Tailgating Food & Fun

Football and food – a natural combination like peanut butter and jelly and syrup on pancakes. Yes, we all like to indulge during tailgating events…but what if you’re watching your waistline? No worries, you can still indulge guilt-free. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Keep your “team” satisfied with hearty and nutritious snacks such as nuts (almonds, peanuts, pistachios & walnuts), cheese, dried fruits (apricots, cranberries, raisins), raw veggies with light ranch dressing and popcorn!
  • Delightful Dips. choose hummus, guacamole, salsa and bean dip – pair with raw veggies, whole grain crackers and baked corn chips.
  • Heat it up at half time! Before half time starts, preheat your oven to make warm and hearty snacks. Melt cheese over crackers, veggies, or hot sandwiches. Reduced fat cheeses can have as much as 33 percent less fat than regular cheese!
  • Power up with protein – prepare lean turkey burgers, chicken or beef kabobs, black bean burgers or lean steak sandwiches – easy to prepare, delicious options that are high in protein.
  • Cozy up with chili – Prepare chili using the leanest beef or turkey possible. In addition, use less meat and more beans to create a higher fiber and lower fat meal.
  • Have a small snack before the party starts such as yogurt, a few nuts or fruit. This will ensure you don’t start the festivities with a ravenous appetite and end up overeating.

Green Chile & Goat Cheese Dip

This creamy, cheesy dip is spiked with green chiles and smoky chipotle pepper. Be sure to drain the ricotta the day before you want to serve the dip. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.

Makes: 3 cups

Total time: 40 minutes (plus 24 hours to drain ricotta)


  • 1 (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese, drained
  • 8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 (4-ounce) cans chopped green chiles
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pepitas
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, or to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Coat a glass pie pan cooking spray. Mash together ricotta and goat cheese in a medium bowl. Drain chiles in a colander or sieve, pressing to remove as much liquid as possible. Stir into the cheese mixture. Spread evenly in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with pepitas and chipotle.
  3. Bake until the dip is bubbling at the edges, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Nutrition Information (2 Tbsp serving): 53 Calories; 3g Fat; 2g Sat; 1g Mono; 10mg cholesterol; 1g carbohydrates; 4g Protein; 0g Fiber; 78mg Sodium; 35mg Potassium

Tips: To drain ricotta, spoon into a sieve lined with double layer of cheesecloth or a large coffee filter. Place over a bowl and drain in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Pepitas: olive-green hulled pumpkin seeds. Commonly used in Mexican cooking. To toast, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Recipe: Eatingwell.com