My mom called me last week and asked “what are you going to write about next week?” “Oh, I don’t know,” I responded, and threw out a few ideas, each one more boring than the next. The rest of the convo went a little bit like this:
Mom: “But honey, the Super Bowl is coming up!”
Mom: “So?! So, you have to write about it.”
Me: “Oh…okay…about what?
Yeah, so that’s about the extent of my interest in sports. About a month ago I asked who was playing in the big game, and my whole family looked at me like I had three heads. We all have our things, but “the sports” is not mine. The Super Bowl, my mother reminded me, isn’t just about the sports. Many people watch for the commercials; and some wait, with bated breath, for the halftime show. Then, there are a few people that only go to Super Bowl parties for the snacks. Now THAT is something that I can get behind.
The trouble with Super Bowl snacks, for me, is that they always leave me feeling really heavy. No matter if I have 2 or 20 beers while “watching” the game (and by that I mean, commenting about which players I think are hot, and saying “ouchies” about a million times) I still feel hungover the next day because of all the rich, heavy , (delicious, but) bad for you food. This week, I’m laying out a few of my favorite recipes on the lighter side, so you can enjoy the game, and your Monday won’t suck…unless your team loses, of course.
For those who like to dig in to a 7-Layer Bean Dip, this is a lighter alternative – no layers, but still delicious:
- 12 oz cans of up to 3 kinds of beans. I like black, pinto, garbanzo, or pinto beans
- 12 oz can yellow corn, drained
- 1 red onion diced
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup cilantro
- 3 tbs red wine vinegar
- 3 tbs olive oil
- Juice and zest from ½ of a lemon
- Salt to taste
Drain and wash bean and corn. Combine all of the ingredients in serving bowl. Serve with tortilla chips. Keeps in the fridge up to 1 week. You can stir and serve right away, but it’s even better if kept in the fridge overnight.
Meat on Bread
My brother-in-law says that no Super Bowl is complete without a foot long sub. I’ve never been a big sub person myself, and all that bread can really fill you up. Okay, by NO means am I one of those low-carbs girls…you’d understand if you saw me. I love bread, but it has to be really good bread, and it’s got to know it’s place. Instead of chowing down on a meatball sub, I prefer a nice ragu and a good crusty bread to soak it all up:
Sausage Ragu with Crusty Bread
- 1 pound hot or mild Italian Sausage
- 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil (divided)
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 ½ cups carrot, chopped
- 1 ½ cups zucchini, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped (divided)
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 15 oz. can tomato sauce (unsalted!)
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Large French Boule
- Heat Olive oil in pan over medium high heat.
- Add sausage and stir until sausage browns and crumbles. Remove from pan.
- Return pan to heat and add 3 tbsp. garlic, and veggies. Cook until soft (around 5-7 minutes.)
- Add sausage back to pan, then quickly add chicken stock and tomato sauce, stir.
- Reduce heat and let simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut boule into thick slices, then in half again. In small ramekin stir together chopped garlic and olive oil. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, then bread. Brush olive oil mixture on to bread. Toast in oven for 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown.
If your party is buffet style – keep the sauce simmering on the stove or in a chafing dish. Let your guests pour the ragu on top of the crusty bread, or on the side.
Lemon and Berries
I don’t even know what sort of dessert is typically served at a Super Bowl party, but I’m a gal who needs something sweet at the end of the meal. One of my favorite sweet treats are lemon bars. Lemon curd is my bae. But even lemon bars, though bright and citrusy, can get a little heavy. Instead I opt for lemon curd, mixed berries, and some crushed up graham crackers on top for a little texture. It’s light, but it hits all the sweet spots.
- 4 to 6 lemons (depending on size) juice
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 large eggs plus 3 yolks
- 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
Whisk together lemon juice, sugar, eggs and yolks, cornstarch, and sea salt in small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until thickened, about 3-5 minutes, curd mixture should come to a boil, but do not cook longer than 1 minute once it boils. Remove from heat, strain – then whisk in butter, olive oil and lemon zest. Transfer to bowl to cool.
Once your curd has cooled a bit, add your fruit, sprinkle graham crackers on top, and if you’re so inclined, sprinkle some confectioners sugar on top.
Happy Super Bowl watching…and eating!