Fall and winter mean a lot of things, but amidst all the holiday talk we can’t forget about tailgate parties! The typical football-party fare is filled with calories but you can pull it all together and leave many of those calories behind! Don’t forget that when you make your own food, you control what goes into each recipe!
Chips and dip can be slimmed down with a few tricks.
- When making dips, avoid using mayonnaise, cream cheese and sour cream. I like to substitute greek yogurt in my recipes and most people hardly know the difference. Guacamole, salsa, and hummus are all delicious, healthy and easy to make!
- Serve your homemade dips with crudites instead of chips. Carrots, celery, cucumber, bell peppers and other crunchy veggies can be just as fun to dip and dunk!
- If you’re surrounded by the vegetable-wary, just make sure you buy baked chips. Go one step further (and that much closer to healthy hors d’oeuvres) by making your own. Buy pita bread, cut it into small triangles, add some seasoning and bake them. It’s simple and you can control how much salt you add.
Alcohol plays a big part at football parties, but it also plays a big part in ruining diets.
- Blue Moon is a good craft beer that’s relatively low in calories at only about 100 calories per serving.
- Lime and orange slices go a long way to improve the taste of light beer.
- Instead of using traditional mixers for cocktails, consider making your own and using less sugar. I found the simple combination of orange-flavored vodka mixed with some sparkling water and a Crystal Light packet to be surprisingly delicious.
Main courses pack a huge calorie-punch because of all the carbs and fats that are usually included. Instead of blowing your diet, keep in mind:
- Anything made with beef (tacos, burgers, chili and steak) can be made with bison meat as a lower fat, higher protein option.
- Turkey and tofu are also good alternatives. Turkey dogs, tofu dogs and low-sodium, nitrate-free hot dogs are all available at most grocery stores.
- If your meal includes carbs such as rice, noodles, buns or rolls be sure you go for the 100% whole wheat options.
Some healthy tailgating recipes to try: