White Chicken Chili with Sweet Potatoes
White Chicken Chili with Sweet Potatoes. (Annabel Cohen)

You don’t have to order pizza … try these instead.

The big day is almost here. On Super Bowl Sunday, Americans will indulge in a truly nationalistic ritual. Of course, we can’t watch the game on an empty stomach.

The Super Bowl is the perfect occasion to entertain without fuss. It is a football game, and it would seem silly to serve anything other than casual foods on disposable plates, right?

Well, mostly right. True, more pizza is served on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year (when all’s said and done, what’s easier than picking up the phone and feeding your crowd for cheap?). But, time out! There’s no reason we can’t be civilized on this day of touchdowns, half-time extravaganzas and millions spent on beer advertising. If you’re going to serve junk food, why not serve original, relatively inexpensive — yet impressive — junk food you can actually make yourself?

And, of course, offer-up a big display of fresh vegetables for dipping.

You may not be hosting a huge crowd, so you don’t want to over-prepare. The following recipes all serve about six people, but double or triple as desired.

White Chicken Chili with Sweet Potatoes

This is not a creamy chili. But if you want the liquid more “creamy,” whisk in 2 Tbsp. of flour and cook for 2 minutes before adding the chicken broth. Use turkey if you prefer.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 pound raw ground chicken or boneless and skinless chicken, cooked any way and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 cups cup chicken broth
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • 1 medium sweet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1 can (about 15 ounces) white navy or great northern beans, drained
  • Optional garnishes: Fresh cilantro, shredded cheese and sour cream

Directions

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, celery, carrots and garlic and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. Add the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until no longer pink. Add the broth and stir well. Add remaining ingredients. Cook for 30 minutes and adjust seasonings to taste. Serve hot, garnished with fresh cilantro. Makes 6 large servings.

Gluten-Free Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower (cut into florets and stems)
  • Water

Sauce:

  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • Garnish: Paprika

Directions

Combine cauliflower and water (about 2 cups) in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover and cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 10-minutes. Drain well in a colander.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Heat sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until smooth.

Transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl. Add the sauce and use a rubber spatula to gently toss until covered. Adjust salt to taste.

Transfer the mixture into a small to medium baking dish, sprinkle with paprika and bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 6 servings.

Sweet Apple and Cabbage Vinaigrette Slaw

Ingredients

  • 4 cups shredded cabbage (any color)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 granny smith apple, unpeeled, cut into matchsticks (about 1 cup)

Dressing:

  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil (any kind that is not strong flavored)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Place vegetables in a large bowl.

Combine dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well.

Pour half the dressing over the cabbage and toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and chill until ready to serve. Just before serving, taste the slaw and add more dressing to taste. Store remaining dressing for another time, refrigerated. Makes 6 servings.

Ginger and Spice Roasted Chicken Wings

Ingredients

Wings
iStock

Spice mix:

  • 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp parsley flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. medium Chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. celery salt
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

Wings:

  • 2 lbs chicken wings, thawed completely if using a frozen bag
  • 1 Tbsp. minced ginger root
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil (any kind that is not strong flavored)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400℉.

Line a large-rimmed baking sheet with 2 large sheets of foil (or 1 heavy-duty sheet). Be sure the foil goes over the edges of the baking sheet.

Combine all dry spice mix in a jar with a lid and shake well.

Combine the chicken wings and oil in a medium bowl and toss well. Add about half the spice mixture and toss well.

Arrange chicken wings on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes, turning once during cooking. Serve wings with additional spice mixture on the side. Makes 6 servings.

Pulled Barbecue Brisket

Although this is made in the oven instead of slow cooking on a barbecue, the flavor is sweet and spicy with a wonderful combination of sweet and spicy flavors. I make my own barbecue sauce (recipe below) or use your favorite bottled barbecue sauce. I serve these on small French rolls, but buns work well, too.

Brisket Sandwich
iStock

Ingredients

  • 5-6 pounds beef brisket, most visible fat removed
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder

Sauce:

  • 1-2 cups favorite barbecue sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco, optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Place brisket in a roasting pan or disposable aluminum pan and sprinkle with the garlic, pepper, salt, sugar and chili powder. Cover the pan with foil and cook for 5 hours.

Remove from the oven and cool completely (you may cook the beef up to a day ahead). Use your fingers to pull apart or shred the beef with the grain to very thin small pieces.

Place the pulled beef in a pot with accumulated juices. Add all the sauce ingredients and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat until very hot and saucy.

Keep warm until ready to eat. Serve the beef on small French rolls or burger buns.

Serve with mustard or other condiments, if desired. Makes 8-12 sandwiches.

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