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A Vegan’s Guide to Football | Vegan Superbowl Food | Vegan Superbowl Nacho Recipe

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I’m a vegan, but I do enjoy watching a football game every now and then. After all, there’s no conflict of interest in that, is there? …Okay, well there is that little matter of the “pigskin.” I guess that’s a conflict. But hey, look on the bright side. They stopped using leather helmets!

I suppose there are a few other things about football that don’t make it very vegan-friendly. It’s a violent game, and we vegans aren’t big on violence. But at least there aren’t any innocent, non-human animals out amid the fray. That doesn’t mean animals aren’t affected, though. There’s the aforementioned “pigskin,” and there’s a whole parade of dead animal parts that come on the TV screen at every timeout. I’m talking, of course, about the fast-food commercials. It really makes you worry for the health of football fans to think that they must be consuming the unhealthiest of fast-food diets on a regular basis. At least (again, if you believe the commercials) they’re getting plenty of grains by washing it all down with beer.

And speaking of unhealthy food riding the coattails of football, what do you think all those offensive linemen are eating on a regular basis? I look at those guys—already heavy, even though they’re burning 6000 Calories a day working out on a young metabolism—and just can’t imagine what they’re going to look like when they give up football and turn 40. They’re the closest thing in the human race to those poor genetically-altered turkeys that grow so big they can no longer stand up. No, I don’t think offensive linemen got their physiques from eating vegetables. If they went vegan, though, they might be a lot less, well… “offensive.”

I’m musing about football, of course, because Sunday is the big game. If you’re like me, you’ll probably be invited to a several Super Bowl parties, all hosted by non-vegans. I’m going to one of those parties, and I’m going to do my best to not insult the host and hostess by calling it the “Stupid Bowl” too many times. I’m also going to try to stay under the radar with my vegan diet.

People who host football parties invariably say “bring an appetizer,” and that’s always a challenge for a vegan. There are two ways we can go with this. For the last football party I made some really nice vegan nachos. Who doesn’t like nachos, I thought?! These were really good ones too—made with tons of chilies, vegan chorizo sausage and lots of fresh cilantro and vegan cheese. They were delicious, but unfortunately few of the meat-eaters at the party would even touch them. I know what they were all thinking. Those aren’t real nachos; those are weird nachos.

This year at the Stupid Bo… I mean, Super Bowl party I’m going to go the other route. I’ll take a nice plate of celery. No one will even notice it amidst the sea of chickens’ wings, dairy cheese dip and pepperoni pizza. Celery doesn’t make any pretense. Celery offends no one.

Yes, I’ll be happy in the back of the room, crunching away on the one thing at the party I can eat. But football games go on forever, and celery isn’t very filling. I’ll be glad I followed the best advice I can give to vegans on football Sundays: eat before you go.

P.S. In case you want to try the delicious nacho’s I made last year . . .

Vegan Nachos for the Big Game

A fast and easy vegan take on a favorite snack food.

  • Tortilla Chips 7 oz.
  • Canned Green Anaheim Chilies (chopped)
  • 1 can Black or Vegetarian Refried Beans
  • 24 oz. Jar of Salsa (any kind)
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro
  • Shredded Vegan “Cheese” (Daiya)
  • Vegan Sausage (optional) (Gimme Lean, Yves Chorizo, Tofurkey are all good)
  • Black or Kalamata Olives, halved (optional)
  • Hot Red Pepper Sauce (optional) (Sriracha, Tabasco, whatever)
  • Vegan Sour “Cream” (optional, buy a brand like Tofutti or make your own http://www.veganseatwhat.com/dairy-replacements/
  • Guacamole – try our recipe at http://www.veganseatwhat.com/recipe/easy-guacamole-2/

Lay down a thick bed of tortilla chips in a large baking pan. Crush them down a bit with your hands. Cover them evenly with the beans, chilies and optional sausage and olives. Wash and chop the cilantro, and spread it evenly over the rest. Top everything with the jar of your favorite salsa. If you’re using mild salsa, consider spicing things up with some red pepper sauce. Finally, cover it all with the shredded cheese. Bake a 380° for about 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Cut into squares, and serve with the phony sour cream (an especially good combination with the olives and sausage!) and/or guacamole.

Mark is an attorney, author and long time vegan.

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Author: Mark W. Reinhardt

Mark Warren Reinhardt is an attorney and author who has been writing and lecturing on veganism and animal rights issues for longer than anyone can remember. His book, “The Perfectly Contented Meat-Eater’s Guide to Vegetarianism” was published by Continuum in 1998. Mark has previously served on the boards of the Vegetarian Society of Colorado, Rocky Mountain Animal Defense, and Divine Feline, as well as a number of other nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Mark holds degrees in engineering and law from Duke, Harvard, and the University of Chicago. He lives in Denver with his cat Elgie.