Friday recipes: Super Bowl Survival 101

The Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos will battle it out during the 48th annual Super Bowl this Sunday in likely frigid East Rutherford, New Jersey (forecast: 43 degrees at kickoff, light winds, no heavy rain or snow predicted). That means you’ll find fans fighting for the best spot on the sofa to catch the half-time show and, of course, the commercials (yes, there’s a website for those if you want to skip the game).

This Super Bowl, pass the cheeseball and go for color.
This Super Bowl, pass the cheeseball and go for color.

Unfortunately, many of us watch the Super Bowl with platefuls of unhealthy party foods that are deep-fried, smothered in cheese, overly salted, high in fat and calories and served in abundance, all washed down with beer. It’s like a Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” freight-train tackle upon anyone’s fading New Year’s resolution to eat healthier.

I have faith that you know what to do: Get in a workout – say, toss around your own football – before settling in to watch the game (it doesn’t start till 6:30 pm, for Pete’s sake). Focus not so much on the food but rather on the suspense and theatrics of the game, the entertainment of the half-time show and/or commercials and – if you’re watching the game with a group – the pleasure of being in good company. Stagger those beers with glasses of water. Watch the game with dumbbells instead of pork sliders in your hands.

When you do eat, put moderately sized portions of the foods you love on your plate and then walk away from the spread. I’m utterly in favor of your indulging your lust for cheese-and-bacon stuffed potato skins, but try to savor – slowly – just one.

Another way to survive the Super Bowl binge-fest is to sneak healthy ingredients into your game fare. We’ve posted several dip recipes that feature canned beans, spinach and cooked peas, such as this spinach and artichoke dip, edamame spinach dip and other veggie-based concoctions. This year, I’m going to try some of the yummy-sounding healthy suggestions I found on, including this one from Domestic Fits for “broccomole.” While I adore avocados and appreciate that their fat is healthy, replacing them with the superfood broccoli greatly reduces the fat and calories. I’ve changed the recipe somewhat to fit my own taste preferences. And I’m determined to enjoy it on more carrot sticks and cabbage leaves than on greasy chips.

Broccoli guacamole

  • 3 cups chopped broccoli
  • 2 jalapeƱos, chopped, seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 ounces fat-free cream cheese or other creamy ingredient like silken tofu, goat cheese, sour cream or cashew cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt, black pepper and garlic powder

Cook the broccoli in lightly salted water until very soft. Drain broccoli thoroughly. Transfer it to a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Add additional olive oil if needed for a smoother texture. Serve warm.

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