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Tasty and Healthy Tailgating Foods

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Tasty and Healthy Tailgating Foods

Tailgating often means bags of chips, sugary BBQ sauce and loads of sweets. But without straying much from typical tailgating fare, you can put together a healthier spread that will satisfy a crowd.


Making items ahead will cut down on packing — and give people something to nibble on while you’re grilling. These healthy tailgating foods are appropriate for Phase 3 of the Fast Metabolism Diet.

Bean dip

This is almost always a healthy pick—it’s usually just beans, spices, and a drizzle of oil. This pinto-bean comes together in 10 minutes and always gets rave reviews.

Lemony pinto dip

  • 2 cups cooked pinto beans
  • 1 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbls. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh cilantro
  • Grated rind of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 tsp. hot sauce (optional)

In a food processor, combine the beans with 1 clove of garlic and a healthy pinch of salt. Turn the machine on, and add the 1/4 cup olive oil in a steady stream through the feed tube; blend until smooth. Taste, and add more garlic if you like; then, puree the mixture again.

Transfer to a bowl and stir in the lemon zest, cilantro and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Taste, and add more salt and pepper as needed, and add the hot sauce if desired. Use immediately, or refrigerate up to 3 days. Makes about 2 cups. Serve with sprouted grain tortilla wedges or raw veggies.


Another hard-to-screw-up healthy choice. Although avocados are a pretty fatty fruit, it’s the good fat. To take the really easy route, just mash everything with a fork:

  • 2 avocados
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 or 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • Pinch salt (to taste)

Deviled eggs

You could do a lot worse for a snack: Deviled eggs are usually just eggs, spices, and a dab of mayo (use safflower mayo). Jazz them up with some variations like smoked salmon or turkey bacon.

Wings or drumsticks

Most wing sauces are loaded with sugar or butter, but these chile-rubbed wings get tons of flavor from spices and a little olive or grapeseed oil. This recipe bakes the wings, but you can use the same sauce with drumsticks or chicken breasts and pop them on the grill.

Meat on a stick

Steak skewers are perfect party food—and perfect Fast Metabolism food. Try some of these variations in our post on mix-and-match kebabs.

Out -of-the-ordinary veggie platter

Instead of the usual carrot/celery/broccoli combo, try fennel, zucchini, Belgian endive, green beans, and other unique veggies for dipping. Maybe you won’t even miss the corn chips.


Who said anything about skipping dessert? Try this fudge, made with raw cacao nibs, avocado and coconut oil.

  • 3 ounces raw cacao nibs
  • 1 large avocado, pitted and pureed
  • 1/3 cup organic full-fat coconut milk (the kind in the can)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Stevia to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw almonds (or other nuts), chopped (optional)

Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing the excess to hang over the sides.

Heat all ingredients except the nuts in a medium glass bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (the bowl should not touch the water), stirring until the cacao nibs melt. Stir in the nuts. Scrape mixture into prepared pan, using a spatula to smooth the top. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and preferably overnight. Use the sides of the parchment paper to lift the fudge out of the pan. Cut into pieces. Store in the fridge or cooler until ready to serve (fudge will be fairly soft).


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