Party smart

These spicy bean-and-spinach quesadillas, which cost about 25 cents per serving. Canned, spicy refried beans come preseasoned. When combined with extra-sharp cheddar cheese and toasted flour tortillas, the beans make a memorable and filling nosh.



16-ounce can spicy refried beans

10 fajita-size flour tortillas

1/2 cup chopped scallions

11/2 cups finely sliced spinach leaves

1 cup grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Cooking spray

1 cup prepared salsa (optional)

1 cup sour cream (optional)

Set oven to 200 degrees. Divide the refried beans between 5 of the tortillas, spreading it evenly over each. Top each with scallions, then spinach, then cheese. Press the remaining tortillas on top.

Coat a large skillet with cooking spray then set over medium heat. One at a time, toast each quesadilla until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Coat the skillet with additional cooking spray between each quesadilla.

As they finish toasting, transfer the quesadillas to a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm.

To serve, cut each quesadilla into quarters and serve with salsa and sour cream.

Beer and football almost seem like synonyms, but what if you or your crowd prefers wine?

Because most foods served on Super Bowl Sunday -- chili, ribs, chips and dip -- are salty, David Snyder, a wine instructor at the Wine School of Philadelphia, suggest high-acid wines such as Champagne or sauvignon blanc.

"Champagne with potato chips goes perfectly," he said. "High-acid wine goes with salty foods because it's going to moderate the saltiness. It's a fantastic combination."

Be careful when it comes to chili or ribs, especially if they're hot and spicy. Low-acid whites, such as Chardonnay, or high-tannin reds, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, react poorly with the heat.

"It will override the natural flavors and the food will end up tasting terrible," Mr. Snyder said. A low tannin red, such as Sangiovese, could moderate the heat and create a neutral pairing.

"You don't have to have fireworks, but you don't want to wind up face down in the gutter," he said. The best bet for Super Bowl fare: anything sparkling or a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

"It's racy and a perfect pairing for salsa or chili," Mr. Snyder said.


If you eat too much of the typical Super Bowl party food, your television isn't the only thing that's going to be wide.

A typical Italian sausage and pepper grinder from a sub shop can pack more than 1,000 calories and 68 grams of fat.

Some chains offer better alternatives, but it's easy and less expensive to make your own.

Start by using meats such as sliced chicken or turkey breast, or lean roast beef.

Keep the cheese to a minimum and use low-fat varieties or smaller amounts of assertively flavored cheeses.

Be sure to pile on the vegetables: They're filling, flavorful and low in calories.


3 tablespoons pitted and finely chopped black olives

2 tablespoon capers, rinsed and chopped

2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise

12-inch loaf Italian bread, split lengthwise

2 teaspoons olive oil

1-pound bag frozen pepper stir-fry mix

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

8-ounces sliced cooked chicken breast

1/4 teaspoon salt

Ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (optional)

In a small bowl, mix together the olives, capers and mayonnaise. Spread the mixture over the cut side of the top of the loaf of bread.

In a medium skillet over high heat, combine the oil and pepper mix. Saute until the peppers are tender and browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and vinegar and cook for another minute.

Spoon the peppers evenly over the bottom half of the loaf of bread. Top with the chicken, then season with salt and pepper. Add a layer of fresh basil leaves (if using). Place the top half of the loaf on the sandwich, then cut into 6 slices. Serves 6



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