Delicious and Healthy Foods for Your Tailgate Party

It is football season! Whether you are headed to the game or kicking back in your favorite chair to view the event from home, game time snacks are part of the occasion.  You can get in the spirit and enjoy foods that bring satisfaction while not blowing your game plan. Here are some delicious recipes that are sure to be winners!

(see news piece:

pistachios-45Skip the chips and enjoy Wonderful Pistachios. Why waste 160 calories for only 12-15 chips (a snack size bag) when for less than 150 calories you can have 45 pistachios? It just so happens that #45 is the jersey number for The Texans full back, Jay Prosch.

Keep stats on how many Wonderful Nuts you have devoured by counting the shells. Pistachios are a great source of protein and fiber, plus 90% of its fats are mono and polyunsaturated (the “good for you” types). Compared to potato chips, pistachios give you three times the fiber, protein, and number of pieces per serving!

Pita Chips with Pistachio Hummus

Homemade Whole Grain Pita Chips Make your own pita chips to go with pistachio hummus, tuna dip, and chili.


  • Whole Grain Pita Bread
  • Extra Virgin olive oil in a pump spray
  • Italian seasoning blend


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut each pita bread into 8 triangles. Open some of the triangles to create a single layer for extra crispy chips. Leave some folded. The folded chips can be used to stuff a dip inside if desired.
  3. Place the triangles on a cookie sheet lined with foil.
  4. Spray both sides of pita triangles with the oil.
  5. Sprinkle Italian season on top of pita.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for approx. 10 minutes, flipping chips over after 5 minutes. Make sure chips have browned slightly.

Pistachio Hummus ( Adopted from )


  • 1 can low sodium Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup roasted pistachios + ¼ cup chopped
  • 1 ½ T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup water (divided)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • Add pepper to taste


  • In a food processor add ½-cup pistachios, olive oil and half cup of water. Process until a paste is formed.
  • Add in chickpeas, garlic cloves, lemon juice and remainder of water. Process until hummus consistency is reached.
  • Stir in 1/4 cup of chopped pistachios and pepper.

Serve with veggies or pita chips.

Avocado Tuna Dip

It is always good to eat more seafood. To help you get the recommendation of at least 2-3 seafood meals weekly, try this delicious tuna and avocado dip.  It’s easy to make and getting in your omega 3 fatty acids never tasted so good.


1 can (12 oz) drained or 2 pouches (5 oz or 6.4 oz each) tuna.tuna-dip-pita
1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted
 and mashed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons freshly minced onion
4 drops hot pepper sauce


In a medium bowl, flake tuna and gently fold in remaining ingredients. Serve with your pita chips, fresh cut vegetables or create an original and festive holiday serving dish by using the hollowed-out avocado shells to hold the dip. It also makes a great stuffing in a whole wheat pita.

Serves 6. Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 90       Total Fat: 1 Protein: 8g

Bean and Corn Chili

Enjoy a meatless chili.


2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, dicedchilli

1 tsp Cayenne pepper

1/4 cup chopped cilantros

2 tsp dried oregano

2 cups of corn (frozen or sautéed corn cut from 4 cobs)

2 (14.5 oz) cans stewed tomatoes Mexican style

1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans, no added sodium or drain and rinse

2 tsp chicken bouillon granules

1-cup water

¼ tsp black pepper

1 ½ cup tomato sauce, unsalted

2 Tbsp tomato paste unsalted

12 oz shredded reduced fat cheese

optional: add 1/2 pound of extra lean browned ground turkey


  1. In a large pot, cook onion and cilantro in oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Stir in the cayenne pepper and oregano and cook 1 additional minute.
  2. Stir in the corn, tomatoes, kidney beans, chicken bouillon granules, water, pepper, tomato sauce and tomato paste.
  3. Cook uncovered until heated and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
  4. Place chili in a bowl, sprinkle ¼ cup of shredded cheese on top. Place whole grain chips around sides of bowl for dipping or eat it as a wrap.

Grilled Vegetables and Portobello Mushroom Burgers . Adopted from

full-portabella-sandwichWho needs a burger?  Grilled Portobello mushrooms are sumptuous, juicy and a mouthful!  This large meal is less than 400 calories.


  • 3 mini bell peppers (red, yellow, green)potabella-spread
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Portobello mushroom caps (stem removed)
  • 4 slices red onion
  • 4 teaspoons reduced fat mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 ounces reduced fat cheese, thinly sliced
  • 4 slices tomato
  • 16 fresh basil leaves, divided
  • 4 Whole grain hamburger buns


1. Remove grill and spray with oil. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, or for charcoal grill wait until charcoal has turned white.

2. Place bell peppers onto the hot grill and cook until skin is completely charred on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes. Place the pepper into a paper bag, seal the bag, and let the pepper cool. When cooled, remove the charred skin, remove the seeds and then thinly slice the peppers into halves and set aside. Add the onions and grill until slightly browned, then set aside.

3.  Mix pepper into the olive oil in a small bowl. Brush the smooth side of the mushrooms with the seasoned oil and grill, oiled side down, until the mushrooms show grill marks (about 3 minutes or up to 10 minutes per side on a charcoal grill). Brush the grilled sides of the mushrooms with more seasoned olive oil, flip the mushrooms, and grill until the mushrooms are softened and juicy. Keep the mushrooms warm.

4. Toast the buns on the grill.  Mix the mayonnaise and garlic in a bowl.

5.  Spread each roll with garlic mayonnaise. Add 1 mushroom cap, 1 ounce sliced cheese, 1 slice of tomato, 4 basil leaves, 1 slice of grilled onion, and 1/4 of the roasted red pepper slices per sandwich.

Something to drink besides beer! Get an infusion water bottle and create a fruity delicious drink to sip on between alcoholic beverages. Cut your alcohol calories in half and cutting back on the “spirits” will help you remember what happened during the game.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 9.52.20 AMLayer oranges slices and grapes into the bottle’s infusion chamber, then let the water infuse for 30 minutes to 1-hour at room temperature. You can infuse overnight in the fridge.

I hope your team wins!


Chris Nocera, producer ABC 13 KTRK-TV

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