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.
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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.
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