Tailgate Food- Organic for the WIN!

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College football season is one of my absolute favorite times of the year, and the tailgating food that goes along with it is definitely a guilty pleasure. I used to love tailgating as a child and in my college years at Marshall University. There’s something about the warm days and jacket weather evenings that just makes me so happy.

Does a healthier tailgate exist?

Whether you are headed to a game, hosting or attending a viewing party, making game-day food is a must, but is there such a thing as a healthier tailgate? Part of what I love is loading up a plate with lots of great food and catching up with friends and family. Believe it or not, you can make most popular dishes in an organic version (Need to know why to buy organic?) However, I must make a DISCLAIMER! Just because what you are making is a cleaner version does NOT necessarily make the calorie count low. Game days are not for calorie counting in my opinion, and I refuse to skip the cheese (and beer)!  Below you will find 10 of our faves. This includes cleaner ingredient lists for a healthier tailgate and also where you can get them (at the bottom of this post). Grab your Crockpots, BYOB and enjoy the game. Go Herd!

fourganic sisters
Darrah, Alissa, and Jodi tailgating (pre-kids!!)

Our top 10 tailgate dishes

Philly Cheese Sloppy Joe Sliders

Jalapeño Popper Dip

Sausage Balls

Cowboy Caviar

Soft Pretzels with Cheddar Beer Sauce

Crockpot Balls

Pepperoni Rolls (a WV fave)

Pigs in a blanket

Buffalo Chicken Dip or Pinwheels

Potato Skins

Who doesn't love sliders? There are so many types of sliders out there and the person who started making a whole tray of little sandwiches in one pan? GENIUS! This makes it super easy to make and clean up and a beefy cheesy option is always a hit at the tailgate.

Philly Cheese Sloppy Joe Sliders

1 lb Organic ground beef

1 package of dinner rolls (not Hawaiian)

1 cup Organic beef broth

1 tablespoon corn starch

2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce

1 cup Organic bell pepper

1 cup diced onion

1 cup mushrooms (optional)

8 slices Organic provolone

Sauce Topping:

4 tablespoons melted Butter

1 tablespoon steak seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook beef over med-high heat and cook until browned. Combine the beef broth with the cornstarch and Worcestershire. Add to beef and simmer until thickened.

In a separate skillet, cook peppers and onions over medium heat until soft. Once soft, stir in the mushrooms (optional) and continue to cook until they begin to brown.

Grease the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Cut the rolls or slider buns in half and place the bottoms in the pan. Top with 4 slices of Provolone cheese. Spread the beef on top of the cheese. Then add the peppers, onions, and mushrooms on top of the beef. Top with the remaining cheese slices and place the tops of the rolls on top of the cheese slices.

Mix ingredients of sauce topping together. Brush the tops of the rolls with the sauce mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and tops are golden brown.

I love dips, and this is one that I can totally eat piping hot or at room temp, so it's perfect for a tailgate. This will give you all the delicious flavor of a jalepeno popper but without the labor-intensive prep, so it's a great choice for a busy day.

 

Jalapeño Popper Dip:

4 Jalapeños washed, seeded, ribbed and chopped or (4 oz of jarred chopped)

1 can diced green chilies

1 bar Organic cream cheese

1.5 cups grated Organic cheddar

6 slices of uncured bacon cooked crispy and crumbled

½ teaspoon Organic onion powder

¼ teaspoon Organic garlic powder

Buttery crackers (Townhouse) or Mini toasts for dipping

 

There are several recipes for this one floating around out there. This one is definitely one of my faves.

Jalepeno Popper Dip Recipe/Instructions

Many people think about sausage balls as a holiday treat, but let's be honest, I could eat an entire tray of these any time of year. This is another one that you don't have to keep hot, but a quick warning... you may want to make a double batch because these poppable bites will go fast.

sausage balls fourganic sisters

Sausage Balls:

1 lb hot sausage

3 cups biscuit mix

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

8 oz (one block) Organic sharp cheddar cheese grated

 

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients together. Roll into 1 inch balls. Bake 15 minutes @ 350 degrees.

This is the perfect contrast to all of that meaty, cheesy, heavy tailgate food. This is also a great vegetarian option for a healthier tailgate! Don't forget to grab a few bags of your favorite Organic tortilla chips to go with.

fourganic sisters healthy tailgate recipes

Cowboy Caviar:

1 (15 oz) can Organic Black Beans

1 (15 oz) can Organic Corn

1 (15oz) Organic Diced Tomato with Chilies

3 Organic Green Onions chopped

2 Organic Bell Peppers any colors diced

1/4 bunch of fresh Cilantro chopped (1/4 cup)

1-2 Avocados diced (optional)

Dressing:

1-2 Lime squeezed (about 2 tablespoons)

1/4 teaspoon Organic Chili Powder

1/4 teaspoon Salt

1/4 cup EVOO

Instructions:

Rinse black beans and corn in strainer. Add Diced tomatoes and allow to strain but do not rinse. Put into a mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients. In a separate bowl or mason jar, mix together dressing ingredients. Once lime juice and EVOO are fully incorporated pour on top, mix gently with a spoon and chill in the fridge. If you are adding avocado, wait to add until just before serving, so they don't brown. Serve with Organic Tortilla chips.

Soft Pretzels are something that you would think you can only get at the concession stand. Not only are these delicious but the dipping sauce really just takes it to another level. This is another vegetarian option but you can always grill up some sausages to go with it.

Soft Pretzels with Cheddar Beer Sauce:

1 packet or ¼ oz active dry yeast

1 ½ cups warm water

1 tablespoon sugar

4 ½ cups Organic unbleached APF

2/3 cup baking soda

½ cup Organic egg whites

4 tablespoons Organic unsalted butter melted

Vegetable oil for greasing pans

2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more for topping

1 Organic egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water beaten together

 

This recipe turned out great for me! Soft Pretzel Bite Recipe

 

Cheddar Beer Sauce:

½  cup beer

1-1 ½ Tablespoon Organic flour

1 cup Organic cheddar cheese shredded

½  tsp Worcestershire sauce

¼  tsp dry mustard

¼  tsp Organic paprika

salt and pepper to taste

 

This is a super simple recipe that you can easily double... Cheddar Beer Sauce Recipe

These sweet and savory meatballs are always a favorite at parties. They are super simple to make and delicious. My friend Ryan is the one who dubbed them "Crockpot Balls" many years ago and it just stuck.

 

Crockpot Balls:

2 lbs. Meatballs cooked (Target) or make your own with Organic Grass-fed Beef

1 cup Organic Grape Jelly

2 cups Organic Barbecue Sauce

 

Mix Jelly and BBQ sauce together until blended in Crockpot. Add Meatballs and cook on high until heated through and bubbly (usually an hour).

These are truly a West Virginia delicacy. If you've never had pepperoni rolls you MUST try this one. The key to making great pepperoni rolls is the actual yeast rolls. They make ALL the difference. This is another one that can be eaten warm or room temp.healthy tailgate fourganic sisters

 

Pepperoni Rolls (a WV favorite)

1 cup Organic Milk

1 package or 1/4 oz. Yeast

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

3 1/2 cups Organic APF

1 Organic egg

1/3 cup shortening

1 package pepperoni (Applegate)

 

Instructions: Warm milk, add shortening, salt and sugar. Soften yeast in warm water. Then add egg and milk mixture. Mix with flour and cover to rise (double in size). Portion into 10 rolls. Wrap 2 pepperonis in each roll and seal bottom well. Bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

This is another super simple one that is actually a crowd-pleaser for kids and adults. Every time I make these, someone says, "I haven't had these in years and I forgot how good they are." They will surely get gobbled up but don't forget to take a few sauces for them (ketchup, mustard, BBQ, or whatever you like).

 

Pigs in a blanket:

Organic uncured hot dogs (8 pack) cut in half

2 cans Organic crescent rolls

Instructions: Preheat oven according to crescent roll package instructions. Cut hot dogs in half. Roll each hot dog in a crescent roll and place on a baking sheet. Bake according to package instructions or until the rolls are golden brown. Serve with dipping sauces.

BCD is literally my most requested tailgate item! Similar to the popper dip, you get all the flavors of delicious buffalo wings without the mess and bones. I like to serve with tortilla chips but some people like bread or crackers. I also added a pinwheel recipe that is also super delicious but doesn't require you to keep it warm. It's also less messy.

Buffalo Chicken Dip:

2 cups Organic Chicken Breast cooked and shredded

1/2 cup Organic Cheddar Cheese or blue cheese

1 bar Organic Cream Cheese

1/2 cup Frank's hot sauce

1/2 cup Ranch Dressing

 

This is my go-to BCD recipe!

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels:

5 Organic flour tortillas large

1 lbs organic chicken breast cooked and shredded

½ cup hot sauce or wing sauce

¼ cup Organic green onions (optional)

1 cup Organic colby jack cheese

¼ cup Organic cheddar or blue cheese

8 oz Organic cream cheese

This is a super simple version of this recipe I love... Pinwheels Recipe 

Another delicious and often overlooked "football" food. This one is super budget friendly, easy to make and so yummy. Leave the bacon off for a vegetarian friendly option.

 

Potato Skins:

6 large Organic Russet Potatoes

6 sliced Uncured Bacon

8oz  (1 block) Organic Cheddar Cheese

4 Green Onions (optional)

3 tablespoons Organic butter

Salt and Pepper to taste

Ranch or Sour Cream to serve with

 

Here's a delicious and easy version of this recipe: Crispy Potato Skins

where to find organic options for a healthier tailgate?

So where exactly should you go to find these ingredients for a healthier tailgate?  Listen, I know it can be hard to find all of the organic ingredients in one place, but we can give you the heads up on some you won't be able to find in every store.

 

Walmart:

Ground Beef

Broth

Cheeses (Colby, Cheddar, Cream)

Butter

Bell Peppers

Spices

Uncured Bacon

Canned Black Beans, Corn, Tomato

Green Onion

All-purpose flour

Eggs

Frozen Meatballs

Milk

Chicken

Tortillas

Potatoes

Aldi:

Ground Beef

Broth

Cheeses (Colby, Cheddar, Cream)

Butter

Bell Peppers

Spices

Uncured Bacon

Canned Black Beans, Tomato

Eggs

Milk

Uncured hot dogs

Chicken

Kroger:

Ground Beef

Broth

Cheeses (Colby, Cheddar, Provolone, Cream)

Butter

Bell Peppers

Spices

Uncured Bacon

Canned Black Beans, Corn, Tomato

Green Onion

All-purpose flour

Eggs

Frozen Meatballs

Grape Jelly

BBQ sauce

Milk

Pepperoni (Applegate)

Uncured hot dogs

Crescent Rolls

Chicken

Tortillas

Potatoes

Publix:

Ground Beef

Broth

Cheeses (Colby, Cheddar, Cream)

Butter

Bell Peppers

Spices

Uncured Bacon

Canned Black Beans, Corn, Tomato

Green Onion

All-purpose flour

Eggs

Grape Jelly

BBQ sauce

Milk

Pepperoni (Applegate)

Uncured hot dogs

Crescent Rolls

Chicken

Tortillas

Potatoes

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