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Picnics as part of having fun...and a great way to spend time on a holiday weekend

May 30, 2011

My husband and I just celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary. As part of my tribute to our longevity I gave him a picnic basket, filled with all the necessary paraphernalia, and a kite. We have known each other since we were 12 years old. Our early dates were spent climbing trees in our local park, flying kites and enjoying Alfresco picnics. I thought it was time to remember how much fun it was to lounge on a blanket in the park, eating good food, listening to great music and, of course, flying a kite.

Spending time outside enjoying each other's company and the spring time sounds fun. A great way to spend time with kids and friends as well. This definitely fits into the Healthy Lifestyle scenario. But what about the picnic part? I think of picnics with fried chicken, potato salad, alcoholic beverages, yummy desserts along with a bounty of other choices of foods.  How can we still make it feel like a picnic but be conscious of healthy food choices? Planning is key. Working through a good design for a menu is a must. Thinking about overall calories has to be incorporated. So I surveyed various resources and came up with some recipes that seemed to fit my concept for a perfect picnic. I decided that a picnic could qualify for 800 calories. Seems like a lot, I know, but my logic was that my daily allotment for snacks as well as a meal could be combined. The other meals for the day could be on the light side as well. I also realized that my previous consumption at a picnic was probably more than double that amount of calories...always humbling to acknowledge...Here is what I came up with:

Picnic Delights

Recipe                                                Resource                               Portion          Calories
Tropical Cucumber Salad                                                                 1 C            169 

Fresh Corn-Cilantro Salad                                                               ¾ C              130         

Oven Fried Chicken                                                                            2pc            226    

Budweiser Select 55                                               12 oz/ 1 bottle       55

Patti’s Chocolate Delights                                                                 1                   113 

Fresh Cherries                                                                                        1 C               74
                                                                                                                  Total              767

We plan on having lots of picnics this summer so count on more picnic menus. I want to come up with menus at different calorie counts and one that is easy to prepare. I also want to give feedback on the recipes and how they were to prepare as well as how tasty they are.

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