Kathy Ireland Designs Acafe Society Celebrity Chef Andre Carthen ‘Picnic Fare’

Picnic fare

As the weather gets warmer we start to head outdoors for work, play and a favorite pastime a picnic. A summertime tradition; the word picnic actually comes from the French pique-nique, meaning “a fashionable social entertainment” in which each guest brings a contribution to the feast. In other words, pique-nique was a fancy way of saying “potluck.”

Picnic basket should equal healthy basket and why not, you’re dinning outdoors so your fare should be just as fresh and healthy as your surroundings.  For many, the picnic basket has traditionally consisted of comfort foods – fatty foods. Fried Chicken, potato salad, chips, cookies, cakes and other foods that threaten your diet and will power.

Instead of loading your basket with old time fat favorites try replacing some of the items with something similar yet healthier. Swap out white potatoes with for their healthier cousin, sweet potatoes. Pasta salad? Opt for whole-grain pasta, quinoa, couscous or you could even try a brown rice salad with cranberries and walnuts with a lite orange vinaigrette.

Summer are bursting with flavors, so fill your basket with farm fresh, sun ripen produce like, berries, cherries, peaches, watermelon, cherry tomatoes, corn, zucchini and fresh herbs.

Like the crunch? Reach for raw veggies instead of the high fat chips. Crisp veggies are not only nutritious they also travel well. Load up your cooler with sliced cumbers, mini-carrots, celery, asparagus tips, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower and a low-cal dip or hummus. For the little ones, Ants on a log* or apple slices with reduce fat and reduced sodium peanut butter, make great snacking food.  Free to subscribe to Bella Petite!

Above all, keep it simple. The secret of a successful picnic is simplicity, plus careful planning and packing. It doesn’t pay to be too ambitious – the biggest mistake most people make is assuming that dishes which work at home will be just as good al fresco.

Generally, finger food is the most successful picnic fare. But if a sandwich is not you thing try an alternative. Why not try your favorite fillings in pita bread, a whole wheat tortilla or even just wrapped in lettuce {low-carb and healthy}. Smart dogs (meatless franks), veggie wraps and lean turkey on 100% whole wheat bread are healthier alternatives to cold fried chicken.

If you must chomp on a chip reach for a baked, low-sodium chip, like Terra Vegetable Chips, Food Should Taste Good™ multigrain Tortilla Chips or a Sensible Foods® Crunch Dried® 100% fruit snack. Now when it comes to quenching a thirst, nothing beats H2O.

Another way to satisfy a thirst is with a thermos or beverage cooler filled with Citrus-ade (which is my version of good ol’ lemonade made with ½ fresh squeezed orange juice and ½ fresh squeezed lemon juice) or you could add fresh strawberries or blue berries for a flavor treat.

*Herb and Green ice teas are the new flavor sensations, but you don’t have to buy these herbs infused elixirs, you can make them right in you own kitchen.

While brewing your tea add a couple sprigs of you favorite herb; rosemary or mint are two of my favorites. You can also add dried ginger, cinnamon or cinnamon sticks for a spicier tea.

Sweet ending; even a sweet tooth can be a healthy tooth. Yogurt, fruit salad, even a Zucchini or Carrot loaf, made with whole wheat flour will do the trick.

But if that’s just too healthy, then go for a slice of Lemon Pound Cake with Ginger Peaches and Blue berries topping.

A picnic checklist can help in making sure you have everything you need.  Be sure to include a weather proof blanket or tarp to putdown under the blanket,that will keep a damp ground away.

Picnic Checklist

Packed basket or cooler, candles, bug spray, sunscreen, moist towelets, hand sanitizer, flashlight, first aid kit, umbrella- for too much sunshine, zip lock bags, bottle/wine opener, a sharp knife, small cutting board, bags of ice or freezer packs, paper towels. camera, extra blanket or sweater if going out at night, and the head outdoors, eat-up and enjoy your picnic fare…before the ants get to it! Free to subscribe to Bella Petite!

Chef Andre: Americana Picnic fare 

Assorted Sandwiches

Crisp Spring Veggies with hummus

Brown Rice Cranberry Walnut Salad

Apple and Sun Raisin Cole Slaw

Sweet Potato Salad

Lemon Pound Cake w/ ginger fresh summer peaches and blue berries


Apple, Sun Raisin Cole Slaw

Zesty sweet with a little crunch

1 package, mixed Cole slaw

1 large apple, cored and chopped into bit size pieces

½ cup sun raisins

½ cup Poppy Seed dressing

Combine all ingredients well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Serves 6-8

Roasted Sweet Potato and Corn Salad

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 cobs corn, roasted, kernels removed

1 small red onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, large, chopped

½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

olive oil

salt & pepper

1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400ºF.  Shuck corn, wrap in foil and place in oven or on grill. Roasted until tender, cool and remove kernels. On a large baking sheet, place cubed sweet potato, onion and garlic, drizzle with about 2 tbsp olive oil. Bake 20 minutes or until tender. In a medium bowl, combined ingredients, toss with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt & pepper. Serves 6

Written by: Chef Andre Acafe Society


Tune in to “Summer Fun in The Sun” with Kathy Ireland Design Ambassadors Nicholas Walker of Jardin and celebrity Chef Andre Carthen of Acafe Society.  Together both Nicholas and Chef Andre will help fill your self-care toolbox with ways to feel good, stay happy, healthy and live a harmonious lifestyle!   TUNE IN NOW

The Bella Petite Hour live broadcast are every Tuesday at 10am PST and 1pm EST on America’s Web Radio.  The podcast are available here on the Bella Petite radio page and itunes.


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