Tailgating Food & Fun

By: Jacqueline Gomes, MBA, RDN

November 9th, 2018

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.


Mini Stuffed Peppers

Guests will love these fun mini peppers that are a cinch to prepare and super delicious!

Prep: 20 minutes

Makes: 6 servings


  • ½ cup crumbled queso fresco (2 ounces)
  • ¼ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (1 ounce)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped jarred pimiento peppers
  • 6 miniature red, yellow, and/or green sweet peppers, halved and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon whole-wheat panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)



  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil; set aside. In a small bowl combine crumbled queso fresco, shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, and finely chopped jarred pimiento.
  3. Stuff sweet pepper halves with cheese mixture, mounding cheese mixture slightly. Sprinkle whole wheat panko on top of the cheese mixture. Lightly coat top of panko with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Place peppers on prepared baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Recipe: Diabetes Living