It's officially tailgating season! While burgers and buffalo chicken dip are some of our favorites, they're certainly not the best for the body. So today we're giving you a few of the tastiest, healthiest tailgating recipes we've tried. Give them a shot this weekend! We promise you won't be disappointed.
1. Sweet Potato Skins
- 2 medium or large sweet potatoes
- 1 ½ tablespoons butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 bag fresh baby spinach
- ¼ cup light sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 2 ounces light cream cheese
- 1 cup chickpeas
- ¼ cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake sweet potatoes until tender, about 45 to 60 minutes. Let cool briefly, then cut in half.
- In a skillet set over medium heat, melt the butter. Add shallots and cook until beginning to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted, another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh of each sweet potato half, being sure to leave enough that skins hold their shape. Add cream cheese and sour cream to potato flesh and mash. Stir in chickpeas and spinach. Season with salt and pepper, and mix to combine.
- Drizzle a bit of oil over each skin, then bake for about 5 minutes to crisp. Add chickpea-sweet potato mixture to each skin, then top with mozzarella. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbling. Serve.
2. Baked Avocado Fries
- 2 firm avocados
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups panko or regular breadcrumbs
- Cooking spray
- Prepare the ingredients for the breaded coating in three separate wide, shallow bowls. Whisk the flour, salt, and pepper in the first bowl, beat the eggs, and place the breadcrumbs in the third bowl. Arrange the bowls in an assembly line: flour mixture, eggs, then breadcrumbs. Place a baking sheet next to the bowl of breadcrumbs.
- Use a chef's knife to halve the avocados, cutting from the stem end to the base. Remove and discard the pits. Cut each half into 6 (½-inch-wide) slices, and remove and discard the skin.
- Working with one avocado slice at a time, coat in flour, then egg, and finally breadcrumbs. Start with coating in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Dip the flour-coated avocado slice in egg, making sure the egg completely coats the slice. Roll the avocado slice in the breadcrumbs. Make sure it is fully covered and well coated.
- Place the breaded avocado slice on the baking sheet. Repeat the process with all the slices, spacing them about 1-inch apart on the baking sheet.
- Spray the avocado fries with cooking spray. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the fries are golden-brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven halfway through cooking and flip each avocado fry over with a flat spatula or tongs to ensure it cooks and browns evenly.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let cool 2 to 3 minutes before serving.
3. Buffalo Wing Popcorn
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 8 cups popped plain popcorn
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup hot sauce
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly coat parchment and a large bowl with nonstick spray; add popcorn to bowl. Set baking sheet aside.
- Bring sugar and ¼ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil, swirling pan occasionally, until caramel is a deep amber color, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Remove from heat; stir in hot sauce and butter (mixture will bubble vigorously). Return to a boil and cook another 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in salt, baking soda, and cayenne. Working quickly and carefully (caramel will be very hot), pour caramel mixture over popcorn and toss to coat.
- Spread out popcorn on prepared baking sheet and bake, tossing once, until dry, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool.
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