Fan-tastic foods

With football season already in high gear, only one thing comes in a close second to the actual game on the field: the food! Whether cheering for your team at the stadium or at home in front of a TV, make sure that the fare you provide is easy to eat and hard to resist. I turned to my cookbook Kitchen 101 for the following simple-to-serve dishes that require little preparation so that you can spend more time being a fan.

Dips are a party food staple, and Spinach and Artichoke Dip is always a classic favorite. My unique version includes Brie and Parmesan cheeses. Serve it in a bread bowl to make it visually appealing—and easy to put away later. This dip is tasty and satisfying, and nourishing to boot! You can tell spinach is chocked full of nutrition by its vibrant green color—high in fiber and concentrated in phytonutrients and flavonoids—offering healthy antioxidant protection. Artichoke hearts, the other vegetable ingredient in this dish, are fat-free and naturally low in sodium and calories; they, too, are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Who knew healthy could taste so good?

For a simple sandwich option, my Beefy Crescents are a game-day winner. Roast beef, cheese and horseradish sauce wrapped in a flaky crescent roll makes this hearty pickup food perfect for satisfying a crowd. The horseradish sauce adds a nice kick of flavor, but you may want to make some without it if feeding kids. These sandwiches freeze well, so no need to worry about making too many.

Of course, everyone wants a sweet treat, and my Brownies with Peanut Butter Oatmeal Crumble are absolutely addicting! Whether you are a chocolate, oatmeal, or peanut butter fan, this bar cookie has it all. It is made with a brownie mix and a few pantry staples—what could be easier? If bringing the brownies outdoors to a tailgate, bake them in a disposable pan for ease of cleanup.

Whip up these easy recipes for a winning combination, and get ready to cheer on your favorite team—Geaux Tigers!

Serve with chips, red pepper squares or cucumber rounds.

1 onion, chopped
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups skim milk
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 10-oz. boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
4 oz. Brie cheese, rind removed and cubed
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
Dash cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste

In nonstick pot coated with nonstick cooking spray, sauté onion until tender. Stir in flour. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly, heating until mixture is bubbly and has thickened. Add garlic, spinach, Brie, and Parmesan cheese, stirring until cheeses are melted. Stir in artichokes, cayenne, and season to taste. Makes 20 1/4-cup servings.

Calories 54 | Calories from fat 34% | Fat 2g | Saturated fat 1g Cholesterol 7mg | Sodium 125mg | Carbohydrate 5g | Dietary fiber 1g | Sugars 2g | Protein 4g | Dietary exchanges: 1/2 other carbohydrate, 1/2 lean meat

Holly’s hint: If serving in a bread bowl, cut a thin slice off top of a round bread loaf and scoop out soft inside bread. Fill shell with spinach dip. Wrap tightly in foil and bake until hot, 20-25 minutes.

Nothing beats roast beef, horseradish and cheese in this pastry pickup.

1 8-oz. package reduced-fat crescent rolls
4 tsp. horseradish sauce (found in jar) or prepared horseradish
1 cup roast beef or 1/2 lb. thinly sliced deli roast beef
2 oz. shredded or sliced Jarlsberg cheese (light Swiss)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll crescents onto large baking pan. Spread about 1/2 teaspoon horseradish on each crescent and top with roast beef and cheese. Roll crescents starting from wide end to narrow end. Bake 11-13 minutes, until crescents are golden. Makes 8 sandwiches.

Calories 147 | Calories from fat 41% | Fat 7g | Saturated fat 3g | Cholesterol 19mg Sodium 273mg | Carbohydrates 13g | Dietary fiber 0g | Total sugars 3g | Protein 10g Dietary exchanges: 1 starch, 1 lean meat, 1/2 fat

An intoxicating mélange of flavors all in one sweet bite.

1 18.25-oz. box brownie mix
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
2 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray. In large bowl, mix together brownie mix, oil, water and eggs until well-combined. Transfer to prepared pan. In microwave-safe bowl, microwave peanut butter and butter for one minute, stir until fully blended, then add brown sugar, oatmeal and flour, mixing well. Sprinkle and gently press peanut butter mixture over brownie layer. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake 20 minutes or until top is soft to touch. Makes 48 brownies.

Calories 106 | Calories from fat 46% | Fat 5g | Saturated fat 1g | Cholesterol 9mg Sodium 52mg | Carbohydrates 13g | Dietary fiber 0g | Total sugars 8g | Protein 2g | Dietary exchanges: 1 other carbohydrate, 1 fat

Holly Clegg is the author of the best-selling trim&TERRIFIC cookbooks, Eating Well Through Cancer and Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle at Any Age. For more information, visit or