Healthy Tailgating Recipes

It is that time of the year: football season. You bundle up in your favorite team’s gear, head to the stadium, drink and laugh with friends. With football season, comes the best part…tailgating! This of course brings yummy snacks. What do you do when you volunteer to bring food and have no clue? Here are some recipes for delicious tailgating treats that are also healthy! Let us know if you try some of these recipes for your next tailgating party – we would love to hear your recipes too!

hummusHomemade Hummus

Makes approximately 2 cups

1 can chick peas

2 garlic cloves

1/4 plain greek yogurt*

2 tbsp preserved lemon juice **

1/4 cup chopped parsley

2 tbsp olive oil

1. Drain the chick peas from the can and add to a pot with just enough water to cover them. Boil for ten minutes. Drain and add to food processor with the garlic, yogurt, and lemon juice. Puree until smooth.

2. Fold in the parsley, and transfer to a serving bowl. Just before serving, drizzle with the olive oil and garnish with pickled peppers (optional.) Serve with pieces of pita bread or whole grain crackers.

* Here I used low fat greek yogurt for a lower calorie hummus but for the traditional version, simply use the same amount of tahini instead.

** If you can’t find preserved lemon juice, use the juice of fresh lemons.

Courtesy of Healthy & Gourmet.


shaker-style-smoked-chicken-thighsShaker-Style Smoked Chicken Thighs

4 servings

Active Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour



1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup chopped shallot, (about 2 medium)

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat

1 cup wood chips, such as apple or hickory, in a foil pouch


Whisk vinegar, oil and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in shallots and garlic. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to 3 hours.

Meanwhile, soak wood chips in a bowl of water for 20 minutes.

Fold a 12-by-20-inch piece of heavy-duty foil in half to create a 12-by-10-inch double-thick piece. Transfer wet wood chips to the center of the foil, allowing as much water as possible to drip back into the bowl. Create a packet by folding the short ends of the foil over the wood chips and folding the open ends to seal them.

Place the packet of wood chips, pierced-side up, under the grill rack and on top of the burners. Close the lid. Turn the heat to high and allow the grill and packet to heat until the chips smell smoky and smoke begins to billow from under the lid, about 15 minutes (don’t worry if the packet temporarily catches on fire). Make 6 holes in the top of the foil packet using a skewer or the tip of a knife.

Transfer the chicken to the grill, allowing excess marinade to drip back into the bowl (discard marinade). Grill the chicken, turning once, until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Serve hot or chilled.

Make Ahead Tip: Marinate the chicken for up to 3 hours.


Per serving: 255 calories; 15 g fat ( 4 g sat , 7 g mono ); 98 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrates; 27 g protein; 0 g fiber; 215 mg sodium; 266 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (42% daily value), Zinc (20% dv).

Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 1/2 fat

Courtesy of Eating Well.


Ultimate Snack Mix

Yield: 6 cups View Nutrition Facts


1 1/2 cups toasted rice cereal squares (such as Rice Chex)

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat cereal squares (such as Wheat Chex)

1 cup pretzel sticks, squares or circles

1 cup coarsely broken sesame rice crackers

1 cup coarsely broken whole-wheat sesame crackers (such as Ak-Mak)

1/4 cup lightly salted dry-roasted peanuts

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 1/4 teaspoons sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons garam masala

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup golden raisins


1. Heat oven to 250 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, combine cereal squares, pretzels, rice crackers, whole-wheat crackers and peanuts.

3. In a smaller bowl, combine butter, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, garam masala and salt; pour over cereal mixture and toss gently to coat.

4. Coat a roasting pan with cooking spray. Spread snack mixture in a single layer and bake 30 minutes, stirring twice. Cool on a wire rack and stir in raisins.

Courtesy of Fitness Magazine.


white-bean-turkey-chiliWhite Bean and Turkey Chili


1 tablespoon canola oil

2 cups diced yellow onion (about 2 medium)

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

3 (15.8-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained

4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

3 cups chopped cooked turkey

1/2 cup diced seeded plum tomato (about 1)

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 lime wedges (optional)


Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 10 minutes or until tender and golden. Add chili powder, garlic, and cumin; sauté for 2 minutes. Add oregano and beans; cook for 30 seconds. Add broth; bring to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes.

Place 2 cups of bean mixture in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return pureed mixture to pan. Add turkey, and cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat. Add diced tomato, chopped cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper, stirring well. Garnish with lime wedges, if desired.

Courtesy of My Recipes.


oatmeal-cookiesWhite Chocolate, Strawberry, and Oatmeal Cookies


3/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 1/3 ounces)

1 cup regular oats

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

3/4 cup coarsely chopped dried strawberries

1/3 cup premium white chocolate chips (such as Ghirardelli)

Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into a measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt; stir with a whisk. Place sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer; beat at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add vanilla and egg; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until blended. Add strawberries and chips; beat at low speed just until blended.

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; cool on pan 1 minute. Remove cookies from pan; cool completely on wire racks.

Courtesy of My Recipes.

To read more from Lauren, check out Lauren’s Thoughts.

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