Traditional game-day foods taste great, but they can wreak havoc on your health. A single afternoon of tailgating can add up to 1200 calories, 60 grams of fat and 2000 milligrams of sodium or more.
That’s nothing to cheer about.
Here are six ways to root for your favorite team without getting dragged down by the food you eat:
1. Appetizers: Serve a rainbow of crunchy veggies and whole-grain crackers paired with nutrient-packed dips such as guacamole, black bean dip or hummus. Olives and nuts are also heart-healthy snacks.
2. Chili: Get all the taste without all the fat by using less meat, more beans and extra veggies, such as sautéed mushrooms, onions and carrots. Other options include nixing the ground beef and instead using chunks of skinless chicken or lean ground turkey as the base. Or just make vegetarian chili and up the spice so you won’t miss the meat.
3. Sausages/Hot Dogs: There are plenty of options on shelves these days that don’t contain nitrates, hormones or antibiotics but still taste great. Many are chicken-based, which also cuts down on fat, with flavors ranging from spinach feta and garlic basil to Cajun and spicy jalapeño.
4. Chicken Wings: Use skinless wings to reduce fat and calories and bake them rather than fry them. Instead of slathering on your favorite Buffalo wing or BBQ sauce filled with sugar, brush wings with a mixture of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce and just a pinch of sugar.
5. Kebabs: Skewer up chunks of boneless chicken, lean beef or shrimp along with veggies such as bell peppers, mushrooms, pearl onions and zucchini. A simple marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and oregano adds flavor.
6. Dessert: Ditch baked desserts filled with fat and sugar and instead serve strawberries dipped in melted dark chocolate. With a little creativity, you can pipe white chocolate lines to turn them into festive mini-footballs.
6 Healthy Tailgate Ideas
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