March Madness Munchies
It’s hoops time and if you are prepping for a weekend of watching basketball, I’ve got a few recipes that are a slam dunk! I picked some options that are crowd pleasers, bariatric friendly, and easy to tweak to meet the wants and needs of both you and your non-bariatric friends. Try Perfect Pimiento Cheese, Cauliflower Loaded Fiesta Nachos, or Buffalo Chicken Casserole Bites. Need more options? Check out some of my recipes from other big games too!
Perfect Pimiento Cheese
- 2 cups reduced fat cheddar, grated however you like
- 4 ounces non-fat, plain Greek yogurt
- 4 tablespoons light mayonnaise
- 4 ounces pimientos
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
1. Gently fold together all ingredients, and you’re done!
Be careful not to over mix, or you will end up with a strange paste instead of the desired varied texture that is pimiento cheese.
If you’re feeling spicy, add in a dash of hot sauce.
I do recommend you grate your own cheese and not use pre-shredded. Bagged shredded cheese is typically coated to avoid it sticking to itself and it doesn’t meld quite as nicely into the spread.
Serve with cucumber slices, carrot sticks, celery, etc. for those limiting their carb intake. If you’re serving a varied crowd, feel free to add in other dip vehicles and let guests make their own choices about their food. Providing options might throw them off your scent and they won’t notice the healthy swap in your pimento cheese.
More labor intensive than the last recipe, but a fun way to find a familiar game time flavor…
Cauliflower Loaded Fiesta Nachos
- 1 head cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup rotisserie chicken (or 1 large chicken breast)
- 1/2 cup pinto beans, canned (or black beans)
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
- 1 jalapeno, sliced
- fresh cilantro, to taste
- pico de gallo
- special sauce: (1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt + 2 tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot)
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF and rub a baking sheet with olive oil.
2. Prep cauliflower by cutting the head into fourths. Then, slice into chip-like thin pieces and place on pan.
3. Drizzle cauliflower with olive oil and then season with garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Gently toss to coat.
4. Bake at 400ºF for 25 minutes.
5. Remove cauliflower and then flip. Add cheddar cheese, rotisserie chicken, beans, red onion, jalapeno, and fresh cilantro.
6. Bake again for 5-10 minutes.
7. Serve with fresh pico de gallo and special sauce!
As you can see, I forgot to set my timer and my cauliflower chips were a tad darker than I would have preferred. I recommend you keep a closer eye on them than I may have. Oops!
Buffalo Chicken Casserole Bites
If spicy buffalo is your thing, give this one a try. I threw this in a muffin tin to make it easier to serve for a crowd, but you can use a casserole dish too. A mini muffin variety might be even easier when thinking in terms of a pot luck type party spread. This has all the familiar flavors and a fun texture without the greasy, skin covered, time-consuming, messy mess of actual wings or the calorie-heavy traditional buffalo chicken dip. If you prefer more of a dip vibe, I have that option as well here.
- 1 large spaghetti squash, cooked and shredded
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 cup diced carrots, about 2-3 medium size
- 2 pounds cooked chicken, shredded
- 1 cup buffalo style hot sauce (like Frank’s Red Hot)
- 1/4 cup light or yogurt based ranch dressing
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)
- 3 eggs
1. Cook spaghetti squash in a 400° oven for 20-25 minutes until tender.
2. While squash is cooking, sauté the diced onion and carrots for 5-7 minutes- until softened and mostly cooked through.
3. Shred cooked squash with a fork and place in a large bowl.
Don’t be shy, you can scrape every last bit out of that shell!
4. Use a clean towel and press the excess liquid out- it doesn’t have to be super dry. You may not have much liquid to remove, don’t worry, different squashes are just different! This just helps make the casserole not too watery.
5. Add the onion mixture to the bowl along with the chicken, hot sauce, light ranch, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir well until combined.
6. Add the eggs, mix well, and pour mixture into the prepared pan, tin, or dish.
7. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
I recommend serving with carrots or celery like you would wings to give you a texture and flavor complement. Greek Yogurt based ranch or blue cheese dip is also a good add on.
I hope you’ve found at least one thing you’re excited to try and you get to share something bariatric friendly with friends, no matter what kind of eating they like to do!
XO, The BariQueen
The title Bari-Queen does not come easy, so you can trust I know what I’m talking about here. I understand the struggles that is drinking and eating constantly, but never at the same time, and definitely not grazing. I understand the thrill of being taken off that daily pillbox of meds. I understand the pure satisfaction that comes with finding the perfect protein shake. I understand the feeling of accomplishment that follows making a high protein, low carb, low sugar meal that anyone else would ever dare to eat and actually — gasp— enjoy. I understand the excitement of a new size. I understand the life change that happens with bariatric surgery and how it is not easy, but so worth taking on the challenge.