7.06.2015

Taste of Chicago Giveaway!

As you may recall, I have mixed feelings about Taste of Chicago. On one hand, it's the city's biggest food festival of the year, and as a self-proclaimed taster of all things (as long as they don't involve broccoli), it seems like the Taste would be right up my alley, right?! After all, what foodie wouldn't love spending an afternoon immersing herself in a veritable feast of Chicago delights? However, it's what's on the other hand (e.g. horrendous crowds, annoying people who love using their SUV-sized strollers as weapons, the inevitable heat/humidity) that often gives me pause. Every year, I fight the mental battle of whether or not to attend... and just about every year, it's the food-lovin' part of me (combined with a good ol' dose of FOMO) that finally wins.

This year, rather than heading down to the Taste and aimlessly wandering from booth to booth, I'm pairing up Humana and using their Healthier Choices guide to make my way through the festival. As an eight-year sponsor of Taste, Humana is showcasing its commitment to lifelong well-being for all Chicagoans by providing the Humana Healthier Choices Rewards Program - an interactive experience that rewards attendees for partaking in fun activities and trying Humana Healthier Choices, a physician reviewed listing of appetizers, entrees, and desserts all under 500 calories!



This year’s program features 55 healthy food options from 24 Chicago restaurants that meet nutritional criteria (including vegetarian and gluten-free options), all of which will be identified by a green apple on the menu boards at participating restaurant booths. The Humana Healthier Choices list of items will also be available at the Humana tent, or for you early birds, it can be downloaded at the Taste of Chicago website and via Facebook. All of the restaurants participating in the 2015 Taste of Chicago were invited to submit their menu items for consideration for the Humana Healthier Choices program. For an item to be considered, restaurants must submit nutritional details including calories, sodium content, saturated fat, and the list of ingredients; a panel of five top Chicago-area physicians with expertise in diet and nutrition collaboratively judged each item to assure that nutritional values were met.

Attendees can also stop by the tent for a free Humana Healthier Choices Tag, which comes with a lanyard for a hands-free and convenient experience; participants can collect stamps by sampling any Humana Healthier Choices food item or participating in healthy activities at the Humana tent. Once Taste-goers receive six stamps, they can drop off their badge at the Humana tent to be entered into random prize drawings, donated by the Taste of Chicago restaurants. Festival goers can also take a break from the July heat by enjoying a shaded seating area in the Humana tent, which will feature a backyard barbecue/tailgating theme, trivia wheels and a photo booth. There will also be a Walk & Wellness Station where participants can take a free pedometer and will then be encouraged to return to the tent after walking around the Taste of Chicago to report their steps.

To celebrate the Healthier Choices Rewards Program, Humana has provided me with 24 food tickets for the Taste of Chicago to give away to one lucky reader! To enter the giveaway, simply follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget below. Also, don't forget to share your healthier choices on Instagram: #tasteofchi, #healthierchoices, and #chicagofoodiegirl. The contest ends at 12:00am on Tuesday, 7/7. Winner must pick up tickets from the Humana tent; detailed instructions will be sent to winner via email.

Humana Healthier Choices for Taste of Chicago 2015 (vegetarian options noted by a V): 

Appetizers/Starters – Less than 320 calories, 300 mg sodium and 2 g saturated fat 
Taste Portion of Veggie (Vegan) Burger (V) – Beat Kitchen
Taste Portion of Mustard Fried Catfish – BJ’s Market
Taste Portion of Grilled Chicken Taco – Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill 
Taste Portion of Grilled Steak Taco – Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill 
Corn on the Cob (V) – Mariano’s
Roasted Celtic Corn on the Cob (V) – O'Brien's Restaurant
Taste Portion of Doner Kebab (V) – DönerMen 
Taste Portion of Shrimp on a Stick – Haire's Gulf Shrimp 
Taste Portion of Avocado Toast (V) – Farmer’s Fridge 
Taste Portion of Watermelon Hibiscus Gazpacho (V) – Farmer’s Fridge 
Taste Portion of Chap Chae (V) – Jin Ju

Main Dishes – Less than 500 calories, 500 mg sodium and 4 g saturated fat 
Veggie (Vegan) Burger (V) – Beat Kitchen
Mustard Fried Catfish – BJ’s Market
Grilled Steak Taco – Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill
Grilled Chicken Taco – Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill
Taste Portion of Smoked Alligator – Chicago's Dog House 
Taste Portion of Smoked Rattlesnake with Rabbit – Chicago's Dog House 
Watermelon Hibiscus Gazpacho (V) – Farmer's Fridge
Avocado Toast (V) – Farmer's Fridge
Vegetable Spinach and Plantains (V) – Iyanze
Taste Portion of Jerk Chicken – Iyanze
Chicken Ke-Bob Curry Rice with Vegetables – Kasia’s Deli
Malnati Salad (V) – Lou Malnati’s
Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce and Cucumber Salad – Star of Siam
Doner Kebab (V) – DönerMen
Kebab Salad (V) – DönerMen
Chap Chae (V) – Jin Ju
Vegetable with Cheese Sandwich (V) – Gino's Steaks Truck 
Taste Portion of Chicken Tacos – La Cocinita 
Black Bean and Cheese Arepa with Venezuelan Guacamole (V) – La Cocinita 
Taste Portion of Grilled Cheese (V) – The Fat Shallot

Desserts – Less than 320 calories, 300 mg sodium and 2 g saturated fat 
Taste Portion of Lemon Sorbet (V) – Caffe Gelato
Blood Orange Sorbet (V) – Caffe Gelato
Taste Portion of Peach Cobbler Gelato (V) – Caffe Gelato 
Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato (V) – Caffe Gelato
Italian Lemon Ice (V) – Franco's Ristorante
Taste Portion of Italian Lemon Ice (V) – Franco’s Ristorante  
Italian Watermelon Ice (V) – Franco's Ristorante
Taste Portion of Italian Watermelon Ice (V) – Franco’s Ristorante 
Lemon-Lime Paleta (V) – La Mexicana 
Strawberry Paleta (V) – La Mexicana
Taste Portion of Strawberry Paleta (V) – La Mexicana 
Mango Paleta (V) – La Mexicana
Watermelon Paleta (V) – La Mexicana
Taste Portion of Watermelon Paleta (V) – La Mexicana 
Sliced Watermelon (V) – Mariano’s 
Mango Sorbet (V) – Star of Siam
Chocolate Frozen Baby Banana (V) – The Fudge Pot
Chocolate Dipped Strawberry (V) – The Fudge Pot
Taste Portion of 2 Dinky Donuts (V) – Dinky Donuts
Red Velvet Cupcake Mini (V) – Ms. Tittle's Cupcake 
Frozen Mango Kefir with Granola (V) – Starfruit Café 
Taste Portion of Frozen Mango Kefir (V) – Starfruit Café
Frozen Original Kefir with Fresh Blueberries (V) – Starfruit Café 
Taste Portion of Frozen Original Kefir (V) – Starfruit Café
  
 The following items, available from Dia De Los Tamales, do not meet the Humana Healthier Choices nutrition criteria, but provide options for Taste-goers with gluten-free dietary restrictions:
Slow Roasted Cuban Pork Tamale
Taste Portion of Slow Roasted Cuban Pork Tamale
Spicy Black Bean & Corn Tamale (V)
Taste Portion of Spicy Black Bean & Corn Tamale (V)
Buffalo Chicken with Blue Cheese Tamale
Roasted Pepper Goat Cheese Tamale (V) 

 Disclosure: Humana provided me with Taste tickets so I could share my thoughts and information about Humana’s Healthier Choices with my readers. Thanks for supporting companies that support chicago foodie girl!
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17 comments

  1. The smoked alligator sounds very interesting!

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  2. Ahaha I love that you point out how strollers are used as weaponry at the Taste -- because they SO are! But I love that there are so many healthy options now and I love being able to taste so many things in one spot!

    Sed Bona

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  3. I want all of the desserts especially the Paletas!

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  4. The avocado toast sounds delicious! I'll also take a side of the smoked alligator!

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  5. So many great options! The adventurous side of me wants to go for the Taste Portion of Smoked Rattlesnake with Rabbit from Chicago's Dog House, so we'll see. . . but I'll probably really opt for the Black Bean and Cheese Arepa with Venezuelan Guacamole from La Cocinita along with a few other things.

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  6. Chap Chae, I've never seen it spelled like that though. ..always Jap Chae or the smoked Alligator. Alligator is actually pretty darn good!

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  7. Chap Chae, I've never seen it spelled like that though. ..always Jap Chae or the smoked Alligator. Alligator is actually pretty darn good!

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  8. Chap Chae, I've never seen it spelled like that though. ..always Jap Chae or the smoked Alligator. Alligator is actually pretty darn good!

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  9. I'm most excited to try the avocado toast!!! Everything sounds so delicious though!!

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  10. I want to try the grilled steak taco!

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  11. Chap Chae, I never tried it.

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  12. I know what you mean. Yes, it's a good opportunity to try lots of different things, but I hate having to constantly weave through swarms of suburbanites to get anywhere. And they overflow to my neighborhood. I either avoid it entirely or join them!

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  13. Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato sounds like a good way to cool down as well as being a healthier choice!

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  14. Thongsy SingvongsaJuly 6, 2015 at 2:17 PM

    I haven't been to the Taste in years. Hope I win so I can go...

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  15. I want to try the rattlesnake with rabbit. I've never had anything like that before!

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  16. I would love to try the grilled chicken taco and the watermelon gazpacho! So many things on this list look delicious though!

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  17. Definitely the smoked alligator!

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