These Five Recipes Are Madness Tested,
Meatless Approved

March 24th, 2014

Schedules are cleared, brackets unveiled and Buffett offers a billion: March Madness is upon us. Whether or not you find yourself personally invested in this year’s NCAA Division 1 Basketball Championship, you likely know someone who is. And that means a minimum of screen time, of ambient shouting, of complementary colors and chaotic sports bars. You might even be tasked with hosting an event that involves food. Fortunately, this tournament provides the perfect time to introduce your friends to some fabulous spring flavors.

bowl of cauliflower1. Cauliflower Wings

Everyone knows that chicken wings are the unofficial mascot of most sporting events—particularly March Madness. But this meatless take on the old favorite made a welcome splash last month when Syracuse restaurant LoFo offered them to participants in the city’s annual Winterfest Wing Walk. The story ended up in front of ex-Beatle Paul McCartney’s eyes, who gave it prominent space on his Meat Free Mondays website. The recipe calls for cauliflower florets, cut into a wing shape, triple roasted and drizzled in a special sauce. Meatless Monday blogger Saucy Southerner shared this amazing Cauliflower Wings recipe with us that we’re pleased to pass on to you.

dsc_00842. Chipotle Artichoke Hummus

Hummus is the IKEA of healthy snack foods: cheap, interchangeable, quick to prepare and gets the job done. Devising endless variants to this tried and true staple is as much a challenge as it is a reward. This version, which incorporates chipotle peppers and artichoke hearts, is sure to sate the appetite of your most rabid sports fan.

potato_two_halves_560x400-2-13. Sweet Pea-Stuffed Baked Idaho Potatoes

Whither the lowly potato? When it comes to sporting events, we usually see these noble tubers stripped down and fried. But potatoes are even more satisfying baked whole, and offer enormous nutritional value to boot. Chock-full of vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber and potassium, these Sweet Pea-Stuffed Baked Potatoes will give your guests the energy to keep shouting at the screen long after the game has become hopeless.

blackbeanburgers34. Black Bean Burgers

Let’s face it: no match is complete without a burger. Preferably a plate of them. But this is meatless town. And while some meatless recipes aim to replicate a favorite culinary experience, this recipe aims to reinvent it. These black bean burgers have a texture like meat and a taste just as hardy, but they’re in a class of their own.

portobello-pesto-pizza-1-5505. Portobello Pesto Pizza

Pizza remains the perennial party favorite; so as a host, why disappoint? This flavorful version is simple, fast and perfect for large gatherings. The pesto provides a unique base while the mushrooms and peppers lend it a memorable kick. After sampling one of these slices, you might forgo delivery altogether.