At the start of the New Year, our goals toward eating healthy are incredibly well intended, but inevitably for most of us, they become derailed after a week or two. Part of the problem is that most people tend make their resolutions too stringent or they don’t have a plan when faced with a situation such as office birthday party, a dinner party or happy hour out with friends.

Currently, I’m not able to train for triathlons.  It’s a story that I will tell sometime down the road but let’s just say that I have to be very mindful of what I’m eating these days as I can’t counter any bad eating with triathlon training.  As an aside, please don’t complain to me or post about how much you hate your runs or your rides right now–I’d give my eyeteeth to be able to do your “tough” workout, so solider on and be happy that you are healthy enough to train  #sorrynotsorry #imnicerwhenimrunning 🙂

In America, we have about a month left of football.  Super Bowl Sunday,  the 2nd biggest eating day after Thanksgiving, is just around the corner. Rather than undo all of your good work and go on a 6 hour binge of #allthecrockpot dips, party platters loaded with wings; jalapeño poppers and potato skins; cookies, bowls of chips and candy etc., stay mindful and plan a healthier menu or potluck option. You can enjoy tasty, stick to your ribs, athlete-friendly food while rooting for your team.  Try one or all of these fun recipes during Superbowl 2018. Below is the menu I’m planning for our gathering

Roasted Cauliflower used in place of chickpeas in hummus tastes amazing and for those of you following a Paleo or Keto diet; here you go. Did I mention that this hummus is “toot-free”?

Roasted Cauliflower Hummus

I’m not against chickpeas per se, but I find that my body responds much better to a (mostly) no grain and legume (and, if I’m being fastidious, no sugar and no alcohol)  diet.   I recreated this lemony hummus recipe with roasted cauliflower instead of chickpeas and the result was sensational. Make a fair amount of it and serve with lots of different vegetables for dipping.

For Roasted Cauliflower

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • 1 medium head of Cauliflower, cut into small florets and slice stem into ½ inch pieces
  • Place on roasting sheet pan and toss with 2 Tbsp Olive Oil and 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • Roast for 25 minutes
  • Cool to room temperature

Ingredients for Hummus

  • Roasted Cauliflower
  • 2 Tbsp Tahini Paste
  • 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp Warm Water
  • ½ tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
  • Extra Olive Oil for drizzling

Method

  • combine all ingredients into food processor or high speed blender and puree until smooth

Really Simple Guacamole

Whether I’ve used 6, 8, 10 or 37 avocados, I don’t think that I’ve ever made a large enough bowl of guacamole to last for most of a gathering. On second thought, I take that back as I once made a large bowl of guacamole for my niece’s high school graduation in northern Wisconsin. The guacamole was no match for the “beer dip” (sour cream, cream cheese and God knows what else). My sister told me later that guacamole is too “exotic” for that circle. I prefer my guacamole without chunky things in it—meaning that chopped onions and tomatoes are out. Frankly, outside of good pico de gallo made with sweet tomatoes, I have an aversion to raw onions. Having them show up in guacamole a royal PITA as they are almost impossible to fish out and I end up rolling them around in my mouth before discreetly trying to spit them into a napkin.  The addition of a couple of tablespoons of salsa adds an extra layer of flavor and you can serve the remaining salsa alongside the guacamole. I like to serve this guacamole with jicama sticks and grain-free tortilla chips.

I like my guacamole fairly basic with only avocados, spices and lime. Make a lot because inevitably it will be the first item to disappear

Ingredients for Guacamole

  • 6 Ripe Avocados (buy a week in advance and refrigerate when ripe)
  • 3 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice (please don’t use bottled……just don’t)
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 Tbsp prepared Smooth Salsa
  • Jicama, peeled and cut into sticks and Red Pepper pieces
  • Grain Free Tortilla Chips (Siete is my favorite brand)

Method

  • Cut Avocados in half lengthwise and remove pits. Scoop flesh into bowl or food processor. Add all other ingredients. Mash or process until slightly chunky or silky smooth.
  • Serve with Grain Free Tortilla chips or Jicama and Red pepper pieces

Turkey Chili–you can’t beat it for a prepare ahead for a crowd meal

Fragrant Turkey Chili

Serves 4-8 people

A stick-to-your-ribs crowd pleaser. Cocoa powder, cinnamon and epazote (or oregano) add wonderful yet unexpected nuances to the chili. I usually make my chili without beans but feel free to add a can of black beans into the mix

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 T cooking oil (I use Avocado Oil)
  • 3 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • ¼ tsp Liquid Smoke
  • ½-1 tsp Chipotle Powder or 1 Tbsp Canned Chilis in Adobo, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (I use Valrhona)
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp dried Epazote or Oregano Leaves
  • 2 pounds of Organic Ground Turkey
  • 1 each 28 ounce can of diced Organic Tomatoes (not drained)
  • 1-2 tsp Sea Salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Real Maple Syrup

Toppings

  • Sliced Green Onions
  • Vermont Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Roughly Chopped Cilantro Leaves
  • Full Fat Greek Yogurt
  • Chopped Jalapenos
  • Hot Sauce

Method

  • Saute onions in oil (or use non stick pan) until soft—about 5-10 minutes. For a richer flavor, caramelized them by cooking an additional 10 minutes and stirring every minute so that they brown but don’t burn. Add garlic and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add Turkey and Brown. Deglaze with water or beer if onions and garlic start to get too brown
  • Add rest of ingredients and bring up to just below boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for two hours OR place in 350 degree oven with cover on pot OR transfer mixture to crockpot and cook 6 hours

Slider Burgers!

Grass-fed Burger Sliders and Quick Pickled Onions in Lettuce Wraps

If you don’t want to make the pickled onions, sliced green onions are an easy substitute and simple to place into a lettuce wrap

  • 1 lb Grass fed Ground Beef
  • 1 tsp Organic, Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • Bib Lettuce, separated into leaves
  • Burger Fixings—Pickled Onions, Sliced Cheese, Ketchup, Mustard

To Make the Onions

  • 1/3 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Vermont Maple Syrup
  • ¼ tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 Medium Red Onion, Peeled and thinly sliced on a mandolin
  • In a small sauté pan or microwave, bring Vinegar, Maple Syrup, Cinnamon and Cloves to boil

Method

  • Remove from heat and toss in a bowl with the thinly sliced Onion
  • Cool to room temperature

To make the Burgers

  • Mix together Ground Beef, Worcestershire, Sea Salt and Black Pepper
  • Portion the Beef into 8-12 sliders. Cook one a sauté pan cook on one side for 90 seconds. Flip over and top with cheese if desired.
  • Place pan in oven and cook another two and a half minutes
  • Remove from oven and place onto lettuce leaves. Serve with burger fixings until desired temperature

Enjoy the rest of the week. When it comes to eating healthy, be mindful, not militant

Cheers