Tailgate parties can be a marathon of chowing down, from the moment you put on your face paint and set up your gear until long after the game ends. But if you're not mindful of what you're eating, you'll be paying for it all week long. Here are some suggestions to keep things fun without slowing you down.
1. Buffalo Chicken Skewers
What's a tailgate without some hot sauce? For an easy, healthy version of buffalo wings, grill bite-sized pieces of marinated chicken on individual skewers. To please your whole crowd try different marinades, including hot sauce, barbeque sauce, and Thai peanut sauce. The grilled chicken will provide protein to keep you full throughout the day.
2. Greek Yogurt Spinach Dip
Every tailgate needs a dip. I like to make mine with plain Greek yogurt. It's a healthy alternative to sour cream and it provides the same tart taste. This recipe from Bon Appetit magazine is always a big hit! Serve the dip with a mix of carrots, red and green peppers, and some whole wheat or rice crackers. It never hurts to serve vegetables at your tailgate, not only in the dip, but as a pairing for other tailgate food.
3. Pinwheel Wraps
Rather than purchase a couple of hoagies, take a stab at making your own wraps. Cut them into single-serving pieces so everyone can try a few different kinds. Start with a base of whole wheat wraps and get creative with your fill-ins. Some of my favorites include grilled chicken and pesto, turkey and avocado, veggie and hummus, and your standard ham and cheese.
4. Spiced Popcorn
This is not only a favorite at tailgates, but for snacking throughout the year. Popcorn is a whole grain and a little goes a long way. Rather than buying bags of popcorn, buy the kernels, pop them on the stove and drizzle them with olive oil. When done, divide into containers and mix each with a different spice or two. I like cinnamon, cayenne pepper and parmesan cheese.
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