Where am I? The swimming pool, my newly discovered best friend. In fact, I visit my new friend twice weekly now. You know the beginning of a friendship when you can’t get enough of the other person and want to spend all your time with them? Yeah, well, I got over that pretty quickly.
I have never been involved in any kind of sport before, and didn’t even know how to use UC Santa’s Cruz’s OPERS facilities. So I recruited my athletic, former-polo-swimming friend Rachel to help me out and keep me motivated.
So far we have stuck to our twice-weekly schedule. I struggle to keep up with her, my head bobbing above and below the (can I breathe now?) water line. When I get home after a morning workout, I eat more than I ever have in my life.
Just kidding. Super Bowl consumption always trumps all. Given my recent swimming experience, I think this year I deserve to feel a little bit sportier as it rolls around the corner. And the answer to your question is no, I have no idea who is playing.
I’m already getting ready to celebrate with some healthy recipes I found online. For me, the Super Bowl has always been about the food — pre-athletic kick, I mean. Cheese, crackers, and when I was younger and still ate meat, buffalo wings. Those of you who know me personally have probably heard a rant or two about how much I miss those little suckers. One of these days I will find sustainable chicken wings and write an entire food blog on my return to buffalo wing heaven.
Until then, I have found some good vegetable substitutes that momentarily let me forget about my obsession with chicken. This week, I made zucchini chips and sweet potato fries. Both of these snacks have incredibly easy recipes and are a healthy alternative to bring to any Super Bowl Sunday party. I can’t be a complete saint, though; I would dip into the chips and sour cream regardless.
First of all, when I bought the ingredients for this recipe, I thought I was stealing from Safeway. I pulled out my credit card in anticipation of a bill that would throw me over my monthly limit and instead ended up dishing out all of $3. On top of that, vegetables — I don’t have to convince you — are healthy.
Now that we’ve got that covered, how do you make vegetables tasty? That’s easy. As long as you have oil and a few spices, you’re good to go. The oil gets tossed in the recipe to make the spices stick to the vegetables and give them a good skin for when you pull them out of the oven. The spices you add really depend on your taste buds. Don’t like cayenne? Don’t add it!
You can check out which spices I used in my recipes at the links below. Have a great Super Bowl!
1 small zucchini
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you like)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ tsp butter or coconut oil, melted
Thinly slice the zucchini using a mandolin or sharp knife.
Toss the slices in the melted butter or coconut oil, then coat them with spices.
You can add additional spices if the zucchini isn’t coated to your liking.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and then place the slices on top.
They can be close together, as they will shrink when baking.
Bake at your oven’s lowest temperature until they are crisp to the touch (about two hours).
Sweet Potato Fries:
Olive Oil, for tossing
5 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch long slices, then 1/4-wide inch strips, using a crinkle cut knife
1 tablespoon house seasoning (recipe follows)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Line a sheet tray with parchment. In a large bowl, toss sweet potatoes with just enough oil to coat. Sprinkle with house seasoning and paprika. Spread sweet potatoes in single layer on prepared baking sheet, being sure not to overcrowd. Bake until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Per serving: Calories: 273; fat: 9.5g (saturated fat: 1g); protein: 4g; carbohydrates: 44g; sugar: 9g; fiber 7g; cholesterol: 0mg; sodium: 1,670mg
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder