Thursday, October 8, 2009

Spicy Snack Mix

If you're a Major League baseball fan you know that this time of year is stressful. Exciting of course but also stressful. The games get longer in the postseason and days like today they actually show three games in one day. So how does a fan survive several weeks in the face of potential heartbreak after a long season? Comfort foods and lots of snacks of course.

My main playoff dish is a very simple macaroni dish from Nava Atlas' Vegetarian Family Cookbook. Silken tofu is pureed and gently cooked with Earth Balance non-hydrogenated margarine and non-dairy cheese for the sauce. But honestly I don't do that much cooking during the playoffs. Instead I just make sure I'm stocked up with the essentials.

Crunchy snacks are also helpful when your team is hanging by a thread at the bottom of the ninth inning after two outs. Here's a simple but versatile mixture you can make in advance. Although it you make it during the game at least your house will smell great.

Spicy Snack Mix

The nutritional yeast in this mixture is optional but it really is great with popcorn. In Albuquerque you can find nutritional yeast in the bulk section at Whole Foods or pre-bagged along the far wall at Vitamin Cottage. I really love Valentina hot sauce from Mexico - it is lower in sodium and thicker than other hot sauces.

Serves 6

5 cups popped popcorn
1 1/2 cups mixed nuts (I used 1/2 c. peanuts, 1/2 c. macadamia nuts, & 1/2 c. pecans)
1/4 c. Earth Balance non-hydrogenated margarine
2 tsp. Valentina hot sauce
1/4 tsp. granulated garlic powder
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast.
1/4 tsp. sea salt or to taste

Preheat oven to 275 F. Melt margarine in the microwave and stir in hot sauce, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, and salt to taste. Mix with popcorn and spread mixture on a large baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or until nuts are golden brown.

The MasterCook 9 nutritional database doesn't include nutritional yeast so this analysis is for the non nutritional yeast version.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 233 Calories; 28g Fat (79.9% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 187mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 4 Fat.

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