Take your pick:
- Wait in line for a restaurant meal on a sunny sidewalk.
- Lounge in a park with a picnic in the shade.
The North End’s Italian restaurants are delicious, but there’s nothing like a picnic on a hot summer day.
For this morning’s FOX25 Zip Trip at the North End’s Christopher Columbus Park, I showed viewers how easy and healthy an Italian picnic can be. My neighborhood has numerous delis and boutique grocery stores filled with freshly-made pasta, bread, and cheese – stores that are often overlooked.
Watch the video here!
Visiting the Area? Buy Your Supplies.
Italian food wins big with its smart portion sizes, variety, and a slow way of eating. So relax, pick a street, and pick up the following:
- Picnic Plate: Fresh whole-wheat baguette, roasted turkey, marinated vegetables and beans, and fresh cheese.
- Iced latte made with low-fat milk.
- Fresh fruit like strawberries, figs, and melon.
- Mini cannoli (it’s the North End!).
Live Nearby? Prepare Your Dishes.
If you live in the area and have access to a kitchen, take advantage of the variety of fresh pasta and cheese offered.
The cold pasta salad I made included:
- Fresh pasta, cooked al dente
- Bocconcini cheese, quartered
- Cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
- Basil leaves, washed and chopped
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Black pepper
Lastly, I topped a bowl of low-fat ricotta cheese with blueberries, slivered almonds, and honey.
Wait. An Italian Picnic Is… Healthy?
As a registered dietitian, you’re probably wondering why I chose what I did. Here’s the inside scoop:
- Ricotta cheese packs protein: About as much as Greek yogurt!
- Iced lattes beat dehydration: Low-fat dairy pairs fluid with potassium.
- Fill up with fiber: Nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, beans, and bread provide fiber to keep you feeling full.
- Roasted meat has less sodium: Choose turkey, chicken, or beef.
- Olive oil and basil are flavor agents: Swap creamy Alfredo for a light, heart-healthy sauce.
The Secret’s Out!
I’ll leave you with a local’s secret: My top picnic spots are Christopher Columbus and Langone Parks.