Sharing reinvented all-American dishes is ideal for any outdoor gathering. Or take this picnic on the road for a tailgate party, backyard barbecue, or and taking with you to the next big game or church supper.

      • – Artichoke and Spinach Dip with Baked Corn Chips (page 179)
      • – Burgers: Quinoa-Lentil Veggie Burgers, Herbed Turkey Burgers, or Caramelized Onion Burgers (pages 90 – 94)
      • – Emerald Broccoli (page 220)
      • – Sweet Potato Fries (page 225)
      • – Cinnamon Maple Apple Crumble (page 246)

Day Before: Make the artichoke spinach dip. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator until a half hour before serving time. Bake the chips. Make the pesto and store it in the fridge. Then prep all the parts of your burgers: the patties, the toppings, and the spreads, storing each separately. If you make all three burger recipes, you might elect one condiment and a few vegetable toppings to be used on all three instead of the exact ingredients for each recipe. You could also create smaller patties, cutting the traditional size in half so guests may try each variety.

Day of: On the morning of the event, make the apple crumble and bake it. Cool and let sit out in the counter. One hour before your meal, preheat the oven. Make the sweet potato fries, but bake the  artichoke dip first then the fries. Heat water for the broccoli and put together the broccoli dish while the fries are cooking. If you plan to travel with this meal, put each item in its own dish or platter and wrap well with foil (and kitchen towels if you have to drive a ways).

We love the recipes in The Daniel Plan Cookbook, but if you don’t have one yet, be sure to check out these recipes on The Daniel Plan website.  For additional healthy picnic ideas, visit Daniel Plan Signature Chef (and contributor to The Daniel Plan cookbook) Sally Cameron’s blog A Food Centric Life.

Herbed Turkey Burgers
(The Daniel Plan Cookbook)

When shopping for ground turkey, be sure to ask the butcher or read labels for the fat to lean ratio. Choose an 85%-90% lean grind, dark meat if possible, for best flavor. Some dark ground turkey is higher in fat because turkey skin is ground into the meat. Be sure to look for a lean grind, or have the butcher grind some for you. To grind your own, use a manual meat grinder or a standing mixer with a grinding attachment.  Serves 4

1¼ pounds lean ground turkey
2 tablespoons  fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
4 teaspoons olive oil
1½ tablespoons coarse or whole grain Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs (whole wheat panko or gluten-free)
2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
4 whole wheat or gluten-free hamburger buns
4 large tomato slices
4 large leaves dark green lettuce
Horseradish sauce and Dijon to dress buns (optional)

1. Place first 7 ingredients into a medium bowl. Mix gently with your hands until thoroughly combined. Work with very clean hands or wear disposable food preparation gloves.

2. Divide turkey mixture into 4 equal portions. Roll into balls, and then flatten into burger patties. Turkey patties can be refrigerated at this point for a few hours or grilled right away.

3. Cook burgers in a nonstick grill or fry pan or on an outdoor grill. Place patties on the grill and cook until one side has golden grill marks and feels firm, about 7-9 minutes.  Flip burgers and cover with a lid or a small aluminum pan, and cook until burgers are firm and reach an internal temperature of 160°-165°. Do not overcook or press on burgers while they are cooking; you want juicy burgers.

4. Spread the buns with a little horseradish sauce and/or Dijon mustard, top with lettuce and tomatoes. Add burgers. For a change, try tucking burgers into whole wheat pita bread.

Note: Homemade breadcrumbs taste the best and are easy to make. Cut crusts from a few slices of bread (leftover bread is perfect, and gluten-free bread works just as well). Tear remaining bread into pieces, then pulse in a food processor until fine. Spread breadcrumbs on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 350° for a few minutes until dry and toasted. Cool before using. Crumbs will keep almost indefinitely refrigerated or frozen.