Summer Picnics: Healthy Menus

By Rosalba Curiel June 12, 2007, 1:11 PM EDT

Budget: RAWvolution offers an alternative to traditional summer grill items with a raw menu of eggless egg salad, mock tuna salad, and no-bean hummus (made with tahini, zucchini, sea salt, lemon juice, and olive oil) served with crispy onion bread and rosemary crackers. Keep the meal completely raw—and reap the benefits of improved hydration and energy levels that the uncooked cuisine is said to provide—with chocolate coconut haystacks (made with raw cacao) and goji-berry lemonade for $11 a head.

Mid-Price: An Catering prepares “Keep It Lite” gourmet boxed lunches that include a Buddha roll paired with basil and peanut sauce, an organic green salad with lemongrass dressing, and a poached salmon salad with Granny Smith apples and a sweet chili vinaigrette for $27 per guest. The boxed-lunch menu items do not exceed 400 calories and offer guests antioxidant-rich, immunity-boosting ingredients.

Splurge: Tres L.A. offers menus inspired by the Zone and South Beach diets that follow the 40 percent carbohydrate, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent favorable-fat format, with items like Kobe cheeseburgers served on thin crostini bread, petit medallions of Omaha steak, and seafood salad. If you want to indulge your guests’ individual dietary needs, Tres L.A. will consult with each attendee for $180 to $220 per person to create custom menus. A regular menu ranges from $50 to $55.

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