Do you have Superbowl plans this Sunday? Personally, my interest is in the commercials, and the half-time show, admittedly, in anticipation of the next big blooper (flashback to Justin and Janet 2004). Gregg, on the other hand, is all in. He loves watching the game and really lives into the whole great American chicken wing/chili/pizza and loads of drinking phenomenon. Seeing as the cuisine of the evening is not necessarily what one would traditionally classify as "healthful", we tend to modify the menu in that direction, and I have to say, we (collectively) have been thrilled with the results.
And...then there is the drinking. Thank goodness dry January/Whole 30 is over because imbibing also seems to be a big part of game day. Want to know how to prevent a hang-over? More then simply not over-drinking, staying hydrated and pacing yourself, which are all very important, we've got some not-so-obvious tips to help you out. Monday morning mania can ensue, (shout out to the Bangles) and not be further burdened by headache and brain fog.
Let's begin with food. (Scroll down if you want to get right to the pre-game strategies).
The Menu: Crispy Baked Wings with Salsa Verde, Grass-Fed Beef Chili, Crudités with Ricotta Arugula Pistachio Pesto and Avocado Crema.
Here is a great chili recipe made stove-top and here is another if you own a pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Crudités seem pretty self explanatory. Dips, sauces and healthy wings that are still crunchy and delicious - a bit more challenging - and where we step in.
Crispy Baked Wings
(Warning, you need to begin at least the night before)
- 4 pounds chicken wings, cut into drumettes and flats
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set a wire rack inside. Thoroughly dry the wings with paper towels. Combine wings, baking powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Place the wings on rack and be sure not to crowd them. You will likely need more then 1 rack.
Place baking sheet(s) in the fridge for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours, uncovered.
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 450°F. Add chicken wings and cook for 20 minutes. Flip wings and continue to cook until crisp and golden brown, 15 to 30 minutes longer, flipping a few more times towards the end.
- 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh parsley
- 1 large handful fresh chives
- 4 sprigs fresh tarragon
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 anchovy
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1/2 shallot chopped
- 1/2 jalapeño (or more, seeded or not, depending on desired heat)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon whole grain dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, plus zest of 1 lemon
- Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
Throw everything but the olive oil, lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper into the food processor. Slowly pour in the oil and continue to pulse until you have a chunky but smooth sauce. Stir in lemon juice and zest and season with salt and pepper.
Ricotta Arugula Pistachio Pesto Dip
- 1/3 cup pistachios
- 1 1/2 cups packed arugula (or watercress)
- 3/4 cup packed parsley
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup lemon juice plus zest of 1 lemon
- Sea salt
- 1 cup organic whole milk ricotta
Pulse pistachios, arugula, parsley, oil in the food processor until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice, zest and salt. Swirl into ricotta and top with a layer of olive oil, a pinch of sea salt flakes like Maldon, and freshly ground black pepper.
- 2 avocados
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/2 cup full fat greek yogurt*
- Sea salt
*I love this with feta or goat cheese cheese as an alternative to yogurt. For a dairy free version, blend in some olive oil instead.
Combine all ingredients except salt into the food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Season with salt to taste.
And now, Pre-Game Strategies
As I mentioned earlier, the simple solutions are to abstain (ha), stay hydrated and drink plenty of water before, during and after the time you drink, and nurse the hell out of your drinks. But in addition, there are some helpful things you can do to just in case things do get out of hand (and that will do your body good regardless).
1. Green Tea: One of the many benefits of green tea is its ability to support the liver. It is helpful in preventing hangovers as well as remedying them.
2. Asparagus: Compounds in these gorgeous green stalks help break down alcohol, allowing it to exit the body more quickly.
3. Vitamin C: Alcohol can deplete your body of vitamin C, which assists in alcohol-induced oxidative stress in your liver. Studies have shown that taking vitamin C before indulging will protect the liver and in addition, help detoxify alcohol.
4. Glutathione: This is the body's greatest antioxidant and a major player when it comes to liver support, detox, immunity, to name just a few. Unfortunately, most supplements are not very effective. Look for a good quality brand with liposomal means of delivery for this. This is what we use.
5. Activated Charcoal: Take this before wine or beer, or after you're done drinking to help move the toxins out of your body.
6. Hydrogen Water: Molecular hydrogen has a list of benefits I will not get into here, but one is its ability to support the liver and scavenge harmful free radicals, while leaving the beneficial ones alone. If you are interested in learning more about this, please contact us.
At the end of the day, if you blew it this time, don't stress over it. Get yourself a Myer's Cocktail infusion during your lunch break and be back on your game for the second part of the day.