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Healthy Tailgate Recipes

by Racer X Virtual Trainer


Two things you can count on at the Racer X home office in Morgantown, WV: our love for motocross and our fanatical support of the West Virginia Mountaineers. When we are not out racing, we can usually be found tailgating. Morgantown is home to West Virginia University and most of the Racer X crew not only grew up in Morgantown but went to school at WVU as well. Although the office is divided when it comes to pro football, it's a pretty good bet if you root for the Steelers you'll get a seat at the good table. Football and motocross may not have a lot in common but one thing they do share is tailgating.

One of the best parts of watching the game or going to the races is hanging out with good friends and chowing down on great food. But many traditional game-day and track-side favorites are loaded with calories and fat. Don't kill your race on Sunday by making poor food decisions at the game on Saturday.

Smart Food Swaps

  • Pork Bratwurst for Turkey Brats: It’s a difference of 450 calories and 37 grams of fat for the pork, versus 160 calories and 9 grams of fat for the turkey. Still boil in beer and soak in mustard and they’re really quite tasty.
  • Burgers for Chicken Sandwiches: A 6 oz. angus beef patty yields 500 calories and 43 grams of fat, whereas a 6 oz. grilled chicken breast yields 281 calories at 6 grams of fat. Season any way you like, and still add a slice of reduced-fat cheese!
  • Queso for Salsa: Choose a baked corn chip and feel free to dip into a fresh or store-bought salsa. Just two tablespoons of the cheese dip has 40 calories and 2.5 grams of fat. Hearty salsas offer about 10-15 calories and zero fat per two tablespoons. Also consider guacamole or hummus.

Whether you tailgate at the stadium or go to the races all weekend, tackle game/race-day overindulgence with this collection of healthy tailgating recipes.

Guacamole with Chipotle Tortilla Chips (

Making your own chips gives you the same crunchy flavor without all of the fat of regular tortilla chips. These chipotle–flavored chips highlight the fresh ingredients in the guacamole. Serve guacamole for a creamy dip that is rich in heart-healthy fats.

Recipe: Guacamole with Chipotle Tortilla Chips





Barbecue Pork-and-Coleslaw Hoagies (

Transport the slaw, pork, and rolls separately and allow fellow fans to assemble their sandwiches at the tailgate. Making your own creamy slaw results in less fat and calories than a store–bought counterpart.

Recipe: Barbecue Pork-and-Coleslaw Hoagies





White Bean and Turkey Chili (

When the temperature starts to drop, a warm bowl of this hearty chili does just the trick to put you in the football mood. Transfer the chili to your tailgate in a slow–cooker and keep it warm in there throughout the day. Substituted chopped cooked chicken for the turkey, if desired.

Recipe: White Bean and Turkey Chil





Chilled Garlic Dip (

Extremely simple to make, the chilled garlic dip has three ingredients: lite cream cheese, garlic and milk. This appetizer only has 58 calories per serving. Serve this zesty dip with reduced-fat ruffles or veggies.

Recipe: Chilled Garlic Dip



Homemade Hummus with Pita and Veggies (

In just 10 minutes, you can have this homemade spread ready to go. A party favorite, the hummus only has 3 grams of fat and 50 calories per serving. It also has 2 grams of fiber. Provide fresh pita slices, carrots, celery, and other veggies for dipping.

Recipe: Homemade Hummus with Pita and Veggies




BBQ Hot Wings

Indulge your desire for barbeque with fresh hot wings. Each wing is only 170 calories and has 9 grams of protein.

Recipe: BBQ Hot Wings





Smothered Burgers (

A tailgate wouldn't be complete without a juicy burger, and this recipe will save you more than 11 grams of fat compared to the typical drive-thru cheeseburger. Ground round is an especially lean cut of beef that also gives you more than 4 grams of iron.

The combination of mushrooms, onions, and Swiss cheese makes a mouthwatering topping (with vital nutrients). And if you have vegetarians at your tailgate, try these Smoked Cheddar and Lentil Burgers.

Recipe: Smothered Burgers


Blueberry Cheesecake Bars (

This easy cheesecake recipe serves 20 and doesn’t require a special cheesecake pan. So they’re a perfect dessert to take to any party or picnic.

Recipe: Blueberry Cheesecake Bars



Chunky Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars (

These delicious peanut butter bars combine chocolate chips and chunky peanut butter into a crowd-pleasing, easy to make dessert for only 110 calories.

Recipe: Chunky Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars



That's it for now, until next time, good luck with your training and remember, if you have a question, log on to the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum and have your question answered by a panel of experts. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section. Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness. VT Signature

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