Healthful Tailgating Recipes

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Football season is in full swing, and every weekend fans flock to football stadiums to watch their favorite teams, hang out with friends–and eat. Millions of Americans participate in the age-old tradition of tailgating each season.

While it may seem like harmless fun, tailgating can actually add inches to your waistline if you aren’t careful. Not to worry, however! Here are a couple delicious and low-calorie dishes to pack in your cooler next Sunday for a totally guilt-free tailgate.

This chili recipe gives you the same great taste with far fewer empty calories.
Photo by mjecker/Courtesy

White Bean & Turkey Chili

Rather than chowing on a traditional bowl of chili, which can pack a considerable amount of calories when topped with all the fixings, give this white bean and turkey chili a try. This dish only contains about 280 calories and is full of protein and fiber. SERVES 8

• 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)

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Garnish with lime wedges, if desired.

Regular potato salad can have almost 400 calories per cup. And that’s not counting
the second helpings you’re sure to indulge in. Swap for this recipe instead!
Photo by nyc dreamer/Courtesy

All-American Potato Salad

Main entrées aren’t the only culprits adding to your winter season weight gain. Side dishes, such as the popular potato salad, can be to blame as well. The following recipe only contains 139 calories. Simply pack this low-calorie dish in a plastic container, and your crew will know the difference between it and its high-calorie cousin. SERVES 8

• 2 pounds medium-size red potatoes, unpeeled
• 1/3 cup thinly sliced celery
• 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
• 1/3 cup grated carrot
• 1 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish

Dressing• 1/3 cup nonfat or reduced-fat mayonnaise
• 1/3 cup nonfat sour cream
• 2 tablespoons spicy mustard
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Cut the potatoes into 3/4-inch pieces, and place in a microwave or stove-top steamer. Cover and cook at high power or over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender.

2. Rinse with cool water and drain. Place the potatoes in a large bowl. Add the celery, onion, carrot, and relish, and toss gently to mix. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, and stir to mix well. Add the dressing to the potato mixture, and toss gently to mix.

3. Cover the salad and chill for at least 2 hours before serving. 

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