You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.
Posted on 08-30-2017
Fabulous Fan Fare
Healthy Tailgating Foods to Cheer For
by Judith Fertig
Eat, play, party… and repeat. We may call it tailgating, fangating, homegating, a watch party or simply eating with friends before a big game. According to the American Tailgaters Association, in St. Paul, Minnesota, an estimated 50 million Americans tailgate annually.
Whether we’re on the road or at home, making the menu healthy is a winning strategy for hosts and guests. Here, two experts divulge their winning ways.
Says Debbie Moose, author of Fan Fare: A Playbook of Great Recipes for Tailgating or Watching the Game at Home, Ivy League schools like Princeton and Yale claim credit for a pregame picnic that 19th-century sports fans packed into their horse and buggy for local road trips. Moose lives in the tailgate trifecta of the North Carolina triangle, home to Duke, North Carolina and Wake Forest universities. She enjoyed discovering that University of Washington sports fans from the Seattle area like to sail to their chosen picnic spots, while University of Hawaii folks grill fish on hibachis in Honolulu.
Moose naturally prefers healthy Southern-style fare such as deviled eggs and marinated green bean salad, which can be served hot, cold or at room temperature. “At the game or at home, your guests will be moving around, so go for foods that can be eaten with one hand,” she suggests.
She also plans her menu around color, universal appeal and variety because it’s healthier than just serving a mound of barbecued chicken wings and a big bowl of potato chips. She also likes recipes that can do double duty; her black bean summer salad with cherry tomatoes and corn can function as a colorful side dish or as a salsa for non-GMO blue corn chips. “Recipes that you can do ahead of time make things easier on game day; just pull them from the fridge and go,” says Moose.
Daina Falk, of New York City, grew up around professional athletes because her father, David Falk, is a well-known sports agent. Excitement-generating sports are in her blood and inspired her to write The Hungry Fan’s Game Day Cookbook. She knows that most of the tailgating in her area takes place for football and baseball games and NASCAR races. On HungryFan.com, Falk serves ups tips for every fangating/homegating occasion, from the Kentucky Derby to the Super Bowl.
“Keep your menu interesting,” says Falk. “I always like to feature a dish for each team. For instance, if you’re hosting an Alabama versus Washington watch party, you could feature an Alabama barbecue dish with white sauce and oysters or other fresh seafood. Both dishes are characteristic of the local foods in the universities’ respective hometowns.” Falk recommends buying more local beer than needed to make sure not to run out. Game day guests can get hot and thirsty, indoors or out. Supply lots of filtered water in non-breakable containers.
For easy entertaining, Falk recommends biodegradable dishes and cups. “Whenever there are a lot of people in one room, especially when they’re drinking, a glass will likely be broken,” she says. “Save yourself cleanup and the risk of glass shards by committing to temporary cups and plates that are Earth-friendly and compostable.”
Judith Fertig writes cookbooks and foodie fiction from Overland Park, KS (JudithFertig.com
There are no comments for this post. Please use the form below to post a comment.