October 2013 > Healthier Tailgating

Healthy Recipe of the Month

Tailgating: There's a Healthier Way

One of the best parts of watching the big game is enjoying delicious food. But many traditional game-day favorites are loaded with calories—the average fan can take in an estimated 1,200 calories in one sitting!

Score points with your fellow fans by putting a healthy twist on standards like Southwestern Layered Bean Dip or Chile Con Queso or try something entirely new from Eating Well's collection of healthy tailgating recipes. Whether you’re packing a cooler for a tailgating party or just having a few friends over to watch the game, tackle game-day overindulgence by choosing healthier options.

Chile Con Queso

Now you can enjoy this Tex-Mex dip without all the fat and calories. This version replace some of the cheese with a low-fat white sauce and uses sharp Cheddar plus a splash of beer to boost the flavor. These simple changes cut the calories in half and reduce total fat and saturated fat by nearly 60 percent.

Serving Size: 1/4 cup

Chile Con Queso. Image for October 2013 Newsletter


  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup pale ale, or other light-colored beer
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk, divided
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 3/4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar, preferably orange
  • 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles, (see Note), drained, or 1 1/4 cups drained petite-diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Total Per Serving: Calories - 84, Carbs - 5 gm, Fat - 5 gm, Protein - 4 gm.


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic and stir until soft and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add beer and cook until reduced slightly, about 1 minute.
  4. Add 1 cup milk and bring to a simmer.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to the pan and cook, stirring vigorously, until bubbling and thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat to low, add cheese and cook, stirring, until melted.
  7. Stir in drained tomatoes, lime juice, salt, chili powder and cayenne (if using).
  8. Serve warm, garnished with scallions and cilantro.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Slowly reheat on the stove over medium heat or on Medium in the microwave.

Note: Rotel brand diced tomatoes with green chiles works well in this dip. Choose original or mild, depending on your spice preference.

Southwestern Layered Bean Dip

Plenty of black beans, salsa and chopped fresh vegetables mean a healthy amount of dietary fiber in this Tex-Mex layered dip. Reduced-fat sour cream along with full-fat (and full-flavored) cheese combine to make the dip lighter without compromising great taste. Be sure to have lots of baked tortilla chips on hand when you serve it.

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Layered Bean Dip. Image for October 2013 Newsletter


  • 1 16-ounce can nonfat refried beans, preferably “spicy”
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup prepared salsa
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeño slices, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack, or Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 medium avocado, chopped
  • 1/4 cup canned sliced black olives, (optional)

Total Per Serving: Calories - 146, Carbs - 15 gm, Fat - 7 gm, Protein - 7 gm.


  1. Combine refried beans, black beans, scallions, salsa, cumin, chili powder and jalapeños in a medium bowl.
  2. Transfer to a shallow 2-quart microwave-safe dish; sprinkle with cheese.
  3. Microwave on High until the cheese is melted and the beans are hot, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Spread sour cream evenly over the hot bean mixture, then scatter with lettuce, tomato, avocado and olives (if using).

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 1, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. To serve, continue with Steps 2 & 3.

Source: Eating Well

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