I planned not to watch the Super Bowl this year. I didn't buy any avocados; I didn't make any seven-layer dip; I didn't invite myself to anyone's party. Because I knew the Patriots would win and had no interest in seeing happy New England fans or supermodel-selfie-sideline celebrations. Of course, with our new Alexa dot, I couldn't help asking the score from time to time, and eventually I was lured by Atlanta's deceptive lead into watching the second half. My mistake. Ugh.
However, Tom Brady's latest triumph has revived national curiosity: how does the man do it? How does he play so well for so long and marry a supermodel and win over and over and over again? One key put out there is the family diet: like a Michael Pollan book, the Brady-Bundchens eat mostly plants, no processed food, no sugar, hardly any meats. Business Insider headlines this as an "insane" diet, and, while I wouldn't go that far, I'd agree that it's a tough one for Americans to imitate. It's expensive, it requires lots of cooking and prep (tough, if you don't have a personal chef), and it makes you give up many ingredients that make life worth living. When asked what the Brady-Bundchens consider "comfort food," according to the article, their chef responded:
I've just did this quinoa dish with wilted greens. I use kale or Swiss chard or beet greens. I add garlic, toasted in coconut oil. And then some toasted almonds, or this cashew sauce with lime curry, lemongrass, and a little bit of ginger. That's just comfort food for them.
Tasty? Sounds like it. Comfort food? Uh...I guess if you take comfort in how your money and elite lifestyle shelter you from the mac-and-cheese of the masses.
But while we can't all live round-the-clock like triumphant Brady-Bundchens, we can try to inject a little Food of Champions into our week. To help you out, I'm including a couple recipes I'm sure they'd approve.
Confetti Quinoa Salad
2 cups cooked, cooled quinoa (see what I mean about lots of time to cook?)
1 cup diced pineapple
1 cup corn
1 diced red bell pepper
1 diced red onion
2 scallions, sliced
1 large tomato, chopped
lime-cumin vinaigrette or avocado-lime dressing till moist (use your fave recipe--Deborah Madison has a good one)
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds or pine nuts
1/4 cup cilantro
Toss all together and salt and pepper to taste.
And then there's the kale salad I've eaten and then made numerous times, and which a recent non-kale-fan declared "the best salad you can make with kale." Don't skimp on using all the dressing because it weighs the ingredients down and makes the kale tasty.
Pinch of Yum's Chopped Thai Salad w Sesame-Garlic Dressing
5 cups Baby kale or slivered dinosaur kale, stems removed
2 Bell peppers, julienned
3 lg Carrots, grated or julienned
1 cup Cilantro, chopped
16 oz Edamame, cooked and pulsed a couple times in food processor
3 cloves Garlic, minced
3 Green onions, sliced
3/4 cup cashews, toasted and chopped
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, leaving out the cashews if you're not serving it right away. Then, combine dressing ingredients and toss. Right before serving, sprinkle with the cashews.
1/3 cup Canola oil
2 tbsp Distilled vinegar, white
1 tbsp Sesame oil
2 Tbsp water
3 Tbsp soy sauce
squeeze of lime juice
squeeze of lemon juice
2 Tbsp honey
There you go. With these two salads, prepare to conquer.