Cooking with Heinen’s | 3 Recipes to Lighten Up Your Football Tailgate

3 mins read

The air is just starting to cool down, football season is in full swing and that means it’s time for a tailgate! If you’ve spent all summer being active and healthy, we have three lighter recipes you can swap out for some of the more heavy tailgate favorites. Prepared with fresh ingredients from Heinen’s Grocery, Homemade Hummus, Summer Squash Carpaccio and a lighter take on Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers are all portable and packed with flavor. They won’t load you down with too many calories and your tailgate guests will be craving more.


The Jalapeño Poppers have bacon and lite cream cheese in them but, because they’re so flavorful, one or two will be all you need. I guarantee they will be gone quickly.


Have you tried making your own hummus? It doesn’t taste at all like the manufactured stuff you find in the refrigerator section at the market. I like store bought hummus and, of course, what is easier that buying it ready-made?  But, when you make it fresh, the flavor is so much better. Because you are adding no preservatives (but a bit of lemon juice), it’s also better for you. It is probably one of the easiest things to make.


Lastly, paper-thin sliced yellow squash and zucchini in my carpaccio recipe creates a bite that is packed with flavor and texture.


Fresh Hummus


  • one 15 oz can chickpeas
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1/4th cup tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons water
  • dash of sweet paprika for serving


  • In the bowl of a food processor or vita max, combine the tahini and lemon juice and process for one minute, scrape the sides and bottom of the ball then process for 30 seconds more.
  • Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape the sides in the bottom of the ball then process another 30 seconds until well blended.
  • Open, drain and rinse the chickpeas. At this time if you want to crush the chickpeas in your hand slightly to loosen the skins and remove the skins you will have a smoother textured hummus. It will not change the flavor only the texture. The effort can be well worth the end product.
  • Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor and process for one minute. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then add remaining chickpeas and process until thick and quite smooth 1 to 2 minutes. Your hummus will be slightly thick so to create an excellent texture and consistency, with the food processor running add one to 3 tablespoons of water slowly as it processes you will see the consistency change.
  • Serve the hummus in a dish with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkling of paprika. Makes 1 1/2 cups


Summer Squash Carpaccio

Ingredients & Method (it’s that easy):

  • Thinly slice 1 yellow squash and 1 yellow zucchini lengthwise.  This is best done on the thinnest setting on a mandolin.
  • Arrange a few slices on a plate in a single layer.
  • Sprinkle with finely minced shallots and finely chopped herbs, drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Repeat alternating direction until you have about 5 layers.
  • Top with grated pecorino cheese.  Let marinate 20 minutes before serving.


Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers


  • 6 jalapeno peppers
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened use low fat to reduce the calories
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives or green onion
  • 4 slices thin-cut bacon
  • 12 wooden toothpicks, soaked

Use a spoon to remove the meat inside the jalapeño.  If you like a little heat leave a few seeds.  If you like a more mild flavor, make sure the insides are all removed.


  • Slice each pepper in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and white membrane. (Seeds and the white membrane are where most of the heat comes from).
  • Stir the cream cheese and chives (or green onion) together. Fill pepper halves with the cream cheese mixture.
  • Slice bacon into 12 1 1/2-inch pieces. Wrap one piece of bacon around each filled pepper-half. Secure the bacon with a toothpick.
  • Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  • Arrange the peppers, filling side facing up, onto the baking sheet. Bake until the bacon is crispy and the peppers are tender; 20 to 25 minutes.





Check back next week for a more traditional tailgate fare.


Photographer Sally Roeckell specializes in contemporary lifestyle portraiture with an emphasis on food photography. She regularly shops at Heinen’s for the family dishes she features via Table and Dish on Instagram and on her website at

Have you heard about Heinen’s Tasteful Rewards™ program? Sign up for free to receive exclusive weekly specials via email and earn Heinen’s rewards. As a Tasteful Rewards™ membership benefit, Heinen’s will donate up to 1% of your qualified purchases made between September and April to a local school of your choice through their Teaming Up for Education Program. CLICK HERE to sign up for Heinen’s Tasteful Rewards™ and, trust me, this is one email that will always please your palate!

Heinen’s Grocery is located at 500 N. Hough Street, between E. Main Street and Route 14 (next to Meatheads) in Barrington, Illinois. They’re open 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit

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