By Jenna Weber

Fall has officially arrived and that means tailgating, football games, and brisk evenings. You can enjoy these three healthy meals with a crowd at a dining room table or in front of the TV, rooting for your favorite team. The pulled chicken and turkey meatballs are great made ahead and also provide wonderfully tasty leftovers for the following few days.

Grocery list:
1 bag frozen corn
6 ounces mushrooms
1 15-ounce can chickpeas
1 bag frozen edamame
1 red bell pepper
2 small cloves garlic
Olive oil
Apple cider vinegar
Fresh basil
1.5 pounds skinned and deboned chicken thighs
Dark brown sugar
Worcestershire sauce
Yellow mustard
Ground red pepper
Garlic salt
1.5 pounds ground turkey
Bread crumbs (I like to use panko.)
Red pepper flakes
1 onion
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce


Quick and Easy Chickpea and Vegetable Salad
This can be served either as a side or as a vegetarian main course. It comes together in 5 minutes flatand is full of protein and fiber.

Serves 4 as a side, 2 as a meal

2 cups frozen corn, defrosted
6 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup edamame, frozen or fresh and shelled
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil

First combine the olive oil, garlic, salt, and vinegar in a small bowl to make the dressing. In a larger bowl, combine all other ingredients. Pour the dressing over the mix and toss well. Eat!

Barbecue Pulled Chicken
A leaner yet flavorful version of classic tailgate fare! This is sure to be an instant hit in your house this football season, especially when you serve it with cornbread and baked beans.

Serves 4-6

1.5 pounds skinned and deboned chicken thighs (Use dark meat for most flavor!)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Brown chicken for 4 minutes on each side over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and place in a slow cooker.

Combine ketchup and next six ingredients. Pour over chicken.

Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce heat to low, and cook 5 to 6 hours.

Remove chicken from sauce and then, using your hands, shred it into a large bowl. Stir shredded chicken into the sauce. Spoon mixture onto buns and serve with coleslaw, or serve over a salad.

Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
Meatballs are one of my personal favorite comfort foods. They are great to prepare ahead and freeze, and even make wonderful leftovers stuffed in pitas!

Serves 4-6

1.5 pounds ground turkey
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I like to use panko.)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 onion, finely chopped
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce

Combine the bread crumbs and milk in a large bowl and let stand for 5 minutes. In another bowl, combine ground turkey, red pepper flakes, salt, and onion. Add meat to bread crumb mixture and mix together with your hands. Form golf-ball-sized meatballs and bake at 350º for 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Serve with warmed sauce and egg noodles.