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Healthy Picnic Food Ideas

Lighten up your summer outings with these healthy picnic recipes and tips.

Healthy Picnic Food: Recipes continued...

In a large bowl, combine fresh cooked corn or thawed corn, zucchini, tomatoes, green onions, bell peppers, salad dressing, and, if desired, cayenne pepper. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally. If desired, garnish with fresh thyme.

Yield: 8 side-dish servings

Per serving: 99 calories, 5 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 253 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein

Antipasto Kabobs

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members:  Journal one serving as 1 cup vegetables without fat + 1 ounce low-fat cheese

The variety of textures, colors, and flavors in this recipe makes it the perfect prelude to virtually any entrée. These no-cook kabobs can also be served as satisfying snacks.

Prep: 30 minutes; marinate: 1 to 24 hours.

11⁄2 to 2 cups assorted fresh vegetables (such as baby carrots, halved radishes, bell pepper squares, whole miniature bell peppers, or halved pattypan squash)
2 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, provolone cheese, or smoked Gouda cheese, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces

2 ounces cooked smoked turkey sausage, cut into 3⁄4-inch-thick slices and quartered

2 tablespoons refrigerated basil pesto

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

12 whole fresh basil leaves

Place vegetables, cheese, and sausage in a self-sealing plastic bag set in a deep bowl.

For marinade, in a small bowl stir together pesto and vinegar; pour over vegetable mixture. Seal bag; turn to coat vegetable mixture. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 24 hours, turning bag occasionally.

On 12 4-inch-long wooden skewers, alternately thread vegetables, cheese, sausage, and basil leaves.

Yield: 12 skewers (6 servings)

Per serving: 84 calories, 6 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 13 mg cholesterol, 188 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 5 g protein.

White Bean and Artichoke Dip

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members:  Journal one serving as 1 serving bread

Artichokes are naturally fat free and are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and folate. Enjoy their delicate flavor and nutritional benefits in this smooth, creamy dip.

Prep: 30 minutes; bake: 10 minutes per batch (pita chips); chill: 2 to 24 hours.  

2    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12  cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1    cup chopped onion
1    tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1    19-ounce can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
1    14-ounce can artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained
1    tablespoon lemon juice

1/8  teaspoon cayenne pepper
1    recipe Whole-Wheat Pita Chips or 8 cups assorted vegetable dippers (such as carrot sticks, celery sticks, and/or red bell pepper strips)

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add thinly sliced garlic; cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until garlic is tender and golden brown (reduce heat to medium-low if garlic is browning too quickly). Stir in onion and thyme. Cook and stir about 5 minutes more or until onion is tender.

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