Flagpole Park and Wikle Park are both great parks that you can explore separately or together. The parking lots for both of them are about 12 minutes apart, yet they connect to each other through their paved walking paths. Combined, the paths total a little over a mile but you can add more by completing the inner path at Wikle or running on the sidewalks connected to either one of the parks. As with all the parks here, they are open from dawn to dusk.
To get to Flagpole Park (1560 Mallory Lane, Brentwood, TN) you have to drive down a road through a business park full of fancy car dealerships. You would never think this park would be at the end of it all! There is a huge parking lot with bathrooms and water fountains, a half-court basketball court and two multi-purpose fields (with no lights). The wide, flat path is about 4/10 of a mile and follows the tree line around the entire park (8.7 acres) with the connector path to Wikle Park in the very back of the park. The short connector path is lined with trees and takes you to the back path of Wikle Park.
To get to Wikle Park (7043 Wikle Road West, Brentwood, TN) you have to drive to the back of a nice neighborhood. It is a 15-acre park with a playground, large lawns, gazebos, picnic tables, benches, restrooms, water fountains and a paved path bordering the park along the tree line. The wide, flat path is 6/10 of a mile.
Both of the paths are large and flat and the parks are beautifully landscaped and are surrounded by huge trees. It is very peaceful out there yet the traffic noise from I-65 is a gentle reminder that you are still close to it all. The elevation gain throughout the total one mile path is only 37 feet. The parks are very clean and provide a great place to bring your family and dogs to run, walk, bike, play or picnic. They are great places to visit and can be a quick outdoor escape if you work or live in the area! This is a great weekend to get active and run (or walk) these paths!
Find more paths, trails and places to hike/run/walk in Williamson County, TN here!
I love guacamole. I could eat it every day. Unfortunately avocados can be kind of expensive so I like to throw in some beans to help make a bigger batch. It doesn't really alter much except the color but it does add extra protein and fiber, which is great! Try out this budget friendly white bean guacamole at your next party and see what your friends and family think! This is great as a side, snack or paired with Jackfruit Carnitas!
Prep/Total Time: 10 minutes
Two years ago I went to a Franklin Road Runners picnic and I wanted to bring a unique dish. I had never tried jackfruit before and I thought it seemed interesting so I whipped up some Korean BBQ jackfruit tacos and the group all really liked them. They didn't even know they were vegan! Since they were such a hit I have made them several times since then. I had been wanting to try different versions and thought carnitas would be a great one to cook. I am hosting a cooking demo at the Williamson County Health Department and I thought these would be great to test out on new tasters! While jackfruit makes for a great meat replacement due to its texture and how easily it absorbs the flavors you add to it, it unfortunately doesn't have the protein. I added in the beans to help with that and also served it with my White Bean Guacamole to make the meal more filling. If you want to add more veggies into your life or try out new recipes, you have to give this one a go! This makes for a cheap, easy and delicious Taco Tuesday :) You can order a bunch of the jackfruit boxes from Amazon or purchase them from Sprouts (I'm sure it is available in other stores but I haven't checked). The best part is that this is a fun, unique, healthy, delicious budget meal! To feed a family of 4 with 2 tacos each PLUS the guacamole and chips - it falls under a total of $10 (and that even includes buying all of the spices which you might already have)!
Prep/Total Time: 20 minutes
I used to love Chex Mix as a fun snack (in moderation) but ever since I discovered I couldn't eat gluten anymore, I haven't been able to eat it (unless I make it myself). I like homemade Chex Mix because I can add my own flavors and ingredients to personalize it just for me. Last week for Steeplechase, one of the dishes I made was my Champions Corner Chex Mix. Everyone loved it so I decided to share with the world in case you can't eat the pre-bagged Chex Mix either! For the tailgate, I added in the yogurt covered raisins and Boston Baked Beans candy for the Patriotic Party effect. This recipe leaves those two ingredients out to keep it dairy-free. Feel free to play around with different amounts of ingredients to fit your taste. I added in the bourbon since we were going to Steeplechase and it seemed like a very Kentucky Derby like thing to do. I also love making a sweet and spicy flavored mix but I thought this flavor was more unique and fun to post! Maybe I will add in another one later :)
Servings: 50 (1/4 cup servings)
Prep/Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Last Saturday was the 78th Iroquois Steeplechase - Nashville's rite of spring since 1941, a celebration of southern traditions, hospitality and fashion. The event attracts around 25,000 spectators from near and far to watch the best horses and riders in the world race over hurdles on a 3 mile turf track.
Since Josh and I moved to the Nashville area, we have attended this fun event. Each year gets better and better. We decided to tailgate this year (instead of general admission) and when we realized there was a tailgating contest we knew we had to enter and go all out! The categories were: Best Overall, Best Food Spread, Best Dressed and People's Choice. We came up with a theme and based our decor, clothing and food around it. Our theme was: Stars, Stripes and Stallions. Everyone loved it but unfortunately we didn't win any of the categories :/ BUT, I still think we did a great job and the theme (without the horses) would be great for any red, white and blue, American or Patriotic party/get-together/tailgate/BBQ/etc. Memorial Day, Flag Day and Independence Day are coming up so if you are planning a party - hopefully this will help!
My friend Tara (in the red hat) did all of the fabulous decorations that she picked up mainly from the dollar store and Hobby Lobby. I especially loved the truck tailgate lounge! Josh purchased his red pants, hat and suspenders from Amazon and that is where I got my dress from as well. I bought my hat from Tuesday Morning.
As always, Josh and I focused on (mainly) healthy, fresh foods that were all gluten-free! Everything was pretty easy to make ahead of time and/or to cook right before serving. It all tasted amazing and we are already thinking about how to go bigger and better next year! I hope this helps for your future party planning adventures with a patriotic theme :) Enjoy!
The Menu - serves 8+
Star Spangled Spinach Dip
*16 oz unsweetened dairy-free yogurt with 1 Tbsp ranch seasoning (store bought or homemade), 2 Tbsp mayo and 10 oz frozen spinach (thawed, cooked and cooled) all mixed together. Top with diced tomatoes and served with blue corn tortilla chips.
Champions Corner Chex Mix
*Gluten-free chex mix (store bought or homemade) mixed with yogurt covered raisins and Boston Baked Beans candy.
American Flag Fruit Tray
*I used blueberries, strawberries, and gluten-free yogurt covered pretzels for the flag design.
*Ribs were smoked the night before with a mixture of salt, pepper, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder, slathered with my homemade BBQ sauce and then grilled right before serving.
Let Freedom Wing
*Wings were seasoned with a mixture of salt, pepper, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder and were grilled right before serving (with ranch).
Red, White and Bleu Cheese Pasta Salad
*16 oz gluten-free spiral pasta with 2 diced tomatoes, 1 diced red bell pepper, the diced whites from 4 green onions and 2 oz bleu cheese crumbles all mixed with a drizzle of olive oil, white wine vinegar and a dash of salt and pepper.
Bacon Wrapped Firecrackers
*Jalapenos and sweet peppers stuffed with cream cheese mixed with a bit of fresh pineapple, wrapped in 1/3 slice of bacon, held together with a toothpick, sprinkled with BBQ seasoning and grilled right before serving.
Patriotic PB Cookies
*Find this flourless cookie recipe here!
The Lonesome Glory
*1 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc mixed with 1 bottle of sparkling apple juice (no sugar added) with pineapple (cut into stars using a cookie cutter), grapes and blackberries (or any red, white and blue fruit). Served in a glass with pineapple stars, raspberries and blackberries.
I am a food loving, activity seeking health coach who resides in Franklin, TN with my husband and two sweet dogs (Lola & Penny).
I believe everyone should eat balanced and not cut food groups if you don't medically need to. All foods can fit in a healthy diet. Unfortunately, I have to avoid gluten and also limit myself with dairy, so my goal is to provide healthy, gluten-free/dairy-free recipes so EVERYONE can enjoy all foods, even if you do have to cut out certain food groups. My recipes are encouraged for everyone to eat, not just for those with sensitivities/allergies! Most of my recipes can be easily converted by using real dairy and whole-wheat in place of my allergy-free substitutes.
Looking for something specific? Everything can be found by category under the "Life" and "Recipes" sections on my website or you can search below.