Combine heartwarming ‘Blind Side’ with satisfying meal


It’s Friday night and you’re out of ideas. Well, here’s one. You could rent the newly released movie, The Blind Side, and make a meal fit for tailgating to accompany it.

The Blind Side, based on Michael Lewis’ book, tells the true, heart-warming story of Michael Oher, a homeless African-American teenager who gets taken in by a well-to-do white family. Sandra Bullock plays Leigh Anne Touhy, the strong-willed but kind woman who adopts Michael (played by Quinton Aaron) and slowly unpeels his layers to reveal his kind and gentle demeanor.

Michael’s focus in life changes from day-to-day survival to school work and football practice as the Touhy family helps him work toward a football scholarship to college. The supporting cast includes country star Tim McGraw as Mr. Touhy, Jae Head as little brother SJ Touhy, and Kathy Bates as Michael’s tutor. Currently, Michael Oher is an NFL player for the Baltimore Ravens.

A nice variety of tailgating food would make a delicious accompaniment to this football-oriented movie. This meal is fairly easy to prepare, very delicious and surprisingly healthy.

 Main dish: Barbecue chicken sandwiches, 4 servings

Recipe from


~ 2 cups shredded cooked chicken

~ 1 cup shredded carrots

~ 8 tablespoons barbecue sauce

~ 8 teaspoons light ranch dressing

~ 4 small whole-wheat sandwich buns

~ 4 leaves romaine lettuce


Combine chicken, carrots and barbecue sauce in a bowl. Spread ranch dressing on the bun. Top with the chicken mixture and lettuce.

Nutrition per serving: 323 calories; 8 g fat (1 g sat, 2 g mono); 62 mg cholesterol; 37 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; 4 g fiber; 729 mg sodium; 456 mg potassium.

 Side Dish: Broccoli-Bacon Salad, 6 servings

Recipe from


~ 1 clove garlic, minced

~ ¼ cup low-fat mayonnaise

~ ¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream

~ 2 teaspoons cider vinegar

~ 1 teaspoon sugar

~ 4 cups finely chopped broccoli crowns

~ 1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped

~ 3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

~ 3 tablespoons dried cranberries

~ Freshly ground pepper to taste


Whisk garlic, mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar and sugar in a large bowl. Add broccoli, water chestnuts, bacon, cranberries and pepper; stir to coat with the dressing.

Nutrition per serving: 89 calories; 4 g fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 8 mg cholesterol; 12 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 3 g fiber; 200 mg sodium; 193 mg potassium.

 Dessert: Chocolate-Covered Brownie Bites, Makes 64 Brownie Bites

Recipe from


~ 1 8-inch-square pan chilled brownies, cut into 1-inch squares

~ 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, melted (see Tip)


Dip half of each brownie square in melted chocolate, then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. (Reheat chocolate, as needed, to keep it melted.) Refrigerate until the chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.

Tip: To melt chocolate, microwave on medium for 1 minute. Stir, then continue microwaving on medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until melted. Or place chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not boiling, water. Stir until melted.

Nutrition Per brownie bite: 38 calories; 2 g fat (1 g sat); 4 mg cholesterol; 6 g added sugars; 1 g protein; 6 mg sodium; 21 mg potassium.