We're often told to "eat your veggies." But research suggests we already do -- especially on Super Bowl Sunday. Vegetables such as baby carrots and celery top the list of most popular foods eaten on game day, according to NPD Group, an independent market research firm that tracks eating patterns in America.
"If you want to please a lot of people on Super Bowl Sunday, serve a lot of veggies," said Harry Balzer, NPD's chief food industry analyst. But this comes as no surprise to Balzer, who has been collecting data on Americans' eating habits for over 30 years.
Although Balzer also sees a spike each year in chicken wings, pizza, potato chips and alcohol consumed on game day, veggies have reigned supreme since 1980, when NPD started collecting data. This is because the Super Bowl takes place on a Sunday, when a majority of Americans eat Sunday supper rather than watch the big game, Balzer said.
The Super Bowl is the most-watched program on television each year. Last year's matchup between the Seahawks and the Broncos was viewed by 111.5 million people. But the United States has a population of more than 320 million people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which means a majority of Americans do not partake in Super Bowl festivities.
According to Balzer, vegetables are a consistent favorite in the American diet on any day. Veggies are the third most popular foods eaten year-round, with fruit in second place and sandwiches in first. So if you're looking to please a crowd, especially on Super Bowl Sunday, don't bring wings or pizza. Bring a tray of fresh vegetables with dip or one of these creative vegetarian recipes:
Oven-Baked Pickle Chips With Horseradish Chipotle Sauce
- 1½ cups panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup flour
- 1 cup Robert Rothschild Farm Horseradish Sauce
- 16 ounces dill pickle slices, drained and patted dry
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add panko breadcrumbs. Stir constantly until golden. Pour flour onto a plate. Pour horseradish sauce onto another plate. Dredge each pickle slice in flour, then horseradish sauce, then panko breadcrumbs. Place coated pickle slices on parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes, flip, and bake for an additional 8 minutes or until browned.
- ¼ cup Robert Rothschild Farm Horseradish Sauce
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon chipotle adobo sauce
In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients. Serve with the oven-baked pickle chips. Entire recipe courtesy of Melanie Makes blog.
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Put garlic in a food processor and pulse to roughly chop. Add garbanzos, tahini, ¼ cup water, lemon juice, tamari, cumin, coriander and a pinch of cayenne (you may add more later to increase the heat), and process until creamy and smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Before serving, let hummus come to room temperature. Mix in the parsley and serve with fresh veggies like baby carrots, celery sticks, chopped cucumber, sliced peppers, broccoli and cherry tomatoes. Recipe courtesy of Whole Foods Market.
Cauliflower Bites In Honey Sriracha Sauce
- 1 small head cauliflower
- ½ cup vanilla almond milk
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1½ teaspoons ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1½ cup breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and grease a cookie sheet. Set aside. Mix almond milk, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and garlic powder together in a bowl. Add cornstarch, whisking together to prevent lumps from forming. Set aside. Remove florets from the cauliflower (don't use the stem). Chop the cauliflower into smaller pieces, the desired size of your bites. Toss the cauliflower in the almond milk mixture made earlier until wet. Season the panko breadcrumbs with remaining salt and ground black pepper, then toss the cauliflower in the breadcrumbs until coated. Spread out on cookie sheet, and spray the bites with a cooking spray again to help with color and crisping. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately with the prepared honey sriracha sauce.
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 4 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup, to make it vegan)
Mix all the ingredients together with a whisk and serve with the prepared cauliflower bites. Entire recipe courtesy of Julie's Eats & Treats blog.