The Ultimate Match-Up: Super Bowl Food Challenge

Disclosure: I received free samples of Cabot Cheese mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe challenge sponsored by Cabot Creamery and am eligible to win prizes. I was not additionally compensated for my time. 

It’s seven days before Super Bowl Sunday and I’m thinking about making substitutions. No, not players, food. Today I’m calling a time out with my team; the team that’s seeking to serve healthier food options on game day.  I’m a believer in small change. You’ll never be named MVP, throwing a party without some of the coveted Super Bowl comfort foods,  even if they aren’t sports dietitian approved.  That said, if someone served up some heathier options (in addition to just salsa and baby carrots), wouldn’t you be glad they did?

I’m not predicting healthier food options will start beating out the wings, nachos, delivered pizza or desserts anytime soon, but they never will if we don’t start offering them. So are you ready to receive my Super Bowl Food Challenge? super bowl food challengephoto-248 copy_edited-super bowl food challengeYes, I am playing with a deflated football, not because I condone it, but this puppy puncture  is one of the risks of playing football with labrador retreivers. (By the way, did you notice any retrievers on the Patriot’s sidelines?) Anyway,  today I’m using it as symbol of my Super Bowl strategy: take advantage of deflated calories. Make it your game plan, by joining my team and embracing my Super Bowl Food Challenge:  Throw a Super Bowl party with some of the customary foods, but match each traditional dish with one healthy option.  And just to get  you started, I’m sharing this Mediterranean inspired cheese board. Mediterranean Cheese BoardNo matter how you do it, you will always score with a cheese platter! They ‘re ideal for the casual mix, mingle, and grab a snack approach to entertaining. They’re easy on the hostess, who doesn’t always know dietary restrictions and doesn’t always have time to cook. I suggest starting with Cabot cheddar, a protein rich snack that’s naturally lactose free. My board also includes other nutrient rich foods that pair exceptionally well with  Cabot Alpine cheddar including:  smoked salmon, tzatziki, crackers, and fresh pears.  This recipe is so easy and can be modified to any number of football/food fans.

Before I close, I do want to mention that Cabot is more than just yummy cheese that is always a satisfying choice for a cheese board. Here’s a fact you should  know:  Cabot is a coopertative of 1200 family farms located throughtout New England and New York. Also, 100% of Cabot’s  profits go back to the farmer. That’s as American as the Super Bowl!

Let me know your game plan in the comments sections below, and  be sure to check out the links at the bottom of this post for more inspiration for this ultimate match-up!

Mediterranean Cheese Board

Mediterranean Cheese Board (8 appetizer servings)

by Diane Boyd


  •  6 oz. Cabot Alpine Cheddar, sliced into 1/4 inch rectangles
  • assorted crackers with seeds/herbs or hearty whole grain artisan breads, sliced
  • 4 oz. smoked salmon, cut into bit sized pieces
  • 2 pears, sliced
  • 12 oz. baby zucchini, sliced lengthwise into quarters
  • store bought tzatziki sauce (or make your own with recipe below)

for the tzatziki sauce

  • 1/2 pint nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 English cuccumber, peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 1/2 Tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed


for the tzatziki sauce

1.Grate cuccumber and place into a seive that is set on top of another bowl. Refrigerate and allow to drain for 3-4 hours.

2. Squeeze liquid from cuccumber. Add Greek yogurt to a small bowl and combine with cuccumber. Add lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil , garlic and dill. Stir to combine.

Use immediately or refrigerate. Can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time.

to assemble cheese board

Casually arrange all ingredients on a board, platter or cake plate.

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Oats & Dairy for Breakfast and Beyond: Oatmeal Brûlée

Oats & Dairy for Breakfast and Beyond: Oatmeal Brûlée

Disclosure: By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by National Dairy Council and the Quaker Oats Center of Excellence and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time. 

Brûlée is  on my brain.  I can’t stop thinking about it.  I suspect it’s because I’m fortunate enough to be traveling to the mountains of Vermont to attend the blog brûlée in about 6 weeks from now! (More on that later, I promise.) So it just seemed inevitable that my trip was going to be preceded by a recipe for something sprinkled with sugar and placed under the broiler.  Sure enough, I’ve got a brûlée recipe I ‘m uber excited about posting today,  featuring the powerful combination of oats and dairy!

Oats & Dairy for Breakfast and Beyond: Oatmeal Brûlée

You probably already appreciate that good things come in pairs including  wine and cheese, rest and relaxation and Batman and Robin. Today’s topic  is about yet another  dynamic duo, oats and dairy. This powerful combo, when eaten together, can help fill food and nutrient gaps and provide important health benefits. Did I just say food and nutrient gaps? Yes I did, because the truth is,  if you don’t get enough of the nutrient rich food groups, like whole grains and dairy, you could be missing out on  essential nutrients that keep you and your family healthy. Oats are a great way to get whole grains and fiber. You can choose old fashioned, instant or steel cut oats; they are all 100% whole grain. Milk, yogurt and cheese provide the nutrients that are often lacking in the diets of both kids and adults, namely — potassium, vitamin D and calcium.

I have always known oats and dairy to be  important for good health, and  also a  tasty pairing which is why I am so happy to be able share a recipe that showcases this combination in a delicious option for breakfast and beyond. Each serving of oatmeal brûlée provides 1/2 of a serving of the important whole grains and 1/2 of a serving of nutrient packed dairy.  Please note I am using  lactose-free milk; I am one of 30 million Americans with some lactose intolerance. I find lactose-free milk a great alternative for both drinking and cooking; it tastes great and provides the same nine essential nutrients as regular milk. I do tolerate small amounts of lactose so I made my custard with butter, but included a #lactosefree substitution in the recipe.  When I first made this, I thought it would be best  served lukewarm, but after putting the leftovers in the refrigerator, my family has enjoyed it as much, or more cold. Yes, I am serious. So either way, add some interest to the meals you plan for yourself, and your family, with the healthy and delicious combo of oats and dairy in a versatile  oatmeal brûlée.

For more delicious options  incorporating oats and dairy into your healthy diet,  please see the links at the bottom of this post.

Oats & Dairy for Breakfast and Beyond: Oatmeal BrûléeOats & Dairy for Breakfast and Beyond: Oatmeal Brûlée

Oatmeal Brûlée

makes 4 servings

by Diane Boyd


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 level tablespoons cornstartch
  • 24 ounces Lactose-Free 2% Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon butter (or substitute trans fat free margarine-like spread without milk for a lactose free diet)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

for the topping

  • 1 cup prepared quick cooking steel cut oats, made according to product directions (for lactose-free diet make with water or lactose-free milk)
  • 8 teaspoons caster sugar
  • raspberries and /or blackberries for garnish
  • fresh mint for garnish


1. Pour lactose-free milk into a microwave safe measuring cup and heat in the microwave on high for about 2 minutes or until hot to the touch (this will reduce cooking time.)

2. In a medium sauce pan (NOT OVER HEAT), combine the eggs, sugar and cornstarch. Beat with a wire whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth.

3. Whisk hot milk into egg/sugar mixture while the pan is set over low to medium heat. Cook whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens.

4. Remove pan from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.

5. Cool for 5-10 minutes .

6. Divide custard evenly into 4 six-ounce ramekins. Top with 1/4 cup cooked steel cut oats.

7. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of caster sugar spread  in a fine even layer.

8. Place ramekins on cookie sheet. Move the top rack in your oven as high as it will go.

9. Place cookie sheet on top rack of oven and broil for 5 to 10 minutes rotating ramekins to brown evenly. Remove when sugar is melted and brown.

10. Serve lukewarm after the sugar is set about 5 minutes or refrigerate and serve cold. Garnish with fresh berries and mint.

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