Healthy Tailgate Recipes Even The Pickiest Eaters Will Love!

     tailgate feature

     My husband and I just recently moved our family from the suburbs back to the city. In the past few years, we’ve thrown football parties at our home. But now, instead of the living room, we find ourselves gathering with hundreds of other football fans in a parking lot full of food, cornhole and music! Something about it reminds me of college! There aren’t many opportunities in the adult world to blow off a whole afternoon and just hang out with friends. This past weekend we tailgated family style, with friends and kids of all ages. I love the rare chance for a day off from housework and responsibilities.

     Let’s be honest, that’s what a tailgate is really about. That, and the food. Lots of food. But football season doesn’t have to be the off-season for your healthy diet. There are lots ways you can put a healthy spin on the traditional tailgate foods of chips and dips and yes, even chicken wings!

     I’ve created some go-to recipes that won’t leave you feeling bad after you indulge. You’ll still be able to chat and crunch and munch and fill up before the game but you’ll be filling your body with a healthier fuel that will last longer.

     First, a few tips to help you live healthy and love life at your next tailgate. [Read more…]

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Vegan Ranch Veggie Cups

Vegan Ranch
This truly is a grab and eat veggie tray. This vegan ranch dressing is super easy and delicious. The herbs and spices mask the coconut flavor of the milk and it truly is a delicious veggie dip. Take this to any party or gathering and it is sure to be a huge hit!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups coconut milk (I use the full fat in a can) Native Forest Brand is BPA free
  2. 1 tsp sea salt
  3. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  4. 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  5. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  6. 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  7. 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
 **
  8. 1 tbsp of French’s yellow mustard 
1 tsp paprika
  9. Always use organic ingredients whenever possible.
Instructions
  1. Add everything to a bowl and stir until well combined.
  2. Serve with your favorite veggies or salad.
  3. This dressing lasts one week in the fridge.
Notes
  1. **Health Tip: I am really impressed with French’s Yellow Mustard because of the ingredients. They include: Distilled vinegar, water, #1 grade mustard seed, salt, turmeric, paprika spice, natural flavors and garlic powder
Believe it or not, five of these ingredients have anti-cancer properties
  1. vinegar, mustard, turmeric, paprika and garlic.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
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Brooke’s Baked Sweet Potato Chips

Brooke's Baked Sweet Potato Chips
This is such an easy and healthy way to enjoy crispy chips that we all love without the guilt.
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 large sweet potatoes (organic if possible)
  2. 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  3. 1 tsp sea salt or pink
  4. *optional add in: rosemary
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Rinse and dry sweet potatoes.
  3. Peel and slice thinly, using either a mandolin or sharp knife.
  4. In a large bowl, toss sweet potatoes with coconut oil and sprinkle with salt.
  5. Place sweet potato chips in a single layer on baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
  6. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then flip the chips over and bake for another 10 minutes.
  7. For the last ten minutes, watch the chips closely and pull off any chips that start to brown, until all of the chips are cooked.
Notes
  1. Vegan, Nut Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free and Guilt Free
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
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Pumpkin Hummus

It’s “All Things Pumpkin” season!

I love using pumpkins in the Fall to make healthy, hearty recipes that not only taste great, but give me so many vital nutrients to build health in my body. Below is one of my Go To recipes to make as a quick appetizer for guests or to take to parties and school or work functions.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Hummus
A fall twist on traditional hummus.
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Prep Time
7 min
Cook Time
3 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
7 min
Cook Time
3 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  2. 1 cup organic pumpkin puree
  3. 1/4 cup raw almond butter, or nut butter of choice
  4. 2 tbsp Wildtree Grapeseed Oil
  5. 3 tbsp honey
  6. 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  7. 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  8. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  9. 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  10. 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  11. 1/8 tsp cloves
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor.
  2. Serve with whole-grain pita chips or apple slices.
Notes
  1. Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Heart Healthy
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
Pumpkin Hummus Ingredients

Pumpkin Hummus

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Chilled Melon Mint Soup

This refreshing soup is great for a quick lunch or as a starter to your summer dinner.

Chilled Melon Mint Soup
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Melon (Honeydew, Cantaloupe, Watermelon)
  2. 1 cup mint leaves
  3. ½ cup chives
  4. 2 cups seedless grapes
Instructions
  1. Puree all ingredients in a high speed blender until well combined.
Notes
  1. Dairy Free, Nut Free, Gluten Free, Heart Healthy
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
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Tomato Basil Summer Salad

This summer we decided to try our hand at growing our own herbs. Our most fruitful is basil. It also happens to be one of my favorite herbs out there. The health benefits of basil may be surprising to you. It can help sharpen memory, combat the flu and colds, eliminate infections, has antibacterial properties, helps remove phlegm from your bronchial tubes, relieve mucus in asthma, and treat the bites of insects and leeches. My favorite benefit is that it has a calming effect and is known as an anti-stress agent…something I need regularly! This summer salad is a great side dish or appetizer to any meal.

Tomato Basil Summer Salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups fresh basil, chopped
  2. 4 Roma tomatoes, diced
  3. 4 tablespoons goat cheese
  4. Juice of ¼ lemon
  5. ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  6. 2 teaspoons EVOO
  7. Salt & Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Mix the lemon, vinegar, EVOO, salt & pepper in a bowl. In a separate bowl, add the basil, tomatoes, and goat cheese. Pour the dressing on top and toss to coat.
Notes
  1. Gluten Free, Nut Free, Vegetarian, Heart Healthy
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
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Healthy Lemon Ginger Eggplant Chips

Looking for an alternative to greasy potato chips? I have tried this recipe with several other veggies, but getting in a healthy vegetable like eggplant was extremely exciting! Making fresh vegetables, like eggplant, part of your diet can help fight obesity & disease. We love eggplant because it is full of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. In fact, it contains a unique antioxidant called nasunin, which protects brain cells from free radicals. This is an all-around great snack or side dish!

Healthy Lemon Ginger Eggplant Chips
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 large eggplants, slice them into circles like chips
  2. 4 tbs of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  3. 3 tbs herbs de Provence
  4. 2 tbs pine nuts
  5. 2 tbs of pumpkin seeds
  6. 2 tbs of fresh lemon juice
  7. 1 tsp of ground ginger
  8. 1 tsp of cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss the eggplant in large mixing bowl with all the other ingredients and toss.
  3. Bake until golden brown and toss occasionally about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Set aside and cool for 10 min.
  5. Sprinkle with 2 tbs of lemon zest at the end for extra flavor.
Notes
  1. Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Heart Healthy
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
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Broccoli Boost Salad

There’s a good chance that you’ve had broccoli salad at a potluck or family picnic. It’s normally a staple and sits pretty among all of the salads that are swimming in fake mayonnaise, sugar, and other ingredients that do nothing, but put us in a comatose state afterwards. This version of the traditional broccoli salad is made with honey instead of sugar to give you an extra boost of energy. Take it to your next gathering and be ready to give out the recipe!

Broccoli Boast Salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 5 cups (about 1 head) raw broccoli florets, chopped
  2. ½ red onion, chopped
  3. 4 slices nitrate-free turkey bacon (Applegate Farms brand), cooked and crumbled
  4. 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  5. 1 cup dried cranberries
Dressing
  1. ¾ cup organic mayo or Veganaise
  2. 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  3. honey, stevia, or xylitol to taste
  4. ¼ teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all salad ingredients and mix well. In a separate small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients and mix well with a whisk.  Add the dressing to the salad and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Notes
  1. gluten free, dairy free, heart healthy
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

 

 

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Healthier Super Bowl Party Appetizers

Healthier Super Bowl Party Appetizers  

(As Seen on Charlotte Today) 

 Healthy Super Bowl Appetizers NBC Charlotte Today 1/30/2013

My husband and even my girls LOVE football, so there is no doubt that we will be glued to the TV this coming up Sunday! Instead of the typical chips and cheesy dip, deep-fried wings coated in a sugar laden sauce, or pizza I wanted to create some appetizers that were tasty and healthy. I also didn’t want to forget about the kids! My girls were even eating my Kid Kabobs as I was trying to prep for this blog, so I know they will be eating them on game day! Despite whether or not your favorite team wins, just know that at least you’ll be WINNING when it comes to nutrition and your health on Sunday if you stick to healthy snacks instead of the usual heavy food that drags you down!

Kani Salad Appetizer
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cucumbers
  2. 4 kani sticks (imitation crab meat)
  3. 1/2 cup white vinegar
  4. 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  5. 1 pinch of Himalayan salt
  6. 1 tsp soy sauce (or we like Braggs Aminos)
Instructions
  1. Core the seeds from the cucumbers. Leave the peel on them. Grate the cucumbers in long strips. Put the strips of cucumber on a cutting board and sprinkle salt on top of them. Leave for 30 minutes or until cucumber is soft, it basically dehydrates. Carefully wash off the cucumber stripes and place in bowl.
  2. While the cucumber is dehydrating, mix in a small pan the vinegar, maple syrup, a pinch of salt and soy sauce, let it boil, take off the heat and let it cool.
  3. Mix shredded kani sticks and the dressing to the bowl.
  4. Cut 2-3 ripe avocados in half and brush with a touch of vinegar, so they won’t brown (oxidize) and use the avocado halves as “bowls” for your Kani Salad!
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
Easy Healthier Chicken Wings
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Ingredients
  1. Hormone Free, Anti-biotic Free Chicken Wings
  2. Hot Sauce (We use Cholula chili garlic flavor)
  3. Honey
  4. Organic Raw Salted Butter
Instructions
  1. In a sauce pan on medium low heat, add the hot sauce, honey, and butter until butter is mixed and all is well combined. Bake at 350 for 45 to 60 min or grill on medium heat for approximately 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Toss the sauce on the wings after they are cooked.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
Simple Hummus
Healthy dip for Blue Chips or Veggies
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Can Organic Chickpeas, drained & rinsed (or 1 1/2 Cup cooked Chickpeas)
  2. 1 Tbs. Lime
  3. 1/2 Tsp. Cumin
  4. 1/2 Tsp. Dried Oregano
  5. 1 Garlic Clove
  6. Sea Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  7. 2 -3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. If you like a thinner dip, add a little water. Serve in a pita with tons of veggies or as a dip with vegetables. Enjoy!
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
Kid Kabobs
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Ingredients
  1. Sandwich on a Stick (turkey, cheese, cucumber, tomato and romaine lettuce)
  2. Fruit on a Stick (pineapple, watermelon, and strawberry with plain yogurt dip)
  3. Veggies on a Stick (various bell peppers, cucumbers and cheese)
Instructions
  1. Cut turkey, cheese, cucumber, tomato and lettuce into small squares and assemble onto small sticks. Cut fruit and veggies into round or square shapes and assemble. Place yogurt in dip container.
Notes
  1. Kid Fit Tip: Plain, organic yogurt is best. Add sweetness with different fruits. This meal is packed with fruits and veggies to provide important vitamins and with cheese and yogurt to add necessary fats and proteins to fuel our kids throughout the day.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
Super Bowl Bites Power Balls
Yields 1
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup Shaklee Instant Protein Soy Mix
  2. *(Sometimes I use 1/2 cup of the Instant and 1/2 cup of the Shaklee Cinch)
  3. 1 ¼ cup oats
  4. ½ cup of flax meal
  5. 1 cup Raw Honey**
  6. 1 tsp Pure Vanilla
  7. 1 cup Peanut Butter or Almond Butter***
Add-Ins (Add some or a small portion of all)
  1. 1 cup slivered almonds
  2. 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  3. 1 cup Organic Chocolate
  4. 1 cup of Coconut
  5. 1 cup Gluten Free Brown Rice Crispies
Instructions
  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.  In sauce pan, bring honey to a boil then immediately remove from heat and add Peanut or Almond Butter and Vanilla. Stir until combined.  Pour Almond/Peanut Butter mixture into bowl of dry ingredients and stir till combined. You may need to use your hands.  Press down into ungreased 9 x 13 in. glass dish. Cool in the refrigerator.  Cut into squares.  You also can roll the mix into balls if you prefer and then cool them.
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
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Chilled Avocado Soup

Chilled Avocado Soup
This refreshing soup contains the heart healthy fat of avocado and the digestive properties of fennel. Fennel contains fiber that reduces cholesterol levels and helps prevent certain cancers.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large Fennel bulb, finely chopped
  2. 3 celery stalks
  3. 1 medium avocado
  4. ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  5. ¼ cup filtered water
  6. ½ tsp sea salt, or more to taste
  7. ½ green onion
  8. 2 ice cubes
  9. 1 handful of fresh baby spinach
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. You are able to add more ingredients to adjust to your own taste buds. If your soup is too thick, add a little more water.
  2. Pour into bowls and enjoy!
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
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Simple Hummus

This is a great go-to recipe to have in your fridge! There are so many variations of this basic hummus that it won’t ever go out of style.  It’s gluten-free, sugar-free, full of healthy fat, and tastes amazing!!

Simple Hummus
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Can Organic Chickpeas, drained & rinsed (or 1 1/2 Cup cooked Chickpeas)
  2. 1 Tbs. Lime
  3. 1/2 Tsp. Cumin
  4. 1/2 Tsp. Dried Oregano
  5. 1 Garlic Clove
  6. Sea Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  7. 2 -3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. If you like a thinner dip, add a little water.
  4. Serve in a pita with tons of veggies or as a dip with vegetables. Enjoy!
Add-ins
  1. Roasted Red Pepper
  2. Red Pepper Flakes for spice
  3. Pesto for an Italian twist
  4. Roasted Garlic
  5. gluten free, sugar free, heart healthy
  6. Tahini for a more Mediterranean flare
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/

 

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Pomegranate Poached Pear

When you’re hosting a fancy evening for friends this holiday, try this recipe! You will enjoy not feeling so heavy after eating it, and your guests will be so impressed with it.

Pomegranate Poached Pear
Serves 4
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Prep Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 ripe, firm Bosc pears
  2. 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
  3. 1 cup sweet dessert wine, such as Muscatel or Riesling
  4. 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, (1/2 large fruit; see Tip)
Instructions
  1. Peel pears, leaving them whole and stems intact. Slice off the bases so the pears will stand upright. Use an apple corer to remove cores, if desired, working from the base up.
  2. Place the pears on their sides in a large saucepan or small Dutch oven. Pour pomegranate juice and wine over the pears. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until the pears are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 30 to 45 minutes. Turn very gently once or twice as they cook so they color evenly. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a shallow bowl and set aside.
  3. Boil the poaching liquid over high heat until the sauce is reduced to 1/2 cup, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. To serve, spoon 1 tablespoon sauce onto each of 4 dessert plates. Place a pear upright on each plate. Drizzle remaining sauce over each pear and sprinkle pomegranate seeds around it.
Adapted from EatingWell.com
Adapted from EatingWell.com
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
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Kani Salad Appetizer

We have received a lot of requests for this great, healthy recipe for your next gathering or football game day! To make it a touch healthier we used some new ingredients which differ from the traditional recipes out there.

Enjoy the Asian flavors and let us know how it turns out for you!

Kani Salad Appetizer
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cucumbers
  2. 4 kani sticks (imitation crab meat)
  3. 1/2 cup white vinegar
  4. 2 tbsp 100% pure Maple Syrup
  5. 1 pinch of Himalayan salt
  6. 1 tsp soy sauce (or we like Braggs Aminos)
Instructions
  1. Core the seeds from the cucumbers. Leave the peel on them. Grate the cucumbers in long strips. Put the strips of cucumber on a cutting board and sprinkle salt on top of them. Leave for 30 minutes or until cucumber is soft, it basically dehydrates. Carefully wash off the cucumber stripes and place in bowl.
  2. While the cucumber is dehydrating, mix in a small pan the vinegar, honey, a pinch of salt and soy sauce, let it boil, take off the heat and let it cool.
  3. Mix shredded kani sticks and the dressing to the bowl.
  4. Cut 2-3 ripe avocados in half and brush with a touch of vinegar, so they won't brown (oxidize) and use the avocado halves as "bowls" for your Kani Salad!
  5. ENJOY!!
Brooke Thomas 360 Your Life™ http://360yourlife.com/
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