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Peta Cohen, M.S., R.D.

A Super Bowl in the Heat of the Summer? Of Course! Just Look to Your Seasonal Market Basket

Although the heat of summer tends to drive us away from the kitchen stove, that doesn’t mean we must forgo optimal nutrition.  As a result, this season’s Market Basket offers a wealth of options that would strike envy in the heart of any winter chef.

By combining superfoods that are now abundant in the form of fresh produce, you can increase your nutrient intake of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that promote health and reduce the risk of disease.  Indeed, all this can be accomplished while limiting your time spent over a hot stove.

Superfoods of Summer

Zucchini and squash, the star superfoods of summer, offer a range of health benefits, including antioxidants, vitamins C and A.  They also boast a host of other anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits.  Vitamin C, often referred to as the “overall health vitamin”, helps your immune system fight off cardiovascular disease, eye disease and even skin-wrinkling.  Vitamin A offers just as many health benefits as C, but includes better vision and cell growth.  Overall, by combining your intake of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, you will increase your ability to prevent such diseases as cancer.

Grains & Legumes Balance the Super Bowl

By combining grains such as Quinoa and Wild Rice with legumes such as Mung Beans, you can truly round out the impact of your Super Bowl. 

It would be hard to overstate the health benefits of Quinoa – it is gluten-free, high in protein and one of few plant-based foods containing all nine essential amino acids.  It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin E, calcium and a wealth of antioxidants.

For its part, Wild Rice contains about twice as much protein as does brown rice.  It contains no sodium, which is good news for one’s cardiovascular health.  When it comes to cancer-fighting antioxidants, it offers up to 30 times more antioxidants than does white rice.  Also containing high amounts of fiber, a host of essential minerals and vitamins (A, C, and E to be precise), you need to run, not walk, to quickly fill your pot with this gem.  Simply dedicate enough time to its preparation as it takes much longer than other rice (up to an hour) to cook.

We’ve selected Mung Beans for their high protein and low caloric properties.  We also think that their prerequisite vitamins and minerals will make the grade in your Super Bowl.  Just consider that in 1 oz. you’ll find 0g Fat, 5g Fiber and 7g Protein (which is the equivalent of 1 hardboiled egg, or 1 oz. chicken, turkey, salmon, etc.).

The Super Bowls

Here are some delicious and nutritious Super Bowls for you to try.  Many of the ingredients, including the quinoa, wild rice, roasted vegetables and dressings, can be prepared ahead of time and stored in glass containers in the refrigerator for a few days.  It’s the wide range of preparation options that also makes this an extremely versatile powerhouse for optimal health.

Pesto Quinoa Super Bowl

Use organic ingredients when possible

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked white quinoa, rinsed according to package instructions
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium summer squash, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 bunch dandelion greens, shredded 
  • 1 cup precooked northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup pesto (prepared and diluted with olive oil and lemon juice to taste)
  • Celtic Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Process

  • Heat pot over medium heat, add 2 tsp olive oil and quinoa.  Toast for a few minutes, stirring continuously until quinoa starts to brown.  Add the water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, while covered, for about 15 minutes or until quinoa is cooked through.
  • Blanch shredded dandelion greens for about 30 – 60 seconds.  Drain and set aside.
  • Steam the cut up zucchini and summer squash for about 2 minutes till tender, and transfer to a mixing bowl.
  • Add quinoa, northern beans and dandelion greens.
  • Mix salad with diluted pesto.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve warm or chilled.

Maple Miso Roasted Vegetables, Mung beans and Wild Rice Super Bowl

Use organic ingredients when possible

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (more to taste if you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or wheat free tamarin
  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic or rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grape seed oil
  • 2 pounds mixed vegetables (Note: because I like lots more vegetables than grains, I included red, yellow and orange peppers, asparagus, rinsed and salted Japanese eggplant, and broccoli that was cut into even-sized pieces.)
  • 1 cup cooked mung beans or edamame
  • 2 cups cooked and drained wild rice

Process

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Whisk together the first 6 ingredients.
  • Place cut-up vegetables on a baking sheet, drizzle with 3 – 4 tablespoons of maple miso sauce, and roast for about 15 minutes or until you reach desired tenderness.
  • Toss together the cooked wild rice, mung beans and roasted vegetables.
  • Drizzle with remaining sauce.
  • Dress with thinly-sliced scallions.

Za’atar Quinoa Super Bowl

Use organic ingredients when possible

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup red and black or mixed color quinoa, rinsed according to package instructions
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups baby spinach, lightly chopped
  • 1 beefsteak tomato, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced and tossed with the freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar
  • 2 extra large eggs, boiled and sliced
  • Celtic or Himalayan salt to taste
  • Sliced lemon, olive oil, and chopped parsley to garnish

Process

  • Heat pot over medium heat, then add 2 tsp olive oil and quinoa.  
  • Toast for a few minutes, stirring continuously until quinoa starts to brown.  
  • Add the water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, while covered, for about 15 minutes or until quinoa is cooked through.  
  • Remove from heat and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  • When ready to serve, divide the chopped spinach between the two serving bowls.  
  • Top with the quinoa.  
  • Put the chopped tomato and sliced avocado on top of the quinoa.  
  • Sprinkle liberally with the za’atar, and season with salt to taste.
  • Lastly, put the sliced boiled egg on top of the quinoa.
  • Serve with sliced lemon, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and chopped parsley.

Keep fit and healthy while savoring the flavors of the summer Market Basket.

Live Vivaciously Now!

About Peta Cohen, M.S., R.D.:
Our nutrition expert, Peta Cohen, M.S., R.D., has been a clinical nutritionist and metabolic specialist since 1996. Peta specializes in examining the root causes of complex and chronic health issues, and helping clients prevent the diseases caused by lifestyle choices, environmental influences, epigenetics, and aging. With her extensive clinical and research experience, she's been invited to share her knowledge at seminars and conferences worldwide. In Peta's articles for the BoomSpot, the blog of the online store theBoomShop.com, she gives practical tips on how adults 50+ can improve their health right now. Learn more about Peta at PetaCohen.com.
DISCLAIMER: The content of theBoomShop.com and BoomSpot is offered on an informational basis only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health provider before making any adjustment to a medication or treatment you are currently using, and/or starting any new medication or treatment. All recommendations are "generally informational" and not specifically applicable to any individual's medical problems, concerns and/or needs.