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WICD Newschannel 15 :: News - In The Kitchen - Meijer: Tailgating

Meijer: Tailgating

“Healthy Tailgating Party”

WICD 15 Media Interview   

Maribel Alchin, MBA, RD, LDN, Meijer Dietitian and Healthy Living Advisor

                                 For more recipes visit




Football season is upon us which means it is also officially tailgating season!  Unfortunately, tailgating also comes with a slew of unhealthy food.  Here are some tips for a healthy tailgating party.

Tips for a great tailgate:

1.    The Menu:  Plan a menu that takes advantage of foods in peak season, from grilled zucchini early in the tailgate season, to chili topped potatoes later in the season. Also, plan your menu to balance out your “labor”.  Don’t include too many dishes that require extensive time or effort.  Balance more complex dishes with simple to prepare items or pick up pre-made items (such as Meijer deli meat trays, vegetable trays, salads and fruit platters).

2.    Offer a variety of foods:  Include several healthy options and add in a few indulgent treats for fun.  Balance high calories foods, such as bratwurst, with fresh vegetables and light dips.

3.    Have snacks available:  Fruit, nuts, crackers, cheese, chips, dips, hummus; you get the idea.  Make sure that food is available whenever your tailgating guests are enjoying alcoholic beverages.  For a lighter sweet treats, serve sliced Michigan Apples with light caramel apple dip (coat apple slices with pineapple juice to prevent browning).

4.    Keep it safe:  Hot foods need to be kept hot—a propane or charcoal grill can help to keep foods warm outdoors.  Keep cold foods chilled using coolers packed with plenty of ice.  Store coolers in a shaded area (even when it’s cool outside—the heat of the sun can raise the temperature inside the cooler).

5.    Have plenty of non-alcoholic options available.  Water, carbonated beverages, tea (iced or hot), and coffee drinks are great options to alcohol.  Try preparing special beverages for your guests, such as a simple blend of pink lemonade (2/3 cup) with cranberry juice (1/3 cup).

 Here are some healthy alternatives that are sure to impress the crowd at your next tailgate party.


Sesame Glazed Cauliflower Wings

Serves 4



½ cup low sodium soy sauce

¼ cup honey

½ tbsp. grated ginger

1 tbsp. sesame oil

¼ cup rice vinegar

1-2 green onions, sliced

1 tbsp. sesame seeds


1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets

½ cup all purpose flour

½ cup lowfat milk

½ tsp. McCormick garlic powder



1.    Preheat your oven to 450°F, and spray a baking sheet with oil or cooking spray.

2.    Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a bowl.

3.    Coat cauliflower with milk.  Toss cauliflower in flour until thoroughly coated.  Arrange the cauliflower on the baking sheet in a single layer.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.

4.    Remove from the oven and pour the sauce over the cauliflower.  Return to oven for another 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven and gently flip and toss the cauliflower in the sauce on the sheet.  Return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

5.    Place the cauliflower on a serving plate or bowl, and if desired, sprinkle with some additional green onions and/or sesame seeds.  If desired, pour any remaining sauce off of the baking sheet into a bowl for dipping.


Recipe adapted from




Tandoori Chicken

Serves 4


6 oz. Meijer Greek plain nonfat yogurt

2 tsp. McCormick garam masala

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 jalapeño pepper, chopped

2 tbsp. seasoned rice wine vinegar

1 lb. chicken thighs, boneless, skinless


1.    For marinade, in a small bowl, combine yogurt, garam masala, garlic, jalapeño pepper, and rice wine vinegar.

2.    Place chicken in a large resealable plastic bag.  Add the marinade.  Seal bag and turn to coat chicken well.  Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours, turning bag occasionally.

3.    Remove chicken from marinade.  Discard marinade.  Grill over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes or until chicken internal temperature reads 165 F. 

4.    Serve chicken on naan bread.  Top with cucumber, tomato and onion.  Fold naan in half.

Toppings: Sliced cucumber, onion, and tomato

Recipe from Chef Maribel Alchin, MBA, RD, LDN, Registered Dietitian and Meijer Healthy Living Advisor


Apple Nachos

Serves 4


3 slightly tart apples (honeycrisp or granny smith), sliced

1 tsp. lemon juice or pineapple juice

3 tbsp. creamy natural peanut butter

¼ cup sliced almonds

¼ cup flaked sweetened coconut

¼ cup chocolate chips


1.    Place thinly sliced apples on a platter.  Coat apple slices with lemon or pineapple juice to keep them from browning.

2.    Melt peanut butter until it’s super runny and drizzle it all over the apple slices.

3.    Top the apple slices with almonds, coconut, and chocolate chips.


Recipe adapted from





Meijer: Tailgating

Wednesday, April 23 2014, 10:23 AM CDT

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