It’s officially football season, friends!!! Although I’m not a huge NFL follower, I’m a FANATIC college football fan. As a native Ohioian, I’m naturally an Ohio State fan!
I’m so excited for the first Saturday I can actually sit down to watch a game with a cold beer and some fabulous tailgating snacks. Unfortunately, a lot of the tailgating staples, like hot dogs, burgers, fries, chips and deep fried chicken wings are FULL of fat and calories. Plus, who wants to be so full & bloated you can’t actually get up from the couch to cheer (or in my case, SCREAM) at the tv? Not I. Instead of being weighed down by food, I want a snack that will WORK with me and burn calories while I sit. Yes, such a thing exists. Let me introduce you to the jalapeno.
The jalapeno (or ja-lap-ano for smart arses like me) is a serious superfood. These sassy little peps are filled with a natural chemical called capsaicin. This little chemical (which is the cause of the super high kick of spice) quickens your heart rate and speeds up your metabolism. Finally, a snack that gives back! Since I’m not Adam Richman and can’t eat jalapenos on their own, I decided to do my own spin on the jalapeno popper, sans breading, frying and massive mozzarella. Instead, I grilled these poppers and stuffed them with a mixture of goat cheese, low fat cream cheese, a dash of freshly grated parmesean, some roasted red peppers and chives.
Tada! A healthy tailgating snack that won’t weigh you down. However, um, I must warn you. These little poppers ARE FREAKIN’ HOT. Like, smoke pour out of your ears, tears swelling in your eyes, nose burning hot. I had 1/2 of one and this was what immdiately had to follow.
A yep, I am ICING MY TOUNGE/LIPS with a polar pak. They were that hott. However, my roomate Ryan gobbled up about 6 of them without even flinching. I guess I’m a wimp. Either way, these snacks are not for the faint of heart but are a fabulous and healthier alternative to the fried popper you see in restaurants!
Recipe adapted from Food Network.
Grilled Jalapeno Poppers
Servings: 8 whole peppers, 16 halves
Prep time: About 12 minutes
Cook time: About 6-7 minutes
SITE NOTE: If jalapenos are too hot for you (I’m with you!) you can substitute with regular bell peppers or banana pepeprs!
What You’ll Need:
- 8 jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded (remove ALL seeds!)
- 4 ounces of fresh goat cheese
- 3 ounces of low fat cream cheese
- 1/4 cup of parmesean cheese
- 4 fresh chives, finely chopped
- 1/2 roasted red pepper, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon of sage
- Salt and Pepper
- Cooking spray
How to Make Them:
- Spray grill (or grill pan if doing this indoors) with cooking spray.
- REMOVE all seeds from jalapenos by rinsing them off. Be sure to wear gloves when handling peppers so your hands don’t burn (which I did not). Arrange body side up (so you can fill them) on the grill pan.
- Mix together the cheeses, sage and salt and pepper. Using a small spoon, fill each pepper with cheese. Top with roasted red pepper and chives. Add a dash more of salt and pepper.
- Grill (or broil) for 5-7 minutes, until cheese is slightly browned and peppers are softened.
- Eat (if you dare) and enjoy! Just make sure you have a glass of water/milk beside you!
When you get over the intial mouth burn, the flavor is actually really good. The cheeses compliment the spicyness and the roasted red pepper adds just the right amount or smokey flavor.
I wish I wasn’t such a wimp because, from what I’m told, these little things are amazing! Plus, they are gluten-free!
Nutritional information [per 2 peppers]: 86 calories, 5 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbohydrates and 7 grams of protein.