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Patriots superfan Katie Nolan hosts some of her new ESPN colleagues for a holiday meal fit for a five-time Super Bowl champion. On the menu? Recipes from Tom Brady's "TB12 Nutrition Manual," touting the wholest of foods in the healthiest of preparations. Because nothing says Turkey Day like "sustained peak performance!"
Katie Nolan: Fellows, thank you for joining me for this lovely Thanksgiving dinner. I thought we could try some recipes in Tom Brady's cookbook that were holiday-themed, kind of. I think we should first state our biases, like where we're coming from with our relationships with Tom Brady. I am neutral.
Damien Woody: You're neutral?
Jonathan Vilma: It doesn't look like you're neutral. Are you sure?
KN: Yes. What about you?
DW: I was a teammate, so you know, I'm very neutral.
JV: I come from the "I hate Tom Brady but I love him if he's on my team" camp. Played him six times when I was with the Jets, lost four of the six. [Ed's note: Sorry, Jonathan, it was eight times, and Brady went 7-1.]
DW: So you really hate him?
JV: Eh. [Laughs]
KN: Can you be neutral about his food?
JV: I can. If it has flavor and it tastes good, I can be very neutral about it.
DW: Will this turn back the clock? That's the real reason I'm here.
JV: What, you're trying to play again?
DW: Well, according to the TB12 Method, literally when you eat this, there's a possibility that ...
JV: So this is Damien Woody's comeback party. I just hope it tastes good and it's filling and it puts me to sleep at, like, 8 o'clock.
The first dish is served. Nolan reads the ingredients.
KN: What we're about to eat here is spinach risotto with spicy lemon cream. So in the cream ...
DW: That's cream?
KN: Yes, that's what it says here on the paper. Raw cashews, water, lemon juice and red pepper flakes.
DW: So that's what we classify as cream now?
KN: This is going to be really good. Ready?
KN: Here we go.
They taste it.
DW: Are you holding up well right now?
KN: The salt content is low.
JV: You know what? It has flavor.
KN: You guys play sports. You ever get some of, like, the grass in your mouth by accident? That's what this tastes like.
DW: A mouthful of grass? So basically I'm grazing right now?
DW: Where's the hot sauce?
Another dish arrives.
KN: What do you think is in front of you?
DW: It looks like a chicken nugget, but I know it's not that.
KN: This is a chickpea tagine with quinoa dumplings.
DW: OK, what is tagine? [Ed's note: It's a stew.]
JV: It's a fancy word for chickpeas, man.
KN: The sauce is delicious in a way. This is more vegetables than I've ever eaten in my life.
DW: Did you eat the quinoa?
KN: No, I cut it and the texture was not what I was expecting. It's like if a cookie wanted to be a vegetable.
JV: But cookies can't be vegetables.
KN: Tom Brady begs to differ. You like it? It's good, right?
JV: The sauce actually isn't too bad.
DW: Are you trying to hide that in your mouth? [Laughs]
KN: I was looking for a pocket.
JV: The vegetables are good for you.
KN: That is, I think, the name of the cookbook.
Another dish, The Day After Thanksgiving, is ... not a favorite, though Nolan tries to spin the sweet potato gravy: "It tastes like suntan lotion, but in the best way." So let's jump to the pumpkin pie!
JV: Oh, man.
KN: It looks like a Clif Bar, like it's trying to look like delicious food and it's not convincing me.
JV: [Reading the ingredients] Do you want to hear what's in it or how they made the "whipped cream"?
KN: The "whipped cream" is in quotes, so why don't you tell me if there's any actual cream in that?
JV: There's raw cashews, coconut meat from the young coconuts, not the old ones.
KN: That's my favorite rapper, Young Coconut.
JV: There's no whipped cream in the "whipped cream," just to let you know.
KN: He was honest about that. He put it in quotes.
DW: This is actually not bad at all.
JV: What is the crust? That's my issue.
DW: Just nuts, basically.
JV: It's pumpkin seeds, walnuts, dates, shredded coconut. ...
DW: Tom really loves coconut, huh?
KN: It's just the consistency I'm having a real issue with. It's both gooey and chunky in a way that I don't love.
JV: If I had to eat this to win multiple Super Bowls, I'm still debating.
KN: If you told me eating all this makes you a champion, I still would be like, "I'm not sure."
DW: I would be on the fence. I'd have to cash the check.
Catch Katie Nolan as part of the new SportsCenter on Snapchat. New shows post at 5 a.m. ET daily and at 5 p.m. weekdays.