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Tailgate at home with healthier nachos, burgers and more

Want to tailgate in the comfort of your own home? Well, "homegating" is all about having delicious eats, and Daina Falk, of The Hungry Fan, shares her recipes for nachos, chicken burgers and mac 'n cheese — which are full of flavor but less fat than bar food.

Healthy nachos, Mediterranean-style

Ingredients

    • 1 bag of Stacy
    • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
    • 2/3 cup tomatoes, diced
    • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
    • 2/3 cup romaine lettuce, shaved
    • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 can chickpeas
    • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
    • Juice of 2 lemons
    • 3 tablespoons tahini
    • Sea salt
    • 4 to 5 ice cubes
    • 1 cup 2% reduced fat Greek Yogurt
    • 1 small cucumber — half finely diced, half diced small (but larger than the other half)
    • Black pepper
    • 1 sprig of dill, finely chopped

Preparation

Baking Directions:

To make the hummus:Drain the chickpeas (and de-skin them if you choose for creamier hummus).  Blend in a food processor, dropping in the ice cubes one by one. (This helps create a very smooth texture).  Once blended, put them in a bowl and add the juice of one lemon, 2 crushed garlic cloves, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well. Add water if a thinner consistency (similar to nacho cheese or refried beans) is preferred.To make the tzatziki:In a bowl combine the Greek yogurt, the rest of the garlic, the remainder of the lemon juice, the dill, a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, the finely diced cucumbers, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.To make the nachos:Top the pita chips with a drizzling of the hummus. Add a healthy dollop of the tzatziki and sprinkle with the remaining cucumbers, the lettuce, the olives, the tomatoes and the feta.  Serve and enjoy!

The hungry fan's healthy mac and cheese
Servings:

Makes 15 servings

Ingredients

    • 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into small chunks
    • 2 cups of butternut squash, cut into small chunks
    • 3 large, fresh sage leaves, minced
    • Water
    • Sea salt
    • Black pepper
    • 1/2 of a 28 gram package of 2% reduced fat mild cheddar cheese, shredded
    • 1/2 cup fontina cheese, shredded
    • 1/2 to 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
    • 1 to 2 8oz. boxes of quinoa elbow pasta

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.Cook your pasta to al dente in a deep pot filled with boiling water.While the pasta is cooking, puree the cauliflower in a blender with splashes of water (to help it blend) and boil the squash until soft in another deep pot. Once the squash is soft, drain, put back into the pot and mash until smooth and free of lumps. (You could also throw the squash into the blender and smooth it that way).Into the pot with the squash, add in the pureed cauliflower, the sage, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. (Feel free to add diced shallots or onions here if you'd like for additional flavor). Stir well. Add about 75 percent of the cheddar cheese (leaving the rest to sprinkle on top of the mac) and all of the fontina. Simmer while stirring until all the cheese is melted in smoothly. Remove from heat.Once the pasta is cooked, drain, and add into the cheese/veggie mixture. Add any additional salt and pepper to taste, if necessary. Pour into a large casserole dish/Pyrex and top evenly with the remaining cheddar cheese and the Parmesan. Bake for approximately 30 minutes.  (Do not let the top burn).Serve and enjoy!

Summer chicken and peach burger
Servings:

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

    • 4 burger buns
    • 4 skinless chicken breast fillets
    • 2 cups baby spinach
    • 1 to 2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
    • 1 cup of 2% reduced fat Greek yogurt
    • 3 peaches, sliced long, wide, and thin (1/4 inch)
    • Lawry
    • Sea salt
    • Black Pepper
    • Lemon Juice
    • Extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In a bowl, mix the Greek yogurt with the rosemary, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of the sea salt, and a pinch of black pepper. Put aside.Season both sides of each chicken fillet with a pinch (what fits between your thumb and pointer fingertips) of Lawry's and black pepper  Sprinkle with lemon juice (to taste — you can always add more lemon juice while the chicken cooks).Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add in the chicken fillets and cook until about 2/3 of the way done. Then move the chicken fillets to the grill/stovetop grill pan to finish cooking and to give the chicken the classic grill markings. (Cook until golden brown and there are dark, but not burned, grill marks).Now it's time to build your burger. Spread the Greek yogurt aioli on a bun, top with the chicken, peach slices, and baby spinach. (You can also add a soft, white cheese if you'd like).  Top with the other half of the bun and serve!

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