Big Game Grub: 4 Easy Recipes for Super Bowl Party Appetizers

It’s been a long season with many surprises and great moments. Here in Colorado, we said goodbye to Tim Tebow and welcomed Peyton Manning to the Denver Broncos, and boy did he impress in his first season, taking us all the way to the playoffs and making us dream of the Super Bowl! Too bad those pesky Baltimore Ravens just had to get in the way.

Anyway, Super Bowl XLVII is just 4 days away, and if you’re throwing a party and inviting friends over, that means it’s time to start planning ideas for appetizers and snacks for Game Day. Just like last year, you can always count on us to share recipes recipes for the Big Game that are full of flavor and easy to make. Whether you go with finger food, tacos, a casserole or good ol’ mashed taters, these 4 recipes are sure to score a touchdown with your guests. Enjoy!

Potato Dippers with Sauces

Grilled Potato Dippers with a Trio of Sauces

These ain’t any regular old potato wedges. What truly makes these special are three dipping sauces packed with so much flavor, taking just one bite is like being sacked with deliciousness. All three sauces: red pepper basil, caramelized onion and chive, and avocado cilantro use fat-free Greek yogurt and can be chilled in the fridge for up to 24 hours before the game.

Potato Tacos

Chili Lime Potato Tacos

These chili lime potato tacos will be a big hit with all of your guests! You can make them with chicken and salsa verde, turkey and red chili, keep them vegetarian with soy chorizo and veggies, or even make them gluten free! The chili and lime flavors taste truly authentic and with all four recipes at less than 250 calories and 7 grams of fat per serving, you won’t blitz your guests with calories.

Beef and Potato Tamale Casserole

Beef and Potato Tamale Casserole

This is a fun Mexican-style recipe that’s easy to make and a proven crowd pleaser. It’s also a time-saver, since you can make it in your microwave. Along with tomatoes, potatoes, beef and cheese, you can use corn tortillas or flavored corn chips. Best of all, just like with a taco, you can add your favorite toppings like hot sauce, guacamole, sour cream or plain yogurt, green onion or salsa.

Chipotle Mashed Potatoes

Chipotle Mashed Potatoes

You’ve never seen mashed potatoes quite like these. With so many flavors including monterey jack cheese, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and fresh cilantro, you’ll never look at mashed potatoes the same way after taking your first bite. For guests that have love mashed potatoes but think they’ve seen it all, this will be a welcome spicy surprise.
 
Are you making other potato appetizers and snacks for the Big Game? Let us know in the comments!

 

How Potatoes Help You Keep A Healthy Diet

Potato Measuring Tape

Seems like everyone we know is on a weight loss/eat healthier plan this New Year. In fact, almost every new year that’s the case. Maybe we should just go ahead and change the name of January to Dietary! Ha! But in all seriousness, another truth about this time of year is that while most people do well making big dietary changes for the first few weeks, now is about the time when all that willpower can peter out.

If you are making figure-changing or health-improving dietary changes, that’s great. And, we want you to know potatoes can help. Here’s why:

Potatoes Help You Feel Fuller Longer and Eat Less

A lettuce leaf might keep you chewing for a bit, but studies show that potatoes are one of the most filling foods available. In fact, they stave off hunger better than other common sides, like pasta, rice and bread. In part because they have 8% of the recommended daily value of fiber: 2 grams in every wholesome, satisfying spud. Dietary fiber has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including improving blood lipid levels, regulating blood glucose, and increasing satiety (makes you feel full longer), which may help with weight loss.

Also, potatoes have loads of vitamin B6, which plays an important role in both carbohydrate and protein metabolism, helping to turn food into energy you burn right away rather than storing for, well, um, later use.

So when you reach for a baked PotatOH at lunch instead of a salad—or even in addition to your salad—you may be less likely to reach for the chocolate covered pretzels at 3:00 p.m. But watch the toppings! Skip the bacon and cheddar and try low fat yogurt and veggie chili, or broccoli with a shaving of Parmesan for toppings. Add a little protein, like chicken breast. You can also mix it up by trying baked sweet potatoes.

Remember, It’s Calories That Count, Not Just Which Foods You’re Eating.

It might be hard to do in practice, but in principle maintaining a good, healthy weight is a simple matter: burn more calories than eat. Luckily, one medium-sized (5.3 oz) potato has just 110 calories. Also, potatoes are 100% fat-free and have zero cholesterol, making them a great meal that will fill you up, not out.

 

Potatoes: Good for You and Your Skin

Woman's Face

We know you know that eating potatoes with the skin on is good for you. You’ll get more nutrients like potassium and Vitamin C, plus extra fiber. And, you probably also know that cooking potatoes in their skin helps keep more of the nutrients locked in.

But did you know that potatoes (and their skin) are also good for your skin?

That’s right. Potatoes can be both a nourishing food and a fantastic mask.

Eating Them

Potatoes have what it takes to nourish skin from the inside out. One reason is the high copper content. One baked potato gives you 75% of the copper you need in your diet. In your body, copper joins up with zinc and Vitamin C to build the elastin fibers that support your skin (and counter wrinkles!). The Vitamin C in there is also an essential compound for protecting your skin from the damage cause by sun, stress, and damaging environmental factors like wind and cold.

Sweet potatoes also give your skin a health boost. Like other orange-y/reddish vegetables, they’re loaded with the antioxidant beta-carotene. Studies show beta-carotene can help protect your skin against sun damage by countering some of the effects of UV sunlight. UVA exposure has been shown to cause premature aging (wrinkles AND spots!). That’s probably why we’re seeing a lot of beta-carotene in so many cosmetic products.

Homemade Beauty Products

Of course, eating potatoes isn’t the only way potatoes can help you perfect your complexion. They also work wonders from the outside in, packing a powerful nutrient punch that may help your skin look more youthful and refreshed, helping to soften the appearance of lines and brighten and even out skin tone.

Mixing a facial mask isn’t like baking a cake: no real recipe is needed. Just shred a potato and hit up your pantry for other face-loving foods. Try mixing potato with honey, which has antibacterial properties and brings moisture to your skin. Or, add oatmeal, which is great for dry, irritated skin. Mashed avocado and/or shredded or juiced cucumber can also help sooth and soften. Just make a mask with what you have on hand, apply to clean, dry skin and leave in place for 20-30 minutes.

You can also pull out your juicer and make a potato face wash. Use a cotton pad or clean cloth and then rinse with water. This treatment can help clean away oil, dirt and bacteria. For added refreshment, chill your wash in the fridge for 30 minutes before using.

If you’re pre-mixing, remember that potatoes can oxidize quickly. You might consider adding a tad of lemon juice or vinegar to your concoction and storing it in the fridge in an airtight container. If you have sensitive skin, don’t go overboard there.

Here’s to a beautiful 2013!
 

Meatless Monday: A New Year Resolution Made Easy With Potatoes

Black Bean Chili Potato

Whether you’ve already made your resolutions or are still looking for something meaningful to commit to, we’ve got a good one for you and your family. It’s simple to work into your week but offers a big benefit. It’s called Meatless Monday.

What is Meatless Monday?

Meatless Monday means, for one day a week, you omit meat from your diet. Mostly, to us, it means planning and serving a meal that focuses on vegetables (think potatoes) instead of chicken, beef or pork. Why would you want to do that?

To Improve Your Health

Studies show that diets high in fruits and veggies may reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease, help curb diabetes and fight obesity, and also increase longevity—all good stuff.

To Take Care of the Earth

Because the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of man-made greenhouse gas emissions — even more than transportation — replacing meat in your diet helps reduce your carbon footprint. You’ll also reduce water usage (livestock require lots of it), and help reduce our fossil fuel dependence. Great, right?

Meatless Monday may also mean a lower-calorie dinner on Monday night, so it will fit with your fitness goals, and should save you some money at the grocery store, too.

Even Meat Lovers Can Do It

We are, of course, still meat and potato folks with meat and potato families. Yet we think Meatless Monday is a great idea. Most of us have at least one family member that would not be into tofu, tempeh or trying crazy new diets. As farmers, we work hard all day and need a dinner that both satisfies and fuels us up to work hard tomorrow. In fact, that’s where potatoes come in!

If you focus your meatless meal on potatoes, which are proven to make you feel fuller longer, your family may not even catch on to the fact that there’s no meat with the meal.

Are You In or What?

As an added incentive, we thought you should know one study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine showed that people with weekly health prompts and encouragement responded with improvements in their overall health, eating habits and physical activity levels. Ready to try out Meatless Monday? Here are some delicious potato recipes to help you get started with this easy New Year resolution.

Cheese and Trees Potato Soup

This would make a great Monday night meal. It’s fast, east and filling. Make sure you use vegetable broth or cubes. Look for low sodium for an added healthy boost. Serve this with a big salad that includes cheese, beans and toasted almonds or walnuts. Yum!

Thai Potato and Vegetable Curry

This soup uses a base of coconut milk, which is very tasty and satisfying. While you may be surprised at the fat content, don’t worry. It’s a good fat your body is more likely to use for energy then store around your midsection. This would be great paired with a side dish of whole, in pod edamame, which you can find at most grocery stores in the freeze section.

Baked Potatoes Topped with Vegetarian Chili

On Sunday, whip up your favorite vegetarian chili recipe. On Monday night, throw some PotatOHs in the microwave. Serve together with low fat sour cream or Greek yogurt, shredded cheddar cheese, black beans, chopped onion, cilantro, hot sauce, and whatever else you have on hand that might make a Meatless Monday meal even more awesome.

Are you already planning to do Meatless Monday? Let us know in the comments!