Delicious, Nutritious Outdoor Dining

Dining outdoors can not only be delicious but also nutritious. Even though there are great bbq meals during the summer, not all of your meals have to be that heavy, greasy, or messy. These lighter meals can also be prepared in whole or in part ahead of time. This makes it easy to get lunch or dinner on the patio table in record time.

Thanks to Family Features and for sharing great healthy eating tips and recipes including a Turkey, Spinach & Apple Wrap, Warm Grain Bowl with Wild Salmon, Almonds and Salsa Verde, and Baked Greek Chicken Salad.

Take a look at the recipes below and then leave a comment telling me which you might try first and what changes, if any, you might make?

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

turkey spinach and apple wrap recipe

Turkey, Spinach and Apple Wrap

Recipe reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research

  • 1 tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp 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

Combine mayo and mustard together. Lay out both wraps and spread edges of each with mayo mustard mix. Leave a bit of space on one side of the wraps and arrange layer of 1 cup of the spinach on each wrap, then 2 slices of turkey on each, then half of the thin apple slices on each wrap. Now fold up the bottom of each wrap a bit, then both sides, and now roll up as tight as possible to remaining edge. Wrap tightly and refrigerate, seem side down, for up to 4 hours before unwrapping and serving.

Substitution: Two large leaves of soft, leafy green lettuce can be used in place of baby spinach leaves. Also for those that do not like mayo or honey mustard, use a low-fat spread of your choice or mix up your own combination.

Warm Grain Bowl with Wild Salmon, Almonds and Salsa Verde

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 tbsp tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup shiitake 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 sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat remaining olive oil. Add mushrooms and asparagus and sauté vigorously 3-5 minutes. Add grains and slivered almonds, and continue to sauté 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.

Substitutions: shiitake mushroom caps may be substituted with button mushrooms or other wild mushrooms. You could use other types of fish also if you are not a salmon fan.

While the recipe, as written, is for cooking inside, you could easily cook outside on the grill. You can use a cedar plank or grilling pan for the fish. For the side dish of grains and veggies a simple pot can be used on the grill. I have a selection of cooking tools just for using outside on the grill plus I have some cast iron pieces that I use indoors and out.

The salsa verde can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge. This sauce would also be great on chicken or beef or as a pasta sauce.

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

Baked Greek Chicken Salad

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 (thin strips)
  • 1/4 purple onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp Greek seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp dry mustard


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp 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