Healthy tailgating recipes

DETROIT - Three Bean Turkey Chili


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced (1 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (1 cup)
  • 2 carrots, diced (1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey or extra-lean ground beef (90 percent lean)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from the can of chipotles
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed


1.      Heat the oil in large pot or Dutch oven over moderate heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and carrots, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the cumin and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

2.      Add the ground turkey; raise the heat to high and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until the meat is no longer pink.

3.      Stir in the tomatoes, water, chipotle and adobo sauce, oregano and salt and pepper.

4.      Simmer, partially covered, stirring from time to time, for 30 minutes. Stir in the beans and cook, partially covered, 20 minutes longer. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.


Cheesey Spinach Dip Recipe

This cheesy spinach dip recipe will be an incredible hit at any party. It is super easy and healthy. Serve this heart healthy spinach dip with veggies or whole grain crackers


·         8 oz fat free cream cheese, softened

·         1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

·         10 oz fresh spinach or 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained

·         1 can (15 oz) artichoke hearts, diced

·         2 garlic cloves, mashed

·         Black pepper to taste

·         1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, optional


·         Preheat oven to 250°.

·         In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, spinach and artichokes until well combined. Add garlic and pepper. Spread mixture evenly in small casserole dish or cast-iron skillet. Sprinkle with Parmesan, if using.

·         Bake for 20 minutes. Turn broiler on high and broil under the top rack of broiler for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Grilled Fruit with Crème Fresh Sauce


Assorted seasonal fruit (stone fruit, pineapple, apples, pears)

·         Oil the grill well to keep the fruit from sticking.

·         Cut the fruit into large slices or wedges

·         Cook the fruit over low heat and not directly over the flame, turning occasionally. Watch carefully: the cooking time is quite short. You want the fruit cooked but not falling apart or mushy. Remove when tender and caramelized.

1 pint sour cream, Greek yogurt or Crème Fresh
1-2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup water

1 tsp of vanilla paste (optional)

Garnish with crush pistachio nuts and thyme or mint leaves


Turkey Spinach Avocado Burger

Use lean ground turkey for this all-time favorite recipe as an easy way to reduce the fat usually found in ground hamburger or beef.  This is a quick and easy way to get protein in your diet and cut down on the fat you get from a regular hamburger.


2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 - 3 cups baby spinach, chopped

1 lb. ground turkey

1 small egg

6 whole wheat burger buns

3 tbsp. of water

2 tbsp. of olive oil

2 tsp. salt 

Pepper to taste



1 avocado, sliced

5 slices of tomato

extra baby spinach for burger topping

Low-fat mayo or mustard (optional)


1. Prep all food items as directed above, then add two tablespoon of water to the pan.

2. Over medium heat, cook garlic for about 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add in 2 -3 cups of spinach and cook until spinach is cooked down. Remove from heat and let cool for about 3 minutes.

3. In a separate bowl, add one egg, turkey, spinach/garlic mixture, salt and pepper to the ground turkey. Use hands to fold and combine the turkey mixture, be careful not to over mix. Tip: Use 1/3 cup measure to mold evenly portioned patties.

4. Add olive oil to the pan that you sautéed the spinach and garlic in. Pre-heat for 30 seconds. Cook patties for 2-3 minutes on each side. Check temperature for proper doneness. Tip: The Spinach turkey burgers should reach and internal temperature of 160F.

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