Healthy Tailgating: Score Big with Good-For-You Fare

Tina Ruggiero
tomato basil soup

The average fan can consume a whopping 1,200 calories in one tailgating fest. To tackle game-day overindulgence, try some of my delicious, healthy recipes that will leave you satisfied — without all the fat and sodium. Here, I show Cindy Edwards of Daytime how to make a tailgate spread that doesn’t skimp on taste or fun!

Want to get cookin’ now? Below are two of my favorite tailgating recipes. Go, team!


Yield:  1 Sheet Pan


A plate of beer-bacon almond brittle
  • Non-stick cooking Spray
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 5 slices thick-cut Applewood smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1/3 cup beer, preferably dark
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups whole almonds
  • 2 cups sliced almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Line a rimmed baking pan with foil; spray foil with non-stick cooking spray being sure to coat the foil well, and set aside.
  3. Place brown sugar, bacon, beer, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  4. Boil for 12 minutes stirring frequently.
  5. Pour in both varieties of almonds and stir well to coat all of the almonds. Spread almond mixture in an even layer on the baking pan and bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven, and let cool for 7 minutes.
  7. Peel the brittle from the foil and place it on another sheet of aluminum foil while still warm. Break apart large clumps.
  8. Allow mixture to cool completely, then store in a closed plastic container at room temperature.


Yield:  6 cups


Mexican avocados are the best for this recipe.
  • 1 Avocado from Mexico
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 7 large, ripe plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1-quart vegetable/chicken stock
  • 1 cup fat-free half ‘n’ half
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 5 fresh basil leaves
  • Salt/pepper to taste


Heat a 3-quart soup pot to medium-high heat for 3 minutes.

  1. When hot, add oil, and sauté tomatoes, onions, and garlic for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, oregano, and basil.
  3. Cook another 5 minutes.
  4. Add stock and cook for 12-15 minutes until all ingredients are soft and well blended.

Optional: Remove soup from stove top and stir in heavy cream. Blend using a hand or countertop blender. Be very careful to allow soup to cool for 10 minutes before blending.

For avocado garnish:

Cut the avocado lengthwise and twist the two sides in the palm of your hands to separate the two sides. Remove the pit, scoop out the avocado with a spoon, and cut it into small pieces. Add a garnish on top of the soup. For additional presentation and flavor, add a dollop of sour cream.

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