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Ask Dr. Gourmet

What should I take for tailgating parties?

Thank you for your emails on eating well. With football season starting soon, would you have any suggestions for simple meals for tailgating at football games?

Dr. Gourmet Says....

meat on the grill

Tailgating is much like any pot luck, and there are lots of great recipes on the Dr. Gourmet website.

Pasta or rice salads are easy to make, transport, and serve. Here are some good choices:

Black Eyed Pea Salad

Chicken and Rice Salad

Tuna and White Bean Salad

Potato Vinaigrette Salad

If you have a way to heat food, soup or chili is the perfect accompaniment to one of these salads:

Black Bean Chili

Lentil Soup

Crawfish Chowder

For those who are fancy and set up a grill, here are some great options for that barbecue:

Cajun Cheeseburger

Jerk Shrimp

BBQ Shrimp

Serve all of this with a big fruit plate for your sweets and you're good to go. One thing to keep in mind is that it's critical to keep all of your great food ice cold during transport and serving. Letting the food get too warm (or not keeping it hot enough) can be a problem for food poisoning. Hey, I don't want to rain on your picnic, but a bit of care here can really keep your friends and family from getting sick.

Have a great game! I hope your team wins.

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Dr. Gourmet