Healthy Picnic Recipes

Taking a trip to the beach or lake can be awesome, but some of the typical foods that get packed can be full of preservatives, salt and unhealthy fats. Instead, try some of these yummy and Healthy Picnic Recipes
Rainbow Veggies & Chicken Pinwheels:
A beautiful rainbow of veggies, and protein packed chicken are combined with ranch spread on a rolled tortilla. To make healthy and delicious pinwheel sandwiches:
4 large tortillas
2/3 cup whipped cream cheese (can use light)
1 tablespoon dry ranch powder (you can also use store bought)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper strips
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot strips
1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper strips
1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage
1 cup cooked shredded chicken (optional)
Mix together the cream cheese and ranch powder until thoroughly combined.
Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the 4 tortillas.
Leaving a 1 inch border on all sides, lay out 2 tablespoons of each vegetable in rows across the tortillas; top with shredded chicken.
Roll up each tortilla tightly; if the ends don’t stay shut you can add a bit more cream cheese to seal. Cut crosswise into pinwheels and serve.
Vegetarian Muffuletta Sandwich:
It may seem like a complicated recipe for a sandwich, but this stacked vegetarian Italian sandwich made with an olive tapenade and eggplant is sure to wow with its beautiful layers and an amazingly healthy picnic recipes.
Serves 8
1 Head of Garlic, large
13 oz (368g) Red Bell Peppers, about two medium* (See note)
1 lb (454g) Eggplant
2 C (462g) Olive Tapenade * (See the recipe link above)
1 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar
1 Loaf of Ciabatta or Rustic Sourdough Loaf, 1 lb (454g)
3 Tbs Pepperoncini, sliced thin
1 C (234g) Canned Artichokes, halved, rinsed, drained and any tough leaves removed
2 Leaves of Swiss Chard or a few hand-fulls of another sturdy leafy green, such as spinach.
3 Slices of Smoked Provolone, optional
Sea Salt
Ground Black Pepper
2-3 Tbs of Extra Virgin Olive Oil as needed, divided
Preheat oven to 450F (232C). Set oven rack in center of the oven.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Cut the top end (not the root) off of the garlic head, exposing the tops of each garlic clove.
Drizzle 1 tsp of olive oil over the cloves and wrap loosely in foil.
Set it on the parchment lined pan.
Slice the bell peppers in half, deseed and lay flat, flesh side down, on the parchment lined sheet pan. It’s okay to press on them a bit. Set the timer for 20 minutes and roast the peppers and garlic.
While the peppers and garlic are roasting, trim the stem of the eggplant. Slice the eggplant lengthwise into at least 6, ¼” (2½cm) pieces. Sprinkle each side with a pinch of sea salt and place in a colander to drain for 15 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. Spread each side with about ¼ tsp olive oil. Place on the same sheet pan as the peppers are roasting on and roast for 20 minutes. The peppers, garlic and eggplant should come out of the oven at the same time. (Peppers and Garlic roasts for 40 min.; Eggplant roasts for 20 minutes)
Place peppers in a lidded container for 20 minutes. This will make the skin release with ease. Peel pepper skin and set peppers aside. Peel the garlic then mash the cloves until a paste forms. Set aside.
Mix the tapenade with red wine vinegar, set aside.
Slice the bread lengthwise with a serrated knife. Dig out the inside of the bread on both sides. Try to leave enough crust as to keep the sandwich sturdy. Save the bread dug out and make croutons or bread crumbs with it. Optional – brush on a bit of olive oil, no more than 1 Tbs., on the insides of the bread. Be careful here, the bread can get soggy … only this if you love a bit more olive oil (I brush it on mine).
Spread the garlic on both sides of the bread. It will be thin. Spread the tapenade on both sides of the bread. Yes, all of it. Press as you spread.
On the bottom side of bread, layer in the following order: 3 slices of eggplant, artichoke, bell pepper, 3 slices of eggplant, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper, pepperoncini, chard or spinach and optional cheese. Place top on sandwich and gently press down.
Tightly wrap the sandwich three times to ensure nothing leaks out and place it in the fridge. Place a heavy object on top of the sandwich, such as cast iron skillet, or box of wine. Let marinate and press for at least 3 hours. Overnight is better.
Cut into 2″ wide pieces and then cut in ½ for a smaller sandwich. I yield 5, 2″ wide (5cm) pieces, but cut the center cuts in half to make smaller sandwiches. Cut to your needs.
Rewrap any remaining pieces tightly in plastic wrap and store for up to two days.
Lentil Cauliflower Picnic Salad:
Lentils are a great meat-free source of protein and when paired with cauliflower in this salad, it makes a satisfying, healthy picnic recipes.
Serves 8
INGREDIENTS For the cauliflower:
2 medium sized cauliflowers, broken into florets
¾ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon ground cilantro
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
For the lentils:
4 cups water
2 cups black lentils
 For the salad:
½ cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 small red onion, halved and finely sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the cauliflower: preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the cauliflower and then spread evenly onto the baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes, until the cauliflower is softened but still a bit crunchy.
Prepare the lentils: In a large pot, bring the water to a boil, and then add the lentils.
Cook for 20 minutes, until they are al-dente. Strain and allow to cool to room temperature.
Prepare the salad: Place the cauliflower and lentils in a large bowl and mix until combined. Add the cilantro, and red onion and mix to combine.
Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, taste, and adjust seasonings accordingly.
Top with crumbled feta cheese and serve.
Black Rice Salad With Mango And Cashew:
This tasty black rice salad is made with “forbidden rice,” sweet mangoes, oranges and crunchy cashews.
2 oranges
1/4 fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons neutral flavored oil
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 cups black rice
2 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2” dice
1 cup cilantro leaves
1 cup finely chopped red onion
3/4 cup toasted chopped cashews
6 green onions, thinly sliced
2 jalapeños, seeded and finely minced
Cook the black rice according to package directions. Set aside, covered, for 15 minutes once cooking is complete.
Cut the tops and bottoms off each orange then cut the skin off of each, making sure there is no white pith. Working over a bowl to catch the juices, use a small sharp knife to cut between each membrane to release the orange segments. Once all orange segments have been removed, squeeze the juice from the membrane. Cut the orange segments in half and set aside.
Strain the orange juice into a small bowl. Add the lime juice, oil and fish sauce and whisk. Set aside.
Spread cooked rice out on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with dressing and season generously with salt. Mix well and set aside to cool.
Place rest of ingredients in a large bowl. Add rice and toss gently to combine. Season with more salt and lime juice if desired.
Enjoy the some of your summer with these healthy picnic recipes on your next day trip.
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 Recipes courtesy of Matkonation, Dinner at the Zoo, Honest Cooking and The Endless Meal.