The other thing is quality of life; if you have a place where you can go and have a picnic with your family, it doesn’t matter if it’s a recession or not, you can include that in your quality of life.

Jim Fowler

Up until Victorian times, picnics were primarily a pursuit of the wealthy. It’s easy to understand why: Working men and women barely had enough means to scrape together a proper meal indoors, let alone pack up a feast to go. But the Victorian era saw the picnic cross class boundaries. The seminal book on British cooking and housekeeping, Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, gave detailed instructions on how to hold a picnic. For 40 people, Mrs. Beeton insisted on, among many other things, cold roast beef, four meat pies, four roast chickens, two roast ducks, four dozen cheesecakes and one large cold plum pudding. To quench the picnickers’ thirst, three dozen quart bottles of beer were on the menu, as well as claret, sherry and brandy.

Of course, picnics have been somewhat simplified since then. Cold fried chicken, chilled watermelon and beer on ice are all hallmarks of modern-day picnics, as well as that ubiquitous favorite, potato salad. Here’s a recipe for a new take on a classic—hold the mayo to let the late summer flavors of new potatoes and dill really shine.

Here are some healthy ideas for your delicious picnic!

confetti-slawConfetti Slaw With Poppy-Seed Dressing

Ingredients: Cider vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, fresh dill, poppy seeds, olive oil, green cabbage, red cabbage, matchstick carrots

Calories: 40

potato-saladLight and Fresh Potato Salad

We love this potato salad because it cuts out the fattening mayo and replaces it with a light vinaigrette. This Mediterranean side dish also packs in antioxidant-rich tomatoes and bell peppers.

Ingredients: Canola oil, seasoned rice vinegar, red potatoes, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, green bell pepper, orange bell pepper, green onions, ripe olives

Calories: 90

rasp-lemonadeRaspberry Lemonade

This drink combination is a match made in heaven; it’s sweet, tart, and 100% refreshing. Just stick it in a thermos, and it’s picnic appropriate.

Ingredients: Lemon juice, sugar, raspberry puree, ice cubes

Calories: 114

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