EatSavvy Blog

Jan Scott
January 28, 2015
Jan Scott
healthy super bowl snacks
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Hot on the heels of the winter holidays comes the Super Bowl, one of the year’s most exciting sporting events—according to all the boys in my house. They see it as a day to lounge in front of the TV with their friends, devouring lots of ‘manly food’ like chicken wings, pizza, and root beer.

We usually end up at a party of some sort, and if we don’t, we have people over to our house instead. While I’m happy to indulge in their decadent dinner choices for a special treat, I do have to add a healthy twist to the meal and I usually do so via my spinach and artichoke dip. Usually loaded with a variety of fat-laden cheeses, this popular dip gets a game-day makeover in my kitchen when made with beans, frozen spinach, artichokes, and lighter cheese options. It’s still flavourful, filling (thanks to all that fiber), and hits the spot, and no one seems to notice that it’s a little healthier than the version they are used to eating.

This dip can also be made days in advance, even weeks if desired, as it holds up in the freezer perfectly and can be baked just before serving. If you aren’t feeding a crowd, divide the dip into two and freeze one portion for another night.

If you’re looking for some lighter fare for your football fanatics here are a few other savvy snacks you’ll feel good about serving for Super Bowl:

What’s your Super Bowl menu looking like this year? Are you going to or hosting a party?

White Bean, Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Adapted from Spilling the Beans

Serves 6-8

You’ll Need:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup white beans (preferably navy)
  • 1 jar (6 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, drained
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup grated mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 package (10 oz.) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of any excess liquid
  • Few dashes hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Prep and Cook:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and spray a shallow baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic and beans in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until smooth. Add the artichoke hearts, Parmesan and half the mozzarella and whiz until well combined.
  3. Scrape into a bowl and stir in the spinach and hot sauce. Season well with salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through. Remove the foil, spring with the remaining cheese and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the edges and bubbling.
  5. Serve warm with fresh pita, veggies, crackers, or tortilla chips.

Good to Know: Frozen kale makes a mighty fine substitute for the spinach.

Jan Scott is an event planner, food writer and the face behind the family food blog www.familybites.ca. She's also the mom of two school-aged boys, and when she's not planning a party or writing about feeding a family she can be found in her kitchen whipping up lots of yummy things for her boys to eat.
Comments | Tagged under snacks, dip, super bowl
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After School Snack: Peanut Butter Cookies, Two Ways
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Last week my kids and I performed an after-school snack taste test that I thought you might be interested in. We tested two different recipes for peanut butter cookies, one grain-free and one not, and then asked everyone in the family to determine which cookie they thought tasted best. It was a fun way to pass the time between school and dinner on a day with no hockey or music lessons, and a week’s worth of exam studying on the horizon.

For both recipes, we made the dough in the food processor, one of my favourite new ways to whip up homemade cookies. The dough comes together with a little more speed than using an electric or handheld mixer, and if the butter isn’t completely softened it’s not a problem because the processor will turn it smooth in seconds.

The first recipe we tested is made with four ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen: peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and an egg. The dough whips up quickly, and once shaped into one-inch balls and baked for 12 minutes you’re left with a grain-free cookie perfect for serving alongside a cup of hot cocoa.

The second recipe we tried is made like the cookie dough you’re likely familiar with: flour, baking soda and powder, salt, sugar, butter, peanut butter, vanilla, and a touch of honey. The baking time is the same as the first cookie and the dough only takes a little longer to make because the ingredient list is longer.

So what’s the verdict? We are split 50/50 as to which version of the cookies we like best! Two in my family liked the grain-free version best, while the other two preferred the taste of the traditional cookies, but ultimately we all agree that both recipes are pretty fabulous.

Tell us, have you performed any taste tests in your home recently? Also, what’s your favourite cookie to bake right now?

Grain-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

You’ll Need:

  • 1 ½ cups peanut butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large

Prep and Cook:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the peanut butter, sugars, and egg in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Pulse until the ingredients are combined and the dough forms a loose ball in the bowl of the processor.
  3. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. Press down on each cookie with the tines of a fork (you might want to dip this in water first to prevent it from sticking to the cookie dough) and bake for 12-13 minutes, or until the bottoms and sides are pale brown.
  4. Cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

Adapted from What to Bake & How to Bake It

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp honey

Prep and Cook:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the flour, baking powder, sugars and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse for 5 seconds to combine.
  3. Add the butter and peanut butter and pulse 5-10 times or until the dough is mealy. Add the egg and honey and process until smooth but still slightly sticky.
  4. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. Press down on each cookie with the tines of a fork (you might want to dip this in water first to prevent it from sticking to the cookie dough) and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the bottoms and sides are pale golden brown.
  5. Cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Jan Scott is an event planner, food writer and the face behind the family food blog www.familybites.ca. She's also the mom of two school-aged boys, and when she's not planning a party or writing about feeding a family she can be found in her kitchen whipping up lots of yummy things for her boys to eat.
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Welcome

Welcome to the EatSavvy Blog where you’ll find great food ideas for your family. We want to help you tackle the day-to-day monotony of what’s for breakfast? Lunch? Snack time? Thanks to our amazing food editor Jannise Scott of www.familybites.ca, we’ve got some great tips in the kitchen as well. Get inspired.

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