This 5-ingredient cheese ball is lightened up with a combination of Neufchâtel light cream cheese and Greek yogurt cream cheese for nearly guilt free snacking, and it’s guaranteed to be a major crowd-pleaser at any shindig!
The day has come and gone and perhaps your resolve to paint 2015 with a rosier, healthier, more prosperous and organized glow has too.
This past weekend—January 17 to be exact—marked the day most people fall off the resolution band wagon. It even has an official nomiker, Ditch Your New Year’s Resolution Day.
Really? Only 17 days in and we’re already doomed?
I’m keeping my (re)Solutions going strong—or at least still breathing—by keeping up with my Little Victories tour. Small changes that make it easier for bigger evolutions to come.
Where’s the Willpower?
My resolve to watch what I eat and sneak in more nutrition has held fast thus far, but there’s a whole new crop of festivities lurking around the calendar corner. I felt dieter’s apprehension as soon as they swept out the boxes of leftover candy canes (because does anyone really eat them?) in lieu of heart-shaped Valentine’s Day boxes (that we all know everyone covets) that suddenly took over the store shelves.
But where my willpower really heads South is when it comes to the savory side of the street. That’s why the Superbowl party is potentially my folly. Chips, dips, wings and things. Load it up and pile it on.
The Superbowl is the first foodie free-all of the year with permission to binge and where no one is keeping score.
But not this year.
5 Tips to Surviving the Snacking Game One Point at a Time
This year I’ve made a few well-laid plans to avert the pitfalls and make the big game day one I won’t regret as I watch Katy Perry boogie her boogaloos in what’s sure to be a super spectacle. Double stick tape anyone?
1. BYOD&Ds. Bring your own dips and drinks. Sure, you’ve all heard this one before, but because it’s tried and true, it’s a must-do. If you just aren’t sure what is and what isn’t the better of the buffet table bunch, bring your own healthier options to the party to stave off the urge to splurge. This recipe for Lightened Up Cheese Ball is so good no one will even know you’re being more calorie conscious and the worst part will be wrangling for the last bite. More on that in a minute.
2. It’s OKAY to be naughty. If Katy Perry can, I can be too. I’m not into denial. But I am into following the advice I judiciously share with my 10 year old—make good choices. Instead of a pile of potato salad, salamis, and a few chicken wings this party, I’m going to choose two naughty bites and enjoy them to the fullest.
3. Steer clear of the chips. Salty little flakes of deep fried potatoes go down wayyy too easy, one more and one more and one more handful at a time. Instead of noshing on their empty calories, opt in for the more filling, but lower calorie, light whole wheat crackers instead. You’ll eat fewer of them, cure your salted crunch craving and you won’t feel like going to confession later.
4. Go team spice! Pass right on by the bland and go for the more exotic flavors of hummus, salsas and guacamoles that are perfect toppers for veggie vehicles. If you’re going to dip, make it taste the best it can.
5. Come for the food, stay for the commercials. Choose a small plate (less room to pile on the bad stuff), pick your portions and park yourself in the prime spot in front of the tele for the best part of the game: The commercials! If you’re not getting up and down for more food refills, you’ll never lose your premier viewing spot.
The Cheese Ball Evolution
This cheese ball recipe has a lot of history with me. Gluttonous history.
Back in the day after a “night out”—aka playing pool and having a few beers—my boyfriend then, husband now, and I would pick up a Green Onion Cheese Ball from our local Smith’s and head home for a dinner of bagel crisps and cheese ball. Decadent? Yes. The best consumption of nutritional value? Not really. But damn! They sure are good. They ruined me for almost any other cheese ball out there. Until now.
Living out of state and away from my local Smith’s put my green onion cheese ball eatings on hold for many years. But after my mom gave me THE recipe shared with her from a friend who “is in the know”, the bad boys were reintroduced to our party planning.
About the Recipe
This recipe really couldn’t be easier. And while I didn’t abandon all fat and calories, I made small changes to tweak it just enough to make me feel okay about having a scoop or three.
Inspired by this month’s partnership with Kroger, I’ve lightened it up. I used one package of Kroger’s store brand of Neufchâtel light cream cheese that clocks in at 33% fewer in calories than regular, and a new product I’d never seen at Smith’s before, Kroger brand Greek yogurt cream cheese. It adds a bit of a tang that’s totally tasty.
Minced green onions, a squirt of Dijon mustard, a dash of onion powder and a few teaspoons of McCormick’s Bon Appetit seasoning salts replicate the original versions oniony vibe.
Instead of our favorite garlic flavored bagel crisps, I’ll be laying out a spread of fresh veggies for this year’s Superbowl party. Kroger has a big selection of pre-cut and portioned veggies in their refrigerator section. I love their snap peas, which are always in my fridge’s snack drawer.
When serving veggies with the cheese ball, choose carrots, cucumbers, spicy radishes, celery, bell peppers, snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower and more. Just choose veggies that are sturdy enough for dipping or scooping and won’t be overwhelmed by the cheese. And yes, Kroger’s whole wheat light wheat crackers will be making an appearance as well.
Light and Easy Cheese Ball Recipe
- 2 8- ounce packages Kroger Neufchâtel light cream cheese or Greek yogurt cream cheese at room temperature
- 3 teaspoons Bon Appetit seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 5-6 green onions white and green parts, minced
- ½ cup Kroger brand sliced almonds
- 1 box Kroger reduced fat woven whole wheat crackers
- Assorted cut vegetables for dipping
- Mix the ingredients cream cheese, Bon Appetit seasoning, mustard, and onion powder together in a bowl until smooth. Stir in the green onions. Spoon the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap and mold into a ball then refrigerate for 30 minutes. Unwrap the cheese ball and roll in the almond slices. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Serve with reduced fat woven whole wheat crackers and cut fresh vegetables.
Enter the Kroger giveaway here.
This month Kroger is sharing a huge giveaway (with a $1,000 gift card grand prize!) with readers of my blog and 12 others to inspire us all to make small changes in our lives to create bigger changes. Little victories that are achievable and actionable.
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Make it a great day and cook something good.
This post is in partnership with Kroger. As always, thank you for reading and for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.
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