Heart Healthy Tailgating Tips
CW50 “hearts” football, and this season, we’ve teamed up with the American Heart Association and prepared a list of heart-healthy tailgating tips you can take advantage of all season long!
Grab your favorite team’s jersey and get ready for some tailgating fun that’s healthy AND delicious…
1. Go For Fish! Not the first thing you think of when you think “tailgating,” is it? Well, you should know that fish, especially oily fish like tuna and salmon, have great nutritional benefits including omega-3 fatty acids – which keep your heart running smooth…just like your favorite running back!
2. Make A Healthier Burger. Our favorite, just revved up! If you’re committed to a classic burger, remember to buy lean or extra-lean beef and drain off the excess fat after cooking. If you’re looking to cut back on red meat (and saturated fat), try a turkey burger! Either way, avoid an “illegal formation” – and remember, a serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards. Extra points for fans who use fat-free or low-fat cheese to top their burgers off!
3. Veggie Kabobs! This can be any line-up of your favorite veggies! Just load up skewers with mushrooms, peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, or whatever your heart desires…spray lightly with olive oil and grill until slightly blackened. Touchdown!
4. Grilled Corn On The Cob. So easy to prepare – high five! Leave the corn in the husks, grill for about 30 minutes over medium flame, and rotate occasionally. Remove from the grill, let cool for about 5 minutes, remove the husks and voila! Delicious, juicy, & healthy side.
5. Choose Chicken Breasts…instead of the darker, fattier meat like legs and thighs. Remember to remove the skin before throwing onto the grill for a lean, mean grilling favorite! That’s something to cheer about.
6. Use A Rack! When grilling up your favorites, remember to grill them on a rack so the fat drips away from the food. It’s the most effortless defense you’ll see all day!
7. Hydrate Like A Pro – Spring for a bottle of water instead of a soda, which is loaded with sugars and calories. Water will keep you feeling great all the way through the game – so you’re ready to cheer for each touchdown!
8. Healthy Desserts On The Grill: Grill your favorite fruits, such as pineapple slices, nectarines, peaches or plums – they all have natural sugars that caramelize with the heat and give them great flavor…can someone say yum?! This treat deserves its own touchdown dance.
9. Instead Of Potato Chips…which are high in saturated and trans fats, substitute raw veggies like cucumbers, carrots, and celery sticks – all the crunchiness, and good for you, too!
10. Remember To Watch Your Salt. Condiments like teriyaki, soy, and barbecue sauce are high in sodium levels – put them on the “reserve” list, and use them sparingly.
Looking to recruit a good-grilling recipe that’s delicious and nutritious? How does Grilled Chicken with Strawberry and Pineapple Salsa sound? Check out the recipe below!
Grilled pineapple, along with fresh mint and strawberries combine with tangy lemon and a bit of hot pepper flakes to make an flavorful salsa for grilled chicken.
1 teaspoon canola or corn oil
2 slices fresh pineapple, each 1/2 inch thick, patted dry
1 cup whole strawberries (about 5 ounces), diced
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
3 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium lemon
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 4 ounces each), all visible fat discarded
2 teaspoons salt-free steak seasoning blend
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the grill on medium high. Brush a grill pan or grill rack with the oil. Heat the grill pan or rack on the grill for about 2 minutes, or until hot. Grill the pineapple for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool slightly, about 2 minutes, before chopping.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the remaining salsa ingredients except the lemon. Grate 1 teaspoon lemon zest, reserving the lemon. Stir the zest and chopped pineapple into the strawberry mixture. Set aside.
Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the seasoning blend and salt. Grill for 5 minutes on each side, or until no longer pink in the center. Transfer to plates. Squeeze the reserved lemon over the chicken. Serve with the salsa on the side.
Quick and easy heart-healthy tailgating tips and recipes will keep your heart in check all season long – prepared for you by CW50, the American Heart Association, and the Michigan Department of Community Health – making sure you have a fun-filled and healthy football season!
For more recipes and heart-healthy tips, visit the American Heart Association website at heart.org. Go team!