This Sunday, the New York Giants and the New England Patriots square off in the Super Bowl, and even if you do not give a rip about either team (or football, for that matter), chances are you have been invited to a Super Bowl party. This type of party, where people gather for the purposes of eating unhealthy food and sitting in front of a TV is to a skinnyfat what Kryptonite is to Superman: his greatest weakness.
Last year, one month into our 2011 fitness crusade, we went a Super Bowl party at a friend’s, and he did it big. He had sweet snacks. He had salty snacks. He had spicy snacks. He had sour snacks. We were surrounded by an army of candy, chips, dips, nuts, sandwiches and drinks and they all had their delicious guns trained on us, the vulnerable enemy. We waved the white flags, surrendered to temptation, peer pressure, and lack of alternatives, and snacked our way through the Packers’ victory.
As novice skinnyfats, we did not realize that sometimes the best defense is a strong offense. We should not have left it to our host to provide something healthy to eat; we should have brought it ourselves.
This Super Bowl, we have a game plan Bill Belichick would envy. We are unleashing our secret weapon: bison chili.
Bison, while it is more expensive than beef and other traditional chili meats, is one of the leanest meats you can buy and is packed with protein. Combine that with fiber-rich red kidney beans and vitamin-loaded veggies, and you have a delicious, healthy alternative to fattening party snacks.
One cup of bison chili contains only 200 calories, but that one cup will keep you full for at least the duration of the game, and possibly into Valentine’s Day. If you want something healthy to dip in your chili, slice a 90-calorie Flat Out tortilla into triangles and you will have yourself a delicious, healthy Super Bowl snack for less than 300 calories.
Preparing bison chili can be a bit of an adventure. Liz found a recipe online that serves eight a couple of weeks ago. Neither of us is very good at math, so instead of adjusting the measurements to make enough for just two people, we cooked enough for eight. We ate it several times that week and still have some left. We are considering using the leftovers to sculpt models of famous landmarks.
There are a few things you should know if you are going to make bison chili. The recipe we used calls for a lot of onions, so many that Liz cried while slicing them. When you buy the ingredients, you may want to buy some gum as well, or no one will get close enough to high-five you during the game.
Beans do strange things when you soak them in water. This is normal. The beans are not coming to life, but they are retaining water. Don’t be afraid.
If you are an impatient person, then this is not the recipe for you as the ingredients need to cook in a crock pot for eight to ten hours. I hope you have some errands to run.
You know that old song about beans being a musical fruit? It’s true.
Like the Giants and the Patriots, you need a strategy heading into Sunday’s festivities. Any skinnyfat can survive the gauntlet of temptation that is the Super Bowl party, but it takes some planning. Go on the offensive, bring a healthy snack like bison chili and enjoy it. Stick to your game plan and success is yours.
You won’t get to hold up a Lombardi Trophy, but you’ll feel like a winner.