By: Melanie Nelson
Football season has OFFICIALLY begun, with that comes football & tailgating parties. Those parties aren’t likely to be stocked with healthy tailgate snacks, so how are you supposed to stick with your TLS program?
It is possible, and your friends and family will be impressed with how yummy these options are as well as your commitment and discipline. Just think what it takes to be a professional athlete!
Healthy Tailgate Snacks
Beef & Veggie Chili
(Low-GI, and bean/starch-free)
Depending on your size of crowd or veggies preferences adjust as necessary;
- 1 carton of Low Sodium Beef Stock
- 2 – 4 lbs of 98% lean ground beef or bison, drained & cooked
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 can stewed tomatoes, low sodium
- 1 can tomato paste
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1-2 tsp. ground red pepper
- 1-2 T chili powder
- 1 T Worchestershire sauce, reduced-sodium
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3-4 large carrots, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- Drain beef or bison, set aside,
- Add chopped onion, carrots, and celery to a pot over medium-high heat
- Add frozen corn and a small amount of beef stock until veggies are vibrant & begin to soften slightly
- Add remaining ingredients & cooked, drained beef or bison, and serve with finely chopped Green onion, fresh parsley or cilantro
Spicy Chicken & Veggie Skewers
- 2-4 chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
- Sriracha, to taste
- Canola oil, as needed
- Handful of fresh basil
- 1 red onion
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1 cup whole mushrooms
- 1/2 zucchini
- 1/2 summer squash
- 1/4-1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- pineapple (optional)
- Combine sriracha, basil, and canola oil in a large plastic bag or bowl.
- Cut chicken breasts into chunks & allow them to marinate in sriracha marinade (or another TLS-approved marinade) for at least one hour
- Chop onion, peppers, zucchini, & summer squash (you may need to halve mushrooms depending on size)
- In another large bag or bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and canola oil, then add chopped veggies & mushrooms. Let marinate for half an hour.
- Once marinating has finished, skewer chicken & veggies, alternating as desired. Pineapple may be added as well.
- Grill until cooked through
Tuna Salad & Cucumber Slices
- 4 cans tuna in water, low-sodium
- Dash of sea salt
- Ground Pepper to taste
- 2 celery stalks minced
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup of drained spicy bread and butter pickles, minced
- 3 – 4 tablespoons of Olive Oil Mayo
- 2-3 large cucumbers
- Mix all ingredients, then allow to chill in fridge until ready to serve
- Slice cucumbers, then spoon tuna salad on top or arrange like chips & dip on a platter
Hummus & Crudites
Nothing beats the healthy classic of veggies and hummus, and this is one of the easiest healthy tailgate snacks there is!
- 1-2 containers hummus
- Small bag of the baby carrots
- Large handful of snap peas
- 1 bell pepper, sliced
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 1-2 cups broccoli
- 1-2 cups cauliflower
- Celery sticks, as desired
- 1 cup mushrooms, thickly sliced
- Place hummus in a serving bowl in the middle of a large platter.
- Arrange carrots, snap peas and peppers, then sliced cucumbers, broccoli and cauliflower.
- Complete arrangement with celery and mushrooms, then serve
Homemade Trail Mix
Pre-made Trail mix is expensive and can be full of chemicals and preservatives, not to mention chocolate or other candy! The healthier option? Make your OWN tasty version as one of your go-to healthy tailgate snacks! With simple fan-favorite nuts & raisins for sweetness & a great source of iron, this is sure to be a hit. If you have another dried fruit favorite add that in too, but be sure to grab the ones without added sugars & watch out for sugar-loaded Craisins!
- 1-2 cups almonds or cashews
- 1/8-1/4 c walnuts
- 1/4-1/2 cup raisins
- 2 T chocolate or cacao nibs, optional
- 1/8-1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- Combine all ingredients, adjusting amounts as desired
Chili-Lime Roasted Chickpeas
High in protein and fiber, these make a great “chip” alternative! Crunchy roasted chickpeas are a cinch to make and take only about 40 minutes from start to finish. Once you done, you can store and serve at any time. To ensure the crunchiest texture, pat the chickpeas dry before tossing with oil and you can play around with other spices for different flavor combinations, too! Try smoked paprika and cumin, or Tumeric and Cumin, or Madras curry powder.
- 1, 15 oz can of Unsalted Chickpeas – drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 R oil
- 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp lime zest
- Squeeze of lime juice
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 400F degrees
- Arrange chickpeas on a foil-lined cookie sheet, lightly coated with oil
- Bake for 15 minutes, stir, then for another 15 minutes or until crisp
Have fun being healthy and tasty this football season!