Homecoming Season Calls for a Great Tailgate Menu

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Load up the tents, tables, and chairs all in red, blue or even purple…it is time to step up your tailgate for homecoming!! Games are great, but as you know half the fun is in the parking lot before and after the game! This year don’t sacrifice your favorite tailgating recipes just because you’re trying to eat healthy. With these recipes you can enjoy the bold flavors of traditional recipes but with a fraction of the fat and calories. Tailgaters come hungry and enjoy the hearty recipes!

Bacon Wrapped Cheesy Jalapenos

(Keto Friendly)


  • 12 fresh jalapenos
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 12 slices bacon, cut in half
  • 24 toothpicks


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Sometimes I use a broiling pan to catch the droppings including bacon grease.
  3. Cut the jalapenos in half lengthwise, remove seeds.
  4. Beat the cream cheese, and garlic together. Spoon filling equally in all 24 jalapeno halves. Wrap each stuffed jalapeno with a half a slice of uncooked bacon, secure with a toothpick.
  5. Place each on the baking pan, or broiler pan and bake for 25 – 28 minutes or until the bacon is crisp.


Sausage Mushroom Caps


  • 24 medium-size button or cremini mushrooms (about 1 lb. total)
  • ⅓ pound seasoned bulk pork sausage
  • 3 tablespoons seasoned dried bread crumbs
  • About 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 24 flat-leaf parsley leaves


  1. Preheat broiler. Rinse mushrooms. Scoop out stems with a small spoon and save for another use.
  2. In a small bowl, mix sausage with bread crumbs. Mound sausage mixture in mushrooms, then place, filled side up, in a rimmed 10- by 15-in. baking pan.
  3. Broil 6 to 7 in. from heat until sausage is well browned, about 5 minutes. Lift mushrooms onto a platter, brush with oil, and top with parsley leaves.

Serves 12. Each serving contains Calories 73, Protein 2.8 g, Fat 5.7 g, Carbohydrate 2.5 g, Fiber 0.2 g, Sodium 116 mg, Cholesterol 9 mg.

Warm Cheesy Spinach Dip


  • 1 (10 oz.) bag Frozen chopped spinach – defrosted and squeezed dry, or chopped fresh
  • Pinch Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Garlic, minced (or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder)
  • ½ Small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 ¼ cup Low fat cottage cheese
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ⅛ cup Feta cheese (or mozzarella)


  • ½ cup Mozzarella, grated
  • 2 tbs. Parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Combine spinach, seasonings, onions and ¼ cup water in sauté pan and cover. Steam until spinach wilted and onion is softened, stirring occasionally. Remove cover and continue to stir and cook until water is completely evaporated (or cooked off). Turn off the heat.
  2. Meanwhile, blend cottage cheese in the blender or food processor until smooth. Add to the sauté pan, along with the rest of the cheeses. Pour into baking dish and top with cheese.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and lightly golden brown on top. Enjoy warm with pita chips, veggies, or whatever you choose!

Serves 12. Each ¼ cup serving contains Calories 57, Fat 3 g, Carbohydrate 3 g, Fiber 1 g, Sugar 1 g, Protein 6 g.

Tex-Mex Beef and Bean Dip

(leave off the beans if you are counting carbs)


  • ½pound ground sirloin
  • 2 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chipotle Chile powder
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • ¾ cup (3 ounces) crumbled queso fresco
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 3 ounces bite-size baked tortilla chips (about 60, such as Tostitos Scoops


  1. Cook beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain well; return beef to pan. Add tomato paste and next 4 ingredients (through diced tomatoes), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally.
  2. Spoon meat mixture into a serving bowl; top with crumbled cheese and green onions. Serve with tortilla chips.

Serves 12, each 1/4 cup dip and 5 chips contains  Calories 99, Fat 2.5 g, Protein 7.3 g, Carbohydrate 11.7 g, Fiber 1.9 g, Cholesterol 15 mg, Sodium 216 mg.

Mini Deep Dish Pizzas


  • 3-4 Whole wheat wraps
  • 1 (15 oz.) Can pizza sauce
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. Basil/oregano mix or Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp. Garlic powder
  • ¾ cup Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 48 Mini turkey pepperonis (or 12 whole turkey pepperonis each cut into 4 even pieces)
  • Put your own spin on these by adding anything that you would normally like on a pizza just before popping them in the oven!


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 12 count muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Start by laying each tortilla out individually on a flat surface, and use an empty can, cup, or cookie cutter to cut 3-4 medium circles out of each wrap. I used the empty pizza sauce can, which worked well! Press firmly enough, rocking, until it cuts through the wrap.
  3. Press each wrap circle into muffin tin using your fingers. Pour pizza sauce, Parmesan cheese, and the spices into a medium sized bowl. Stir until everything is well combined.
  4. Drop about.1-2 tbsp. of sauce in each wrap. Divide mozzarella cheese evenly over each mini pizza
  5. Place 4 mini pepperonis on top of each pizza.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Wait for pizzas to cool, and remove from muffin tin using a fork or knife. Pizzas should pop out with ease! Serve warm and enjoy!

Serves 12, each serving contains Calories 66, Fat 1.5 g, Carbohydrate 7 g, Fiber 3 g, Sugar 2 g, Protein 6 g.

Toffee Blond Brownies


  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup egg substitute
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray
  • ¼ cup toffee baking bits (such as Heath)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; stir just until moist.
  3. Spread batter in an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with toffee bits.
  4. Bake at 350° for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Serves 12. Each serving contains Calories 168, Fat 5.4 g, Protein 1.6 g, Carbohydrates 28.4 g, Fiber 0.3 g, Sodium 120 mg.