February 4, 2012

A Very Vegan Super Bowl!

I admit, I'm not much of a football fan.

The only reason I knew who was even in the Super Bowl this year is because I lived in NY, where my entire family is from, so I am apparently excited that the Giants are in it this year.  But I'm not a huge football fan - the sport I'm most passionate about is baseball.  Is it spring training yet??

Anyway, the Super Bowl is still a great way to watch funny commercials and of course, EAT YUMMY FOOD!

So here are my favorite appetizer recipes, along with a couple awesome chili recipes and an adorable dessert recipe.  Please note that most of them are whole-foods based, but not all of them.  My motto is that life is too short to end up with preventable diseases and on prescription drugs, but it's also too short not to have some frickin' spinach artichoke dip once and a while.


Avocado White Bean Dip
This is one of my all time favorite appetizer recipes - totally addictive, so yummy, and pretty easy.  Only one bowl required.
Print here.

  • 2-3 avocados
  • 1 - 15oz can white beans (cannellini, navy beans)
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pure flax oil (or olive oil, or better yet, omit)
  • 2/3 tsp salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  1. Mash avocado.  Fold in everything else.  Serve with tortilla chips!  SO GOOD!

Nachos/Queso Dip
A couple of days ago, I posted the recipes for Nachos with Nacho Cheeze Sauce.  It was so awesome, I knew I was going to find an excuse to make it again soon.  It would be fun to make a "Nacho Bar" where you have the chili keeping warm in a crockpot, and the Nacho Cheeze Sauce next to it, along with various other garnishes such as avocado slices, shredded lettuce, refried beans, black beans, chopped tomatoes, scallions, olives, etc.

You could also just make the Cheeze Sauce - double or triple or quadruple the recipe - and throw in some chopped tomatoes, scallions, or a can of those tomatoes with chilis.  Serve it with tortilla chips or kale chips.  Which brings me to the next recipe.......

Kale Chips
I love these things, but I have been told they have an acquired.  For me, they're crunchy, salty, bite-size little goodies.  And of course, we have to throw kale in whenever we can......

  1. Heat oven to 350. Arrange 1 bunch of kale leaves (stems removed) on two rimmed baking sheets.  
  2. Drizzle evenly with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil, a sprinkle of lemon juice, and toss.  
  3. Season with salt (you could also add your favorite seasonings here - cumin, chili powder, curry powder, pepper, etc.)  
  4. Bake, rotating trays once, until crisp, around 12-15 min.  

BBQ Black Bean Pita Pizzas
A lot of people love pineapple on their pizza.  Me?  I have never understood the addition of pineapple to savory meals.  But to each their own.  I have to admit, these look pretty good.  You can find the original recipe along with a photo, here.

Serves 4
  • 4 whole wheat pitas
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup all natural BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup Daiya mozzarella cheeze
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onions
  • 1/4 cup pineapple tidbits
  • 2 tbsp rosemary (if using dried, use less)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Place the pitas on a baking sheet.
  2. Spread about 2 tbsp of your BBQ sauce on each pita.  
  3. Add 1/3 cup or so of black beans to each pita.
  4. Top each pita with about 2 tbsp of the cheeze, some red onion, and about 2 tbsp of the pineapple. 
  5. Add a few springs of fresh rosemary, or a little sprinkle of dried rosemary to each pita.
  6. Bake for 12-15 min, until the cheeze is melted and the edges are crispy.
  7. Cut each pita into a few pieces, and serve!

Spinach Artichoke Dip
This is a tried and true recipe that I make a lot for parties.  I love this recipe - however, as I noted above, this is not a whole-foods recipe.  It contains some processed ingredients.  Again, only to be used on special occasions!  Be sure to serve it warm - it's not as creamy when it cools down.

Yield: 2 cups, 6-10 servings
Print here.

  • 1 - 10oz package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2/3 can of chopped artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/2 cup Veganaise
  • 2/3 cup vegan sour cream (I use the Tofutti brand - it's awesome)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl.  Place in a small baking dish (I used my Corningware)
  3. Bake for 20 - 25 min until golden on top.
  4. Serve WARM with tortilla chips.


Quick Vegetarian Chili
The only thing difficult about this recipe is that it requires some chopping.  But besides that, it's really easy and so delicious.  It's one of those recipes that's even better the next day, so feel free to make a double batch to have on hand, or freeze some.

Yield:  6 servings
Print here.

  • 1-2 tbsp veggie broth or water
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 4 cups chopped tomatoes (about 1 1/4 lbs - or use a couple cans of diced tomatoes)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • About 2/3 of 1 qt of Spicy Hot V8 (I just add until it looks like enough)
  • 1 - 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 - 15oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  1. Heat broth or water in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook for about 2 min, stirring constantly.
  2. Add zucchini and peppers, cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add your spices.
  3. Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients, stirring well to combine.
  4. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 min, stirring occasionally.  
  5. Serve with cornbread muffins, some whole grain bread, over rice, or a little Daiya cheddar cheeze on top!

Whole Grain Cornbread Muffins
I found this recipe on the Forks Over Knives site - where they have a great looking vegan Super Bowl menu.  I haven't tried making them yet, but they look delicious and easy to make, so I'll be making them soon for sure.  Plus, I have enjoyed various other recipes from their cookbook, so I'm sure these will be yummy!

Print here.

  • 1 1/2 TB. ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 1 cup oat flour (just throw a cup of oats in your food processor or blender to create a flour)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flaxseed with almond milk and set aside to allow it to gel for 5 minutes (this is your healthy, whole food, egg alternative).
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir applesauce and maple syrup together and add in flaxseed/almond milk mixture. Then sift in corn meal, oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir until well-combined, but avoid over-mixing. Add in the corn kernels.
  4. Either using a silicone 12-cup muffin pan or a 12-cup muffin pan lined with paper, spoon out equal portions of batter into the cups.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Serve warm.

Smoky BBQ Chili
I absolutely loved this chili - it wasn't a favorite for Ann, but her husband loved it.  It's pretty easy to make, hearty, and super yummy.  This post here contains the recipe and photos.  Just like the chili mentioned about, you could serve this with the cornbread muffins, with whole grain bread, or over rice. 


Peanut Butter Football Treats
Adapted from this recipe, these are yummy little dessert bites that would be fun for a football party!  I've made them a few times before and they are awesome.

Yield: 24 footballs or 32 bars

  • 1 10- to 11.5-oz box brown rice crispy cereal, or 7 cups (I used Erewhon brand)
  • 2/3 cup all natural peanut butter (I think I ended up having to use more)
  • 2/3 cup honey (again, I think I used more than this)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vanilla frosting, optional, for decorating
  1. Line a 15 x 10 in. jelly roll baking pan with nonstick foil, leaving an overhang on two sides.  
  2. Place the cereal in a large bowl.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the peanut butter and honey; simmer, stirring constantly for about 1 min.  Stir in the vanilla and transfer to the bowl of cereal.  Mix well to combine.
  4. Lightly coat a spatula with cooking spray and press the cereal mixture into the prepared pan.
  5. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  6. Holding the foil by the ends, life and transfer the cereal square to a cutting board.  Cut out football shapes using a football-shaped cookie cutter, or freestyle it!!  Place the icing in a bag, squeeze it to one of the bottom corners, and cut the tip off.  Decorate like a football - Google image it if you need to, like I did.
Peanut Butter Football Treats - original photo found here

Happy Super Bowl!  Go Yankees Giants!

Love and Kale, 


  1. SO MANY great recipes to try. Both from this site and from other site recommendations I have gotten from friends because I've been talking about my dairy-free quest on facebook. It's great, but also a little overwhelming. I think I need to stop copying down recipes and actually purchase the items and make a few of them.

    Thanks for the reply to my last comment. What I'm really identifying with about your blog is that this is a big leap for me--no cheese and no dairy. I say those separately because cheese is calling my name enough to deserve its own category. On the other hand, since the vomiting thing, not as much. Anyway, I babble.

    My point was trying to be, I've found some other blogs that are cutting out wheat, drinking daily green smoothies, stuff that I might try someday, but for now, it's enough for me to do the kind of stuff you guys are doing. I grew up around a lot of vegans so these recipes seem somewhat familiar to me. Now it's time to actually make them!!

  2. Hey Holly - I totally feel you. It can be quite overwhelming and seem very intimidating at first. The key is to do this one step at a time - if you try to go crazy with the green smoothies, raw foods, etc., all at once, you'll fail for sure.

    Know that you'll make gradual changes, but keep your goal of eating healthy and thoughtfully in mind. And if you have a little slip-up, don't give up. Just keep on truckin'! You can do it!

    Maybe try making a 2-3 new recipes a week? Whatever you can do. Then have a few backup recipes in your arsenal in case of emergency (like pasta with sauce, Amy's frozen vegan pizza, etc.).

    In the meantime, we'll keep the easy, healthy recipes comin' - and the stories of the daily struggles and successes. I'm glad you can relate to Ann - she certainly won't hold back :)