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Tailgating the Heart-Healthy Way
- Start with fresh ingredients. Cut up a platter of fresh fruit and veggies to make a colorful and low-calorie snack to munch on before half-time.
- Fresh black bean or tomato-based salsas are delicious and go well with pita chips, baked chips, or chips made with liquid oils (check ingredient list on the food label). A half cup of queso cheese dip is 180 calories and 10 grams of fat----more than a scoop of ice cream and that’s not including the chips. Switch to salsa and you only get 35 calories and 0 grams of fat.
- Keep the water cool and plentiful. The calories in alcohol add up quickly and dehydration can cause headaches, dizziness, and decreased energy. Remember you want to enjoy the game and not suffer from a hangover.
- For an alternative to hot dogs and hamburgers, try grilled pork tenderloin or grilled chicken wrap. Marinate your chicken a few hours before grilling. Fill a wrap with chicken, lettuce or spinach leaves, tomatoes, light dressing, and a bit of shredded cheese.
- Fire up the grill and try barbecuing chicken breasts and roasted sweet corn or vegetable kebobs.
- Air-popped popcorn or the no trans- fat light variety is a good substitute for nuts and cheese crackers. Three cups of popcorn provides only 80 calories versus 240 for a handful of nuts.
- On cool days, make chili with lean meat or lean ground turkey with beans or make great tasting cowboy chili with black beans and sweet potatoes.
- It’s easy to overeat when watching a game. Keep the focus on the sport and not your stomach.
- Black Bean, Corn and Pepper Salsa
- Caprese Salad on Skewers
- Cowboy Chili
- Cowboy Sliders
- Grilled Vegetable Skewers
- Pecan Berry Oatmeal Bars
Black Bean, Corn, and Pepper Salsa
- 2 (14 ounce) cans black beans (no salt added preferably), rinsed and drained
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn, barely cooked (or fresh corn cut off the cob)
- 1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
- 1 ripe avocado, diced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 fresh tomato, diced
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Organic tortilla chips
In large bowl, mix beans, corn, peppers, garlic, lime juice, jalapeno, avocado, and olive oil. Gently stir in tomato and cilantro. Serve with chips for dipping.
Yield: 8 cups Serving size: ½ cup Calories: 110 Protein: 4 g Carbohydrate: 13 g
Total fat: 6 g Saturated fat: 1 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Fiber: 4 g Sodium: 50 mg
Vegetarian and Gluten-Free
Caprese Salad on Skewers
- 8-one ounce mozzarella balls
- Large cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- Fresh basil leaves, cut leaves in half
- 2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
- Fine sea salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 8 bamboo skewers
Purchase small mozzarella balls (packaged in water) then cut in half or thirds depending on the size. To assemble, slide one half cherry tomato, one small piece of basil, and one piece of the mozzarella ball onto the skewer. Repeat until there are three sets of each ingredient on the skewer ending with a cherry tomato. Drizzle with good quality olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serves: 8 Calories: 130 Protein: 5g Carbohydrates: 1g Total Fat: 12g
Saturated Fat: 4.5g Cholesterol: 25mg Fiber: 0g Sodium: 40mg
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 poblano or jalapeño chili, minced (or roasted green chilies; can substitute canned)
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon cumin, ground
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground red chilies (New Mexico) or 2 teaspoons chili powder and ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomatoes (no salt), puree in the blender
- 1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium vegetable broth or 2 cups homemade stock or water
- 2 (15-ounce) cans unsalted or low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 medium sized sweet potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
- Garnish: fresh cilantro and plain Greek yogurt (optional)
In small saucepan, simmer sweet potatoes until they are just tender; do not overcook. Drain potatoes and set aside. Heat the oil in a large skillet and sauté the onions, celery, and pepper over medium heat until they soften. Add the garlic, cumin, oregano, and ground chilies or chili powder and cook another 5 minutes. Add the pureed tomatoes, chicken stock, and black beans and simmer chili partially covered for 25 minutes. Puree one cup of the chili. Stir sweet potatoes into the chili. Simmer an additional 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with fresh, chopped cilantro and a tablespoon of Greek yogurt.
Serves: 4 Calories: 380 Protein: 18g Carbohydrates: 62g Total fat: 7g
Saturated fat: 1g Cholesterol: 0mg Fiber: 18g Sodium: 160mg
Vegetarian and Gluten-Free
If you are short on time, try this short version: buy three 15-ounce good quality black bean soup (such as Amy’s), one 15-ounce black beans, rinsed and drained, one large sweet potato or two small ones, peeled and dice. Cook the sweet potatoes in boiling water until just tender. Combine the soup, black beans, and sweet potatoes. Garnish with cilantro and Greek yogurt.
- 2 pounds pork tenderloin
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 4 fresh whole wheat buns
- Good quality mustard
- Sliced dill pickles (optional)
- Crispy lettuce
- Tomato slices
Preheat oven to 375º. Rub the pork loin with olive oil. Mix the coriander, cumin, smoked paprika, and sea salt in a small bowl then rub the spices all over the pork. Roast the pork loin uncovered for about 20 minutes. Cover and continue to cook until the internal temperature reaches 160º (about 15 - 20 minutes longer). Cooking time depends on the thickness of the pork loin. It can also be grilled using an outdoor charcoal grill. Remove from the oven and let pork cool completely before slicing. Slice the pork as thin as you can. Lightly spread the mustard on each side of the bun and place the sliced pork, pickle, tomato, and lettuce leaves on top.
Makes: 8 Calories: 130 Protein: 24g Total fat: 3g Saturated fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 75mg Sodium: 240mg Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g
Analysis is without the bun
Grilled Vegetable Skewers
- 2 zucchini, wash, trim ends and cut into thick 1-inch disks
- 2 yellow summer squash, wash, trim ends and cut into thick 1-inch disks
- 2 orange bell peppers, cut into quarters (if large, cut into six pieces)
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into quarters
- 1 red onion, trim and cut into 4 or 6 pieces depending on the size
- 8 large button or cremini mushrooms or 2 portabella mushrooms, cut into 4 pieces
- 8 bamboo skewers (soak in water)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1⁄8 teaspoon pepper
- 1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt
Whisk the olive oil, lemon, pepper, salt, and garlic together. Use to brush on the vegetable skewers before grilling. It is helpful to have a grill screen to put the vegetables on to keep from falling through the grate.
Thread the vegetables on the soaked skewers, alternating each type of vegetable. Place the skewers on the grill and cook for 2 minutes per side or until lightly browned and starting to caramelize on the edges. Serve warm.
Serves: 8 Calories: 110 Protein: 3g Carbohydrate: 11g Total fat: 7g
Saturated fat: 1g Cholesterol: 0mg Fiber: 3g Sodium: 50mg
Pecan Berry Oatmeal Bars
- 1 cup rolled oats, old fashioned
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup demerara cane sugar
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup pecans
- ¼ cup chopped dried fruit (mixed berries such as cranberries, cherries, and blueberries)
- ½ cup light olive oil
- 5 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice, divided
- ½ cup fruit sweetened preserves (cherry, strawberry or blueberry)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine oats, flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon, in a large bowl. Add oil and 3 tablespoons orange juice, mixing well until all ingredients are fully combined. Add the pecans and cherries and mix well. Reserve a half cup oatmeal mixture and press the rest into a lightly oiled 8-by-8-inch baking pan. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons orange juice with the preserves and spread evenly over the oat mixture in the pan. Sprinkle reserved oat mixture over the top and press down lightly with fingers. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Cool in the pan on a wire rack then cut into bars or squares. Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Serves 12 Calories: 220 Protein: 2g Carbohydrates: 27g Total Fat: 12g
Saturated Fat: 1.5g Cholesterol: 0mg Fiber: 3g Sodium: 85mg