Last week, like 100 million other people, I watched the Super Bowl. We gathered at a friend’s house, each bringing a “secret family recipe” to share with the rest of the group.
The thing is, when the majority of the group is ladies, the recipes err on the side of healthy.
With each new person who entered the room, the running joke became how many more celery sticks and broccoli florets we could fit on the table. There was a veggie platter and a cheese plate. There was some cauliflower dressed in a delicious spicy sauce disguised as hot wings. There was caprese salad on a toothpick. Even the bread bowl was whole wheat.
In honor of a friend who moved away, we made Rotel, which is a package of Velveeta mircowaved with a can of Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles. It sat untouched.
To many people, a vegetable-filled football party probably sounds as sacrilegious as cheering for the Seahawks in a Colorado bar. But, I guarantee we all felt better the next day and somehow didn’t consume 3,000 calories in one sitting.
With every embarrassing turnover by the Broncos, our focus shifted from the game to things like yoga, hair-braiding and the Puppy Bowl. I apologize to the guys who had to watch the Super Bowl with us, but we had to make joy where there was none on the TV. And to be fair, they were even playing things like “Are You Smarter than an NFL Quarterback?” on their phones.
The opening ceremony for the Olympics is Friday, Feb. 7 and then we get two weeks of go-for-gold glory and lycra race-suits. There are plenty of opportunities to gather with friends and share secret family recipes.
Any Bean Dip
When cooked and pureed, beans become a silky treat. They’re high in protein and low in fat. The dip is great for serving with vegetables like cucumbers and carrots, or with toasted pita-bread slices. If there are leftovers, use the dip as a spread for sandwiches or crackers.
A food processor comes in handy for this recipe, but a chunkier version can be made if mashed by hand. These ingredients serve as a base, and then you can add anything from sesame seeds to red pepper for additional flavoring.
Two 16-ounce cans of beans (cannellini, garbanzo or black bean)
Three cloves of garlic, peeled
Juice from one lemon
Two tablespoons of olive oil
Two teaspoons of tahini (for hummus)
Salt and pepper
Parsley, for flavor, if desired
First, drop the garlic in the food processor and puree. Then add the beans, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper. Blend on high for 30 second until the ingredients are creamy.
Scoop out and serve in a bowl.
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