Super Bowl XLVII meets Spa-cooking


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I’m pretty sure it’s too late to influence your Superbowl Sunday menu. I take the day as a culinary challenge: can I create Superbowl style treats without going full “Doritos and Papa John’s?” You can be the judge of my success, while the Ravens and 49ers battle on the field.

Last year I hosted a friend from work and her husband. She’s allergic to dairy and he eats gluten free. Clearly standard pizza fare was out. Instead, I characterize our menu as “heavy spa”– not as light as most of my meals, though still rich in vegetables and fruits. We started with a store-bought olive tapenade with multi-grain tortilla chips from Food Should Taste Good. I made “pizza tarts” in small fluted baking dishes. These have cooked whole grains as the base and I was able to make some with cheese (feta and ricotta) and some without. The tarts included some cooked Italian sausage along with eggplant, mushrooms, tomato and a good tomato sauce (such as Cucina e Amore’s Arrabiatta sauce). I sautéed a small shallot and also added Herbs d’ Provence. You can be as creative as you like! These are small volume dishes. I have four of the baking dishes, so I vary each one. That way, guests can experiment and I could serve my dairy-free friend.

Her husband might have been alright with the brown rice and quinoa base, but he opted to stick with other menu items, such as roasted root vegetables with honey-balsamic-fennel herb blend from Rancho la Puerta’s Cooking with the Seasons cookbook. For dessert, we had some fruit salad, made fresh that day.

This year, I watched the game on my own and had less motivation to prepare a lot of food. Earlier in the week I bought an Amy’s Roasted Vegetable Pizza with organic shiitake mushrooms, sweet onions, roasted red peppers and no cheese, some Genoa salami, some deli spanakopita, artichoke bruschetta, and eight large shrimp. I should confess that I went to the store after work and was hungry!

My Superbowl plan was to add some goat cheese and salami to the pizza, do something with the shrimp, and possibly have some spanakopita and bruschetta as snacks. I can now report on the menu as consumed!

  • Multi-grain tortilla chips (same as last year) with the artichoke bruschetta as first quarter snacks.
  • Amy’s pizza as planned, which turned out fabulous and took only about 12 minutes to cook. I ate half of it.
  • Spicy Garlic and Smoked Paprika Roasted Shrimp from my newest cookbook, Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes, by Jeanne Kelley. I used regular paprika and added some Moroccan spice mix I have. The recipe is easy: peel and devein the shrimp. For the small amount of shrimp I had, I used about 1/2 Tb of spices, one Tb of olive oil, one minced garlic, salt and pepper. I could have used a bit less spice and been happy too. Also, add some strips of red pepper, either fresh or, as I did, from a jar of roasted peppers. Combine all of this with the shrimp in a bowl, then roast at 400-degrees for about 8 minutes. Turn the shrimp and peppers, add some oregano and roast another 4 – 6 minutes (or longer as needed). Remove the shrimp from the pan and, if possible, deglaze the pan with some sherry. Pour the pan juices over the shrimp mixture. Enjoy!
  • A little fruit salad.
  • Oh, yes, and some wine.

I won’t claim that this meal was low-calorie, by any means. But I’m pretty sure it had more whole wheat, whole grain, organic vegetables, fresh fruit and quality ingredients that your average sports bar food. Fourth quarter, 6 minutes to go! Ravens 31, 49ers 29! Lights are on and it’s a real game! Go………Healthy!