How To Make A Pepperoni Cheese Football, And Two Other Super Bowl Party Delights

Whether you’re hosting or going to a Super Bowl party, you’re going to need food. Instead of mailing it in with a bag of tortilla chips, impress your friends by making one of these three no-cook meat dishes. We followed the recipes and tried our results, then sent the bologna cake back to hell, where it belonged.

Source: How To Make A Pepperoni Cheese Football, And Two Other Super Bowl Party Delights

It’s the worst video dating ad I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

Smash Cucumbers Before Brining for Fast, Flavorful Pickles

Sichuan-style smashed cucumbers are the simplest example of one of these dishes, and coincidentally my favorite one. At some point in the last couple years, the technique of smashing cucumbers for salads has become so popular that the New York Times even wrote a trend piece about the subject. Does saying that they’ve been a thing long before the NYT discovered them make me a hipster? I suppose so. But it’s true. Smashed cucumbers have always been delicious.

Source: Smash Your Cucumbers for a Smashingly Simple Chinese Side Dish

Cucumbers have vitamin K, but it’s in the skin.  So if you want to minimize your exposure, it’s OK to skin the cucumber before consumption.

Freeze Tofu for a Firmer, Chewier Texture

One easy step will remedy most of your tofu-related tribulations: As soon as you get home from the grocery store, drain your tofu and stick it in the freezer. (You can slice the tofu before freezing if you want it to thaw faster.) Freezing changes the texture of tofu drastically and almost magically: When ice crystals form, they create small holes in the tofu, making it far spongier, firmer, and chewier than it was before. No amount of draining, patting dry, or pressing tofu can minimize sogginess as much as freezing does.

Source: You’re Doing It Wrong: Tofu

This doesn’t quite work with the creamy Japanese style tofu in the shelf-stable packaging; it has to be the water packaged, coarser tofu. once you’ve thawed out frozen tofu, you can squeeze more water out of it without losing its structure. you can take coarsely chopped pieces of this transformed tofu and pulse it in a food processor for a great “crumble” similar to the texture of cooked ground meat, and in this state it absorbs flavor like a sponge.

I’ve seen recipes that recommend this method for kabobs. I used it in a stir fry recipe, and you can pretty much use it in any tofu meal in which you’re going for a drier, firmer texture.

Use Your Spiralizer to Make Beautiful Crispy Potato Pancakes

Whether you’re on board or not, the spiralizing trend has taken off—and it’s rocketing to bacon-level heights. For those of you who have been living under a rock, a Spiralizer is a kitchen gadget—ranging from $15 to $50—that functions similarly to a large pencil sharpener, by cutting fruits and vegetables into long, curling faux-noodles. Pasta is the enemy of hard-core spiralizers; they specialize in creating curly vegetable alternatives. However, if you’re like me and need a little more convincing before buying one, here are five ways to use your Spiralizer beyond the standard vegetables-for-spaghetti swap.

Source: 5 Creative Ways to Use Your Spiralizer

Related: Spiralizer 101

Study: Why It Pays To Be Semi-Vegetarian

A new study shows it pays to eat a more-vegetable-than-meat diet. But what if you’re not a fan of the green stuff? Here are some “gateway veggies” to consider.

Can’t cut meat completely? You don’t have to. People who follow a “pro”-vegetarian diet — which involves eating more plant-based foods than animal products — have a lower risk of dying from heart disease and stroke, says new research from the American Heart Association EPI/Lifestyle meeting.

In fact, people in the study who ate the most pro-vegetarian(so that 70 percent of their food came from plant sources) had a 20 percent lower risk of dying from these causes, compared with those who ate the least plant-based foods (where 20 percent of food came from plant sources).

Source: A Healthy Diet Doesn’t Have To Be Drastic! Why It Pays To Be Semi-Vegetarian

Aside from the spinach, the vegetable suggestions are OK for those of us on blood thinners.  Cucumbers – only the skin is an issue for us.  And this article has notes from previous posts:

LA Times Does Series on Exploitation of Mexican Farmworkers

It’s a four part series –

The tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers arrive year-round by the ton, with peel-off stickers proclaiming “Product of Mexico.”

Farm exports to the U.S. from Mexico have tripled to $7.6 billion in the last decade, enriching agribusinesses, distributors and retailers. American consumers get all the salsa, squash and melons they can eat at affordable prices. And top U.S. brands — Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, Subway and Safeway, among many others — profit from produce they have come to depend on.

These corporations say their Mexican suppliers have committed to decent treatment and living conditions for workers.

Source: