Super Bowl Sunday is extra special this year if you live in the New England area, as Tom Brady and the Patriots look to make NFL history. If the Pats are able to pull out a victory, Brady will be the undisputed best quarterback ever to play the game. No questions asked. But how is 39 year-old Tom Terrific still so terrific? What's he doing that other players don't do? He's eating plants, of course!
We've all heard of Tom's "crazy" dietary habits, and it comes as no surprise to me that his personal chef says both him and Gisele eat a whole food plant-based diet 80% of the time. While they're not completely vegan, they're damn close. I think it's obvious that the results speak for themselves. (FYI, you don't need a personal chef or money to eat a whole food vegan diet. I eat a 100% vegan diet and spend $120 a week on food. I'll do a future post on how to eat this way on a budget.)
With that being said, let's all make Tom proud tomorrow! Let's all eat like champions! Let's gorge like the greatest quarterback of all time would! Let's be terrific, just like Tom!
Buff "Chick" Dip
What's a Super Bowl Sunday without Buff "Chick" Dip?
1-12oz bag frozen cauliflower florets, steamed according to package directions
1 cup raw cashews, soaked and drained
1-15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¾ cup original Frank’s Red Hot sauce (Not the buffalo wing sauce, that has dairy in it!)
½ cup water
½ tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
Tortilla chips (Beanitos Bean Chips or Terra Plantain Chips are my favorites!)
- Place cashews in a bowl of warm water for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 375F. Spray an 8x8in baking dish with cooking spray.
- Add to the bowl of a large food processor the steamed cauliflower, cashews, chickpeas, hot sauce, water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, onion powder, and garlic powder. Process until the mixture is smooth and creamy, which will take several minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
- Transfer dip to baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, turn the oven to broil, (keep the oven open) and cook for 5 minutes longer.
- Serve with chips.
- Eat some quickly! It will not last long.
I got this recipe from www.hummasapien.com. It's the best tasting and healthiest vegan buff chick dip I've made. Here's the link to the original recipe: http://www.hummusapien.com/healthy-vegan-buffalo-cauliflower-dip/.
Halftime: Course #1
Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers
It's burger time!
2 cups mashed sweet potato (~2 large sweet potatoes - organic when possible)
1 cup cooked salted black beans, rinsed and well drained (if unsalted, add more salt to the burgers)
1 - 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice* (or sub cooked quinoa with varied results)
1/2 cup walnut or pecan meal (or very finely chopped)
1/2 cup finely diced green onion
2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper (to taste)
1/4 tsp chipotle powder (optional)
1 Tbsp brown sugar (optional for added sweetness)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and cut sweet potatoes in half. Rub with olive oil and place face down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake sweet potatoes until soft and tender to the touch - about 30 minutes - set aside. Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees F.
- While potatoes are baking, cook rice or quinoa (see notes for instructions).
- Add black beans to a mixing bowl and mash half of them for texture. Then add sweet potato and lightly mash, then 1 cup rice, green onion, nut meal and spices. Mix to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add more rice or nut meal if the mixture feels too wet. It should be very moist but moldable.
- Lightly grease a baking sheet and line a 1/4 cup measuring cup with plastic wrap.
- Fill the lined measuring cup with sweet potato mixture. Scrape down to pack, then lift out and transfer to the baking sheet and gently press down to mash. The thinner you press them, the faster they’ll cook, but no need to go too far. Just a gentle press will do.
- Bake burgers for a total 30-45 minutes, carefully flipping 20 minutes in to ensure even cooking. The longer you bake them the firmer and drier they will get - up to preference. I went for around the 35 minute mark.
- Serve on slider buns or atop a salad with sliced avocado, red onion, greens, and ketchup or salsa. (I like the Sir Kensington's Ketchup.)
- Try not to cry at how good they are in front of the guests.
* To cook rice: bring 2 cups water to a boil, then add 1 cup very well-rinsed rice, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes or until fluffy and tender. You will have leftovers.
* For quinoa: rinse 1 cup quinoa and add to a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté in a bit of olive oil for 1-2 minutes, then add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and continue cooking for about 15 minutes, or until tender and fluffy and the water is absorbed.
I got this recipe from http://minimalistbaker.com/. These are seriously kick-ass burgers! The original recipe can be found here: http://minimalistbaker.com/sweet-potato-black-bean-burger/.
Postgame: Course #2
Mushroom Lentil Tacos w/Mango Salsa
The big game's in Texas, so it's only fitting that we throw some Mexican food into the mix.
1 cup tomatoes, diced
2 cups mango, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 jalapeño,seeded and diced (optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar
Lentil Mushroom Filling
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1 1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
1 cup dried red or brown lentils
2 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
6-8 taco shells, hard or soft
- Toss all ingredients together until well combined.
Lentil Mushroom Filling
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once heated, add the diced onion and a sprinkle of salt. Sauté until soft & translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms release some liquid, about 2-3 minutes. Now add minced garlic, tomato paste & spices. Cook until mushrooms are tender & lightly browned, About 2-3 minutes
- Add lentils, vegetable broth, bay leaf, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let mixture cook for about 20-25 minutes, until lentils are tender.
- Uncover and cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until liquid cooks down & mixture is thickened. Remove bay leaf.
- Spoon the filling into your taco shell and dress up to your liking.
- Eat up!
I got this recipe from http://veganhuggs.com/. These tacos are lights out good! The original recipe can be found here: http://veganhuggs.com/lentil-mushroom-tacos-w-mango-salsa/.
Celebration Time: Dessert
Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Dates
As Tom holds up the Lombardi Trophy one more time and there isn't a dry eye in the house, eat some of these.
10 Medjool dates
2-3 tablespoons peanut butter (I get fresh ground peanut butter from Whole Foods)
1/4 cup peanuts (optional - I like them without, because I don't like the crunch)
1/2 cup (about 4 oz) vegan dark chocolate (I like Taza 85% dark chocolate)
- Cut the dates open to remove the pit. It's best to cut down lengthwise into the dates.
- Then fill them with some peanut butter, (optional - add two or three peanut halves) and put them back together.
- Next, melt the dark chocolate. You can either do this in a microwave or in a small sauce pot on the stove. Then dip the dates in the chocolate. Allow the chocolate to harden (this will take about 5 minutes).
- How good are these?!
I got this recipe from http://veganheaven.org/. It's so simple and so ridiculously good! The original recipe can be found here: http://veganheaven.org/recipe/peanut-butter-stuffed-dates-chocolate/.
Beer & Wine Selections
If you didn't know, there's a lot of beer and wine that is not vegan. Disappointing I know. A lot of beer and wine use animal products during the filtration process and add it to the product for consistency reasons. Most large wine brands actually have gelatin in them. So be sure to check the label or do some research. Here's my vegan go-to's.
I'm admittedly a little biased here, but I've seen it made and know it's the best of the best!
Barrel House Z: Sunny & 79° ITB.
Barrel House Z: Townie Rum Barrel-aged
Check out Barrel House Z here: http://www.barrelhousez.net/
The Vegan Vine: 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Frey Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir
Go Pats! #eatliketom