Here is a simple game day menu with a Tex-Mex twist.  What’s more, it’s healthy and loaded with great ingredients that are good for you, including:

Chipotle Peppers: Contains capsaicin, giving it heat – but also reduces inflammation in the body.
Cumin: A warm spice that is great for digestion and kills free radicals.
Tomato Paste: Used in the dipping sauce, a nutrient that boosts energy and reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
Cinnamon: A great spice that controls blood sugar and improves circulation.
Coconut Oil: Contains body-loving acids that are anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral.

Honey-Glazed Southwest Chicken Skewers with a Low Fat Chipotle Sauce
Serves 6

Chicken/Glaze
12 Wooden Skewers
3 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts (about 1 ½ pounds)
1 Chipotle Pepper (canned), diced* (reserve sauce)
5 Tbsp Chipotle Sauce
1 ½ Tbsp Honey
1 ½ Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sauce
1 c. Plain Low Fat Yogurt
3 oz. Tomato Paste (or half of a small can)
1 tsp.  Lime Juice
1 tsp. Chipotle Sauce*
½ tsp. Cumin
½ tsp. Sea Salt

Preparation
Soak skewers in water. Set aside.

Chicken Marinade
In a medium bowl, add one diced chipotle pepper, chipotle sauce (from reserve), honey and olive oil. Mix well. Set aside. *One pepper will give a mild to moderate heat. If you want more, add another pepper to the marinade.

Chicken
Rinse and pat dry chicken breasts. Slice length-wise into four strips per breast.  Place sliced chicken into the bowl of marinade, coating each of the pieces. Set aside for 20 minutes.  In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and start making a great accompaniment to the skewers – Polenta Jalapeno Poppers. After 20 minutes, skewer the chicken strips, place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 11 minutes.

Sauce
Simply mix all wet ingredients together, then combine the cumin and sea salt. Cover and refrigerate. *Adding a little more sauce will give more kick. Remember that a little goes a long way!
Polenta Jalapeno Poppers
Serves 6

12 Fresh Jalapeno Peppers
2 c. Chicken Broth
½ c. Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 c. Polenta
1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ c. Frozen Corn
½ tsp Cumin
½ tsp. Sea Salt

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Halve and seed each of the jalapeno peppers. Place on a baking sheet, and brush a light coat of the olive oil over each of the peppers. Place into the oven for seven minutes, and start preparing the polenta.

Polenta
Bring 2 cups of broth to a boil, add polenta and stir continuously until thick (about one minute). Remove from heat. Add corn and continue to stir. Lastly, add cumin and sea salt. Set aside.

Stuff the Poppers
Add a little sprinkle of cheddar cheese to the jalapenos, then take a generous scoop of the polenta mixture and fill the rest of the pepper. Add another little sprinkle of cheddar cheese over the top of the polenta, and place back into the oven until cheese is melted and begins to bubble.

If you’re making the poppers along with the chicken skewers, then put the skewers into the oven at the same time as the poppers. Serve with sour cream. If you’d like to add dessert to the menu, move right into making the Chocolate Coconut Banana Bites while you wait for the Poppers and Skewers to finish.

Chocolate Coconut Banana Bites
Serves 6

3 Bananas
1 ¼ cup Chocolate Chips (I prefer dark)
½ c. Shredded Coconut
1 tsp. Coconut Oil
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

Preparation
Slice three bananas into bite-size circles (about 1 to 1 ½ inches thick) and set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and set aside. Melt chocolate chips by double boiling. When chocolate chips are nearly melted, add coconut oil*, then cinnamon.  After chocolate mixture is melted, dip the bananas and place on the baking sheet. After all the bananas have been dipped, sprinkle with shredded coconut. Wait about 20 minutes for the chocolate to harden, and enjoy.

*Coconut oil works extremely well in this recipe because it hardens when it comes back to room temperature. It will also make the chocolate look a little glossier on the bananas. I’ve written quite a bit about the benefits of coconut oil, and can’t say enough about it. I think coconut oil should be in everyone’s pantry.

 

 

 

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