Chef Kirsten Helle | Seahawks Favorite healthy recipes and a healthier tailgate at the Albertsons Blue Friday event!
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Seahawks Favorite healthy recipes and a healthier tailgate at the Albertsons Blue Friday event!

It was an incredible honor to be a part of the Albertsons Blue Friday Seahawk Tailgate Fan Rally/Food Drive put together by the Lady 12’s and Mill Creek Albertsons on Friday, October 10! Watch the recap of the excitement below!

12’s came out to donate food to the Mill Creek food bank, meet Seahawks Cooper Helfet (with a surprise cameo with Marshawn Lynch), Bryan Walters and former Seahawk Joe Tafoya!

BF Kirsten

Lesley Keefer photography


Fans were also treated to a tour of The Beast, the ultimate tailgate bus and enjoy delicious Demitri’s Bloody Mary mix.

Lesley Keefer Photography

Lesley Keefer Photography


Entertainment was provided by local artists Xola, Velvett & 1One. 12’s are always up for a party and we certainly got to enjoy a Blue Friday bash Seattle style!


I got to close out the night by showing how I make some of my Seahawk client’s favorite meals and tips for healthier tailgating and was assisted at the grill by Xola and some little 12’s.  Here are some of the favorite recipes that I make for Seattle Seahawk Michael Bennett often, perfect for tailgating!

Lesley Keefer photography

Lesley Keefer photography


Pre-Game Caribbean Shrimp

This recipe is requested often for pre-game meals by one of my clients, Seattle Seahawk Michael Bennett. Enjoy over a bed of quinoa tossed with chopped mango and green onions for a delicious, sweet and savory meal. For tailgating prepare the sauce at home. Stir fry the sauce and shrimp in a wok over your barbecue, or skewer the shrimp and brush with the sauce. This will kick up your tailgate in a healthy way!

Caribbean shrimp recipe

Serves 4-8 as a main dish, up to 12-16 as an appetizer


1-2 lb shrimp, cleaned and deveined, I like to use large shrimp

2 Tb healthy oil/fat of your choice (I love Vitacoco 100% raw organic coconut oil)

1 bunch fresh cilantro, washed

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled

1″ fresh ginger, peeled

2 Tb Tamari soy sauce

1 pinch Kosher/sea salt

1 lime, juiced

1 Tb rice vinegar

2 Tb honey or agave

1/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp dried thyme

Optional – 1/2 – 1 entire habanero/scotch bonnet pepper



Set prepared shrimp aside. Make the sauce by blending the remaining ingredients (except for the oil) in a blender until pureed.


Preheat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add oil, swirl to coat. Pour in the sauce and stir often. Cook until nice and thick. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Cook for 2-3 more minutes until the shrimp are just cooked through. Remove from the heat and serve. Enjoy!


Vitacoco coconut oil


Bennett Baked Beans

This is a variation of another one of Michael Bennett’s favorite meals, often requested every week! I have to keep some of the spices out for allergy purposes, but otherwise it is just the same. I usually make extra of the sauce to pour over baked chicken which goes great with the baked beans. For tailgating make the beans the night before and let them stay warm in the slow cooker overnight. Bring the slow cooker to your tailgate along with a converter to plug in to, and serve up these hot and healthy baked beans for everyone to enjoy! Great with grilled sausages, chicken, or keep it simple by serving with a coleslaw and fresh deli cold cuts for a satisfying pre-game meal you can feel good about!

Healthy baked barbecue beans

Serves 4-6 as a side dish, 4 as a main entree


8 slices nitrate-free, sugar-free bacon (such as Hemplers which I love! It is sweetened with organic honey – no sugar!), chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

2-3 pinches Kosher/sea salt

2 tsp dijon mustard

1 Tb paprika (use smoked paprika for a great, intense smoky flavor)

1 tsp onion powder/granules

1 tsp garlic powder/granules

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

15 oz pureed tomatoes

15 oz kidney beans, rinsed and drained (use canned or cook yourself)

15 oz pinto beans, rinsed and drained (use canned or cook yourself)



Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat.


Add bacon and cook until crispy. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, dijon mustard and seasonings. Stir often, cook until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes.


Add remaining ingredients. At this point you can transfer to the slow cooker and cook on the “keep warm” setting for several hours. You can also transfer to a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Or, to serve immediately, simmer on low, covered for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!


Chef Kirsten’s Tips for a Healthier Tailgate!


It’s easy to pile on the pounds during football season! Piling on the pounds and indulging often means you’re increasing your risk of diseases such as heart disease and other lifestyle related diseases. We want to be around to enjoy more games and great times with friends and family, right? You can still enjoy with these tips:

1. Instead of chips & dip, serve snacks such as popcorn, nuts and baked tortilla chips with salsa and heart-healthy guacamole. Your local Albertsons has a great selection!

2. You don’t have to forgo the old standbys of grilled brats and sausages. Look for healthier versions that are fresh and nitrate free such as chicken sausages. Add lots of sauteed/grilled onions and peppers for flavor and nutrition!

3. Serve burgers/dogs on whole grain buns with lots of fresh toppings.

4. For drinks, skip sugar & artificially flavored drinks and mixers. A great vodka or tequila taste great stirred into a 100% fruit juice (my favorites are Tree Top’s 3-apple blend and Fruit Full, which you can find at your local Albertsons) and topped off with some sparkling water. Keep water handy too. It is easy to drink a lot more than you’d like when everyone is having fun, drinks in hand. Fill your red Solo cup or festive drink holder with water and you won’t feel like you have to keep a beer or drink in hand at all time.


It was an incredible event – Go Hawks! 


Huge thanks to the Lady 12’s, Albertsons and Joe Tafoya for putting this together and for allowing me the honor of being at this event!


Credits: Video – Frazer Loveman, Love One Productions. Photos – Lesley Keefer, Focus Photography.

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