Super Bowl Sunday is a party waiting to happen for most folks, whether they are football fanatics or not. Plus, I always look forward to the commercials!

As you go grocery shopping for your party goods this week, consider adding some healthier ingredients to your cart. I’m not suggesting you forgo your favorite chicken wings or chips, but try to balance it out a little.

Skip the Compulsive Buys – Plan a Menu

Seeing your favorite chip display as soon as you walk into the store isn’t an accident. Don’t be sucked in by the typical fare that will be lined up in prime zones (aisle end-caps, front of produce and deli department, at the front entrance) at the market with the intention of enticing you to put more into your cart.

Instead, be armed with a plan and shopping list so you can create your own healthy and delicious, crowd-pleasing menu. Bonus: when you stick with the plan, you won’t overspend.

Keep in mind, that as you plan a menu, feel free to include one favorite junk food, and then add veggies and some fruit to even out the spread. I promise, when you set them out, they will get picked on throughout the game!

Use these 3 tips to lighten up some of your favorite party-spread recipes:

  • Use light sour cream, nonfat plain Greek yogurt, or low fat cream cheese, to lighten up your favorite dip recipes
  • Include one high fat food to enjoy, and balance it out with  fruit, vegetables, and a lower fat dip or dish (load nachos with shredded cooked chicken and tons of veggies!).
  • Add more beans to dips, stews, chilis, toppings. Beans are loaded with fiber and B vitamins.

Finally – Dude, don’t gorge yourself! Slow down and stay hydrated with water or sparkling water in between beers. You’ll feel way better tomorrow.

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This is a quick and easy casserole that uses some pantry staples. The pumpkin gives it added nutrients (potassium and betacarotene) and fiber. It can be made ahead and reheated. It's great leftover.
Servings 4 servings
Author Rosanne Rust MS RDN,


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 6 mini bell peppers diced (or 2 large)
  • ½ medium onion diced
  • 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 3 TB tomato paste
  • 1 packet low sodium taco seasoning
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or bison
  • 1 can pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 8 mini corn tortillas street-taco size
  • ½ cup shredded cheese
  • Plain nonfat Greek yogurt optional


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Pour pumpkin into a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add broth and tomato paste, stir to combine. Add about 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning from the packet. Let the sauce simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add peppers and onions and sauté until the onions are translucent. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the beef to the pan the peppers were cooked in. Break the beef up into crumbles as you brown it, then reduce heat and return the peppers to the pan. Add the beans and combine. Remove from heat.
  • Pour about a third of the sauce to the prepared baking dish. Add ½ of the beef mixture to the dish. Top with 4 tortillas. Spread another third of the sauce over the tortillas. Top with the rest of the beef mixture. Top the beef mixture with 4 tortillas, then the remaining sauce. Sprinkle evenly with the cheese.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then cut into 4 servings. Garnish with the yogurt if desired.
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Banana Bar Cookie

I'm always looking for ways to use up ripe bananas. Adding mini chocolate chips to these blondie bars makes them dessert!
Servings 32 servings
Author Rosanne Rust MS RDN,


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 medium ripe bananas mashed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened 1 1/2 sticks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 13x11 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside
  • Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside
  • Mash bananas in a glass measuring cup. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  • Place butter and sugars into a mixing bowl. Mix on medium-high until creamy. Add banana mixture, and mix until blended. Turn mixer down to low and add chocolate chips. Mix until just combined.
  • Spread mixture into prepared pan.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden. Cool pan on wire rack. Cut into squares.
  • Optional: Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.