Well here I sit on Christmas Eve 2008 staring at the clock on the wall. It is 5:15 p.m. and I’ve just finished shoveling my driveway for the hundredth time this season… Ah, the joys of home ownership.
Last week my lovely wife Jessica asked me to write an article about Super Bowl Sunday and gluten-free food. "Just throw in a few football words, you know… quarterback, first-down, touchdown or something like that," she says matter-of-factly. Jessica has come a long way since our dating years. I would vehemently plead the merits of football to her, the tradition, (blank stare) camaraderie, (puzzled stare) and all of the wonders of teamwork it impresses upon the spirits of young men, (eye-roll and a seat shift.) The rites of passage mashed into four hour commercial ridden blocks of flying bodies and bone-crunching hits spanning the last four months of the year and culminating with the Super Bowl at the end of January. Jessica will never have the deep appreciation of the game that my eleven-year old son or I have but she can now sit through most of a game without too much anguish.
While, Knute and the Gipper will always mean the former speaker of the house and Mrs. Gore, she does understand that men must gorge during the ritual of watching football. This brings us to this purpose of this article.
Before I get too deeply into food guidelines I need to clarify one thing. In each of our lives there are certain times when the powers of concentration must be so acute, so pronounced, and so encompassing, they push the very limits of our cognitive capacity. The look on the face of a heart surgeon as she works to reconstruct the vascular system, astronauts as they maneuver the space shuttle in for another smooth landing, a bullfighter as he valiantly battles the fiery beast. These examples, while illustrative, for most men pale in comparison to football. It is important to know this as you prepare the menu items for your guests. This simple concept is critical to the success of your Super Bowl party. Simply put you should serve things that are uncomplicated and can be eaten with your hands, (Chili is the notable exception.) Below please find Jeff’s sure-fire Super Bowl food tips, easily modified to be gluten-free.
- Fondue is out. ‘Nuff said…
- Anything Greek such as tzatziki or phyllo dough should be camouflaged by calling it sour cream dip and pizza wraps
- Chips and salsa are a staple. When in doubt buy more.
- Guests should have chili eating options of spoon, fork or chips (see #3)
- Menu items should maintain individual flavors when mixed together and eaten with chips (again #3.)
- You can never go too wrong with a pizza — make sure to make several and load up on sausage and cheese.
- If you run out of food — popcorn makes a quick, acceptable substitution.
- Make sure to have plenty of beverages on hand—gf beer, pop, wine, margaritas (for the lively party), or even some of the hard ciders are acceptable in the gf world.
If you follow the above tips, I’m pretty sure your party will come off without a hitch. So, sit back and enjoy the game!
Here are our favorite football friendly recipes, complete with our ‘Hall of Fame’ Gluten-free Pizza collection!
Hearty Beef Chili
Chips & Cheesy Bean Dip
Chips & Pico de Gallo
Mushroom & Pepperoni Pizza
Three Cheese Pizza
Chebe Sausage Pizza
Sausage Pizza w/Caramelized Onions & Fontina Cheese
Ricotta, Sun-dried Tomato & Artichoke Pizza
Pizza w/Beef Tenderloin, Ricotta, Basil & Tomatoes
“OK, we couldn’t help ourselves, we threw in a few ‘gourmet’ pizzas too. Don’t say anything, just serve them and everyone will gobble them up without having to know they include ingredients like ricotta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes”