It’s my favorite time of year: FOOTBALL SEASON. Leaves are changing, pumpkin spice lattes are flowing, and tailgates are in full force. I’ve brought my cheesehead out of storage (yes, I actually do own one and wear it frequently), and am preparing for four glorious months of Packers football. And of course, a big part of the game day ritual is #footballfood. Whether you are prepping for a tailgate at Lambeau Field (also known as the ‘Happiest Place On Earth’), or bringing appetizers to a friend’s house for a viewing party, the game day food is almost as important as Odell Beckham’s victory dance. Almost.
Growing up a Packers fan, I basically bleed bloody mary’s, cheese, and bratwurst. And while some may view this as a balanced game day diet, it’s hard to convince the dietitian in me that the above combo constitutes one serving of vegetables, low fat dairy, and lean meats. That said, I live for tailgates and football food, and am not willing to sacrifice enjoying this time of year for a strict dietary regimen. Thus, I bring you: New Kid Game Day Food.
Hear me out: this recipe is just as delicious as any other tailgate recipe, but with a few simple swaps, you can feel good knowing that you are cheering on your team but can still fit into your jeans tomorrow. As a rule of thumb, I try to bring one lightened-up game day recipe to every tailgate or viewing party I go to, knowing that I have at least one dish I can shamelessly munch on throughout the game. Often times that means vegetables and hummus, but when it’s -10ºF in Green Bay, you pretty much get laughed right out of the tailgate if you show up with a plate of raw broccoli (*hangs head in shame*). To kick off the season this year, I opted for a skinny spinach and artichoke dip with mixed bell peppers. By cutting back on the cream cheese and mozzarella and swapping in nonfat Greek yogurt, you can reduce the fat content and increase the protein, helping you stay fuller, longer during an action-packed game day. And because spinach = health, duh.
Skinny Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Yield: 16-1/4 cup servings
- 4-ounce 1/3 less fat cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 12-ounces jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 10-ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat mozzarella shredded cheese
- 3 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
- 3 bell peppers, sliced or vegetable of choice
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Stir together cream cheese, Greek yogurt, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and onion powder in a large bowl.
- Mix in artichoke, spinach, and mozzarella cheese.
- Pour dip into 2 1/2-quart baking dish and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.
- Cover and bake about 15-20 minutes or until cheese is browned and bubbling.
- Serve with 1/2 cup vegetables. Enjoy!