Tailgating Snacks to Beat the Bulge

Blog image. Food grilling for tailgating snacks.

Steelers season is here!  Tailgating snacks and pregame parties are here, too. Chips and queso, beer and pizza, burgers and fries are classic pregame foods.  They taste great but can leave you feeling bloated the next day.  What foods can you eat that are healthy, yet still meet the urge to munch?  Read our list of healthy recipes for tailgating snacks you can enjoy without guilt this fall sports season!

Tailgating Snacks: Mango Guacamole

Servings: 6

Prep time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • Three large, ripe avocados
  • One mango, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced and rinsed under cold water
  • One jalapeno, minced (seeded for less heat)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, freshly chopped
  • Juice of two limes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. To cut each avocado in half, slice from the stem end straight down to the pit, and then rotate the knife around the pit. Twist the halves apart and remove the pit. 
  2. Spoon the avocado flesh into a large mixing bowl. 
  3. Add the juice of one of the limes at this point to prevent discoloration of the avocado. 
  4. Mash with a fork until only slightly chunky. 
  5. Add to the bowl the mango, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, remaining lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. 
  6. Serve with pita chips.

Hummus

Servings: 1 1/2 cups — serves 6

Ingredients

  • Your favorite raw veggies
  • One 15 ounce can no salt added garbanzo beans, drained (or cook your own dried beans)
  • Two large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini (ground up sesame seeds)
  • Three tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (or more)
  • Three tablespoons warm water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (or more) — or toast cumin and coriander seed in a skillet then grind with a mortar and pestle
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander (or more)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Pulse the garlic in a blender a couple of times.  
  2. Add everything else.  Blend.  
  3. Adjust various ingredients to taste e.g. lemon, cumin, etc.

Fruit and Goat Cheese Crostini

White peaches or white nectarines are perfect for this simple appetizer.

Goat cheese has only 104 mg sodium per ounce while processed American “cheese” has about 460mg. 

Directions

  1. Whole grain baguette, 1/4 inch slices, toasted until brown in the oven.  
  2. Spread with a little goat cheese   
  3. Top with a slice of peach or nectarine.  
  4. Drizzle with a little half and half mixture of balsamic vinegar and honey.

Roasted Sweet Potato Fries

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • Two large sweet potatoes
  • One tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • One large pinch of kosher salt
  • A few grinds of black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into wedges. Usually six to eight wedges per sweet potato makes for a good fry depending on the size of the potato. 
  3. Spread out on a large sheet pan, drizzle with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss to combine. 
  4. Roast for about 12 minutes on the middle rack, then use a spatula to toss them around a little bit. Continue to roast for another 10 to 12 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are deeply browned on the edges and tender when pierced with a fork or knife. 

Variations 

You can experiment with different seasonings to fit your taste and your meal. Consider the following:

 – Shake in a bowl with additional teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon ground coriander, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper before going in the oven

 – Toss with an additional teaspoon Herbs de Provence or a mix of dried thyme and dried basil before going in the oven

 – Add an additional tablespoon minced fresh rosemary before going in the oven

 – Add whole, peel-on garlic cloves to the roast and you end up with sticky sweet packets of garlicky goodness afterward

 – Toss with teaspoon finely minced garlic or garlic paste after the potatoes come out of the oven

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