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By Jamie Miller, Registered Dietitian, Village Health Clubs & Spas

Fall is quickly approaching, and that means one thing — football season is here! Whether you’re a loyal football fan, or don’t know a thing about the game, everyone loves the tasty dishes served up at a football tailgate. If being healthy this fall is on your mind, you can still enjoy some game day treats without derailing your progress and goals. From apps to dessert, we’ve got some creative tips and healthy recipe ideas to serve up at your next tailgate that will impress and satisfy your crew while also leaving you feeling your best!


Smoked Turkey Sausage & Vegetable Kebabs



  • 1 package smoked turkey sausage, sliced into 1½ -inch pieces
  • 3 bell peppers (1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 green), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ large red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 10 large baby bella mushrooms, whole or halved
  • 2 Tbsp. avocado oil, plus more for the grill
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground pepper



  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (about 450 to 500 degrees F).
  2. In a large bowl, add the avocado oil and spices, and stir to combine.
  3. Add sliced vegetables and sausage pieces and toss until everything is evenly coated in the spice mixture.
  4. Thread vegetables and sausage onto metal or wooden skewers, first adding one of each type of vegetable, then one slice of sausage, and repeat. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 20 to 30 minutes prior to preparation.
  5. Liberally oil the grill, then place the skewers on the grill and close the lid.
  6. Cook for three to four minutes and then flip on the other side and cook for another three to four minutes or until veggies are softened to your liking and sausages are lightly charred.


Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Dip


  • 4 oz. fat free or low-fat cream cheese, softened
  • ½ plain Greek yogurt
  • 1½ dry ranch seasoning mix
  • ½ blue cheese (or shredded mozzarella)
  • ½ Franks Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce (more or less depending on desired spiciness)
  • 1½ chicken, cooked and shredded
  • Veggies and crackers for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a small baking dish with non-stick spray.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the first five ingredients.
  4. Add the shredded chicken and stir until well combined.
  5. Spoon mixture into a baking dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until dip is warmed through and cheese is melted.
  6. Serve warm with crackers, carrots, cucumber, celery sticks, or other veggies.


Black Bean & Corn Salad


  • 1 15-oz. can no salt added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 c. fresh corn (kernels cut off the cob) or frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1 jar (about 1 c.) roasted red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 c. grape tomatoes, quartered
  • ¼ c. red onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground pepper
  • ⅛  tsp. cayenne pepper, optional
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 tsp. lime zest and 3 Tbsp. lime juice (from about 3 limes)
  • ½ c. cilantro, chopped
  • 1 large avocado, diced



  1. In a large bowl, add honey, oil, lime zest and juice, and spices and stir to combine.
  2. Add in the black beans, corn, roasted red pepper, tomatoes, and red onion; mix well.
  3. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  4. Right before serving, add avocados and fold gently, being careful not to mash them.
  5. Serve cold or at room temperature as a side dish, as a dip with chips, on a salad, or in tacos, etc.


Flourless Banana Peanut Butter Brownies 


  • 1 ½  c. ripe bananas, mashed
  • ½  c. smooth peanut or almond butter
  • 2 eggs
  • ½  c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp. granulated monk fruit, coconut sugar or sweetener that measures like sugar
  • ¼  tsp. baking soda
  • 1 c. semi chocolate chips (use sugar-free chips to keep recipe sugar free)
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • White decorating icing



  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. To do so, grease the pan with oil before placing the parchment paper down to help it stay in place. Have the parchment paper hang over the sides to easily remove brownies from the pan once baked.
  2. In a large bowl or standing mixer, mash ripe bananas with a fork or mixer.
  3. Add nut butter and eggs to the mashed bananas and mix until smooth and well combined.
  4. Add cocoa powder, sweetener, baking soda, and salt to the wet ingredients; mix until combined.
  5. Stir chocolate chips into the batter.
  6. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared baking pan.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the brownies are just set.
  8. Let cool, then remove parchment paper from the pan and cut brownies into squares or use a football cookie cutter to cut out football shapes. If you don’t have a cookie cutter you can alternatively use a sharp knife to cut brownies into a football shape. Use white decorating icing to add the laces to the football (optional). Let icing set before serving.


Interested in learning more about how to reach your healthiest self while eating delicious foods? Reach out to Village Dietitian Jamie Miller today to set up a nutrition consultation! E: P: 713-494-2030

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