Must Be The Milk

An Italian Picnic: A Toolbox for Lunchtime

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.


ally live

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!).


deli photo


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


north end zip trip


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.