Summer is the time of year when we all want to eat a little healthier before hitting the beach or the pool…but, it’s also the same time of year when we are tempted with all the yummy (and not so good for us) foods at picnics and barbeques. Have no fear…I’ve found a way to modify a couple of old favorites!
Deviled eggs are one of my all-time favorite picnic foods. They always seem to be the first empty plate on the buffet! I decided to make them this year for my family’s Memorial Day picnic at the farm and I added my own healthy twist.
What you’ll need:
- 2 dozen eggs
- 5.3 oz. greek yogurt (I used a single serving of Oikos nonfat Greek yogurt)
- 7 tbsp. mayonnaise (I used Smart Balance)
- 1/2 tbsp. ground mustard
- 1/2 tbsp. seasoned salt
- Paprika (for garnish)
Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Boiling eggs has never been my forte, but I’ve found a tried and true method that is perfect. Once your water is boiling, add your eggs and set a timer for 16 minutes. Once your time is up, move your eggs to a bowl filled with ice water.
With this boiling method, your eggs will peel very easily! Peel them and rinse any residual shells off the eggs. Slice them in half the long way and make sure to place your yolks in a bowl.
Now you’re ready to mix up the deviled egg filling. Start by mashing up the yolks until they are relatively smooth…you don’t want lumps. Stir in the mayo, greek yogurt, ground mustard and seasoned salt until combined.
Now at this point, because it was midnight, I didn’t really take pictures to finish out the recipe! Bear with me. 🙂 Once you’re mixture is ready, you can either spoon it into the eggs or use a plastic bag to pipe it in. I opted for the latter, so I simply spooned the mixture into a sandwich bag, cut one of the corners and piped it into the eggs. When you are ready to serve, sprinkle a little paprika over the top. I also forgot to take my camera with me to the picnic, so I had to snap a quick pic on my phone! These eggs are protein-packed because of the eggs and the greek yogurt. Beware, they don’t travel well unless you have a plate made for eggs, so mine look a little messy!
Parmesan Caesar Cups
I love a good caesar salad, but I wanted to find a way to make it more picnic friendly. Enter: parmesan cheese cups. Monday was supposed to be a low-carb day for my on my carb-cycling meal plan, but I knew that wouldn’t happen with hotdogs and buns around! I thought I’d add a couple healthy things to the menu that I could also enjoy and these salad cups were a hit with everyone!
What you’ll need:
- 4.5 cups of shredded parmesan (3 1-1/2 cup bags)
- Romaine lettuce
- Caesar dressing (I opted for the greek yogurt Bolthouse version)
- Grated parmesan cheese
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cover some large baking sheets with aluminum foil and spray with a nonstick cooking spray. I was able to fit 12 parmesan cups on a baking sheet and made a total of 46 cups. Make little mounds of parmesan cheese on the baking sheets about 2 to 2-1/2 inches in diameter.
Bake the parmesan cheese for about 4 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Only do one sheet at a time because the next step can get a little tricky and you need to move quickly!
The cheese will be fairly malleable and a little difficult to work with, but using a thin spatula, peel each one up and place it over the back of a mini muffin tin to form a little cup. You can use small shot glasses or something similar for this part, but I found that it was better to keep the cups on the muffin tins for a little until they cooled to make sure they maintained the cup shape.
Once they are cooled, they are ready to be filled with salad! Simply mix a bag of romaine lettuce with the caesar dressing. I used about half of the bottle, but you can adjust based on your taste. Once you add some of the caesar salad to the cups, sprinkle a little parmesan cheese over the top and serve while cold!
Picnics don’t have to derail your healthy eating. You can enjoy these healthier options guilt-free at your next picnic!