Sunday Supper: Shred 10-20 Pounds – Small Choices Lead To Big Change and Healthy Tailgating Tips

I had no intention of providing tailgating ideas until the Packers bullied their way into the NFC Championship game against DA’ Bears.  Flashbacks of doing the Super Bowl shuffle as an awkward eight year old solidified my love for the PACKERS. Today’s post will give you great alternatives to traditional tailgate favorites that will help keep your waistline in check. Small daily choices lead to big change and if done right, you can shred 10-30 pounds in a year. Who can argue with that?


  • Jenny Solari’s second Helpings Celebration Chicken Chili (picture at right, recipe below)
  • Ain’t No Thang Chicken “Wings” with a Lighter Bleu Cheese Dressing:
    1. Buy chicken strips and bake them. Toss in hot sauce and dip in an altered Bleu cheese dressing.
    2. Use non-fat sour cream, low fat buttermilk and smaller crumbles of Bleu cheese to make less go further. If you’re really bold, you can use low-fat mayo. I wouldn’t.
    3. Make this recipe the day before or three hours before serving: 2/3 c. sour cream, 1/2 c. mayo, 1/4c. buttermilk (more if necessary), juice of 1/2 lemon, 3 oz. Bleu cheese crumbled (Point Reyes), 1 garlic clove minced and kosher salt.
  • Spinach Dip with crudites Again, use low fat or no fat ingredients (except the mayo).
    1. 1 c. no fat sour cream, 1 c. Hellman’s/Best Foods Mayo, 1 can water chestnuts, 1 package of frozen spinach thawed, 1 pack of Knox vegetable soup seasoning mix (it has been years since I have made this recipe, so read the ingredients on the box to make sure that there isn’t any MSG etc.) Mix and let sit for at least three hours if not over night. Instead of serving with bread, serve with raw or blanched vegetables.


Now being from the Midwest, I will never compromise on beer. If you are knocking back a 12 pack, you may want to go “lite” however, if you are a true beer lover, light beer is not in your vocabulary. The general difference in calories between a light beer and a regular beer is approximately 40 calories. So what I am saying is, drink a really great beer just drink fewer. Moderation is key. On another note, since I am from Wisconsin, home of Miller Park and Miller Brewing Company, I will speak to the Miller Light vs. Bud Light calorie count.

  • EXAMPLE: Miller Light has 96 calories (1) and Bud Light has 110 calories (2) which is a difference of 14 calories which seems minuscule however, add that up over a year and you have saved hundreds of calories. If you were to consume 250 beers a year, it is a savings of 3,500 calories which equates to almost three days of food. WHOA.

Here is a site that lists the calorie counts of quite a few beers. Click here.

Remember, never underestimate the power of a day.

Small choices that lead to great changes. 10 lbs. per year here and 10 lbs. per year there equals big changes…as in 20 lbs. Making small adjustments to your menu will help transform your palate and your waistline.

Jenny Solari’s delicious chicken chili recipe and a sugar tip from the chef:
***SUGAR TIP: Jenny uses a fair amount of good olive oil and kosher or sea salt on the skin of the chicken for baking; the skin is removed before you add the chicken to the chili but certainly adds to the flavor. She also likes to use some dark meat (thigh meat) for moistness and flavor. You can choose of course not to use dark meat for an even healthier version. Lastly, spices are to taste; we like a little kick, but you can adjust to your liking.

Second Helpings Celebration Chicken Chili (Serves 6)


4 cups chopped yellow onions (3 onions)

1/8 cup olive oil, plus extra for chicken

3 Cloves minced garlic

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and large-diced

2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced

2 orange bell pepper, cored, seeded and large-diced

I green bell pepper, cored, seeded and large-diced

3 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, or to taste

2 teaspoons oregano

2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more for chicken

2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes in puree, undrained

1/2 cup minced fresh basil leaves

4 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on

2 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on

Freshly ground black pepper

For serving: Chopped onions, corn chips, grated cheddar, sour cream

Directions:  Cook the onions in the oil over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, oregano and sea salt. Cook for 1 minute. Crush the tomatoes by hand. Add to the pot with the basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.: Rub the chicken breasts and thighs with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with sea salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until just cooked. Let cool slightly. Separate the meat from the bones and skin and cut it into 3/4-inch chunks. Add to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. Serve with the toppings, or refrigerate and reheat gently before serving.


Miller Coors:


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