Saturday, March 20, 2010

Guest Blog!

Hey everyone!! Since it's my spring break and I haven't really been writing I asked someone to write a guest blog for me and it's awesome!!  Chen has a blog on picnic ideas and so he has written an article for you all on low cal picnic ideas. So here it is!! ENJOY!

Low Calorie Picnic Food Ideas
Picnics are great, but if you are on a low calorie diet, it can be torture. All those fried foods, delicious desserts, and mouth-watering meats can wreak havoc on someone’s diet with all the calories they have in them. That can turn a good time into a dismal experience.
It doesn’t have to be that way, fortunately. You can (and should) have a low calorie picnic of your own, complete with foods that lack fat but not flavor. You can even grill out without having your entrees loaded down with calories. This article will give you three low calorie picnic ideas : one appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert.
Low Calorie Picnic Food Ideas: Spinach Artichoke Dip
For this appetizer, we are making spinach artichoke dip with low-fat tortilla chips. To make your dip, you will need:
- ½ cup of light sour cream
- 12 ounces of thawed spinach
- 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 12 ounces of artichoke hearts
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 10 ounces of softened cream cheese
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Mix together the sour cream with the artichokes and the cream cheese with the sour cream. Add the Parmesan cheese and the garlic powder. Mix this into a creamy sauce and place into a baking dish that you have sprayed lightly with non-stick spray. Then, stir in the spinach (that has been squeezed dry). Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes. I’d stir every 10 minutes.
Low Calorie Picnic Food Ideas: Grilled Salmon
This dish is fairly easy to make. Just take slabs of salmon and fire up the grill to a moderate heat. Remove the skin and place on the grill. Spritz the top side with lemon juice and throw in some cracked black pepper. If you want, you can prepare a mixture of soy and brown sugar to get a salty-sweet combination going, and coat the salmon with the mixture while grilling. Cover both sides and continue to flip until the salmon is nice and grilled (about 6-8 minutes per side will work, or until the fish begins to flake.)
You can apply the soy-sugar glaze to the salmon overnight to marinate it if you would like.
Low Calorie Picnic Food Ideas: Caramelized Pear Delight
For this delightful treat, you will need:
- 2 whole pears
- Strawberry sauce
- 1 tablespoon of softened cream cheese
This dish is pretty easy to prepare. Peel, core, quarter, and slice your pears lengthwise into thin slices. Coat each side lightly with sugar, and place the slices into a sauté pan along with a ¼ cup of unsalted butter over low heat. Flip until both sides are caramelized. Once you have caramelized them, arrange the slices in an attractive pattern on a plate, with a dollop of cream cheese in the middle. Drizzle with strawberry sauce. If you want, you can place quartered strawberries on the plate for an added garnish.
You can substitute other flavors for the strawberry sauce. Raspberry sauce also works very well, as does cherry, apricot, and blueberry.
This entire three-course meal should come in right under 350 calories per person – and still taste delicious!
This article is courtesy of Chen from Picnic Food Ideas