Want to send summer out in style? Take a break from packing away the bathing suits and buying school supplies to host a Labor Day picnic featuring South Beach Diet-friendly foods. With our recipes and tips for perfect picnicking, you’ll find it easy to celebrate this holiday and stick to your weight-loss goals.
Get Off to a Great Start
Start off with some delicious appetizers. Pack plenty of crisp, raw vegetables to serve with our White Bean Spread with Sage. This make-ahead dip, which serves 20 and can be prepared in just 10 minutes, is also good with pita crisps or whole-wheat crackers on Phase 2. You could also hollow out cherry tomatoes, fill them with reduced-fat goat cheese, and top each with a finely chopped fresh herb of your choice. Pack in a shallow tray in the cooler. You can also pack some hummus, reduced-fat cheese sticks, and nuts.
Wrap It Up
If you’re keeping the menu simple and going with sandwiches, there’s nothing easier to pack for a picnic than wraps. On Phase 2, spread whole-wheat tortillas with any flavor of light spreadable cheese. Layer on lean deli style turkey or ham. Roll up the tortillas and refrigerate for about an hour or until firm. If you’re on Phase 1, substitute Bibb or romaine lettuce for the tortillas.
Classic Picnic Fare—Updated
Our Oven-Fried Chicken with Almonds will remind you of the cold fried chicken you used to eat as a kid at big family picnics. It’s actually baked, not fried, and can be made ahead of time for your picnic. Wrap and chill it, and keep it cold at the picnic site until it’s time to eat. If you feel that no picnic is complete without potato salad, try our Summertime Sweet Potato Salad, which is a flavorful dish that combines cooked, cubed sweet potato with sliced scallion and diced red bell pepper in a tangy yogurt-based dressing.
End the Meal on a Sweet Note
To end the picnic, serve fruit kebabs made by threading strawberries, cantaloupe, peaches, and/or bananas on small wooden skewers. Grill, if desired (but soak the skewers first if you do). Fruit kebabs are permissible once you’re on Phase 2.
Or, for all Phases, bring along our Black Bean Brownie Bites, which use fiber-rich black beans and extra-virgin olive oil and are deliciously fudgy. If you’re on Phase 2, make a batch of our Mocha-Hazelnut brownies (leftovers freeze beautifully.)