This week is Super Bowl Week on THV11, and I’ll be joining in the celebration on Tuesday with my Lightened Up Super Bowl Nacho Bar. Yes, I know the mere mention of nacho doesn’t not inspire the words “lightened up, ” but I believe I have made some real strides in doing that.

Who’s your favorite team? Do you know who’s playing?

I’m a firm believer in everything in moderation and in depth of flavor. It’s the moderation part I struggle with the most. I’m prone to lick my fingers when I cook, y’all which doesn’t seem like a big deal until it comes to the scales.

    Super Bowl Sunday is the second largest day of food consumption behind Thanksgiving

I know what you’re thinking. That’s a whole lotta licking of fingers:) Well, maybe I also like to eat. A bunch. And I really, really like to cook. Or maybe you noticed.

The past few months I haven’t been able to keep up with my exercise program like I prefer due to some back issues. Hopefully, that will be remedied soon and I can get back on track. All that is to say, I definitely need to pack in the flavor and not pack on the calories.

    Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest winter grilling day of the year

You’ll find Jalapeno Popper Dip all over Pinterest; there must be dozens of variations. Most, however, contain a big old walloping cup of mayonnaise — and not the lowfat kind which I think should be banned:) Reduce the amount. Find an alternative. But let’s use the real stuff.

Enough of my soapbox and on to the food.

I must prefer planning a for a meal as opposed to a gazillion appetizers, especially when trying to exercise some dietrary control over what is being eaten. This nacho bar includes many of the standard options you find on nachos: cheese, tomatoes, avocados, meat to name a few. But it also contains grilled veggies, turkey chili, grilled chicken and steak and lots of other goodies to help control those calories.

Who doesn’t love nachos anyway?

So here’s my lightened up Jalapeno Popper Dip that will be a part of my Super Bowl segment this Tuesday. I’m on at 6:15 so you might want to set that DVR cause that’s really early:)

Isn’t the Super Bowl all about the food anyway? Of maybe the halftime! Woo hoo! Cold Play.

jalapeno popper dipJPG

Lightened Up Jalapeno Popper Dip


1/4 cup


  • 2 8-ounce packages Greek (yogurt) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup thickened nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped green chilies
  • 3 jalapenos, roasted and seeds removed if desired.
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, crushed


  1. In a large mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, sharp Cheddar, green chilies, jalapeno peppers and Parmesan until thouroughly blended.
  2. Spoon into an ungreased 1-1/2-quart ovenproof casserole dish..
  3. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, oil and Italian seasoning Sprinkle over cheese mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 min. or until golden brown.


This can be 2-3 days ahead of time prior to baking. It tends to get very thick if frozen and then heated. Greek Cream Cheese has 60 calories per serving vs. 100 calories for regular cream cheese. Nonfat Greek yogurt (1/2 cup) has approximately 60 calories vs. 680 for mayonnaise. Panko has approximately 208 calories per cup vs 427 calories per cup of regular bread crumbs.

Adapted from Taste of Home.

The calorie diffference in butter vs olive oil is not especially significant but the saturated fat is approximately 7 gram vs 1 gram.

Be sure to check out the Spicy Chorizo Cheese Dip on THV’s web site. It’s also lightened up.