• Nikki Vergakes

*BIG GAME* Recipes

Updated: Mar 1, 2019

Superbooooowl! I don't know about you, but whether or not "my team" was in the big game, I always loved the fan fare. Call me a "fake fan", but I don't religiously watch the games every Sunday. I keep up from the news and how often my mother's "bad call brick", which is essentially a stress ball for diehard football fans, gets thrown. The less angry sound that comes from the living room, the better.

The Superbowl, to me, growing up was TGI Friday's microwaved mozzarella sticks and potato skins. My parents love to make chili with cornbread, so we were always accompanying the big game with a hearty meal.

I've since moved out of the house, and love to cook and entertain. I will most definitely be accompanying the game this year with a heart meal. I love the foundations that my family sent me off with - the love of food, the connection of food to community, and always encouraging me to be creative with food.

These two meals definitely showed my creative side with food. There's something about me that doesn't like to make the dish exactly as explained in the recipe. Food writer Alison Roman actually talked about how recipes are meant to be personalized on her Instagram the other day. I've seen a few recipes for "buffalo chicken pasta bakes" from the regular "food porn" culprit Buzzfeed Tasty, but dairy doesn't always agree with me. That's why I created this low-lactose version. I also live with my boyfriend that is a vegetarian, so I made these jackfruit nachos to mimic pulled pork.

It wouldn't be a post from me without some sort of social justice disclaimer, however. Part of the reason I am wary to watch the Patriots (my home town team) and support the NFL is because of all of their controversy. It shouldn't even be controversy. It should be simple. The NFL, especially Roger Goodell, has a hard time seeing the right thing to do and say past keeping up appearances. The whole league has their values and priorities messed up. The injustice deeply rooted in the entire league really unsettles me. There's also the Patriot's alignment with Trump.

I stand with Kaepernick. I stand with Nike. I stand with BLM. If you do too, take action. Don't take me posting "big game day" recipes as supporting anything that Goodell stands for. These meals can be made for any big game - the World Series, Stanley Cup, Basketball Championship, and more. They can be made if you just really like them!


  • 6 cups whole grain pasta

  • 3 cups home made vegan pasta sauce (recipe here)

  • 32 oz ground chicken

  • 3/4 cup buffalo sauce (I use Frank's red hot buffalo wing sauce)

  • 1/2 cup parmesan choose

  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook the pasta according to the box

2. Heat olive oil in a pan

3. Add in the ground chicken and salt and pepper to taste

4. Add in the buffalo sauce, cook until the chicken is browned

4. Pre heat the oven to 350

5. Layer in a casserole dish: penne, chicken, and sauce until the dish is full

6. Top with fresh grated parm

7. Bake for 15 minutes, until cheese is browned


  • 2 cups package of jackfruit

  • 1 full bag of tortilla chips

  • 1 container Trader joes queso

  • 2 diced roma tomatoes

  • 1/2 a diced onion

  • 1/2 cup diced cilantro

  • salt, pepper and goya adobo

  • 1 lime

  • 2 avocado

  • 2 cups mexican blend cheese

  • Sour cream (or greek yogurt) to top

  • 2 jalapenos

  • 1 container Tarder joes salsa

1. Preheat the oven to 350

2. Mash avocado in a bowl

3. Mix in the one diced tomato, onion, lime juice and spices to make a quick guacamole

4. Cook the jack fruit in a skillet with olive oil and barbecue sauce, on medium heat for 15 minutes

4. Layer the tortilla chips, jalapeños, diced tomatoes, jack fruit, cashew queso and cheese

5. Bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted

6. Top as you please - salsa, Guacamole, sour cream

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