Tackling the Tailgating Table

It’s football time in the U.S.! Though tailgating may look different this year due to COVID-19 and social distancing, our spirit doesn’t have to.

Tailgating at home while playing a pick-up game of backyard football with your family is a safe and healthy way to cheer on your favorite team. On the not-so-healthy side, a couple of burgers, beers and other game-day favorites can easily add up to a day’s worth of calories in a few short hours. Follow along for some healthy takes on recipes for your next tailgate.

Healthier Spinach and Artichoke Dip Pizza, Anyone? 

With a crispy, whole wheat tortilla crust, this lighter pizza packs in energizing B vitamins and fiber while cutting excess calories and fat found in traditional pizza crusts. By either baking or lightly tossing it with oil in a heated pan, the crust crisps up to give you a crunch in every bite. The Greek yogurt-based spinach artichoke dip adds gameday feels to pizza while adding protein found in Greek yogurt to keep you fuller longer. For the best-tasting dip, it’s important not to cut out all fat. Opting for ⅓ fat cream cheese rather than fat-free prevents your dip from getting crumbly and allows more flavors from the garlic and other ingredients to come forward. The dip can of course be used as just that – a dip. Using the same whole wheat tortillas, cut them into chip shape and toss in oil, salt, pepper and garlic then bake at 350 degrees F until crispy, about 15 minutes. See full recipe below!

Or, score a sweet touchdown

Fruit shaped into footballsFor a sweet treat, opt for fruit dipped or lightly drizzled in chocolate. Stay on theme by piping melted chocolate in football shapes on strawberries, kiwis and bananas. Tip: dip diagonally cut bananas in chocolate and pipe peanut butter to finish off the football shape.

Enjoy gameday without regrets!

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Photo credit: Shanthi Appelo

 

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Ingredients

  • 10 oz. box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 10 oz. box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed or 14 oz. can in brine
  • ½ onion (red or yellow), finely chopped
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces light cream cheese, at room temperature to make sure it will mix well
  • 1/2 cup light Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Lightened-up Greek Yogurt Spinach Artichoke Dip

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Combine all ingredients except for Monterey jack cheese in blender, with the more liquid ingredients first.
3. Pulse the blender so that the ingredients still maintain a nice texture.
4. Bake in oven-safe dish for 20 minutes or until the top cheese has melted and start to become golden.
5. Use for pizza topping or to dip with baked whole wheat tortilla chips.

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Ingredients

  • 4 whole wheat tortilla crusts
  • Spray olive oil
  • 8 oz grilled chicken, sliced
  • Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeños

 

Tortilla Crust Pizza

Instructions
1. Heat a medium-size pan over low-medium heat.
2. Spray olive oil on whole wheat tortilla, lightly coating the surface.
3. Cook tortilla in pan until golden brown and starting to get crispy. Let cool for 5 minutes.
4. Spread spinach dip (recipe above), top with grilled chicken, jalapeños and tomatoes, and Monterey Jack cheese.
5. Bake in oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese has melted.

Optional: Switch up the spinach dip and coat the pizza crust with barbeque sauce and your desired toppings.

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