Tailgating that won’t weigh you down

September 19, 2018 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

We all have our favorite treats when it comes to football season.

Let’s face it – the chances of football fans watching a game without some type of snack are slim. Football is an event and requires event-worthy munchies.

Google “food for watching football” and the search engine comes up with about 183 million results.

Unfortunately, most of our favorite tailgating/football watching treats aren’t the healthiest.

Pizza. Nachos. Wings. Brats. Chili loaded with toppings. Chips and dip.

There are alternatives that won’t disappoint. Try these healthier recipes and notice how much better you feel afterward (regardless of whether your team wins).

Before you start cooking – print out this PDF before the next game! The Healthy Driven Big Game Challenge is a fun way to avoid mindless eating and keep your head in the game (Super Bowl or otherwise).

Apple Nachos


  • 1/3 cup dried, unsweetened cranberries or raisins
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (unsalted)
  • 2 Tbsp hulled, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 3 red or green apples, cored and thinly sliced into about 12 pieces each
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat, smooth peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp honey


In a small bowl, combine dried cranberries/ raisins, almonds, and sunflower seeds.

Core each apple and thinly slice into about 12 pieces each. Layer half the apples onto a large plate or platter. If the apple slices will be sitting out for a while, sprinkle a little lemon juice over them to prevent browning.

Using the microwave or a teapot, bring 2 tablespoons water to a boil. In a small bowl, combine hot water, peanut butter, and honey. Use a spoon and stir until mixture is smooth.

Use the spoon to drizzle half the peanut butter mixture over the plated apple slices; sprinkle with half the cranberry mixture. Layer the remaining apples on top and repeat with remaining peanut butter and cranberry mixture. Serve.

American Heart Association

Black Bean, Turkey and Corn Chili


  • 1 lb. Ground Turkey
  • 1 Sm. Onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. Chili Powder
  • 2 Stalks Celery, diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 15 oz. Fire Roasted, Stewed or diced tomatoes (prefer Muir Glen)
  • 15 oz. each Black beans, black-eyed peas, and great northern beans, strained and rinsed
  • 1 C. Corn, husked and roasted over stovetop
  • 1/2 C. Cilantro, Chopped fine
  • 1 C. Spinach or Kale, chopped fine
  • 2-15 oz. Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 1/2 C. Water
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Brown ground turkey in pan until no longer pink.

Remove turkey from pan, then saute onion, celery, chili powder and garlic in olive oil. Add kale, roasted tomatoes, beans, broth, and corn.

Return turkey to pan. Simmer 15-20 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients and simmer 15-20 minutes. Garnish with cilantro. Serve.

Recipe developed by Chef Laura Valcour

Mediterranean Cheese Spread


  • 8 ounce tub of whipped cream cheese
  • ½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 3 Tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 7 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained


Place cream cheese, yogurt, pine nuts, basil and garlic in food processor.  Pulse on and off until combined.

Add feta cheese and sun dried tomatoes and pulse until combined but still chunky.

Can be made 3 days ahead. Serve with fresh vegetables or baked whole wheat pita chips.

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