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Super Bowl light: Call a time-out on unnecessary fat, calories and salt

(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Kimberly Bowsher's boneless buffalo bites use lower-fat chicken breasts and are simmered in a pan. She also makes her own Buffalo sauce, avoiding all the salt and preservatives found in store-bought brands.

By Kathy Stephenson

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Jan 29 2013 08:18AM
Updated May 5, 2013 11:33PM

When Kim Bowsher throws a football party, she calls a time-out on foods with aggressive fat, unsportsmanlike calories and unnecessary salt and preservatives.

Yet guests never know they are enjoying a lighter game-day line-up until Bowsher, of Ogden, author of The Family Practice blog, tells them.

Take, for instance, her juicy turkey meatballs in a homemade teriyaki sauce (see recipe at left, all others at the bottom of this story). "People are shocked when they found out they’re not beef," she says.

The appetizer is just one of many lightened up recipes that Bowsher, a mother of two young boys, has posted on her site since it was launched in April 2010.

For the 2012-13 football season, she self-published 20 of the most popular posts into a pocket-size cookbook called "Know Your Line Up." It’s available on her blog for $6.95, which includes shipping.

The recipes take typical game-day foods, and substitute healthier ingredients, such as low-fat turkey or plain Greek yogurt. Her guests can eat healthy, hearty food without feeling guilty about calories or feeling as if they are on a diet.

We liked the idea so much that we asked Bowsher and two other food bloggers — Kalyn Denny of Kayln’s Kitchen and Dara Michalski of Cookin Canuck — to share their best lighter recipes for Sunday’s Superbowl match-up between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens.

Here’s the game plan:

Pre-game bites •Bowsher’s meatballs are made with lower-fat ground turkey, steel cut oats — which holds the lean meat together — and spices. She cooks them in chicken broth, which helps keep them moist. And before serving, she tosses them in a homemade teriyaki sauce for added flavor.

Kick-off appetizers • What’s a football party without buffalo wings? Bowsher’s boneless buffalo bites uses lower-fat chicken breasts and are simmered in a pan — without fatty breading or deep frying. She also makes her own Buffalo sauce, avoiding all the salt and preservatives found in store-bought brands. Bowsher also spends a little time and makes her own Ranch dip with plain yogurt and herbs so fans can indulge without feeling guilty.

Halftime meal •Through the years, Denny has posted dozens of chili recipes on her South Beach diet blog. However, the former elementary school teacher said none of them "knocked my socks off" like the black bean and beef chili. "What really put this chili into over-the-top status was the creamy avocado-cilantro-onion salsa," she said. With that mixture as a garnish, you can skip the fattening sour cream and grated cheddar.

Late-game dessert • Michalski said she originally found her peanut butter banana quick bread recipe in Cooking Light magazine. But over the years, she has adapted it to make it more nutritious. She substitutes whole-wheat pastry flour for all-purpose flour, canola oil for butter and extra bananas to reduce the sugar. She also skipped the traditional glaze. The result is a "moist and tender bread, rich with the flavor of peanut butter and banana," she says, and just the right amount of sweetness.

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