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Football Food!

WSMV Channel 4

Football season is finally here, and no matter what team you cheer on, you probably enjoy some food as a part of the festivities. Typical tailgating fare usually leaves one feeling sluggish and ready to doze off by halftime, so in my recent Today in Nashville TV segment, I decided to share some of my favorite game day recipes and snacks that are loaded with flavor and will give you the energy to cheer your team on all the way through the fourth quarter!

First, I share my Smoky Poblano Turkey Chili Sweet Potato Boats. This chili is loaded with flavor from the spices I use as well as my secret ingredient, instant espresso powder, which gives it a smoky kick!

I chose Farm to Family by Butterball (one of my sponsors) fresh, all-natural ground turkey to use in this recipe because I love the fact that it has a "no antibiotics ever" policy. In fact, it was the first turkey brand to launch products raised without antibiotics, and it is 100% hormone and steroid free, according to USDA requirements. I love using Farm to Family by Butterball turkey in recipes like this one because it is a great way to enjoy all-natural meals with simple ingredients.

I also use a new Bush's Bean's (sponsor) product in my chili--their new Spicy Kidney Chili Beans, which are great for spicing up any of your favorite game day chili recipes. I love using them in mine because Bush's has already done a ton of the work for me. Using the Spicy Kidney Chili Beans in my chili adds the hearty flavor of Bush's best beans slow simmered in their original chili sauce, which is a special blend of jalapeno, onion, garlic, and spices with just the right kick! I love things spicy, but if you prefer less heat, you can use Bush's Mild Kidney Chili Beans instead.

To keep things fun, I serve the chili up in some scooped-out baked sweet potato halves (they are in the shape of a football!) and top them with strips of white cheddar cheese to mimic the laces on a football!

Most people like something crunchy with their chili, but instead of reaching for the chips, try Wonderful Pistachios (sponsor). Pistachios are one of the lowest calorie snack nuts. One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts! Compare that to a measly serving of just 15 potato chips--you certainly get more nutrient bang for your calorie buck with pistachios! I really like the resealable bag of shelled Wonderful Pistachios as they are perfect for topping chili, soup, and salad while adding plant protein, healthy fats, and fiber along with a satisfying crunch. I also keep the 100-calorie bags on hand for on-the-go healthy snacking, and I love the fact that they come in fun flavors like Salt and Pepper, Roasted Salted, and Sweet Chili!

And what would a tailgating spread be without dessert? Cue the ice cream sundaes for football Sunday (see what I did there?). I really like Halo Top ice cream (sponsor). It's a lower calorie ice cream that tastes like the real deal! And not only is it lower in calories and sugar, but it is also higher in protein and made with all-natural, premium ingredients that make it taste just like regular ice cream! It comes in lots of fun flavors like Birthday Cake, Cookies and Cream, and Cookie Dough, just to name a few, in addition to classic flavors like Vanilla, Chocolate, and Strawberry. Plus, Halo Top just announced last week that seven new vegan-friendly, dairy-free flavors will be hitting shelves mid-October, so now everyone can enjoy Halo Top's goodness!


Check out the video above for the full segment to find out more about these football food favorites, and may the best team win! And here's the full recipe for those Smoky Poblano Turkey Chili Sweet Potato Boats:

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Smoky Poblano Turkey Chili Sweet Potato Boats:


2 (16oz.) cans BUSH'S Spicy Kidney Chili Beans, undrained

1 cup chopped white onion

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 large poblano pepper, chopped

1 pound Farm to Family by Butterball ground turkey

1/8 cup instant espresso powder

1/8 cup chili powder

1/8 cup ground cumin

1 (28oz.) can crushed tomatoes

3 tablespoons honey

1 cup water

1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

4 sweet potatoes

8 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt

white cheddar cheese, cut into strips, for garnish


Heat the canola oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick pot. Cook the onion and the pepper in the oil until tender. Add the turkey, espresso powder, chili powder, and cumin and cook over medium-high heat until the turkey is cooked through and is no longer pink. Add the tomatoes and honey and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to simmer for 30 minutes. Add the beans, water, salt, and chipotle chili powder and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes more, uncovered and stirring frequently, until it thickens slightly.

Meanwhile, poke a few holes in the sweet potatoes with a fork and bake* on high in the microwave for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. Slice the potatoes lengthwise (into a football shape) and scoop out some of the flesh to make a bowl. Spread one tablespoon of yogurt evenly into each potato half. Spoon some chili into each potato half on top of the yogurt and top with the strips of cheese to mimic the laces on a football. Enjoy! Yield: 8 servings.


 *Tip: Alternatively, you can slice the sweet potatoes lengthwise, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and bake flesh side down at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes or until the skins begin to look shriveled and soft. This cooks them to the perfect consistency and slightly caramelizes the top of the flesh for the perfect flavor!