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Build a better tailgate spread with MyPlate

Published 5:53pm Saturday, September 14, 2013

Let MyPlate be your guide when creating your next tailgate plate. It’s easy to go overboard on calories when you’re centered on family, fun and food. When you swap healthier alternatives and use MyPlate, you can still create a balanced meal that won’t disappoint your taste buds.

•Trade up for health with NuVal: Serve Food Should Taste Good Multi-grain chips (43) or Baked Lay’s (28) instead of regular potato chips (13).

•Think fresh with your toppings. Fresh ingredients can add more flavor and cut calories.

•Get into the spirit by using your school colors to make fruit and vegetable kabobs to serve with a hummus or yogurt dip.

•Remember to keep your family and friends safe and healthy by practicing food safety and cooking all ground beef and pork products to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

Healthier alternatives to traditional tailgating

•Protein: Swap out traditional brats for turkey brats or Jennie-O turkey burgers, try Al Fresco chicken sausage, salmon burgers, portabella mushroom caps, and Smart Chicken/Hy-Vee Cool Chicken burgers.

•Toppings: Fresh sliced tomatoes, avocado, Pico de Gallo, black beans, corn, caramelized onions and garlic, jalapeños, sauerkraut, roasted red or sweet bell peppers, fresh herbs, feta cheese, and grilled vegetables are all good options.

•Grain: Macaroni Salad with Edamame (made with whole grain pasta) makes a perfect partner to a burger.

•Fruit: Fresh cut fruit in your team’s favorite colors.

•Vegetables: Grilled vegetables are a great option to use end-of-summer produce! Serve fresh cut vegetables with hummus or dill dip made with Greek yogurt.

•Skinny sipping: Combine your favorite 100 percent juice with sparkling water in a 70 percent juice to 30 percent sparkling water ratio for a fizzy treat.  Enjoy over ice.

Food safety is also very important when tailgating. Here are a few simple strategies to keep you from getting a food-borne illness.

Minimum Internal Temps for Food Safety:

•Fish: 145 degrees

•Pork roast/chops: 145 degrees

•Ground beef/pork (burgers/brats): 160 degrees

•All poultry: 165 degrees

•Foods should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours. Cover and chill foods quickly.

•Germs grow best between temperatures of 40 and 140 degrees.  Keep hot foods hot (140 degrees)

•Reheated foods need to be heated to at least 165 degrees before serving

•Keep cold foods cold (40 degrees)

•Make sure you have plenty of ice and coolers to keep foods cold.

•Travel with cooler in the air-conditioned car not in the trunk.

•Keep cooler in shaded area instead of direct sunlight

Macaroni salad with Edamame

Serves 12 (about 1 cup each)

All you need

•3 cups whole-wheat elbow noodles (14- to 16-ounce package)

•¾ cup low-fat mayonnaise

•¾ cup reduced-fat sour cream

•2 teaspoons sugar

•1 teaspoon salt

•¾ teaspoon celery seed

•Freshly ground pepper, to taste

•3 stalks celery, finely chopped

•3 carrots, shredded

•1 small Vidalia or other sweet onion, finely chopped

•1 cup chopped baby spinach

•¾ cup frozen edamame (young soybeans), thawed

Additional salt and pepper, if needed

•1/3 cup Hy-Vee shredded mild cheddar cheese

 All you do

•Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water until tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain. Transfer to a large bowl to cool for at least 15 minutes.

•Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, salt, celery seed and pepper in a small bowl.

•When the noodles have cooled, add celery, carrots, onion, spinach, edamame and the mayonnaise mixture; stir well to combine.

•Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if desired. •Sprinkle with cheese just before serving.

To make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Nutrition information per serving: 190 calories, 7 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 13 mg cholesterol, 28 g carbohydrate, 1g sugar, 7 g protein, 3 g fiber, 366 mg sodium, 215 mg potassium.

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