Healthy Tailgate Recipes: Skirt Steak Wraps, Pork Kebabs and More

‘Tis the season for football, and with football comes my favorite part of all sports: Tailgating! It’s usually synonymous with greasy (if delicious) foods that accompany the excitement of the game. For many tailgaters, whether the party is at home or at the stadium, the food is also a vehicle to bring people together to enjoy a festive event.

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There are a lot of football games during football season, guys, and if you want to enjoy partying with our friends and family, filled with typical tailgating food, you’ll be hard pressed to keep your weight down into the holiday season.

What to do? Let’s take some tailgating favorites and transform them into some healthier versions. No alfalfa sprouts here, just some additions and substitutions to make sure you can wear your jeans, and, if you’ve got kids, to be able to throw a football together!

Skirt Steak Wraps with Cilantro Lime Sauce


for the steak:

1 pound skirt steak
Olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper

for the sauce:

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro
1 teaspoon chopped, seeded jalapeno
juice of one lime
2 teaspoons mayonnaise
Pinch of salt

for the wrap:

4 white or whole wheat flour tortillas
3 cups lettuce
1 peeled carrot, grated

1. Brush steak with olive oil.
2. Sprinkle steak with cumin, salt and pepper.
3. Grill steak over high heat for at least 3-4 minutes per side until desired doneness.
4. Set aside for five minutes.
5. Thinly slice against the grain.
6. Puree all sauce ingredients in a blender until smooth.
7. Lay out tortillas and spread on cilantro sauce.
8. Pile on steak, lettuce and carrots.
9. Roll up the wrap.

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Pork Kebobs with Carrot Ginger Dressing



for the pork:

1 pound pork tenderloin
Olive oil
Garlic powder

for the dressing:

2 small, peeled carrots
4 tablespoons mirin (available at Whole Foods or any Asian market)
4 tablespoons regular Japanese rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh, grated ginger
1/2-inch slice of a small red onion
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 small clove of garlic
Pinch of salt
Canola oil (optional)

1. Soak skewers in water for a few minutes.
2. Slice the pork tenderloin thinly.
3. Drizzle pork with olive oil.
4. Sprinkle pork with garlic powder.
5. Skewer onto 4-inch bamboo sticks.
6. Grill until fully cooked (cut into the center to make sure the slices are opaque)
7. Meanwhile, puree all sauce ingredients in a food processor until smooth; add a little canola oil to make it creamier  (optional).
8. Drizzle dressing over pork kebobs.

Grilled Apple Sausages with Honey Mustard Sauce



for the sausages:
4  pork or chicken apple sausages

for the sauce:
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
1 teaspoon lemon juice

1. Grill the sausages until heated or cooked through (if raw).
2. Slice the sausages into 1/2-inch slices.
3. Mix sauce ingredients until fully combined.
4. Drizzle  sauce over hot sausage slices and serve with forks or toothpicks.

Chipotle Hummus



4 cups cooked chick peas from a can
1/2 cup sesame tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
3 teaspoons ground cumin spice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce from a can, more to taste
1 cup water

1. Add all ingredients to food processor.
2. Puree until all ingredients are fully pureed and as smooth or chunky as you like.
3. Serve in a serving bowl with an extra drizzle of olive oil on top.

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