“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” - Benjamin Franklin

Monday, December 17, 2012

Don't Let Party Food Bring You Down!

It's the holiday season, which always brings on lots of parties.  Parties with finger foods and the opportunity to graze can always mean terrible things for people, but it's important to keep yourself in check.

First off, here are some tips:
  1. Don't stand next to the food.  If you stand by any food table, you will easily lose track of what you're eating.  It's easy to strike up a conversation and forget that you keep picking up a chip or a pretzel, and soon you're at 4 handfuls of chips and still munching.
  2. Make yourself a plate so you can see what you're eating.  Even if it's just a small cocktail plate, you can fill it up and actually SEE what you're eating and how much you're eating.
  3. Fill yourself full of veggies!  Most parties tend to have a veggie tray, so make sure what you're filling up on mostly is from that tray.  Skip the dip, or consume just a small amount of it.
  4. You can try anything you want, but IN MODERATION!  Make sure you're not going overboard.  Also, after you eat one small plate, give yourself time to digest it.  If you keep eating all at one time, you may end up fuller later than you wanted to be.
 That being said, we all enjoy some "cheats."  One of my biggest weaknesses at any party- especially a football party or gathering, is Buffalo Chicken Dip.  Last week my friend and I were headed to a work party and she wanted to make it, but wanted it to be a "safe" choice for her to eat at the party, knowing there were going to be tons of unhealthy options.  So she came over and I re-vamped the recipe for her.  I'm proud to say nobody knew we had make it lighter and it still received rave reviews, as Buffalo Chicken Dip always does.  So of course, I'm sharing it!

Lightened Up Buffalo Chicken Dip
You'll Need:
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 (8 oz) packs 1/3 less fat cream cheese
2 (6 oz) containers plain Greek Yogurt
1 pack ranch dressing mix
1 cup Buffalo Sauce (I recommend Franks)
1 1/2 cups cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

Do this:
1. In boiling water, cook the chicken until it's cooked all the way through, about 15 minutes.  Remove it from the water and allow it to cool.
2. Using two forks, shred the chicken into small pieces, just pulling them apart like you would to pulled pork in a crock pot.
3. In a large bowl, mix together chicken and all other ingredients.  Spread the mix into a 13x9 pan.
4. Before serving, heat in an oven for 30 mins at 350 degrees.

This recipe is a great make-ahead, just keep it in the fridge till you're ready to serve it, then heat it up.  It is best served with corn chips, but can also be served with celery to make it a great choice.

How to you avoid party temptations?

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