It's the first real hurdle in a resolution diet: the Super Bowl. Every year, millions of blossoming healthy eaters are trapped in a 10x10 room with 50 friends, a 50-inch television, and more temptations than a Motown reunion. And while I would never advise depriving oneself of nachos and beer, there are ways to curtail the damage to your diet.
Parking yourself by the crudité table is one option, as is loading up on less fatty foods like popcorn, salsa, and pretzels. If your friends are all classy-like, shrimp and other non-fried seafood are excellent choices as well. Light beer is an acquired taste, but Sam Adams makes a decent brew, and I've never heard anyone complain about Corona Light. Chili, which we've discussed here before, is another excellent way to chow mightily without torpedoing your diet.
You can bring your own, cram it with vegetables and legumes, and no one will be the wiser. White Chicken Chili and Pumpkin Turkey Chili are stellar selections, as is Winter Vegetable Chili, the cover recipe from this month's Food & Wine.
Though entirely vegetarian, the chili is substantial, and packs some serious heat. Bizarrely, the parsnips are the highlight, since they pair beautifully with the chipotles.
It's a sweet, smoky combination I would not shy away from serving to Mike Ditka, John Madden, or two of the three Manning brothers. If you've never bought canned hominy before, I found it in the Latin foods section of my supermarket.
And that's a wrap, football fans. There's another lighter Super Bowl recipe coming next week, but until then, go [
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 pound carrots, peeled cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon chile powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- Kosher salt to taste
- 14.5-ounce can diced or peeled Italian tomatoes
- 1 canned chipotle in adobo, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup canned hominy, drained
- 1 cup canned red kidney beans, drained
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion. Saute 5 minutes, until soft and a little translucent, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add bell pepper, parsnips, carrots and sauté about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chile powder, cumin, and salt to taste. Stir to combine. Saute for about 1 minute.
While the veggies are cooking, combine tomatoes, chipotle, adobo sauce, and water in a blender. Puree until smooth.
Pour tomato mixture into cooked veggies. Add hominy and kidney beans. Stir to combine. Drop heat to medium-low, cover about 3/4 of the pot, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Salt to taste. Serve over brown rice if you have it around. (They go very well together.)