz) low fat refried black beans
2 tsp lime juice
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup sour cream (I use light)
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 can (4.5 ounces) chopped green chiles
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced small
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
2-3 scallions, chopped

Tortilla chips, for serving (Ideally use baked tortilla chips here)

In a medium bowl, combine beans, lime juice, and 2 tablespoons water; season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to a serving dish. Top with sour cream, cheese, chiles, tomatoes, avocado (adding a bit of salt and pepper on the tomatoes as well as the avocados, and sprinkle lemon juice on the avocado after the S&P), shredded lettuce, and scallions.

Serve with tortilla chips.


(Adapted from Martha Stewart)

4 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds total), scrubbed and patted dry 
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil 
Coarse salt and ground pepper 
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk 
1/4 tsp sweet paprika, plus more for garnish 
4 slices bacon (Substitute turkey bacon for a delicious and healthier alternative)
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream 
1 scallion, sliced, for garnish

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet, rub sweet potatoes with oil; season with salt and pepper.

Bake until tender, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool on sheet (keep oven on). 

Halve sweet potatoes lengthwise; scoop out 1/3 cup flesh from each half into a medium bowl. Then cut the potato skins in half or into thirds (depending on the size of your potato). 

Add buttermilk and paprika to the bowl of sweet potato filling. Mash until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Stuff sweet-potato skins with filling. (To store, refrigerate, up to 2 days.) 




Stuff sweet-potato skins with filling. (At this point you can store them, covered, refrigerated, up to 2 days.)

When you’re ready to eat the potato skins, arrange filled sweet potato skins on a cookie sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven at 425 degrees F (or until lightly browned around edges), ~ 15 minutes. 

While the skins bake, in a skillet, cook bacon over medium until crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain on a papertowel-lined plate; crumble. Stir together sour cream and 2 tablespoons water; drizzle over sweet-potato skins. Garnish with bacon, paprika, and scallions. 






1/2 cup sugar 
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 3 to 4 limes) 
1 TBSP Asian chili paste
1 TBSP Asian fish sauce
Coarse salt 

For the Shrimp
Canola or safflower oil, for brushing 
36 large shrimp (about 3 pounds), peeled and deveined (tails left intact; optional) 
Coarse salt
Wooden or metal skewers for grilling

Soak 12 wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes to prevent charring (OR use metal skewers). 

To make the sauce: 
Bring sugar and lime juice to a simmer in a small saucepan.

Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in chili paste, and fish sauce. Season with salt. 

To make the shrimp: Heat grill to high. Brush grates with oil. Thread shrimp onto each skewer; season with salt.

Divide sauce in half; reserve half for serving. Grill shrimp for 1 minute; brush with sauce. Flip, and grill for 1 minute more; brush with sauce again. Flip, and grill, brushing occasionally with sauce, until opaque, 1 to 3 minutes more. Serve with reserved sauce.



(Adapted from Closet Cooking)

It’s a gloomy Super Bowl Sunday in Atlanta, so I’ve added this chili at the last minute to satisfy the soul.  It’s a healthier version of my chicken chili, and with the addition of quinoa, it’s packed with goodness.  Plus, it’s a snap to make and you can be done in under 30 minutes from start to finish. And the addition of lime juice really gives this chili a zesty fresh taste that I love!

1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
1-2 jalapeno peppers, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp cumin, toasted and ground
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup salsa verde
1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1 (15 ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1/2 tsp oregano
1 TBSP lime juice (~1/2 lime)
2 TBSP cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 avocados (for topping the bowl when serving)

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat, add the onion and jalapeno peppers and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes.

Add the garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about a minute.

Add the broth, salsa verde, chicken, beans, quinoa and oregano, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked and the quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes or so (depending on how large your chicken pieces are).

Remove the chicken, shred in a food processor.

Then return the chicken to the soup along with the lime juice and cilantro, season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.


OK – so these are NOT healthy!  But I’m entertaining and want to share a dessert with our friends that is wonderful.  Leftovers will be frozen and brought out at another gathering and they’ll still be delicious. I’ve been making these butterscotch bars for over 30 years – and they get rave reviews each and every time!

2 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, at room temp
1 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 TBSP vanilla
2 eggs
1 lg pkg butterscotch morsels (DIVIDED)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl and set aside.


Beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla together in another bowl.


Beat eggs into the mixture, and then gradually add the flour mixture.


Stir in about half of the morsels. Spread into an ungreased 9×13 baking pan, and sprinkle with remaining morsels.


Bake 25-30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.


***All photos are mine unless otherwise noted.