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Super-cheap, super-yummy Super Bowl

PAM ANDERSON | 9/17/2009, 11:20 a.m.
Hearty tamale pie is the centerpiece of this Tex-Mex meal.

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Menu Super Bowl Sunday Pre-game warm-up A Lighter Guacamole & chips Main event Turkey Tamale Pie Purple Slaw With Jicama & Oranges Post-game treat Baked Churros Munchies With Warm Chocolate Dipping Sauce

USA WEEKEND Food

Having people over isn't cheap, so maybe you're planning to watch the big game alone this year. Think again! For just under $60, you can make it a fun time with your favorite sports-loving pals.

Start with a lightened-up guacamole. By substituting lower-calorie green peas and water for some of the avocados, you're saving calories and bucks -- and no one will ever suspect. It's a trick I learned from the staff at Rancho La Puerta, the fitness resort in Tecate, Mexico, where I gave cooking lessons last summer.

The same is true for the tamale pie, a great party dish, made light with ground turkey, rather than the usual ground beef. I serve it with a colorful Mexican slaw of purple cabbage, jicama and oranges.

Continue the Tex-Mex theme through dessert with churros and a hot chocolate dipping sauce. In my version, however, the churros are baked, not fried, so you can make them ahead of time. Ditto for the dipping sauce. Really pressed for time? Buy some cinnamon doughnut holes and heat them in a 325-degree oven for 10 minutes before serving with the chocolate sauce for dunking.

Once these recipes are made, you can do what you're supposed to do next Sunday -- relax and enjoy the game with your friends.1 1/2 cups frozen green peas, thawed

6 Tbs. water

6 small (or 4 large) ripe Hass avocados, pitted, peeled and coarsely smashed

6 green onions, thinly sliced

6 Tbs. chopped cilantro

3 Tbs. lime juice

3/4 tsp. garlic powder

3/4 tsp. hot red pepper sauce

1 1/2 tsps. salt

Process peas and water in a blender until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and stir in remaining ingredients. Press plastic wrap directly onto guacamole to prevent browning. Refrigerate.

Makes 3 heaping cups Per 2 Tbs. serving: 41 calories, 1g protein, 4g carbohydrates, 3g fat (0.4g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 2g fiber, 159mg sodium2 pounds ground turkey

Salt

1/4 cup chili powder, divided

3 cups salsa

2 4-ounce cans diced green chilies

2 16-ounce cans pinto beans, undrained (mash 1 can of the beans)

2 2.25-ounce cans sliced black olives, drained

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

2 cups yellow cornmeal

2 tsps. salt

2 cups (8 ounces) grated sharp cheddar cheese

Substitute ground beef or even meatloaf mix for the turkey. Sprinkle the casserole with thinly sliced or chopped red onion before broiling, if you'd like.

Heat two 12-inch ovenproof skillets or a large, heavy roasting pan (at least 14-by-10 inches) over two burners set at medium-high heat. Add turkey, lightly season with salt and cook, stirring, until it loses its raw color. Stir in 3 Tbs. of the chili powder, then the salsa, green chilies, beans, olives and 1/2 cup cilantro; simmer for about 5 minutes. (Meat can be made two days ahead; reheat before proceeding.)

Bring 6 cups of water, cornmeal, remaining 1 Tb. chili powder and 2 tsps. of salt to boil in a large pot, whisking frequently, until mixture thickens to mush consistency (like grits).

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