Lower-Fat Blue Cheese & Fire-Roasted Tomato Queso – Good Game Day Grub!

Lower-Fat Blue Cheese Queso makes a great football game day snack served with baked chips, pretzels or veggies.Football parties, tailgating and fall season gathers require dip to draw people together. Just think of all the great gossip, high-fiving and friendly smack talk that has gone down in, what I like to call, the “Chip and Dip Zone.”

But, maybe you hesitate to enter the ZONE for fear of the cheesy dip – is it made of mystery processed “cheese,” loaded with fat upon fat, or just boringly bland?  I’ll admit, these thoughts cross my mind, especially flashbacks of tepid fake orange stadium cheese on stale round tortilla chips.  That’s why I came up with my Lower-Fat Blue Cheese & Fire-Roasted Tomato Queso – it’s bold and it’s better for you made with REAL ingredients.

Lower-Fat Blue Cheese & Fire Roasted Tomate Queso makes a great football game day snack served with baked chips, pretzels or veggies.

I think you’ll definitely widen your mind (and mouth) in appreciation for my Blue Cheese & Fire-roasted Tomato Queso. This unique cheese dip marrieds the audacious attitude blue-cheese with the smoky laid-back goodness of tomatoes roasted over flames. I’ve used my fav brand of blue cheese (Simply Artisan Reserve Blue Cheese Crumbles) and canned fire-roasted tomatoes which.  Of course, canned tomatoes are convenient and taste great in recipes, but did you know that they contain more lycopene (a free-radical destroying antioxidant) than those fresh off the vine? It’s true!

litehouse-blue-cheese-queso-snack-tray-beer-day

While this cheese dip recipe requires a whisk, it’s quite easy prepare, coming together in just 15 minutes or less– and you can keep it warmed for a party but pouring into a small slow cooker. It was first whipped up to celebrated International Beer Day with Litehouse Foods.  Using low-fat dairy products help keep this snack sensible in moderation and, if you are on a gluten-free diet, it is easy to swap out flour used in the roux with a gluten-free flour blend (I use Living Now Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour, it’s inexpensive and provides the right texture for my recipe)

Serve Lower-Fat Blue Cheese & Fire-Roasted Tomato Queso with veggie sticks, artisan chips, or chunks of crusty bread. I’ve even reheated the leftovers and poured over cooked zoodles and topped with shrimp for an impromptu “pasta” dinner.

If you are hosting a huge football party, you might want to consider adding my Healthy Snack Stadium to your spread of snacks, appetizers and game-day grub.

Healthy Snack Stadium - TheFitFork.com

[Tweet Not yer stadium cheese dip! Lower-Fat Blue Cheese & Fire-Roasted Tomato Queso #fitfluential #livinglitehouse”]

What football team(s) are you rooting for this season? Are you typically an at-home or stadium spectator? Please share in comments, xoxo Jennifer

Lower-Fat Blue Cheese Queso makes a great football game day snack served with baked chips, pretzels or veggies.
Blue Cheese & Fire-roasted Tomato Queso
Print Recipe
Up your game day grub with this lightened up queso featuring the bold flavors of blue cheese and flame-kissed tomatoes. It's even a winner at dinner served over zoodles or pasta!
Servings
10 servings
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Servings
10 servings
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Lower-Fat Blue Cheese Queso makes a great football game day snack served with baked chips, pretzels or veggies.
Blue Cheese & Fire-roasted Tomato Queso
Print Recipe
Up your game day grub with this lightened up queso featuring the bold flavors of blue cheese and flame-kissed tomatoes. It's even a winner at dinner served over zoodles or pasta!
Servings
10 servings
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Servings
10 servings
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, warm milk (without boiling), stirring occasionally.
  2. At the same time, heat butter in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add flour to melted butter and whisk continuously, cooking until it is bubbling and has turned lightly golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Stream in heated milk, whisking continuously, and continue to cook over medium heat until mixture bubbles and thickens slightly. Add cheeses and whisk well until melted smooth and incorporated. Add Italian Herb Blend, dried red pepper flakes, green onions and drained tomatoes, stirring until combined.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour into serving bowl and garnish as desired.
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Skinny Garden Guacamole – Yes Peas!

Skinny Garden Guacamole swaps ihalf of avocado for pureed peas and asparagus for all the yum and less the fat and calories.

Avocados - TheFitFork.com

Awkward avocado selfie!

Are you an avocadotarian? Could you eat an avocado every day? I could, and have – and maybe more than one!

Even though avocados are considered a “healthy” superfood, the good-for-you fats and calories can start to add up when overindulging on this rich, creamy fruit.  I came up with a winning, waist-whittling solution to this “I can’t believe I ate the whole bowl of guacamole problem” —  it’s Skinny Garden Guacamole.

 

I originally created the makeover recipe for Litehouse Foods – their convenient Instantly Fresh Herbs add zip to the dip! Pureed peas and asparagus are swapped out for one-half of the smashed avocado used in guacamole — the recipe takes a cup of guacamole down from about 375 calories and 34 grams of fat to just over 200 calories with 19.5 grams of fat for the same amount.

Lightened up Skinny Garden Guacamole makes a fit and flavorful appetizer !

When you need a nourishing nosh, this healthy avocado dip can be served the traditional way with tortilla chips, veggie sticks or atop crispy crackers for an appetizer or happy hour starter. It’s also makes a great light lunch (or breakfast) spread on a piece of whole grain toast.

Skinny Garden Guacamole makes a light and nourishing lunch served on whole grain toast.

Salad with Guacamole Stuffed TomatoesThe ways to use Skinny Garden Guacamole are endless, eat it straight out of the bowl with a spoon or add a big dollop atop tostados, on eggs, or entrée salads.  Another tasty way to use this makeover guacamole dip recipe is to stuff it in a summer ripe tomato — Bacon Guacamole Stuffed Tomatoes!

Print out my recipe below for Skinny Garden Guacamole, you’re going to love it! If you’re looking for more avocado relish or guacamole type recipes, check out the yummy collection at CookingLight.com.

Avocado recipes from CookingLight.com

 

What is your favorite way to eat guacamole? Please share in the comments below — XOXO Jennifer

 

Skinny Garden Guacamole makes a light and nourishing lunch served on whole grain toast.
Skinny Garden Guacamole
Print Recipe
You can eat the whole bowl without guilt! Skinny Garden Guacamole has less fat and calories thanks to swapping half avocado with pureed peas and asparagus!
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
3 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
3 minutes
Skinny Garden Guacamole makes a light and nourishing lunch served on whole grain toast.
Skinny Garden Guacamole
Print Recipe
You can eat the whole bowl without guilt! Skinny Garden Guacamole has less fat and calories thanks to swapping half avocado with pureed peas and asparagus!
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
3 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
3 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Add peas and chopped asparagus stalks and tips to microwave-safe container. Fill with water, just to fill over veggies.
  2. Microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes, or just until peas and asparagus are soft-tender. Drain, rinse with cool water, and pour out on paper towel to dry off a bit. Set a few of the peas and asparagus tips aside for garnish later.
  3. In small food processor or blender, puree peas and asparagus together – some lumps are fine.
  4. Add this puree to bowl with mashed avocado, radish and tomato. Add garlic, red onion and cilantro and squeeze in the juice of one lime. Mix well.
  5. Season guacamole with salt, to taste. Garnish with remaining peas and asparagus tips.
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Lettuce Party! 8 Healthy Appetizers for New Year’s Eve

Eight Healthy Appetizers - TheFitFork.comRing in the New Year without all the “oh I shouldn’t have eaten all that” guilt. Whether watching the ball drop in Times Square at home in your jammies or hosting an elaborate cocktail party, all your clean-eating resolutions can start early thanks to my eight healthy appetizer ideas – each under 100 calories!

blue diamond natural almond and apricot snackApricot Almond Chocolate Bites – It’s hard to believe that this little trio of tasty goodness has only has 20 calories, but it’s true! Plus, dried apricots are rich in iron, so there are no worries about having a few!

Mini Gorgonzola Cheese Balls - TheFitFork.comMini Gorgonzola Cheese Balls – Each little ball of bold, beautifully creamy cheese has just 85 calories – even less if you substitute fat-free cream cheese for the gorgonzola.  You can check out the full recipe along with variations I put together for the Living Litehouse blog.

litehouse roasted chickpeas title

Lime Coconut and Basil Roasted Chickpeas – With 95 calories for ¼ a cup (a handful), you get loads of Thai-inspired taste plus a bonus of fiber and protein.

Southwestern Shrimp & Avocado Starters - TheFitFork.com

Southwestern Shrimp and Guacamole Starter –    You’ll say “ole” to this avocado and shrimp pairing, especially when you find out it only has 55 calories (and that includes licking the little cup).

 

mushrooms stuffed with pepper jack, hatch green chile and kaleHatch Green Chile Stuffed Mushrooms –  Mushroom caps are the perfect healthy vessels to be stuffed with delicious ingredients — that’s because mushrooms sop up flavors like little sponges, have virtually no calories, and are packed with tons of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Each one of these succulent, almost meaty (although no meat – vegetarian recipe) mushroom caps has only 67 calories!

carrot beet parsnip firesBaked Root Vegetable Fries –  A fantastic substitute for traditional chips or fries, these root vegetable “fries” are baked in the oven and have only 53 calories per serving. If you add in 1 tablespoon of a light dip (I like the OPADIPITY line by Litehouse Foods made with Greek yogurt), you add only another 35 calories, bringing the grand total up to 88 calories.

Grape Blue Cheese Walnut Bites - TheFitFork.comGrape, Blue Cheese and Walnut Bites – This recipe was inspired by a much-requested fall fruit salad with the same ingredients.  No official recipe to follow, just skewer up a single grape, small hunk of blue cheese and raw walnut half on a little toothpick for a big explosion of flavor —  only 30 calories each!

Veggie Cups with Dip - TheFitFork.comVeggies-‘n-Dip Cup – Another “no-recipe” recipe, just place 1 tablespoon of your favorite light dressing (again, I used OPADIPITY Greek Yogurt Ranch) into a condiment up and add in the veggies of your choice. This fun finger food assortments has only about 50 calories per cup, depending on your exact dressing and produce selections.

What are you doing for New Year’s Eve?  What do you reach for first when it comes to party food?