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30 Healthy Tailgate Foods That’ll Make You Feel Like a Winner

Here's how to keep your diet on track while enjoying the tailgate.

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Sesame Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I wanted to build a better pork sandwich, and this Asian-style filling was a huge hit with my husband and coworkers. Bring on the wasabi mayo. —Jennifer Berry, Lexington, Ohio
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Fresh Fruit Bowl

The glorious colors of the fruit make this a festive salad. Slightly sweet and chilled, it makes a nice accompaniment to a grilled entree. —Marlon Kirst, Troy, Michigan
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Turkey Chili

I've taken my mother's turkey chili recipe and made it thicker and more robust. It's a favorite, especially in fall and winter. —Celesta Zanger, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
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Mint Watermelon Salad

I invented this refreshing fruit salad one sultry afternoon while my friends were gathered around my pool. It was quick to prepare and disappeared from their plates even quicker. Even the kids loved it! —Antoinette DuBeck, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
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Simple Guacamole

Because avocados can brown quickly, it’s best to make this guacamole just before serving. If you have to make it a little in advance, place the avocado pit in the guacamole until ready to serve. —Heidi Main, Anchorage, AK
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Strawberry-Rhubarb Ice Pops

These cool, creamy pops are a deliciously different way to use up the bounty from your rhubarb patch. —Donna Linihan, Moncton, New Brunswick
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Couscous Tabbouleh with Fresh Mint & Feta

Using couscous instead of bulgur for tabbouleh really speeds up the process of making this colorful salad. Other quick-cooking grains, such as barley or quinoa, also work well. —Elodie Rosinovsky, Brighton, Massachusetts
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Ruby Raspberry Slaw

Give ordinary coleslaw a "berry" tangy twist. It's sure to get raves at your next picnic or potluck. —Deborah Biggs, Omaha, Nebraska
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Lime-Chipotle Carnitas Tostadas

Here's a terrific recipe for your next weeknight dinner. Set out various toppings and garnishes so your family members can customize their own tostadas with the lime-kissed shredded pork. —Jan Valdez, Chicago, Illinois
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Barley Corn Salad

A terrific alternative to pasta salad, this colorful side dish adds refreshing herb flavor to corn, barley, and red and green peppers. Bring it to your next get-together and see how fast it disappears! —Mary Ann Kieffer of Lawrence, Kansas
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Avocado Bean Dip

I love guacamole! But I add beans to boost the amount of fiber in this version. It has a texture similar to hummus and is perfect for dipping chips, pita or veggies. —Raquel Haggard, Edmond, Oklahoma
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Bacon & Swiss Chicken Sandwiches

I created this chicken sandwich recipe based on a meal my daughter ordered at a restaurant. She likes to dip her sandwich in the extra honey-mustard sauce. —Marilyn Moberg, Papillion, Nebraska
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Chunky Banana Cream Freeze

Everyone loves ice cream, but we all know it doesn't make a great after-school snack. Until this! With its sweet banana-almond flavor and chunky texture, this appealing banana peanut butter "ice cream" is a crowd-pleaser. People who ask me for the recipe can't believe how easy it is to make. —Kristen Bloom, Okinawa, Japan
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Shrimp Avocado Salad

This salad can be served as a cool and satisfying dinner or lunch. The delicious taste and smooth texture of avocados mixed with the crisp shrimp salad is heavenly. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
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Crunchy Peanut Butter Apple Dip

My mom got this peanut butter dip recipe from a neighbor years ago. She always made it for us kids in the fall when apples were in season. Now I make it for my children. —Juli Meyers, Hinesville, Georgia
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Tarragon Asparagus Salad

I love asparagus, and I love it even more when drizzled with my light, lemony vinaigrette dressing with a touch of tarragon. It's perfect as a side for fresh spring meals. —Linda Lace, Winter Park, Florida
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Baked Apple Surprise

This sweet-savory recipe is a favorite. Use Brie instead of blue cheese if you like things creamier. My tip? Bake the apples in a muffin tin so they won’t roll around. —Jessica Levinson, Nyack, New York
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Berry White Ice Pops

Nothing says summer like an ice pop. Kids and adults alike love this fruit-filled version. —Sharon Guinta, Stamford, Connecticut
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Beans, Bacon & Tomato Bake

Bacon, tomatoes and lima beans combine for a nutrient-packed side dish that makes the perfect accompaniment to turkey. —Karen Kumpulainen, Forest City, North Carolina
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Strawberry Salsa

This deliciously different salsa is versatile, fresh-tasting and colorful. People are surprised to see a salsa made with strawberries, but it's excellent over grilled chicken and pork and as a dip with corn chips. -Jean Giroux, Belchertown, Massachusetts
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Caprese Salad Kabobs

Trade in the usual veggie platter for these fun kabobs. In addition to preparing these for get-togethers, I often make these as snacks for my family. And because assembly is so easy, the kids often ask to help. —Christine Mitchell, Glendora, California
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Pork Tacos with Mango Salsa

I've made quite a few tacos in my day, but you can't beat the tender filling made in a slow cooker. These are by far the best pork tacos we've had—and we've tried plenty. Make the mango salsa from scratch if you have time! Yum. —Amber Massey, Argyle, Texas
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Fresh Corn & Avocado Dip

I alter my sister's recipe by adding finely chopped jalapeno for a little heat. This is a different way of serving corn as a dip that can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until serving. —Pat Roberts, Thornton, Ontario
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Tasty Marinated Tomatoes

My niece introduced me to this colorful recipe some time ago. I make it when I have buffets or large gatherings because it can be prepared hours ahead. This is a wonderful way to use a bumper crop of tomatoes. —Myrtle Matthews, Marietta, Georgia
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Classic Cobb Salad

Making this salad is a lot like putting in a garden. I “plant” everything in nice, neat sections, just as I do with seedlings. —Patricia Kile, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
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Southwest Vegetarian Bake

This veggie-packed casserole hits the spot on chilly nights. It's a healthy canned vegetable recipe that's great for any time I have a taste for Mexican food with all the fixings. —Patricia Gale, Monticello, Illinois
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Spicy Edamame

Edamame (pronounced ay-duh-MAH-may) are young soybeans in their pods. In our Test Kitchen, we boiled and seasoned them with salt, ginger, garlic powder and red pepper flakes. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Roasted Beetroot and Garlic Hummus

This tasty beetroot hummus is the prettiest pink snack I’ve ever seen. The healthy recipe is handy to make in large batches and keep in the fridge for lunches and snacks throughout the week. —Elizabeth Worndl, Toronto, Ontario
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Crab-Stuffed Avocados

We enjoy having this creamy and crunchy salad out on our deck on summer evenings. And it goes together in minutes flat! —Gail VanGundy, Parker, Colorado
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Picnic Berry Shortcakes

You can make the berry sauce ahead of time and chill it. Then assemble the entire dessert right before the picnic or party. —Frieda Bliesner, McAllen, Texas

Laurie Dixon
Having a passion for writing her whole life, Laurie joined the Taste of Home team to bring together her two favorite things—creative writing and food. She spends most of her time playing with her dog, drafting up short stories and, of course, trying out new recipes.

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