it must be Super Bowl time

I usually look forward to Super Bowl Sunday and the treats that come with it – the food and the commercials. But due to our drastic diet changes, the idea of cooking “football food” seemed a bit daunting. Nothing says fun like a kid who ends the night sick, right? So I determined to find recipes that I could use or adapt to make this a day that we could enjoy without compromising on flavor. And with some divine direction, I found some winners.

In the midst of cooking Bowl food, I had to make sure that we had some breakfast options for  school week, too. Like I mentioned, breakfast is a challenge when you’re avoiding dairy and you’re pressed for time. I was on the lookout for a muffin recipe that would pass the test. Whole wheat muffins we’ve tried could double as door stops, so it’s been trial and error. They usually SEEM fine out of the oven, but magically convert to concrete over night – no matter how tightly they are wrapped. Well, this recipe is a winner, friends. A winner!

These beauties are Sparkling Jumbo Blueberry Muffins. The recipe calls for 3 cups of all-purpose flour. I used the hybrid method – 1/2 white whole wheat, 1/2 unbleached white, and they came out lovely and muffin-y. Hallelujah and the angels were singing! Follow the recipe carefully, because Sally throws some curve balls – LOTS of baking powder (for high-rise muffins) and a temp change along the way. She says the recipe makes 6 jumbo or 12 regular. Well, I’m not sure what “regular” means to her, but I got 12 large muffins out of this recipe, no problem.

See? These babies were beautiful! Oh, and I let them cool for about 30 minutes and put those puppies in a sealed tight container to lock in the moisture. We’re eating them 3 days later and they are holding up nicely with a smidge of butter and 10 seconds in the microwave.

Now for the actual game food –

I whipped up these Pizza Stuffed Breadsticks that we dipped in homemade marinara sauce. Even though we’re limiting dairy, Simon is allowed to have some as long as he takes his medicine. This recipe wins with the pizza lovers while reducing the cheese (compared to a slice of pizza), probably in half. No sacrifice on the taste, though.

pizza sticks

The idea is a little intimidating at first, but it wasn’t complicated and the return on investment is worth it! Unfortunately, I can’t just link you to a pretty recipe because I Frankenstein-ed a couple together and made my own – Pizza-Stuffed Breadsticks.

My marinara sauce is super simple. I use it for dipping, spaghetti, lasagna and pizza…pretty much all things tomato-ey and italian.

1 large/29 oz. can tomato sauce, 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, 1 T. italian seasoning, 1 T. garlic powder, a couple shakes of black pepper.

Simmer on low as long as you can – the more time, the better the taste – but at least 30 minutes. I put the diced tomatoes in the food processor for a couple of pulses – chunkier if it’s an entree’s sauce, more blended for dipping. Of course, seasoning is to taste, so you can add more or less. It also depends on the freshness and potency of the spices. It’s a special treat if I have Tastefully Simple Dried Tomato & Garlic Pesto mix on hand to use in place of the seasoning- it’s awesome!

(If I’m planning to use this sauce in a dish like spaghetti or lasagna (or similar), I’ll sautee some onion and green pepper and add to it. We also like Bob Evan’s sage sausage browned and added.)

So, that’s it. We enjoyed some chips and an exciting game. And, if you try the breadsticks, let me know how your like them, okay?

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