Chews Life Now! (Super Bowl edition) Let’s usher in a new offense on Feb. 11

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CHEWS LIFE NOW 1Super Bowl? What with the blitz of TV promotions, social media posts, and grocery store endcaps, let’s just call it what it really is: Super Trough. Football’s excuse for pigging out during America’s biggest pigskin match. 

An Instagram reel gets 28K likes showing a woman dumping two super-sized bags of Fritos into a 10-gallon plastic storage container followed by successive gallons of salsa, sour cream, and grated Monterrey for serving guests on the Big Day. Pop (Warner) quiz: what separates humans from the fifth most intelligent animal on the planet? About 5,560 calories. That’s because some humans in the US of A consume as much as 11,000 calories on Super Bowl Sunday, (LetsGetChecked, 2024) while a full-grown pig/hog only consumes about 5440 calories per day (ThePigSite, 2016).

11,000 calories.  

If that’s not enough for the ref to call an offensive 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness against yourself, then I’ll call Roger Goodell myself and file a complaint. (Along with my still seething umbrage against ref Brad Allen for poaching the Lions out of a legit opp for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Grrrrrrrr!)

11,000 calories.

Let’s put that into perspective.  Some Xs and Os.

The average fresh salad with lettuce, cukes, maters, onions, and shredded carrots is about 100 calories without dressing.  That equals 110 salads.  

Not exactly your ideal Super Bowl party fare.  I get it.

Several years ago, when wintering in Arizona near my cousin’s family – also big sports nuts like me and my husband – they introduced us to their Super Bowl tradition. Serving guests food that is synonymous with the cities from which each rival team hails.     

And here we are:

NFC San Francisco 49ers 12 – 5

AFC Kansas City Chiefs 11 – 6 

Fans, it’s easy to score 11,000 calories with these two teams playing for that trip to Disney Land. Mission Burritos from San Fran and good ole pork barbeque from Kansas City.  Now, don’t get me wrong. I won’t hide my face behind the play call sheet.  I want you to read my lips when I say I love me some oleogustus (Latin for fatty taste) just as much as the next linebacker.

The Mission Burrito, famous from the namesake area of San Francisco, gets its rich flavor from sirloin, 2 tbsp pork lard, ¼ cup Monterey cheese, and ¼ sour cream. Its less evil special teams include avocado, salsa verde, pico de gallo, and pinto beans. 

As for those succulent pork ribs from the Paris of the Plains.  Two racks pork ribs and lotsa Kansas City barbecue sauce. (I have it on good authority that celery seed and cumin give it the authentic KC taste you’d find at iconic rib joints like Gates Bar-B-Que and Rosedale Bar-B-Que.)

Want to see some obscene scores? Blowouts against a weak defense?

Nutritional Value for Classic Mission Burrito:

  • 1165 calories
  • 69 grams fat
  • 28 grams saturated fat
  • 30 grams monounsaturated fat
  • 6 grams polyunsaturated fat 
  • 1220 milligrams sodium

Nutritional Value for Half Rack Kansas City Barbeque Pork Ribs:

  • 670 calories
  • 30 grams fat
  • 9 grams saturated fat
  • 97 grams cholesterol 
  • 4110 milligrams sodium 

You don’t have to be a computerized statistician from AWS to figure out that adding all the other calories to the day could take you out of the game. Permanently. Chips. Dips. Sweets. Alcohol. Repeat. 

Often referred to as “Super Bowl Spike” in the medical community due to the increase in heart attacks, especially in the host city for those attending the game as well as those watching from home particularly if the game is close, cardiologist, Nicholas Ruthmann, of the Cleveland Clinic, says, “Those who have high blood pressure, those with high cholesterol, diabetes, if you smoke, if you drink too much, you’re overweight, [all] of that can come together and form a perfect storm and increase your risk on the big day of the big game.” 

Sports fans, here’s what Carolyn’s got on her Super Bowl Menu, celebrating the great American cities of San Francisco and Kansas City without the penalty of extra pounds or cardiovascular risk.

IMG 9520

You’ll feel super without the trough! 

Portobello “Ribs” with Kansas City Bar-B-Que
Portobello “Ribs” with Kansas City Bar-B-Que

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Kansas City Bar-B-Que Sauce & Baked Beans 

As easy as the caption. And about 100 calories per serving (5 slices with sauce). Serve with baked beans in Kansas City tradition.

Steamed Plant-based Pork Wontons
Steamed Plant-based Pork Wontons

Stuffed/Steamed Wontons to Honor Asian Community of San Francisco 

Serves 4

  • 12 frozen wonton wrappers (available at Asian markets)
  • 4 plant-based sausage patties cooked & minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions finely chopped
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp sesame oil

Mix all ingredients and place a small amount on wonton.  Wet all sides, fold over to make triangle, wet tips and seal.  Place in bamboo steamer making sure wontons do not touch water. Steam 10 – 12 minutes. Serve with soy sauce for dipping. About 35 calories each wonton.

Vegan Burrito
Vegan Burrito

Vegan Burrito in Tribute to San Francisco’s Hispanic Culture from World of Vegan  Chef, Michelle Cehn

  • 1 large burrito-sized flour tortilla
  • ¼ cup refried beans
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • tomatoes, diced
  • canned corn, drained
  • onion, diced
  • avocado, sliced
  • purple cabbage, shredded
  • cilantro, chopped
  • hot sauce or salsa
  1. Warm tortilla in a hot pan on both sides for 30 seconds each side.
  2. Lay tortilla on a plate and spread a layer of refried beans followed by quinoa, tomatoes, corn, onion, avocado, purple cabbage, and cilantro. Be careful not to overstuff.
  3. Tightly roll.
  4. Warm a pan over medium heat and place burrito, seam side down on the pan. Flip when light brown. Brown again and remove.  
  5. Serve with hot sauce or salsa and enjoy! 

Nutrition Value:

  • 243 Calories
  • 4 grams fat
  • 1 gram saturated fat
  • 2 grams polyunsaturated fat
  • 1 gram monounsaturated fat
  • 572 milligrams sodium
Lemon Curd Trifle
Lemon Curd Trifle

Healthy Lemon Curd Trifle Celebrating Kansas City’s Love of Lemon Pie

Fill bottom of glass bowl with crushed vegan cookies or pretzels.  (I used both.)

Lemon Curd: from Plant Based Jess (Sept. 2021)

  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water
  • 15 oz canned coconut milk
  • ½ cup maple syrup or agave nectar
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • (Carolyn added 1 tbsp lemon zest)
  • ¼ tsp turmeric for color
  1. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with water and whisk well to break all the clumps.  Set aside.
  2. In a medium pot, combine coconut milk, maple syrup, lemon juice, and turmeric powder.  Whisk well and warm on medium high heat.  
  3. Once it reaches a gentle boil, add the cornstarch slurry slowly while whisking. Remove from heat once the lemon mixture has thickened – about 30 to 60 seconds.  
  4. Pour the mixture right away on the crumble cookie and/or pretzel crust in glass bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 or more hours.  

Nutritional Value:

  • About 279 calories per serving
  • 14 grams fat
  • 8 grams saturated fat
  • 234 milligrams sodium

(Based on similar coconut milk lemon pie recipe.) 

Libations?  I may not drink anymore – over 2-years without – but, by golly, Sam Adams makes it easy to celebrate special occasions with a non-alcohol IPA us New Englanders can be proud of even if the Patriots stunk this season. (That’s an op/ed piece for another day.) While the legacy of Belichick and Brady will endure for sure, it was Tom Brady who likewise revolutionized how athletes – and anyone listening – could optimize health, wellness, and sports acuity through a mostly plant-based diet. 80/20. 

But even the GOAT’s got some competition.

Usher will be taking the half-time stage. Yeah, Usher, the 10-time Platinum award-winning R & B artist and vegan. You know I’ll be dancin.’  


About this Author

Carolyn R. Choate

Carolyn overcame stage 3 breast cancer in 2003 because she thought she knew a lot about health and food. Turns out she didn’t know beans about health food. But all that changed on March 2, 2022 - the day after she was diagnosed with advanced Hurthle Cell thyroid cancer - when she joined the epigenetic diet revolution. Using phytochemicals found in nature’s astonishing bounty of plants, she reclaimed her life and earned her certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Campbell Colin Center for Nutritional Studies through eCornell to help herself and others suffering from chronic disease. Carolyn is passionate about sharing all the life-affirming reasons to be vegan.