I love holidays that revolve around food. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween, 4th of July. Each one has a specific food that I associate and love. And so while a football game may not necessarily be a holiday, it is definitely something that people celebrate and it has a lot to do with food. As I mentioned with these vegetarian buffalo bites, I was interested in testing out some meat-free options to see how they held up in comparison with their traditional counterparts.
I played around with the idea of a sloppy joe, since that always makes me think of sporting events. I’ve never really seen one served at a hockey game (the only event I’ll attend) but still, the image came to mind. And so I went with lentil sloppy joes. Lentils tend to have a really hearty, meaty quality to them. If you are looking to sub out meat but aren’t daring enough to try one of the standard substitutions like tofu, lentils are a decent choice. Mixed with tomato sauce and veggies and loaded with spices, these sloppy joes tasted pretty darned much like a real sandwich.
Now, I didn’t add cheese to mind mainly because I didn’t have any cheese on hand. it was a sad day. Had my fridge been well-stocked, I would have definitely added a thick slice of American cheese. It would have added something extra. I highly recommend, should your fridge be well-stocked, that you add cheese. Just because it’s cheese and everyone loves cheese, right?
When it comes to sports, I’m more of a hockey gal than football. And that applies to all iterations of hockey (field, ice, indoor). There’s just something about it that appeals to me. Still, I can usually get down with football once or twice a year. Games in person are always fun and when the Super Bowl is on TV, I’m likely to watch.
And of course, indulge in a lot of snacks. Even if you aren’t a football fan, the Super Bowl is a perfect time to celebrate and eat lots of fun and delicious foods. We always do something standard, like hot dogs. But this year, we are adding these buffalo cauliflower bites to the menu.
I stumbled across these babies while looking for some vegetarian football foods for an article I was writing. Everyone has wings or burgers. But there is something to be said for vegetarian items that are equally as traditional and satisfying, right? I’ll admit, I was skeptical. Cauliflower does not equal chicken wings. But I was more than pleasantly surprised by the result. I couldn’t tell the different. These bites were hefty and spicy, perfect when dunked into a pile of blue cheese dressing. You wouldn’t miss the meat. I’m partially convinced that you could sub them out for regular chicken wings and no one would know the difference. I’d suggest, however, holding that experiment for another time. You’d likely insight a riot. That being said, consider adding them to your Super Bowl spread for a new twist.
I never want to be that cliched food writer. You know the one, always sharing what’s super trendy or posting 2 million cookie recipes around Christmas or having million recipe collections of pumpkin recipes. But sometimes, you really just need to share something at just the right time. It makes sense and your readers will thank you for it. Hence this chili.
If you’re in my part of the country – or many other parts as well – then you know this week brought an extreme chill not felt for years. I was lucky enough to be inside for most of the time but there are others who aren’t as lucky. Kids walking to school, the guy I saw on the highway changing his tire, the dog who needs to take a good five minutes to find a potty spot. No matter how you’ve spent the last week, you still need something to warm up your bones. Chili is a great, hearty option.
I went for vegetarian chili mainly due to lack of thawed meat. But really, I didn’t miss it at all. Two different kinds of beans – both red kidney and black – make this soup incredibly hearty meaty without actually adding any meat. A great kick of spice lends tons of flavor and the quinoa? Well that might just be my favorite part. It adds a great heft, a nice filling quality, without making this chili heavy.
Top if all off with a helping of jalapeno cornbread and you are set. The cornbread is essential here. You could skip it but why?
Here’s the thing about spaghetti squash. You can’t go into it expecting it to taste anything like spaghetti. So get that thought out of your head now. In fact, stop calling it spaghetti squash. Just call it stringy squash because that is essentially what it is. Once you roast and cut open a spaghetti squash, you are left with stringy, somewhat crisp flesh that is delicious and totally adaptable to basically anything your heart desires. But it does not taste like spaghetti.
I think because it is called spaghetti squash, it is most often treated as such and served with meatballs and sauce. That is fine and dandy, since it is definitely tasty that way. I took mine, however, and turned it into a crustless pizza. I scooped all of the tender yellow flesh out and tossed it in a bowl with copious amounts of mozzarella and pizza sauce as well as a little basil and just a touch of red pepper flakes for heat.
And the result was excellent. I love the texture of spaghetti squash. It’s crisp and fresh. If you’re in that post-Christmas detox mode, this will fit the bill. It’s healthy while filling and incredibly flavorful. Give it a whirl if you’re still craving pizza without the added guilt!
The Christmas season is definitely a time for appetizers. Flitting back and forth between parties leaves little time for full meals and lots of time for small bites. I’m perfectly content with that, since appetizers are my favorite. I like their ease, their versatility, their small size.
I made these apps a while back and I’m not sure I waited so long to share them. Remember the time I made that root beer BBQ sauce? I loved it and knew I wanted to use it in multiple dishes. I slathered it on pork, put a little on a grilled cheese. Then I thought, why not pair it with caramelized onions? Caramelized onions are one of my favorite foods but I was unsure how they’d work with the root beer. Well, the result was great! The root beer BBQ is a little sweet and the onions are a little salty. It’s that perfect sweet salty balance.
This recipe calls for root beer BBQ sauce, so I’ve linked back to that recipe here to make life a little easier for you. Consider serving these at one of your upcoming holiday bashes. They’re pretty quick to make and are a great one-handed appetizer!