Thursday, January 29, 2009

Scoring BIG on Super Bowl Sunday

The Menu:
Val's "Holy Mole" Guacamole - Baked Chips - Spicy Buffalo Chicken Strips served with Celery & Carrot Sticks along with Blue Cheese Dip - Spinach & Artichoke Dip - Val's Black Bean Soup - Val's Beef & Raisin Chili - Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Super Bowl Sunday isn’t a day associated with healthy eating. In fact, some say that the idea of a healthy Super Bowl Sunday is an oxymoron. The Super Bowl is more than a football event, it has become an eating event. It should come as no surprise that after Thanksgiving, Americans eat the greatest amount of food on Super Bowl Sunday. Let’s keep in mind that when we say “food” we are referring to fried finger treats, hot & spicy buffalo wings, loaded nachos, pizza, and a variety of chips & dips (just to name a few). According to the Calorie Control Council, “the average Super Bowl armchair quarterback will consume 1200 calories and 50 grams of fat”, and that’s just from snacking. Factor in your meals for the super day and you’re not headed for a touchdown or even a field goal, but 2500 calories or more --- not the makings of a MVP.

Everyone knows that the proper execution of any play requires a game plan. Super Bowl Sunday eats are no different. To ensure that the men are satisfied and that the ladies can still fit into their jeans the day after the big game, I’ve put together some tasty Super Bowl recipes that wont threaten your waistline or your mans taste buds. To ensure that everything runs smoothly on Sunday, and that you score big with the crowd, here’s the game plan:

The day before Super Bowl, make the Beef & Raisin Chili and the Black Bean Soup. This way, you’re not stuck in the kitchen during game day. Plus, both of these delicious recipes taste even better the day after they’re cooked. I didn’t think they could taste any better than they already do, but trust me! On Sunday, all you’ll have to do is place your soup and chili on low heat over the stove an hour before the game, and they’re ready to serve. The Black Bean Soup is a perfect option for vegetarians, but I can guarantee that non-vegetarians will love this soup too.

Servings: 8

A little over 1 lb of lean ground beef
Vegetable Oil
1 whole red onion
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
2 stalks of celery
1 cup California Raisins (secret ingredient!)
1 - 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
2 - 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
1 small can of sliced olives
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 Teaspoon garlic salt or garlic powder (optional)
3 Tablespoons cumin
3 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Teaspoon of ground clove

Brown the ground beef over the stove in a little bit of vegetable oil. Be sure to break up the meat so that it browns evenly and cooks thoroughly. In a separate pot on the stove, combine chopped red onion, chopped celery stalks, and sliced mushrooms with a little vegetable oil.

Once the ground beef has browned, drain the excess fat and add to the pot with onions, celery, and mushrooms. Mix in chili powder, cumin, garlic salt or garlic powder (optional), ground clove, sugar (optional), and salt to taste.

Stir in crushed tomatoes with the meat, vegetables and spices. Add the whole tomatoes to your chili pot, making sure to break up the tomatoes as you stir them in. Mix in small can of sliced olives and California Raisins

Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce and allow to simmer for at least an hour.

Garnish with shredded cheese (optional) & serve hot


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 (15oz) cans of black beans
1 cup of chopped celery
¾ large onion, chopped
2 cups of water
2 teaspoons of finely chopped jalepeno
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup of cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 (14.5 oz) can of Rotel (tomatoes with green chili’s)
Red pepper chili flakes
Soy Bac-o-Bits (optional for garnish)

Combine ¾ of the beans with ¾ of the tomatoes, and water in a large non stick pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and use an immersion blender to puree contents in the pot. *if you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer mixture to a blender and pulse until well pureed.

Add the celery, onions, jalepeno pepper, garlic, cumin, along with the remaining beans, and remaining tomatoes. Season with black pepper and red pepper flakes. Cover pot, leaving lip slightly ajar to allow the steam to escape, and reduce heat to low.

Simmer 25 to 30 minutes (or until vegetables are tender)

Serve soup while still hot, and top with Soy Bac-o-Bits or real Bacon Bits (optional)

On the day before the game, be sure to also prepare you veggies. Wash & slice the vegetables you'll be serving with your blue cheese dip/dressing and those you'll be serving with the Spinach & Artichoke dip. You can separate your cut up veggies in plastic bags or containers and place them in the fridge until you're ready to set them out the next day. The chicken that you'll be using for your Spicy Buffalo Chicken Strips can be marinated on the day before to ensure that they are juicy and savory when served during Super Bowl. Also, fully prepare your Spinach & Artichoke dip and refrigerate it - on the the day of the game all you have to do is heat it up,add Parmesan cheese on the top and place under the broiler (just enough to melt the cheese). The only item that you'll be preparing on Super Bowl Sunday is the Guacamole, which should take you no longer than 5 to 10 minutes - I'm all about keeping it simple!

Servings: 8

1 can (14oz) artichoke hearts in water, rinsed, drained, and coarsely chopped
4oz reduced-fat bar cream cheese
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, chopped
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 scallions, sliced
1 package (10oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
Raw veggies for dipping (red & yellow bell peppers, asparagus, carrots, celery, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower)

Place half the artichokes in a food processor; add cream cheese, ¼ cup Parmesan, lemon juice, garlic, cayenne pepper, and 3 tablespoons of water. Process until smooth.

Add scallions, remaining artichokes and spinach; pulse briefly. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl.

Top with Parmesan cheese (1 tablespoon) and place under broiler just until cheese has melted.

Servings: 2 (we had to taste these... but this recipe will yield more than is pictured below in final photo)

12 chicken tenders
3 teaspoons of honey
3 tablespoons of hot sauce
2 tablespoons of low sodium Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic
1/2 teaspoons paprika
Blue Cheese Dressing, low in fat (Ken's Steak House Lite)


Stir together the hot sauce, honey, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and paprika in a small bowl. Microwave for 10 seconds, stirring if the honey clumps.
Place the chicken and half of the spice mixture in a large ziplock bag and shake until coated. Refrigerate until you're ready to grill.

When ready to cook the chicken, put the coated tenders on the grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, checking to make sure they're cooked sufficiently inside. Baste with the remaining spice mixture.


2 large avocados
2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Jalepeno pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons Mexican spice
1 teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons salsa
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Juice of ½ to 1 lime

Peel and mash 2 avocados, then add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Garnish with cilantro & serve with baked chips, pita chips, and veggies.

Don't think I forgot about dessert...
Chocolate covered strawberries, and you guessed it, prepare these delectable treats the night before the game.


16 large strawberries (about 1lb)
2 4oz bars of dark chocolate

Melt the chocolate either in the microwave or by using a double broiler.

Wash the strawberries and make sure they have dried.
Dip each strawberry in the melted chocolate and then place on a cookie sheet that's been lined with parchment paper.

Refrigerate until 1 hour before serving

I hope you enjoy the menu that I've put together for Super Bowl 2009. While you're enjoying these delicious and good for you eats, be sure to pay close attention to the commercials during the game ... the trailer for GI Joe (which features Action Hero Babe, Rachel Nichols) is scheduled to air right before kick off!!