A Classic and Healthy Summer Picnic

August 4, 2013 Updated: April 24, 2016

The classic summer picnic is tied to celebrations and is a cornerstone of our memories and traditions. Making it healthy yet including your favorite classic foods may seem like a big challenge. For my family, the ultimate memorable picnic means fried chicken with a variety of salads, and of course, a delicious dessert!  But how to make them fit into your healthier lifestyle? It is not as hard as you think. Read on for my most recent classic and healthy picnic fare:

For the healthiest version of fried chicken, I used a recipe that pre-cooks the chicken and then “flash fries” it for about 1-2 minutes at the very end. A great video that shows you how to do it is: Rocco Dispirito talks to Marlo Thomas about Flash Frying Chicken (280/cal per serving). The video shows boneless; I did bone-in legs for easy picnic food so the flash fry was a little longer. I also seasoned it the “traditional way” with salt, paprika and pepper. It is truly delicious and authentic tasting.

For the fresh and healthy salads I chose Sugar Snap Peas with a Lime and Basil Dressing (90/cal per serving). The online link has one of the ingredients listed incorrectly; it should be 2 limes (not 2 lbs.!) for the lime juice you need. I also included about a teaspoon of lime zest to add more flavor and use more of the goodness from the lime.

The second salad, in keeping with the tradition of having a potato salad at your picnic, is a Potato-Portobello Salad (119/cal per serving). The “oomph” I add to this recipe is grilling the Portobellos for a about a minute on each side, either on your outside grill or in a cast-iron skillet. Just spray with an olive oil spray so they don’t stick and they are easy to grill.

As the finale to the Perfect Summer Picnic, I chose my healthy and savory Lavender Lemon Bars (118/cal per serving) for a refreshing and satisfying way to finish the meal.

Total calories for your summertime picnic is 607. Pretty amazing calorie count when you realize that includes fried chicken! Enjoy! and Live Vibrant!