Sometimes when I hear that something was made from-scratch, I get a headache. Maybe it’s because I’m still learning how to cook. It is intimidating to learn new skills while I’m just trying to keep up with family and work. But now I try to look at cooking like any other skill: it can be learned.

My family has a history of hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. With this lovely genetic inheritance, I needed to learn how to cook because health authorities warn of the added fat, sugar and salt that comes from restaurants and processed foods.

This weekend will feature a lot of junk. Super Bowl parties aren’t known to be havens for healthy fare. They’re known as a celebration of fat, salt and sugar. (Oh, and football, too.) So this weekend, I encourage you to try your hand at making your own corn chips.

When I first made these chips, I was startled at how easy they were, especially considering the amazing taste. I made some more just in case it was a fluke. Nope. These chips are awesome. I even tested them on teenagers. So you have my word that, from toddlers to teens and even with men, these chips are a hit!

These chips are crunchy and don’t collapse under the weight of really good salsa or dips. Plus, they pack in less fat and salt than the store-bought variety. Show yourself and your friends that you've got more skills than just predicting the Super Bowl MVP.

DIY Corn Chips 


  • 8-corn tortillas 
  • Salt 
  • Cooking spray (olive or canola oil)


  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. 
  • Using a sharp knife, cut tortillas into wedges. 
  • Spray two cookie sheets with the cooking spray and arrange the tortilla wedges so none are touching. 
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes. Take them out when the edges have browned slightly. 
  • Cool and serve with your favorite dip or salsa. They can also be served alongside your favorite chili.

Do you also need help replacing that icky tub of store-bought bean dip? Here’s another easy recipe. Let your food processor do all the work.

Black Bean Hummus 


  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed 
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seed paste (tahini) 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice or the juice from half of a fresh lemon 
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin 
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • Garnish: roasted red peppers (available in the canned vegetable section of any grocery store) and/or finely chopped green onion


  • Place ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the texture is light and creamy. 
  • Taste and add salt, pepper, lemon or more chili flakes to your liking. 
  • Note that this recipe is flexible. If you don’t have any fresh garlic, use granulated. If you don’t have any tahini, just omit. If you don’t want to use oil, just replace it with non-fat plain yogurt.

Sources: http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm315393.htm and http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/tasting-success-with-cutting-salt/