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Tasty Tailgate Food Swaps

Tasty Tailgate Food Swaps

These Tasty Tailgate Food Swats are perfect for any football or sports fan. Using these Tasty Tailgate Food Swaps won’t leave you with overtime regret!

Tasty Tailgate Food Swaps

Crispy Chicken
Greasy fried chicken tenders get a healthy makeover! Baking these with a whole grain and cheese crust crisps this dish without adding extra oil from frying. This recipe makes 5 Servings

3/4 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
1/2 cup wheat germ, toasted
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt (omit salt if you have high blood pressure)
2 eggs
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken tenders


  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil and liberally coat with oil spray.
  • In a large bowl stir together the bread crumbs, wheat germ, parmesan cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper (if using), salt, and pepper until well combined.
  • In a small bowl whisk the eggs.
  • Dip the chicken tenders into the egg. Drip off any excess egg, then place in the breading mixture. Turn the tenders, patting to coat on all sides with the breading. Place the tenders on the baking sheets. Mist the top surface of the chicken tenders with oil spray.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until the breading is golden brown and crispy and chicken is opaque throughout.

Junk Food version: 680 calories | Tasty Tailgate Food Swap 330 calories for Serving

Layered Bean Dip
No party is complete without a game day classic! This version cuts calories in half, but keeps the delicious layers you love.  This recipe makes 12 Servings

1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
1 cup corn
1 container (5 to 6 ounces) plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup salsa
1 cup reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend
1 avocado, diced
1 roma tomato, diced
1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 jalapeno pepper, diced small (optional)


  • Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add black beans and taco seasoning. Cook until warmed through and fragrant (about 5 minutes). Press beans with the back of a spoon so about 1/2 the beans are smashed.
  • In a large baking dish, evenly spread black beans on the bottom. Layer corn on top of the beans. Add Greek yogurt on top of the corn. Layer salsa on top of the yogurt. Add the cheese as the next layer. Sprinkle avocado, tomato, bell peppers, green onion and optional jalapeño pepper on top of cheese.
  • Enjoy with your favorite veggie scoopers.

Junk Food version: 300 calories | Tasty Tailgate Food Swap: 130 calories per Serving

Tasty Tailgate Food Swap

Salt & Vinegar Chips
Keep the crunch but have a nutrient punch by baking root veggies! This recipe makes 6 Servings

4 large carrots
3 parsnips
white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or seas salt


  • Preheat oven to 300˚. Liberally coat 2 baking sheets with oil spray.
  • Using a mandolin, carefully slice carrots and parsnips into thin chips, (Alternatively, you can use a vegetable peeler to create irregular strips).
  • Add white distilled vinegar into a large bowl or plastic bag and submerge the carrot and parsnip chips into the vinegar. Remove the vegetable chips and place them on the baking sheets in a single layer (make sure they do not overlap). Mist the vegetable chips with oil spray and sprinkle with salt.
  • Place in oven and cook for 15 minutes. Pull out the tray, spritz the veggies with vinegar using an oil mister and flip them over. Mist the second side with vinegar as well. Place back into oven and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until chips are crispy.

Junk Food version: 150 calories | Tasty Tailgate Food Swap: 70 calories per Serving

Buffalo Chicken Chili
Get your Buffalo Flavor on with less calories. This chili will warm you up and taste amazing. This recipe makes 4 Servings
6 carrots, peeled and sliced into half-moons
6 stalks celery, sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds ground chicken or turkey (99% lean)
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups low-sodium vegetable or tomato juice
1/4 cup hot sauce (see Note)
plain non-fat Greek yogurt or light sour cream (optional)
chopped scallions (optional)
whipped blue cheese topping (optional), recipe below

  • Slow Cooker Version: To prepare in a slow cooker, simply add all ingredients to slow cooker, stir and cook on low for eight hours (or high for four hours). If you like a thicker chili, reduce the tomato/vegetable juice by about 3/4 cup. That’s because the crockpot generates more liquid than the skillet. Prepare the whipped blue cheese topping (below) prior to serving.
  • Stove Top Version: Liberally coat a large pot or Dutch oven with oil spray, and preheat it over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and celery and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes; add water, a tablespoon at a time, as necessary to prevent scorching.
  • Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the ground chicken, reapplying oil spray if necessary. Sauté, stirring continuously and breaking the chicken into small pieces, for 5 minutes or until cooked through. As the chicken cooks, continue scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to dislodge any large bits
  • Sprinkle in the chili powder and flour, and stir quickly to distribute them evenly. Immediately add the vegetable juice and hot sauce, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat too low and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
  • Ladle the chili into serving bowls and serve with desired toppings.
  • Note: The amount of hot sauce you use will depend on the brand you select as well as your (and your family’s) own personal tolerance for spicy foods. I advise adding ¼ cup hot sauce to start with, then tasting the chili and adding more from there if you find it too mild.
  • For Whipped Blue Cheese Topping: In a small bowl, mash together ¼ cup blue cheese crumbles (at room temperature) and ¼ cup light/nonfat sour cream or nonfat plain Greek yogurt. Dollop on top of chili before serving.

Junk Food version: 1,030 calories | Tasty Tailgate Food Swap: 330 calories per Serving

Make your next tailgate or at-home game day party even better with these Tasty Tailgate Food Swaps!

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