It’s that time of year that a lot of us college students look forward to, homecoming! From all of the activities during homecoming week, to actual game day this is a time where college students get to celebrate their school pride, hang out with friends, and of course cheer on the home team! It’s overall a day of fun, and what kicks off a homecoming game better than a good tailgate party? Since it is a day of festivities and fun, you may want to put aside a healthy conscious for the sake of occasion. Save that mind set for the holidays and make this day a tasty but healthy one! I know what you’re thinking, you’re not about to show up to a tailgate party with a zip lock bag of baby carrots and apple slices. But fear not! These fun and festive tailgate foods will make you wonder why you ever stuck to the generic and boring hot dog.
If you’re grilling out: Then you have a variety of options! Kebabs, burgers, or even marinated veggies on the grill.
Kebabs: All you really need are skewer sticks, and a combination of your favorite veggies and you can add a lean protein like chicken or shrimp or you can even make a fruit one! Kebabs are an easy thing to eat when you’re at a tailgate because no fork or plate is needed!
Burgers: If you’re hesitant to stray away from your beloved hamburger, consider these healthier alternatives when grilling out. Being a vegetarian I always love having creative, healthy, and unique alternatives to meat. At family picnics I’m the one usually eating either portabella mushroom burgers, a black bean veggie burger, or an eggplant burger! Check out different veggie burger recipes here! As for you meat eaters, grilled chicken, a salmon patty, or turkey burger are also leaner alternatives!
Grilled veggies: If I haven’t already made it clear grilled veggies are one of my favorite things to eat on the grill. Some people might think that it is boring, when in fact there is so much you can make. Such as a grilled blooming onion, marinated eggplant , stuffed grilled artichokes, sweet potato fries! Just be careful of what oils and sauces you add and limit any cheese added!
If you’re bringing the appetizers:
Chip dip: Stray away from dips that are cheese or cream based because it’s easy to get carried away and eat too much of what is a very dense, and fattening dip. So instead of taco dip that you can get at the store, try a black bean dip! Also, what I personally feel is the solution to everything, you can have hummus! There tons and tons of homemade hummus recipes with different types of ingredients that you can add. The great thing about both of these chip dips is that they are made of beans so they will have more protein and nutritional content then any cheese dip or taco dip would!
Finger food: A few bite sized choices for a healthy appetizer are guacamole deviled eggs, and zucchini pizza bites! Both are a fun and nutritious twist on appetizers we’ve had before like deviled eggs and pizza bites. Pre-make these before you head on over to the tailgate and wow everyone with your unique snack creation. An appetizer for events like a football game tend to be fried, or full of cheese, which is the worst thing you can do when you haven’t eaten anything yet! So start off your meal with real food, and you’ll be full and satisfied by the end of your meal instead of craving more!
Tailgating is one of the best parts about going to a football game! So don’t ruin the experience for yourself by indulging in high fat food. You can’t cheer on your team when you’re bloated and in a food coma so eat clean, but never boring! These ideas and recipes are in my opinion exciting and different than most tailgate foods so have fun with it! Go team!
“It’s a good day to have a good day!”
-Alena Purpero ♡