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Heart-healthy snacks for game day!

Posted at 9:08 AM, Feb 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-03 09:08:13-05

NORFOLK, Va. - To celebrate the American Heart Association's National Wear Red Day, the News 3 This Morning crew is chowing down on some heart-healthy snacks for the big game.

Chef Dedra Blount, a volunteer with the Hampton Roads branch of the American Heart Association, often shares tasty, low-sodium recipes at AHA events.

According to the American Heart Association, one in three women die from heart disease and stroke every year.  However, the AHA says 80 percent of those deaths are preventable with a healthy diet and exercise.  The AHA recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day, far less than the average 3,400 milligrams most Americans consume each day.

Blount shared these recipes to keep the taste in game day without all the salt and sugar.


Tailgate Chili

  • 1 lb. 95% lean ground beef (or ground white meat chicken or turkey for a healthier option)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 medium jalapeño (optional, only if you like spicy chili), chopped
  • 4 clove minced, fresh garlicOR
  • 2 tsp. jarred, minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 15.5 oz. canned, no-salt-added or low-sodium pinto or kidney beans, rinsed, drained
  • 14.5 oz. canned, no-salt-added, or, low-sodium, diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 3/4 cup jarred salsa (lowest sodium available)


  • Spray large saucepan with cooking spray. Cook beef and onion over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly to break up beef. Transfer to colander and rinse with water to drain excess fat. Return beef to pan.
  • Stir in bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, and cumin, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Optional – serve topped with low-fat grated cheese, a dollop of fat-free sour cream, sliced avocado, snipped cilantro or chopped green onions.


Sweet Potato Nachos

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), makes about 6 cups of rounds
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/3 cup black beans (drained, rinsed)
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat, shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped tomato (1 plum tomato)OR
  • 1/3 cup no-salt-added, canned, diced tomatoes (drained, rinsed)
  • 1/3 cup chopped avocado


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cover the baking pans with foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Peel and slice the sweet potatoes thinly (about quarter-inch rounds). In a bowl, toss the rounds with olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder and paprika. Spread evenly on prepared pan (might need two pans). Bake for 10 minutes and use a spatula to flip the sweet potato rounds. Bake for another 5-10 minutes or until crisp.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle beans and cheese over the sweet potatoes. Return to oven until cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with tomato and avocado. Serve.


Barbeque Glazed Tenders and Oven Fries

For the Oven Fries:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a nonstick cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  • Scrub potatoes (you can peel the potatoes if you don't like the skin) and cut into 1/8- to 1/4-inch strips. Arrange potatoes evenly in pan.
  • In a cup, combine garlic powder, paprika, and pepper. Sprinkle evenly over potatoes.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

For the Barbecue Glazed Chicken:

  • Trim visible fat from chicken and pat dry.
  • Spray skillet or frying pan with cooking spray and turn to medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet, cook 4 minutes, flip chicken and cook an additional 3-4 minutes until no longer pink.
  • In a small bowl mix barbeque sauce and marmalade/jam/jelly. Microwave covered at 60% power for 40 seconds. Use a spoon to spread sauce evenly over chicken tenders.