One inquisitive omnivore’s journey towards healthier and more compassionate eating…
(MEATLESS/VEGETARIAN/VEGAN RECIPES) Super Bowl Sunday is just days away and honestly, until recently I didn’t have a clue as to which football teams were even playing.
But now that I know, I think it’s pretty cool this year’s match-up between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos is making history—Global Animal style!
In the Super Bowl’s 48 years, this is only the third time that both teams in the game have animal nicknames—Chicago Bears vs. Indianapolis Colts in 2007 and Denver Broncos vs. Atlanta Falcons in 1999.
Super Bowl Sunday is actually the second largest day of food consumption in the U.S., with Thanksgiving being the first. But lets face it, healthy, kinder eating probably isn’t the biggest concern.
In fact, the National Restaurant Association says the top three foods eaten at Super Bowl Sunday gatherings are salsa and dips, chicken wings, and pizza. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try to be more healthy and compassionate while still having fun on football’s biggest day.
Here are some vegetarian and vegan options for you to enjoy:
1. CHICKEN WINGS
More than 1.25 billion chicken wings will be eaten Super Bowl weekend. Why not swap out all of that fat and calories for Gardein’s Crispy Tenders? The meatless snacks are made with a healthy 7-grain breading and tastes just as good as any chicken fingers I’ve ever had.
I know these don’t quite match the whole wing thing, so I also found a recipe for Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower ‘Wings’ on PETA’s website. I’m not a big fan of the Buffalo-flavor so I haven’t tried them myself, but since it’s the preferred taste, I definitely wanted to include them.
They’re described as bite-sized pieces of cauliflower with an “eerily similar experience to eating chicken wings.” Let me know what you think.
SPICY BUFFALO CAULIFLOWER ‘WINGS’
1 cup water or soy milk
1 cup flour (any kind will work—even gluten-free!)
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into pieces
1 cup buffalo or hot sauce
1 Tbsp. olive oil or melted vegan margarine
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Combine the water or soy milk, flour, and garlic powder in a bowl and stir until well combined.
- Coat the cauliflower pieces with the flour mixture and place in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 18 minutes.
- While the cauliflower is baking, combine your buffalo sauce and olive oil or margarine in a small bowl.
- Pour the hot sauce mixture over the baked cauliflower and continue baking for an additional 5 to 8 minutes.
- Serve alongside vegan blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.
VEGAN BLUE CHEESE DRESSING
- 1/4 block of firm or extra firm tofu
- dash of garlic powder to taste
- 1 cup or more (depends on how much you want to make) of veganaise. (vegan mayo)
- 1/4 tsp tahini
- dash lemon juice to taste
- dash apple cider vinegar to taste
Mix all ingredients, except tofu, together in a medium sized bowl. Mix until smooth consistency and add crumbled tofu for your blue cheese dressing lumps.
2. SALSA & DIPS
Chips are definitely a must-have for any Super Bowl gathering. Party goers are expected to crunch on 11 million pounds of potato chips this weekend.
Another fan favorite—tortilla chips, just as long as you serve them with a zesty bowl of salsa and some guacamole. According to the Hass Avocado Board, 69.6 million pounds of this nutrition-packed super food is consumed on Super Bowl Sunday.
- 1 large mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
- 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup diced white or red onion
- 1 tsp. minced fresh cilantro
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
Combine ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix well. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (Salsa will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to two days.) Serve with chips.
GUACAMOLE W/ JALAPEÑO & SCALLIONS
- 3 medium scallions, white and tender green parts only
- 2 medium garlic cloves
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and quartered lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 Hass avocados, halved and pitted
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat a grill pan. In a small bowl toss the scallions, garlic and jalapeño with the vegetable oil. Grill over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until charred all over, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a work surface and let cool.
Finely chop the scallions and jalapeño and transfer to a medium bowl. Peel the garlic cloves, mash them to a paste and add to bowl. Scoop the avocado into the bowl and mash with fork. Fold the cilantro and lime juice into the guacamole, season with salt and pepper and serve .
The National Restaurant Association says Super Bowl Sunday is the busiest day of the year for pizza restaurants. Papa John’s (my personal favorite), Pizza Hut, and Domino’s will reportedly sell twice as many pies as they do on any other day.
But why spend time and money waiting for delivery when you can make your own personalized pizzas right at home?
BOBOLI RED PEPPERS & MUSHROOM PIZZA
- 1 Boboli Original Pizza Crust
- 6 oz GO VEGGIE! Mozzarella Flavor Shreds (3 oz Veggie! plus 3 oz mozzarella if you want to try experiment)
- 1/2 cup Prego Pizzeria Style Pizza Sauce
- 8 oz white mushrooms
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Chop mushrooms, peppers and garlic into small pieces and sauté in olive oil over medium heat until mushrooms and peppers are soft and garlic is lightly browned. Spoon pizza sauce all over Boboli working from the inside out, leaving about 1/2” – 3/4” crust. Evenly spread the vegetables over sauce and top with GO VEGGIE! Cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
Feel free to have fun and be creative with your pizza. If you’re not big on mushrooms, top with olives, onions, pineapples, meatless pepperoni, whatever you like. It’s one of the easiest things to make and healthy!
So whether you’re a Seahawks or Broncos’ fan, or just in it for the fun, now you can feast on Super Bowl Sunday without all the guilt on Monday. Enjoy!
— Lisa Singer, exclusive to Global Animal