January 30, 2012

Superbowl snack stadium -- Trick out your game day foods!

Superbowl Sunday is coming up!  Whether or not your favorite team made it to the bowl or even if you're not big on football, Superbowl is still a good excuse for an afternoon of snacking, silly commercials, and just plain being happy with friends and family.

I was searching the internet for game day snack ideas when I came upon this football stadium built of junk food on HolyTaco.com.


This thing was seriously a work of art.  I was completely blown away by the cleverness and level of detail even if I was kinda disgusted at the same time.  (See the Twinkie-bacon grandstands.)  Read the entire hilarious post at HolyTaco and you too will be just as conflicted as my mind and arteries.

While HolyTaco's stadium was over the top with junk food, it gave me the inspiration to try my hand at creating my own snack stadium.

Because of my kids' food allergies, I had to substitute some of the original ingredients for safe foods.  I also replaced some of the heavily processed foods and meat products with healthier choices.  The stadium I made was milk-free and nut-free.  Some of the snack chips do contain gluten or soy but you can use your favorite safe snacks instead.  Tofutti's Sour Supreme imitation sour cream contains soy and, according to their website, may contain traces of gluten from the manufacturing of the added flavors.

Below are the ingredients that I used.   While I often like to make homemade guacamole and hummus, I bought ready-to-serve stuff from Trader Joe's to build the stadium.  The Trader Joe's guacamole has a smoother consistency than my homemade guacamole, and that worked well for the football field although next time I'll mash in a couple more avocados to make the field thicker for holding the carrots.  Definitely have extra guac or avocados on hand.  If you are having a huge party, definitely double the recipe and use a deeper pan.

I used salsa for an end zone but you should try refried beans instead or at least use a strong base for your goal posts.

You'll see in the photos that I used salsa in one of my end zones.  Logistics-wise, this wasn't successful as it was too thin to support the celery goal post.  In my recipe, I suggest using refried beans instead.  Also, try anchoring each goal post into a chunk of tofu or cheese to offer even more stability.  And jicama might be an easier food to work with than celery so I included a mention of that in the post. 

Superbowl Snack Stadium
adapted from HolyTaco.com's 2009 Greatest Snack Food Stadium

12" x 8 1/2" x 1 3/16" aluminum foil pan
Pointed toothpicks
Plastic baggie or icing bag

The field:
Minimum 16 oz. of guacamole
1 can of refried beans
12 oz. container of sour cream or milk-free sour cream (I used Tofutti sour cream)
10 oz. hummus (double check ingredients for any potential allergens)
2 stalks celery, cut into half lengthwise, or 10 pieces of jicama, cut into 1/2-inch thick sticks
Block of extra firm tofu or safe cheese

The players:
1 to 2 dozen baby carrots, cut in half  (If you are double the recipe, you can probably keep them whole)
At least 5 sugar plum tomatoes, cut in half
At least 5 whole olives, cut in half

Stadium and fans:
A pan or box a little wider all around than the pan used for the field
Your choice of safe snacks - I used popcorn, tortilla chips, and Trader Joe's Veggie Sticks (contains wheat starch)
  1. Place aluminum pan into larger pan.  
  2. Evenly spread guacamole in the middle of the smaller pan, leaving a rectangular section at each size for the end zones.
  3. Spread in refried beans for one end zone.  Spread in hummus for the other.  Make sure your "field" is level and smooth.
  4. Put about 1/4 cup of sour cream into icing bag.  If using a baggie, add the sour cream to one corner and cut off the corner's tip to create your own icing bag.  Make sure all your sour cream is packed into the corner and then carefully squeeze out your yard lines onto the field.
  5. Assemble goal posts by using toothpicks and celery or jicama.  The vegetables may split with the pressure of the toothpick so you had to be gentle and gradually screw in the toothpicks the first time.  I cut out toothpicks in half and used the pointed end to carefully bore out the holes where the toothpicks would be.  I used 4 pieces of celery for each goal post.  Right before serving, anchor your goal post into a chunk of tofu or safe cheese and pop the posts into the end zones.
  6. Add the cut baby carrots onto the field.  (I used the wider ends to anchor them.)  This is where I got my football-loving husband involved.  He had a great time creating a play with the carrots!  If a football novice is assembling, remember that it's 10 players on the field from each team.  Add olive halves and sugar plum tomato halves to create helmets.
  7. Add your stadium fans!  Carefully pile in chips, crackers, pretzels -- whatever floats your boat!  If you are avoiding gluten, tortilla chips and popcorn are great choices.  I used some homemade "cheesy" vegan popcorn.  I loved how it added movement to the display.  You can almost hear the roar of those kerneled fans!
  8. Set up your goal posts.  Experiment -- it might take a few tries and a couple different chunks of tofu or cheese to get it sturdy.  Now you're ready for the game!
Enjoy your Super snacks!

As you can see, I didn't attempt to construct the grandstands.  Truth be told, it was the afternoon before our Chinese New Year feast and I didn't want to spoil our appetites on snacks!  If you are planning a huge party and want to build out your stadium the way that HolyTaco.com did, think about using your favorite hot dogs and safe buns to recreate the Twinkie tiered seating.  I'm thinking a perimeter of homemade tamales or hot dogs -- single layer for the lower grandstand and and skewer-connected, double-stacked tamales or hot dogs for the higher level.  Milton's Gourmet White is a milk-free bun (contains wheat, soy).  Udi's Gluten-Free sells gluten-free, milk-free hot dog buns (contain eggs).

I had a lot of fun making the stadium.  It's too bad we have no plans for Superbowl Sunday and no TV reception (we got rid of cable service and have lived off Hulu.com years ago) or else I'd love to do this again and built out the stadium even more.

Send us your photos of your game day spread!  Or better yet, join us on our Facebook page and share your photos on our wall!


  1. You have now made me excited for the food as much as the game! Thanks for sharing this allergy friendly football loving recipe!

  2. It's actually 11 players on each side but I could only fit 10

  3. Awesome stadium!!! I LOVE IT! Can I put an order in for a hockey rink??? :)

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