Janine Gilbertson's Granite Kitchen: Super Bowl snacks an avocado-loving superstar QB might like

By JANINE GILBERTSON January 30. 2018 11:54PM
Guacamole, the classic avocado dip, perfect for watching Tom Brady go for his sixth Super Bowl title on Sunday. (JANINE GILBERTSON)

When the New England Patriots were headed to the Super Bowl last year, I decided to come up with some fun recipes to serve during the big event.

My editor checked out the recipes and pointed out Patriots quarterback Tom Brady would never eat a couple of the dishes, like the Tater Tot/gravy poutine-inspired recipe I came up with.

Apparently, Tom Brady is more into avocados than Tater Tots. So, if it’s good enough for TB12, it’s good enough for us.

Avocados are considered a superfood, loaded with heart healthy fats as well as an abundance of nutrients including vitamins K, B5, B6, potassium and folate.

I started picking up a couple of avocados at the store a few weeks ago, and we’ve been enjoying them in different dishes as well as in their plain, unadulterated state. I picked up some king avocados too; they’re so big that at first glance I thought they were papayas, but they’re just as delicious as normal sized avocados.

Since there’s an effort underway in my household to find healthier alternatives to things like cookies and other sweets, I am constantly experimenting with different ingredients and substituting different kinds of fats and sugars in place of regular butter and processed sugar.

I was staring at a standard chocolate chip cookie recipe recently, shaking my head at the two sticks of butter the recipe called for. In front of me on the counter were a few avocados and it occurred to me that avocados are considered a good fat, so maybe it would work if I substituted an avocado for some of the butter.

I decided to give it a try. While I was at it, I also cut some of the sugar and swapped out some of the white flour for steel cut oats. When the cookies were done, I left them out on the counter to see if anyone would notice the difference in taste or texture (personally, I thought they were a delicious work of art). They disappeared with the same astonishing speed of regular cookies, so there seemed to be no complaints. I later informed everyone they were made with avocados, and those who tried the cookies seemed surprised when I told them about the switch.

Of course, when you think of things to make with avocados, cookies probably wouldn’t be the first recipe that comes to mind. The most common recipe is probably guacamole. Guacamole is very easy to make and you can adjust the taste with jalapeños or cayenne to spice things up to suit your taste.

I also love adding avocado slices to salads, sandwiches, grain bowls and spring rolls. I have definite plans to find other baking substitutions in the future too, which I am happy to share with Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele, should she be in the mood to bake Tom some cookies as a reward if the Patriots win the Super Bowl this Sunday.
After-school snacks in the Brady household could conceivably include these Avocado Chocolate Chip cookies. (JANINE GILBERTSON)

Avocado Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/4 cups flour

3/4 cup quick-cook steel-cut oats

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup butter (1 stick), softened

1 cup avocado, mashed

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup molasses

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 cup chocolate chunks

3/4 cups raisins

Add the butter and avocado to a large bowl and cream together with an electric mixer. Beat in the sugar. 

Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, then beat in the molasses and vanilla. Add the oats, flour, salt and baking soda to a separate bowl and mix together. 

Stir the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until well combined. Mix in the chocolate chunks and raisins. 

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop a generous teaspoon of dough onto the baking sheet, at least 2 inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cookies are lightly browned. Cool on a wire baking rack.
Spring rolls with avocado and shrimp with peanut dipping sauce. (JANINE GILBERTSON)

Spring Rolls with Avocado and Shrimp

12 oz package rice paper spring roll wrappers

1 avocado, peeled and sliced

1/2 lb shrimp, peeled

2 large carrots, cut into matchsticks

2 oz pea shoots

1/2 seedless cucumber, cut into matchsticks

1 bunch mint

1 cup fresh baby spinach

1 avocado, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced

Peanut sauce for dipping (recipe follows)

Add some water to a shallow bowl or deep plate large enough to fit a rice paper wrapper. Dip the wrapper in water to make it pliable, then set on a plate or flat work surface.

Add a slice of avocado to the wrapper; you want to place the fillings about 2 inches from the edge of the wrapper on the side closest to you; this will make it easier to roll. 

After adding the avocado, add 2 pieces of shrimp. Pile the cucumber and carrots sticks on top, then add 3 to 4 baby spinach leaves, 2 to 3 mint leaves and a small handful of pea shoots. Take the edge of the wrapper closest to the pile of shrimp and vegetables and stretch it over the ingredients, gently rolling the wrapper to form a log shape. 

When the wrapper is about half rolled, fold each side in to the center (to make sure the ingredients don’t fall out the sides) and continue rolling to form a log shape. 

Repeat with remaining ingredients and serve with peanut dipping sauce.

Peanut Dipping Sauce

1/3 cup peanut butter

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tbsp lime juice

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp sambal olek chili sauce

1/2 tsp sugar

1/4 cup water

Add all ingredients to a small lidded plastic container, seal the lid and shake well to combine.


3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled

1 tbsp fresh lime juice

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne

1/4 cup onion, diced

2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 tbsp cilantro, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, if desired

Add the avocado and lime juice to a large bowl. Add the salt, cayenne pepper and cumin and mash. Fold in the onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.


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