Traditionally, picnic foods are greasy and highly caloric. But they need not be. Here are some recipes which can be prepared easily in advance - and which will maintain your good eating habits:


(4 servings)

A prepared-at-home fresh fruit cocktail makes a delicious first course or a specially nice fat-free desert. 2 cups of apple juice 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon dried orange pieces or 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel 2 cinnamon sticks 1 large apple, cored and diced 1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple, diced into bite-sized pieces or 1 1/2 cups canned pineapple (besure to use the one that is canned without added sugar) 1 large orange, peeled and sectioned

Combine all ingredients except fruit. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 10 minutes. Cool; remove cinnamon sticks. In a separate bowl combine the fruit. Pour cooled syrup over fruits and chill. Serve cold.

Here are two fried chicken recipes that add important nutrients to your diet. In the first, wheat germ is added for an especially delicious crust. The second combines whole wheat flour, cereal and Italian seasoning for a nut-like flavor and crunchy texture. Since both are baked, the messiness associated with frying is eliminated.


(4 servings) 1 broiler-fryer, cut up, or your favorite chicken parts 1 cup whole wheat flour 1/2 cup wheat germ Garlic powder, oregano and pepper to taste 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Remove skin and fat from chicken.

Rinse and pat dry. Combine flour, wheat germ, herbs and paprika. Dip chicken into flour mixture and place in a single layer, slightly apart on a rack in a shallow pan. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for about 1 hour or until chicken is tender and coating is crisp. Turn chicken once to brown evenly.


(4 servings) 1 broiler-fryer chicken (cut up) or your favorite chicken parts 1 cup low-fat or nonfat yogurt 1/2 cup whole wheat flour 1/2 cup Grape-Nuts cereal 1/2 cup wheat germ 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped fine Oregano, thyme and freshly ground pepper to taste 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Remove skin and chicken fat; rinse and pat dry. Combine flour, cereal and herbs. Dip each piece of chicken in yogurt, then in flour mixture and rack in a shallow pan. Bake uncovered in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 1 hour unitl chicken is tender. Turn once to brown chicken evenly.


(5 to 6 servings)

Serious diet watchers usually have trouble justifying baked beans as they are often made with bacon (added fat) and molasses (added sugar). This recipe eliminates both and is sure to please. 2 cups cooked pinto or Kidney beans (preferably the kind you cooked yourself, but the canned variety will do) 1/2 cupo chicken broth 1 medium onion, chopped 1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 or 2 teaspoons chili powder 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce 1 can (7 ounces) green chile salsa (optional)

saute onion and garlic in chicken broth until vegetables are tender. Combine remaining ingredients, add the vegetables and place in a baking pan. Cover and bake at 325 to 350 for about 1 1/2 hours.


(4 to 5 servings)

Potato salad may not be legally required for a picnic, but it is surely part of the American way. 1 pound small white potatoes (about 5) 1 cup plain low-fat or non-fat yogurt 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard 1/4 cup green onion, chopped 1 hard cooked egg, white part only, diced 1 tablespoon caraway seed or celery seed.

Cook unpeeled potatoes in small amount of water until tender. About 45 minutes. When potatoes are finished cooking, remove from heat and drain. Combine remaining ingredients.

While potatoes are still warm, dice them and mix with combined seasonings and yogurt. Chill. CAPTION: Illustration, no caption, By Robert Barkin - The Washington Post