I have to honestly say that I LOVE football.
It’s probably a given since I grew up in Pittsburgh and everything is about the Steelers.
We were groomed at a very young age to know everything about the sport and our favorite team.
I remember being a little girl, planting myself in front of the TV every Sunday at my Aunt Louise’s house. It was a tradition to eat her homemade pasta while watching the Steeler games.
Just picture a bunch of Italian men, (my cousins- Keithy, Marky, Ricky (yes, a kind like The Sopranos with the Chrissy stuff), my Uncle Rocky and my dad) yelling at the TV, hands in the air, cheering and sometimes cursing if the Steelers would lose. They would go non-stop with predicting every play and seeing who knew the most stats.
I learned about holding calls, pass interference, first downs and 2 point conversions. And to love the game.
(I think all that training helped me snag the best husband ever. Kevin, a big sports fan and athlete, was so impressed when he met me…I can talk football and actually enjoy watching it).
So while my beloved Steelers didn’t make it to the big game this year (sniff sniff), I still like to watch all the hype with the commercials and half-time shows (Katy Perry is going to rock it!) . And of course, watch the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots go at it. I’m pretty much torn on who to root for. (Maybe I’ll go with the Patriots…I do think that Gronkowski guy is cute…).
Another big part of the Super Bowl is the FOOD. There’s a lot of eating and drinking going on so while it’s crazy pants to think you won’t have a beer or a bite of that stuffed cheese pizza, you can still add a little “clean” twist to the party.
I think making healthy versions of appetizers is the way to go. They are easy to make and can stave off inhaling foods that you will pay for the next day (for example, loaded potato skins with sour cream…just thinking about it, whoa, the poor belly!).
You can easily make a dip to go with pita chips or veggies. BUT how about something that will knock your socks off?
No party is complete without stuffed mushrooms. AND my Mushroom Bites have nutrient-dense ingredients like spinach, peppers, walnuts and sun dried tomatoes. Bring these babies to the party and everyone’s taste buds will be tre’ happy (and clean!):
Vegan Mushroom Bites
3 cups mushrooms ( use baby portobellos, cremini or button)
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (separated)
1/2 cup small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, soaked, rinsed and diced
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped (you can use 2 Tbsp. dried if you wish)
1/4 cup raw walnuts, chopped
1 cup baby spinach, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Brush mushrooms with 1 Tbsp. oil and place on baking sheet. Bake for10 minutes.
In a medium pan over medium-high heat, add 1 Tbsp. oil. Saute the onions, garlic, peppers, and tomatoes for about 2 minutes until tender. Add parsley and walnuts and cook another 2 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted.
Remove the mushrooms from the oven and soak up any liquid from the mushrooms. Spoon the filling into the mushrooms and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.
Makes 4- 6 servings, depending on size of mushrooms
I hope you will make this amazing app not only for the Super Bowl gathering but for any time you are hosting and need something quick and “clean” to serve. Heck, I sometimes sit around my house and eat these for a snack because they are that goooood.
What do you say?
IF you are watching the game on Sunday, what team are you cheering for? AND mostly, do you have a yummy appetizer idea to share with me? Tell me in the comments below and I will be sure to try your idea! 🙂
PS. If you need a good cleansing after all the fun, grab your winter cleanse kit. Whole foods menu plan, easy recipes and shopping list to download immediately.