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Eating Well … Tailgating Tips from Cooking Girl

Eating Well … Tailgating Tips from Cooking Girl

Tailgating is a great pre-game tradition found at football games and other sporting events.  Here are some ideas for packing a cooler and healthy food to be served at a tailgating party or any outdoor party:


Here are some healthy twist on standards like Boneless Buffalo Wings and Southwestern Layered Bean Dip, or try something entirely new like Shish Kebab with Tahini Sauce. Whether you’re packing a cooler for a tailgating party or just having a few friends over to watch the game, tackle game-day overindulgence with this collection of healthy tailgating recipes.

Boneless Buffalo Wings: chicken tenders are dredged in seasoned whole-wheat flour and cornmeal, pan-fried in only a small amount of oil and then drizzled with a tangy hot pepper sauce. With a fraction of the fat, calories and sodium, these boneless wings are reason enough to throw a party.

Southwest Layered Bean Dip: Plenty of black beans, salsa and chopped fresh vegetables mean a healthy amount of dietary fiber in this Tex-Mex layered dip. Use reduced-fat sour cream along with full-fat (and full-flavored) cheese to make the dip lighter without compromising great taste. Be sure to have lots of baked tortilla chips on hand when you serve it.

Shish Kebab with Tahini Sauce: Roasted and grilled meats are ubiquitous throughout the Middle East. This marinade, infused with allspice and cinnamon, would be excellent on lamb or chicken as well. Tuck the grilled chunks of meat and onion into warm whole-wheat pitas.

Chunks of tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, peppers, squash and zucchini all taste great when grilled. Use skewers to make kabobs with your favorite vegetables. Young potatoes with their skins, asparagus and sweet corn can also be roasted on a grill. I like to use a metal pan place over low heat so the small or narrow vegetables don’t fall through the gates.

All recipes and more can be found at EatingWell.com.


  • Practice “LIFO”: LIFO stands for “last in, first out.” In other words, the first foods packed should be the ones you expect to use last. That way you won’t have to go digging through the cooler to find the items you want. The first foods you use will be right on top. That saves you from having to take items out of the cooler just so you can get at other items.
  • Pack it cold: Wherever possible, fill the cooler with foods that are already cold or frozen. That enables the cold from the frozen food to help chill the other items in the cooler.
  • Ziplocks: Great storage and easy clean up!
  • Keep Your Cooler Closed!

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