Sep 26, 2014 9:00 AM

Author: Office of Public Affairs

University of Utah’s homecoming game against Washington State is this weekend. Chicken wings, chips and dip might be on the tailgating menu, but remember: Cheering burns few calories, so no need to eat like a linebacker. Watch your portions, and enjoy these healthier versions of your favorite football foods.

Southwestern Layered Bean Dip

Layered bean dip is a tailgating favorite, and this recipe is a touchdown. It’s easy to make, and you can prepare it the night before the game. Enjoy it with whole-wheat tortilla wedges or low-fat pita chips.


16-ounce can of nonfat refried beans

15-ounce can black beans, rinsed

4 scallions, sliced

½ cup prepared salsa

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon chili powder

¼ cup pickled jalapeño slices, chopped

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

½ cup reduced-fat sour cream

1½ cups romaine lettuce, chopped

1 medium tomato, chopped

1 medium avocado, chopped

¼ cup canned sliced black olives


  1. Mix beans, scallions, salsa, spices and jalapeños in a bowl.
  2. Transfer to a shallow two-quart microwave-safe dish, and sprinkle with cheese.
  3. Microwave on high until the cheese is melted and the beans are hot, about three to five minutes.
  4. Spread sour cream evenly over the hot bean mixture. Top with lettuce, tomato, avocado and olives just before serving. 


Per ½-cup serving (makes 12): 146 calories; 7 g fat; 12 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrates; 7 g protein; 5 g fiber; 288 mg sodium; 164 mg potassium.


Skinny Buffalo Wings and Low-Fat Blue Cheese Dressing

Buffalo wings and football go together like peanut butter and jelly. This recipe has all the flavor of traditional wings but a third of the fat. Paired with celery and low-fat dip, it’s a sensible substitute. 


3 pounds (about 18) chicken wings

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons of hot sauce

¼ cup white vinegar

2 tablespoons oregano

4 teaspoons paprika

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon chili powder

sprinkle of salt and fresh pepper

2 celery stalks, sliced into strips 


  1. In a large bowl, mix vinegar, spices and 2 tablespoons of hot sauce.
  2. Add chicken to mixture, coating evenly.
  3. Marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Place wings on a broiler rack, and broil on low until chicken is cooked, about 10 to 12 minutes on each side.
  5. Heat the remaining hot sauce until warm, then toss with chicken.
  6. Serve with celery strips and blue cheese dressing (recipe below). 


Per two-wing serving (makes nine servings): 204 calories; 5.4 g fat; 2.3 g carbohydrates; 24 g protein; 0.6 g fiber.


Low-Fat Blue Cheese Dressing


⅓ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

⅓ cup nonfat buttermilk

⅓ cup nonfat plain yogurt

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

¼ cup (1 ounce) crumbled blue cheese


  1. Whisk all ingredients except blue cheese in a medium bowl.
  2. Gently fold in blue cheese crumbles and stir until incorporated. 


Per two-tablespoon serving (makes 20 servings): 38 calories; 3 g fat; 4 mg cholesterol; 2 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 0 g fiber; 215 mg sodium; 8 mg potassium. 


Build a Healthier Burger

Are burgers on the tailgating menu? Transform a diet-busting burger into a healthy and nutritious meal. This infographic shows you how. 

recipes diet nutrition

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