The Husband and I LOVE to tailgate.  And after dozens of University of Miami games, we host a pretty fun tailgate experience, if I do say so myself.  Smile 


Think:  great food, silly games, delicious drinks, live television (oh yeah!), and themed playlists, all under a shady tent. 


It’s intense.  It’s awesome.  If my tent was a wee bit larger, I would invite everyone reading this over for keg ‘n’ eggs.  But only if you are willing to cheer for Miami!  (Although Miami isn’t my alma mater, I was born and raised in the city and love the football team.)



IMG_4822 IMG_0503


My favorite part of the tailgate experience, by far, is planning the menu.  For noon games, we usually have breakfast and lunch at the tailgate.  For evening games, we have a snack and dinner.  Since 2009, we’ve done ‘Healthy Tailgate.’  It’s a fun challenge for me to plan a vegetarian menu that is transportable, grillable, and delicious – even if it’s cooked and consumed in a parking lot.   Some of my favorites include:


Grilled scrambled egg pizza:


Grilled peaches:


Canned corn, salsa, and black bean dip <— just mix and serve!  Super easy to make and SO delicious!


Grilled zucchini, squash, and mushroom sandwiches:


And, of course, champagne and pomegranate juice.  Always an excellent way to begin a tailgate, if you ask me!

IMG_0419 IMG_0407

So – tomorrow is likely our one and only tailgate of the year.  Cue:  football-shaped tears pouring down the Husband’s cheeks.  This means we MUST make the tailgate count.  Here’s our menu – I’m so excited to get to grillin’!




Scrambled eggs

Strawberry, grapefruit, and apple fruit salad

Vegan potato salad (based on this recipe; love the pickle addition!)

Morningstar fake sausages




Veggie burgers with grilled green and red peppers

Quinoa salad with coconut curry dressing, cashews, tomatoes, and broccoli

Chips and salsa

Vegetarian baked beans


What’s your favorite part of tailgating?  I really do love the cooking but oh – the games are SO MUCH fun!



  • Chelsea October 14, 2011, 8:05 pm

    I would come to your tailgating party for the food for sure. It sounds sooo YUMMY haha 🙂 You had me at the potato salad haha.

  • J @ Ess and Jae V2.0 October 14, 2011, 8:17 pm

    This may sound crazy, but where do you tailgate? In the parking lot of the arena? In a park? Do people just hang out in the parking lot until game time and then go to their seats? No, I’m not kidding. I really want to know!

    • Caitlin October 14, 2011, 8:42 pm

      Do you live in Europe? Europeans don’t tailgate! 🙁

      In the parking lot surrounding the stadium, usually but some schools have parks or other areas for the cars to pull up and park.

      • Carin October 15, 2011, 2:25 am

        I don’t live in Europe (NZ) but am European born (UK – like the Hub) so have no experience of tailgating. InEngland sports fans usually spend the time before and after the game (a) getting drunk and (b) fighting. No veggie sausages or grilled peaches are involved.

        And…. “tailgating” sounds like a euphemism for something illegal/ unsavoury/ quite naughty! I’m therefore relieved to hear that “tomorrow is likely our one and only tailgate of the year” but hope you do manage to “make the tailgate count”. Hehehe snigger. Enjoy!!

        • Caitlin October 15, 2011, 5:43 am

          Tailgate does sound naughty – sometimes it is!

  • Amanda @ AmandaRunsNY October 14, 2011, 8:41 pm

    I love, love, love tailgating. As a Michigan alum, it was my favorite part of college and my favorite memory by far. (that thing called a degree, was less exciting than tailgating)

    My favorite part of tailgating is all the amazing friendships I made in college through my tailgating adventures. My neighbors and I all would socialize and now even one of my closest friends married one of those guys. That’s a win in my book.

  • Army Amy* October 14, 2011, 8:48 pm

    I haven’t ever tailgated, but I love watching my football team (Texas Tech Red Raiders!)and eating lots of yummy foods. It’s a lot more fun when my team wins, which sadly probably won’t be very much this year.*

  • Kendra October 14, 2011, 8:53 pm

    When I read tailgate I immediately thought of a car driving too close behind you. I also have never heard of tailgating at a game here in Canada.

  • erica October 14, 2011, 8:54 pm

    i’ve only ever tailgaited a few times, and it was never as elaborate as yours! now i wish we went all out!

  • Mary @ Rabbitsand Runs October 14, 2011, 9:01 pm

    I’m a Wisconsin girl and tailgating is pretty much a birthright here. Standard fare here is brats, burgers and beer – yours sounds SO much better!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) October 14, 2011, 9:07 pm

    Now those are my kind of eats for a tailgate! YUM! Looks like delicious fun!

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife October 14, 2011, 9:34 pm

    I’m not much of a football gal, but I’d gladly join in for those kind of eats. YUMM. Have fun!!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey October 14, 2011, 9:52 pm

    WOuld it be bad if I said the drinking part was my favorite?

    • CaitlinHTP October 15, 2011, 6:18 pm

      Naw 🙂 It’s a pretty fun part.

  • Sana October 14, 2011, 10:07 pm

    That tent looks perfect for a backyard party!

  • kristen October 14, 2011, 10:15 pm

    I love tailgaiting! I never went to a school that was big on football, and the STL rams arent the best. But I have tailgaited for Mizzou games, and they are intense!
    Have fun!’

  • BroccoliHut October 14, 2011, 10:52 pm

    I want that breakfast pizza!

  • Marla October 14, 2011, 10:55 pm

    Did I miss a post somewhere?

    How did you get home without your car?

    I feel like I skipped a chapter or something 😉

    • Caitlin October 15, 2011, 5:42 am

      Hahah I forgot to blog about it!!! You’re right!

      My mom loaned me her car for a week because it’s going to take DAYS for them to get in the part for my car – I broke a controller chip too (WTF). Then, next week, I have to drive back to TN to swap.

  • Brooke @ sweats & sweets October 14, 2011, 10:55 pm

    Afternoon games are my favorite, because tailgate breakfasts are the best! And pom & champagne? That sounds delicious!

  • kathleen @ the daily crumb October 14, 2011, 11:22 pm

    yay! so very excited for the return of healthy tailgate… even if it’s only one for this season 🙁 such a bummer! i’m assuming the husband (and you!) have to work though! hope you enjoy tomorrow.

  • Ashley October 14, 2011, 11:23 pm

    My favorite part is definitely the food! My sister and I get so into menu planning for parties and stuff. Tailgating is fun, but it is a ton of work. Still worth it. 🙂

  • Mel @ Mel a la Via Paradiso October 15, 2011, 12:10 am

    I have always wanted to tailgate! It sounds and looks like so much fun! My university doesn’t have a football team (Go Zags! Basketball season starts soon and that’s our forte!)

    I hope to go to graduate school at a larger university with a football team so I can FINALLY take part in the tailgating experience!

  • Khushboo October 15, 2011, 12:48 am

    Can I come?? What a delicious menu!!

  • Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel October 15, 2011, 1:21 am

    I’ve never been tailgating! I know, I know..not good! It looks SO fun though. And, uh, yah, I wouldn’t mind hitting up the food portion of it!

    Btw, great hat! Love the color (pumpkin!!)

  • erin October 15, 2011, 1:32 am

    As an Australian, I just have to say that tailgaiting is -so- mad. Not in a bad way – it would just never, EVER be allowed to happen here. Everyone would get way too drunk and get into punch ups with each other. The fact that it’s allowed in the States just blows my mind! Even inside sporting events, we can only buy mid-strength (3ish%) beer. Drinking, eating, and socialising in the carpark before the game? Unheard of.

    Totally jealous.

    • CaitlinHTP October 15, 2011, 6:19 pm

      I agree – the idea is pretty ludacris!

  • Nicole October 15, 2011, 2:09 am

    I like the Britney bitch reference…obviously. 🙂

  • Marissa C October 15, 2011, 2:48 am

    Cant say I’m a Miami fan (BOOMER SOONER!) but the menu looks yummy.

  • Bernadette October 15, 2011, 2:50 am

    It’s a HTP!! Healthy Tailgate Party!!
    I want to party with you!! Looks so fun!!


    • CaitlinHTP October 15, 2011, 6:19 pm

      hahah I love it!

  • Jacalyn October 15, 2011, 7:19 am

    We play the EXACT same games at our tailgates! You definitely eat much healthier than we do, though. Since I am the only vegetarian in the family, the only veggies I get are what I can bring. Usually straight veggies and hummus. Meat rules in Texas, didn’t you hear? LOL. The best part is definitely having drinks with friends and family and getting pumped up to watch football. (Football also rules in Texas. We treat it like religion. Our preachers even preach about it and pray for the local team. Seriously.) Have a super fun time!!! College football is definitely more exciting than pro.

    • CaitlinHTP October 15, 2011, 6:20 pm

      Thanks! We had a blast!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 15, 2011, 8:17 am

    I love going to my school’s football games, but I’ve never tailgated before. It looks like so much fun though – especially if the food is as delicious as yours. Have fun! 😀

  • Emily October 15, 2011, 8:45 am

    This sounds so ridiculous, but the drinking! Besides the obvious deliciousness factor, I think it’s so fun that basically EVERYONE [well, those of age of course!] in tailgating range just lets loose and has fun! And there are so many fun drinks! Beer + football = FALL.

    You’ve probably mentioned this before, so I apologize, but if you grew up in Miami, how’d you end up at Pitt?!!?

    • CaitlinHTP October 15, 2011, 6:20 pm

      I followed a boy. Lamesauce!

  • Fit Chick Britt October 15, 2011, 8:50 am

    Sounds like such a fun tailgail! The college I went to has lame football games so we never tailgated. I’ve gotta try that POM + Champagne.

  • Krystina (Organically Me) October 15, 2011, 8:52 am

    The beer *blush*

  • Ann @ Turbo Teacher October 15, 2011, 9:05 am

    This post made me hungry!! 🙂 All of the tailgating food looks delish!!! Have fun!

  • Hilliary @ Happily Ever Healthy October 15, 2011, 9:56 am

    Sounds like a fabulous tailgate! Tailgating is my favorite part of going to football games! Love the orange hat!

  • Kimberly October 15, 2011, 10:01 am

    That sounds really fun. I’m pretty jealous. The Michigan vs Michigan State game is today and its going to be 55F, 50% chance of rain and there is a high wind advisory. Ugh. Please bring me a scrambled egg pizza.

    • CaitlinHTP October 15, 2011, 6:20 pm

      EW – bad tailgate weather is the worst. Really dampers it. Hope it was okay!

  • katie @ KatieDid October 15, 2011, 10:19 am

    I go to a D1 school but we don’t have a football team- therefore no tailgaiting 🙁 My brother played football in college though so the few games I went to the tailgates were amazinggg… the parents put so much effort into them and the food was unreal!

  • sonia the mexigarian October 15, 2011, 11:32 am

    Wow. that menu sounds yummy. I actually haven’t been to a tailgate in years. When Hubby and I go to baseball games, he likes getting there early for batting practice so no time to grill up. :\ Maybe one of the games next year I will try to convince him to tailgate 😀

  • Hope @ With A Side Of Hope October 15, 2011, 11:51 am

    That tailgate menu looks great! I love your attire and hat! So cute! 🙂

  • Amber K October 15, 2011, 12:37 pm

    I have never been tailgating before. But then I haven’t really been to a sports game before either. Just the idea makes me want to bring a book 😉

    • HTPDad October 15, 2011, 3:53 pm

      oh yes.

  • Dawn October 15, 2011, 12:50 pm

    Are you going to the UNC game? I went to school there. Have you ever been to Chapel Hill before? I think it is just the cutest little college town ever but I may be a little biased 🙂 The campus is beautiful and Franklin St. has lots of great restaurants and shops. If you have time you should do some walking around.

    • CaitlinHTP October 15, 2011, 6:21 pm

      I never have but I LOVE IT. It is awesome!

  • Christine @ BookishlyB October 15, 2011, 2:34 pm

    Champagne and POM? That sound so so so good!

  • The Healthy Engineer October 15, 2011, 3:08 pm

    I love the atmosphere on game day. Our college team is winning but they aren’t what they used to be….but even then it’s a lot of fun.

    In fact, I have to help set up a tailgate in a few weeks!

  • Girl on the run October 15, 2011, 4:08 pm

    Your menu looks great! Never seen a football game in my life …

  • Casey October 15, 2011, 4:10 pm

    My favorite part of tailgating is getting pumped up to see Virginia Tech win!

    Sorry (okay, not so sorry) about last week lol 🙂

  • Lee October 15, 2011, 5:11 pm

    I went to a college without a football team (UVM) so I’ve only been to like two tailgates and they were both for professional baseball games. Still works, right?

  • Jen October 15, 2011, 5:12 pm

    I had no idea tailgating foods could be so good! I always pictured hot dogs and beer. Not that there’s anything wrong with that 🙂

  • Rachel October 15, 2011, 5:54 pm

    omg, i miss tailgating SO much! your menu sounds delish, although it’s a far cry from what we used to consume back when i was in college 😉 nothin’ like cheap, cold beer at 7am to wake you up! have fun 😀

    • CaitlinHTP October 15, 2011, 6:21 pm

      Haha or box wine….

  • AmandaonMaui October 16, 2011, 5:04 am

    Have you found a pre-made gluten free veggie burger? I haven’t yet, except one which I think went out of business called Maui Taro Burgers. They were delicious!

    • CaitlinHTP October 16, 2011, 10:20 am

      EarthFare has an in-house type of GF burgers!

      • AmandaonMaui October 16, 2011, 4:25 pm

        That’s awesome! I know that outside of making your own there just aren’t many gluten free options on the market. It’s good to hear that someone gets that some people are gluten free and veg.

        I usually don’t eat much processed stuff, but it’s nice to have the option sometimes. When I go to friends houses and they don’t serve what I call “happy meat,” then I wouldn’t mind having a veg. option.

  • nichole (eat & be pretty) October 16, 2011, 7:33 am

    why the FOOD of course! oh and I suppose hanging out with friends too 🙂 all the food at your tailgate looks so goood

  • Claire October 16, 2011, 12:05 pm

    Great post! I love to tailgate but tailgate food tends NOT to be vegetarian friendly so I always end up eating an entire meal of chips and guac or some other snack. These are great ideas!

  • Shannon @ A Pinch of Ginger October 17, 2011, 7:34 am

    I LOVE to tailgate too 🙂 as a Penn Stater it was a way of life during the fall! This weekend I had my one (and only) tailgate this season (le sigh) but it was so much fun! A really yummy part of tailgates is a softpretzel tray with dipping sauces. Mmmmmm!

  • lauren October 18, 2011, 3:26 pm

    I’ve never been to a tailgate 🙁 I went to a small school and we didn’t have a football team. I feel like I’m missing out.
    Your scrambled egg pizza looks delish! I need it in my life asap.

  • Adam October 16, 2012, 3:29 pm

    A great menu for a veggie tailgate! I started a blog devoted entirely to vegan tailgating. Check it out

    Next time your in Cleveland, I’d love to have you at my tailgate!


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