GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Are you ready for some football? Fall is a great time to gather with friends and watch your favorite sports team while munching on fan-favorite foods.
Mercy Health Registered Dietitian Katie Francisco shares some nutrition tips and recipes to keep your tailgate calories in check.
Tips for Healthier Tailgate
- Eat a balanced meal before you go. Eating a meal that includes healthy fats and protein before your tailgate will decrease the chance of you overeating.
- Hydrate. Make sure you pre-hydrate with plenty of water.
- Add more vegetables! Whenever possible, substitute vegetables. They are low in calories yet high in fiber and packed with nutrients. Be creative – use lettuce instead of tortillas for a wrap, choose zoodles instead of ordinary noodles and scoop your favorite dips with veggies like pepper strips instead of tortilla chips.
Greek Salad Cucumber Bites
- 1 large English cucumber, cut into slices
- 12 cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced
- 6 basil leaves
- ⅓ cup olive oil pesto
- 4 oz Feta cheese
- Cover work surface with paper towel. Line up cucumber slices on the paper towel. Place additional paper towel on top of cucumbers and blot to dry.
- Spread pesto over cucumber. Sprinkle with feta and tomato. Top each slice with basil. Serve cold.
Crispy Garlic Edamame
- 1 package shelled edamame
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- sea salt and pepper
- garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Pat edamame dry with paper towel.
- Add to mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with pepper, salt and garlic.
- Spread evenly onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 15 minutes until crispy.
Lemony Zucchini Noodle Salad
- 2 medium to large zucchini, spiralized to a spaghetti-like size
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 can (15oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
- Place zucchini noodles in a large bowl. Add tomatoes, beans, feta, parsley, lemon juice, mint, olive oil, salt and red pepper flakes.
- Toss to combine.
- Taste and add more red pepper flakes as desired.
- Serve immediately or store covered in fridge.
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