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Mini Taco Bowls and other Super Bowl Recipes

Getting ready for the big game Sunday? Here are some recipes that are perfect for your football gathering.

At 6:30 p.m. today, millions will tune in to watch one of the biggest sporting events of the year, the Super Bowl. Don't let your party guests starve, check out these easy to make Super Bowl recipes:

Mini Taco Bowls

This recipe is inspired by White Lake-Highland Patch Readers Paulette Gollan and Dan Houston.

Gollan said, "I use a mini muffin pan, wonton wrappers, seasoned ground beef, shredded cheese and green onions. Bake for 10 minutes. YUM!"

Top them off with some salsa, and Houston said you have yourself the perfect snack.

I didn't have wonton wrappers or a mini muffin pan on hand, so I tweaked Gollan's recipe a bit and used some tortillas instead. I also used light or fat free ingredients to make these mini tacos a little more healthy for those of us still sticking to our New Year's Resolutions.

To make these mini taco bowls, use a circle cookie cutter to cut 5-or-6-inch circles out of the tortillas. Place the tortillas in a lightly greased muffin pan and back at 375 degrees until they start to brown (five minutes). Remove them from the oven and let cool.

Make the taco meat according to directions on the package of your taco seasoning. Once done, layer meat, cheese, sour cream, shredded lettuce and salsa into the mini taco bowls. Enjoy!

Revamped Nachos

To make this recipe, which serves 6-10 people, you'll need the following:

  • 1 package of lean ground beef (the amount is up to you, and I use the one with only 10 percent fat)
  • 1 can (16 ounces) fat free refried beans
  • 1 can (8 ounces) diced tomatoes with olive oil and garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 envelope of reduced sodium taco seasoning, about 1 ounce
  • 1 cup of grated low fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 bag of plain, multi-grain tortilla chips

To start, heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven cook the beef. Add all ingredients but the cheddar cheese and chips to the pot and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes.

While the mixture is simmering, pour the chips into a casserole dish and spread evenly. Next, spread the hot beef mixture over the chips. Sprinkle the cheese on top and put in the oven until cheese is melted (10-20 minutes). Top with your favorite salsa, sour cream or guacamole and enjoy!

Cowboy Caviar

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can (17 oz.) of whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 1/2 of a red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. of red wine vinegar
  • 3-4 tbsp. of lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. of pepper

Drain one can of corn and pour into a large bowl. Drain two cans of black beans and rinse with water and add those to the bowl with the corn. Next, chop up two large tomatoes and add those to the bowl. slice the avocado and remove the pit. Chop the avocado and add to the bowl along with the cilantro. Chop half of a large red onion and add it to the bowl. Next, add one tablespoon of red wine vinegar to the bowl. Add three or four tablespoons of lime juice to the bowl. Next, add two tablespoons of olive oil. Finally, season with salt and pepper. The recipe calls for half a teaspoon of pepper and one teaspoon of salt, but you can season to taste. Mix together all the ingredients. Scoop into a serving dish and serve with your favorite tortilla chips. If you want a little kick, you can add jalapeno peppers to the mix. Enjoy!

Beer Dip

Ingredients:

  • 3 (8 ounce) packages of softened cream cheese
  • 1 package of Dry mix - Ranch Dressing (like Hidden Valley)
  •  1/2 -3/4 can of beer for 3 packages of cream cheese (I used Sam Adam's Boston Lager, you want a full bodied lager for flavor)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (preferably finely grated)
  • Bacon bits (optional garnish)

To start, mix the cream cheese, dressing and beer in a large bowl until you reach your desired creamy consistency. Next, mix in 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese. Once blended, transfer into a serving dish and top with the remainder of the cheese.

At this point you can either serve it, or place in the refrigerator overnight. I prefer to let it sit overnight so the flavors are more pronounced. Prior to serving, garnish with the bacon bits. This recipe serves 12. Enjoy with pretzels or Frito scoops!

Pumpkin Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 c. tomato juice
  • 2 (15.25-ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Hot sauce to taste

To start, brown the beef in a medium saute pan. Drain the fat. Add the onions and bell pepper, and cook until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes). In a Crock Pot, combine the diced tomatoes, tomato juice, beans, pumpkin, chili powder, cumin, pumpkin pie spice, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Mix well. Next, add in the cooked beef and stir. Cook on low for six to eight hours, or on high for four hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese sprinkled on top and your favorite corn bread. Enjoy!

Wendy’s Super Easy Super Bowl Guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of ripe avocados (4)
  • 1 container of fresh salsa
  • 1 – 3 large cloves of garlic, pressed or finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bag of tortilla chips 

Peel and pit avocados. Mash the avocados in a non-metal bowl (if one or more of them seems a wee bit under-ripe, chop instead of mashing). Drain the fresh salsa well (I usually use the lid to squish the salsa down and pour the liquid into the sink) and add it to the mashed avocados. Add the pressed or chopped garlic and the cumin. Mix well, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs 
(adapted from Rachael Ray) - serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds ground white meat chicken
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro or parsley, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 cup hot sauce (such as Frank’s or Cholula)
  • 3 scallions, green and white parts thinly sliced
  • Store-bought, good quality blue cheese dressing for dipping
  • 1 bag pre-cut celery sticks
  • 1 bag pre-cut carrot sticks

Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken with the onion, garlic and cilantro or parsley, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Shape the chicken mixture into balls—you should have 32 meatballs in total. Arrange the meatballs on a wire rack on a foil-covered sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until the meatballs are cooked through and golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. While the meatballs are baking, melt the butter in a large, flat bottom pan over medium heat. Add the hot sauce and whisk to combine. In the pan, toss the baked meatballs in the hot sauce to coat (you may do this in batches) and transfer to a serving platter. Place the blue cheese dressing in a small serving bowl and garnish with chopped scallions. Serve the meatballs with toothpicks alongside the blue cheese dressing, celery and carrot sticks.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 8 oz packages of cream cheese
  • 1 cup Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
  • 3/4 cup of Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Boil chicken breasts in water until cooked, about 25 minutes. Drain and let sit until breasts become cool to the touch. Place a large and deep frying pan on medium heat on the stove and place the cream cheese, ranch dressing and wing sauce into the pan. Stir until completely combined. Shred the chicken into the mixture, being sure to stir occassionaly so the mixture does not congeal. Once the chicken is completely mixed into the sauce, stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until sauce thickens. Remove frying pan from stove and place dip in a crock pot on low heat to keep warm. If you don't have a crock pot, just keep keep the dip warm in the frying pan until you are ready to serve.  Pour the dip into a bowl, sprinkle on some more cheddar cheese and serve! Dip with scoopable corn chips.

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