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Light and Delicious Nutritious Outdoor Meal Ideas

When it comes to dining outdoors there are many foods to choose from. I like easy to make delicious  light meals because when it hot, I don’t want to eat anything that is too heavy. It is easy to have a nutritious outdoor experience with a turkey wrap, grain bowl or chicken salad for a backyard bite that doesn’t go overboard.

Lunch On the Go
A healthy combination of plant-based foods and turkey easily turns into a quick lunch. This wrap brings together a variety of textures with crunchiness from the apples and spinach, substance from the turkey and creamy, simple dressing. Find more quick, healthy recipes at aicr.org.
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Turkey, Spinach and Apple Wrap

Recipe reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research

  • 1          tablespoon reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2          teaspoons honey mustard
  • 2          whole-wheat lavash wraps or flour tortillas (8 inches each)
  • 2          cups baby spinach leaves, loosely packed, washed and dried
  • 4          thin slices turkey breast
  • 1/4       Granny Smith apple, sliced paper-thin
  1. Combine mayonnaise and mustard. Lay out both wraps. Spread edges of each with mayonnaise mixture.
  2. Leaving space on one side of wraps, arrange layer of greens on top of wraps. Top each layer with two slices of turkey. Evenly divide apple slices and lay lengthwise across turkey. Fold over one end of wrap then both sides. Roll wrap as tightly as possible toward opposite side.
  3. Cover each wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate seam-side down, up to 4 hours, before serving. To serve, remove plastic wrap and cut each wrap in half at an angle.

Substitution: Two large leaves of soft, leafy green lettuce can be used in place of baby spinach leaves.

Greens and Grains
Dedicating more of your plate to fresh-from-the-garden produce as well as rice and grains can lead to a healthier lifestyle, according to Cheryl Forberg, registered dietitian and award-winning chef and nutritionist for “The Biggest Loser.”

To start living healthier and greener lives, Forberg recommends starting a garden. This hands-on approach is a fun way to learn about nutrition and where food comes from. Following produce from seed to plate can compel you to eat more healthfully.

Forberg furthers her personal dedication to the seed- to-plate journey through her involvement with Seeds of Change, which invests in healthier and greener communities by offering both organic seeds and foods, and delivers an annual grant program that benefits school and community gardening as well as farming programs. This year, the grant program will award $310,000 to participants who plan to help their communities and teach people about sustainability and where fresh food comes from.

Learn more about starting a community garden and living a greener, healthier life at seedsofchangegrant.com.

Warm Grain Bowl with Wild Salmon, Almonds and Salsa Verde

Total time: 20-25 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 8          wild salmon fillets (3 ounces each)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • fresh pepper, to taste
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1          cup asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2       cup shitake mushroom caps, sliced
  • 1          package Seeds of Change Quinoa, Brown & Red Rice with Flaxseeds
  • 1/4       cup slivered almonds

Salsa Verde (optional):

  • 1          bunch scallions
  • 1          clove garlic
  • 1/2       cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 1/2       cup packed mint leaves
  • 1/2       cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/2       cup lemon juice
  • 1/3       cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. In oven-proof pan, season salmon with salt and pepper, and drizzle each fillet with olive oil. Bake 12-15 minutes, until cooked through.
  3. In blender or food processor, combine all Salsa Verde ingredients and pulse until fully incorporated but still rustic and chunky. Set aside.
  4. In medium saute pan over medium-high heat, heat remaining olive oil. Add mushrooms and asparagus and saute vigorously 3-5 minutes. Add grains and slivered almonds, and continue to saute until heated through, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Divide grains among eight plates, place a piece of salmon on each plate then finish with dollop of Salsa Verde, if desired, and serve.

Substitution: Shitake mushroom caps may be substituted with button mushrooms or other wild mushrooms.

Savory Salad
Even when you plan to take dining outdoors, a tasty salad still makes for an ideally nutritious meal. This salad brings together an assortment of veggies for a Tomato-Cucumber Salsa to top succulent baked chicken and greens. Find more recipes perfect for dining al fresco at chickenroost.com.

Baked Greek Chicken Salad

Recipe courtesy of the National Chicken Council
Servings: 4

Tomato-Cucumber Salsa:

  • 2          plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1          small cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2       green pepper, julienned
  • 1/4       purple onion, sliced
  • 2          tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/8       teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8       teaspoon salt
  • 1/8       teaspoon basil
  • 1/8       teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8       teaspoon Greek seasoning
  • 1/8       teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8       teaspoon dry mustard

Salad:

  • 4          boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4       cup melted butter
  • 1          lemon, juiced
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1          teaspoon oregano
  • 1          teaspoon Greek seasoning
  • 1          package mixed Italian salad greens
  • 2          ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • black olives
  • pepperoncini peppers
  1. To make Tomato-Cucumber Salsa: In medium bowl, mix together tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, purple onion, red wine vinegar, olive oil, vegetable oil, pepper, salt, basil, oregano, Greek seasoning, sugar and dry mustard. Chill until ready to serve.
  2. Heat oven to 350° F.
  3. Place chicken in baking dish. In medium bowl, mix together butter, lemon juice, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and Greek seasoning; pour over chicken. Bake about 50 minutes, uncovered, basting occasionally.
  4. Place salad greens in large serving bowl. Top with Tomato-Cucumber Salsa. Slice chicken in thin strips and arrange on top of salad. Sprinkle with feta cheese and garnish with olives and pepper.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

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15 Comments

  • Reply Julie Wood

    I made Caesar wraps this week and everyone loved them. I like the Turkey, Spinach and Apple Wrap recipe. This is a good recipe to make for lunch and keep cold for the kids.

    June 4, 2017 at 8:39 am
  • Reply SaraAB87

    These look like amazing outdoor meals.

    June 4, 2017 at 9:25 am
  • Reply Rosie

    Everything looks sooo good, I could dig into every one of these! I love the wrap with turkey, spinach and apple!

    June 4, 2017 at 1:24 pm
  • Reply Michelle S

    The salmon recipe sounds yummy! We were just talking about changing up the menus for some tasty summer dishes.

    June 5, 2017 at 9:30 am
  • Reply SaraAB87

    I love wraps, this sounds like an awesome one.

    June 5, 2017 at 10:12 am
  • Reply Kimberly “kaflickinger73” Flickinger

    These are great ideas and I love that they are nutritious ones.

    June 5, 2017 at 11:29 am
  • Reply SaraAB87

    This wrap looks amazing.

    June 9, 2017 at 9:14 am
  • Reply SaraAB87

    This is a great outdoor meal, I love it.

    June 10, 2017 at 9:15 am
  • Reply Zoey

    The Turkey, Spinach and Apple Wrap sounds like a great lunch option!

    June 11, 2017 at 9:58 pm
  • Reply SaraAB87

    This wrap looks delicious.

    June 12, 2017 at 9:41 am
  • Reply SaraAB87

    This looks like an awesome meal.

    June 14, 2017 at 9:09 am
  • Reply Janet W.

    What delicious ideas!! I especially love the wrap! Yummy ingredients!

    June 15, 2017 at 8:08 am
  • Reply Tracie Cooper

    These recipes look amazing! I would love to try the Baked Greek Salad!

    June 17, 2017 at 8:57 pm
  • Reply SaraAB87

    This is a great meal idea.

    June 20, 2017 at 8:45 am
  • Reply Stacey Roberson

    I’m loving these healthy meals. Perfect for Summer!

    June 20, 2017 at 2:47 pm
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