Summer brings lots of invitations to potluck cookouts, so you'll need an arsenal of sides and desserts to share. Whether your al fresco meal is around a grill, on a sandy beach or under a shady tree, these favorite summer picnic sides and desserts will round out your meal. Made with some of the best vegetables and fruits of summer, these dishes are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and swap unhealthy saturated fats with healthy monounsaturated ones. So say "yes" to all those invitations, whip up some of these healthy recipes and enjoy the best of the outdoors!
Recipes for summer picnic faves:
Basil-Cinnamon Peaches are a delight for the eyes as well as the palate. Poaching the peach halves in their skins gives the syrup a rosy blush. For visual enjoyment, pack these colorful fruit in a clear glass jar. Make them ahead of time and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Colorful Bean & Tomato Salad with Honey Vinaigrette really shines if you can find a colorful mix of tomatoes and beans at your local farmers' market. Recently harvested beans (and thus freshly dried), as many heirloom beans are, cook more quickly than those usually found at conventional markets.
An old favorite with an updated nutritional profile, this healthy Carrot Cake recipe with zingy cream cheese frosting is still as moist and delicious as ever.
Cheddar Cornmeal Biscuits with Chives take a mere 35 minutes from start to finish-whip up a batch right before you head out and they'll still be warm on your picnic.
This Broccoli Salad with Creamy Feta Dressing comes together in a mere 20 minutes and can be made a day in advance.
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 ounces broccoli crowns, trimmed and finely chopped (about 3 cups)
1 7-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1. Whisk feta, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and pepper in a medium bowl until combined.
2. Add broccoli, chickpeas and bell pepper; toss to coat. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Makes 4 servings, 1 cup each
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 122 calories; 3 g fat (2 g sat, 1 g mono); 11 mg cholesterol; 18 g carbohydrate; 7 g protein; 4 g fiber; 260 mg sodium; 324 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (140% daily value), Vitamin A (50% dv), Folate (22% dv), Calcium (15% dv). 1 Carbohydrate Serving. Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat.
By Carolyn Malcoun
When associate editor Carolyn Malcoun came to Vermont to attend New England Culinary Institute, she knew she didn't want to work in a restaurant but knew that she wanted to do something in the food industry. Luckily she discovered EatingWell, where she's able to combine her love of food and writing.
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