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Well+Good’s wussy vegan Super Bowl feast

“Super Bowl Sunday is synonymous with super bowel Mondays,” quips Quintessence maestro Raw Chef Dan. He has a point: The footballer version of Thanksgiving is a heartburn special and a calorific motherlode: nachos, Buffalo wings, pizza, and greasy chili. And this menu translates into a post-game party in your bathroom. So, with a few modifications courtesy of Candle Café and Quintessence, two of our favorite NYC vegan restaurants, you can serve healthy versions of the food your guests will be expecting. An extra benefit, besides feeling light as a colt Monday morning? Knowing your feast has left a small footprint. “A vegan Super Bowl party won’t cure your hangover. But it will clear your conscience,” says chef and nutritional consultant Joy Pierson, co-author of the Candle Cafe Cookbook. So go ahead–dig into these three courses. You’ll eat like a saint, and feel like a sinner.

Velveeta Cheese Queso Dip

Candle Café Guacamole with Cayenne-Corn Tortilla Chips
(serves 4-6)
Candle Café uses ripe avocados, not firm ones, in this appetizer. Although avocados are high in unsaturated fat, they’re not fattening and they contain a good amount of vitamin C and riboflavin.

The architectural version of Candle Cafe's guacamole.

2 ripe avocados, halved and pitted
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1 1/2 tbsp chopped jalapeño pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1.  Scoop the avocados and lemon juice into a bowl and mash coarsely with a spoon.
2.  Gently mix in the onions, red pepper, and jalapeño. Add the salt and cilantro. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary. Serve with Cayenne-Corn Tortilla Chips within an hour or two at room temperature.

Candle Café Cayenne-Corn Tortilla Chips (makes about 3 dozen chips)
These chips are much lighter and richer in flavor than commercial corn chips.
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp paprika
Pinch cayenne
4 large corn tortillas

1.  Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2  Place the olive oil, salt, paprika and cayenne in a large bowl and mix together well.
3.  Cut each tortilla into 8 small wedges, then add them to the oil and spice mixture. Toss well to coat.

Place the pieces on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until crisp. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding a bit more salt or cayenne, if desired.

Pigs in a Blanket

Candle Café Charcoal Grilled Seitan Skewers with Citrus-Herb Sauce

Serves 6; makes about 12 skewers
Candle Café has shipped these popular appetizers to addicted customers on the West Coast. Tip: Warm-up the fire-escape grill (or the George Foreman), this seitan is best well-charred. The skewers also freeze well, so you can make them ahead of time.

1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 1/2 pounds seitan, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1.  To prepare the marinade, put the lemon juice, olive oil garlic, agave nectar, salt, parsley and cilantro in a blender. Blend on high speed until well combined.
2.  Put 4 pieces of seitan on each metal skewer, making 12 skewers total. Place them in a large non-reactive bowl or baking dish, pour the marinade over them and let sit for at least one hour or overnight.
3.  Prepare a charcoal, gas, or stovetop grill. Grill the skewers over medium-high heat until well-browned, about 5-7 minutes per side. Serve immediately with the Citrus-Herb Sauce or let cool and freeze. Be sure to allow at least an two hours to thaw.

A calorie-loaded, meat-packed, bean-filled chili

Quintessence Mexican Chili Stew

(serves four)
You may miss the beans, which are a good protein, but you won’t miss the gas—or the prep time. This stew takes 20 minutes, minus marinating time.

To serve:
In a large soup bowl, place ¼ cup marinated veggies then fill to the top with the broth. You can use the veggies at room temp and broth warmer. Garnish with herbs like parsley, cilantro or basil, or diced avocado, if you have it.

For the broth:
Blend completely:
4 cups of water
¼ cup soaked sun-dried tomatoes
1 medium tomato
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp chopped white onion
2 tbsp chopped ginger
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 med clove of garlic
1/2 soaked chipotle pepper
3 tbsp raw cocoa powder
Marinated Veggies:
Toss the following lightly in olive oil, sea salt, chili powder, and cumin: slices of zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper, and onions.
 Let marinate about 3 hours or until soft. Note: Thinner slices become soft faster.

Are you serving anything from the vegan playbook for the Super Bowl? Tell us, here!