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By Amy Burgess

Touchdown! 3 Healthy Tailgating Recipes for Football Season

"Healthy” and “tailgating” in the same sentence? You must think I’m crazy. I promise, I’m not! Believe it or not, it is possible to eat healthy during football season despite all the chicken wings and cheesy dips surrounding you. And I don’t just mean a plate of cold crudité. Incorporating Avocado, Zucchini and Cauliflower into your tailgating spread will load your body up with potassium known for reducing blood pressure (1), fiber to lower cholesterol (2) and vitamin C to boost immunity (3). Read on for three delicious and healthy dips, grills and bites and remember to steer clear of those deep fried dishes. Ready, set, hut!

Dip: 6 Layer Dip

Ingredients Bean layer:
  • 1 can (15oz) black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 (dry) chipotle pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
Avocado layer:
  • 3 avocadoes, pitted & mashed
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
All other layers:
  • 2 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded & chopped
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • Salt & pepper
Preparation Combine all bean layer ingredients in a bowl and blend until smooth. Season with salt & pepper to taste and spread in an even layer on the bottom of an 8x11 dish.
  • Separately, combine all avocado layer ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt & pepper to taste and spread in an even layer on top of the bean mixture.
  • Add layers of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and red onion.
  • Serve immediately with pita chips or serve with kale chips for added flavor!

Grill: Grilled Zucchini Nachos

  • 4 small zucchinis
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large avocado, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ lime
  • ½ lemon
  • Slice zucchini into “chips” (1/4-inch-thick rounds). Place chips in a large bowl and toss with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Place zucchini on a grill pan or directly on a hot grill (over medium heat). Grill until zucchini is tender (about 5 minutes).
  • Remove zucchini from grill and place on a platter. Top with black beans, tomatoes, avocado, green onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lime and lemon juice. Serve immediately.

Bite: Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into bite size pieces
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon butter (or butter substitute), melted
  • ½ cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees and lightly spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • In a small bowl combine brown rice flour, water, garlic powder and salt and mix thoroughly to create a batter.Dip cauliflower pieces into the batter until coated evenly then place on a baking sheet.
  • Bake until batter hardens (about 10 minutes), then flip with a spatula and bake for another 5 minutes.
  • While cauliflower is baking, mix together Frank’s Red Hot sauce with butter (or butter substitute) in a bowl.
  • When cauliflower is finished, evenly coat each piece with the hot sauce mixture.
  • Bake coated cauliflower for another 8-10 minutes until crispy.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 20 minutes before serving.
TOUCHDOWN! Enjoy, -Amy Sources: