The Best Places to Have a Healthy Picnic in Seattle

Kelly Singer
A picnic with friends on a summer day in Seattle is pure bliss.

Summer picnics are a long standing tradition in my family and the epitome of the season.  In 1910, my great-grandparents, Teunis and Anna Schilperoort, and their siblings left Holland for the Yakima Valley to start a new life.   After World War I, the first family picnic was held  as a way to remember the old country and celebrate the new.  Our family has met every year since then on the second Saturday of July and the attendance is now in the hundreds.  My great-grandfather’s favorite food was fried chicken and it’s still the pièce de résistance of the picnic menu. Being the health nut that I am, I perfected a low-fat fried chicken recipe so I can carry on a heart-healthy version of our family ritual.

In honor of the Schilperoort Picnic this past weekend, here’s a healthy menu for your next picnic and a list of my favorite places in the city to lay down a blanket and enjoy an open air meal with friends and family.  Enjoy!

Healthy Fried Chicken

6 chicken thighs
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Italian seasoned panko crumbs
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Dip in flour, then egg, then panko until all pieces are coated. Pour the oil into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Add the chicken to the dish, season with salt and pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, then turn pieces over and bake for another 30 minutes.

Fresh Corn Salad

5 ears of corn, boiled, blanched, and shucked
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves

Toss the kernels in a large bowl with the red onions, 3 tbsp of cider vinegar, 3 tbsp of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Garnish with the fresh basil.

Summer Melon Salad

1 cup cubed seedless watermelon
1 cup cubed cantaloupe
1 cup cubed honeydew melon
Feta to taste

2 cups pureed watermelon
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and pour over fruit.

Best places for a Seattle picnic:

Washington Park Arboretum
2300 Arboretum Dr E
Seattle, WA 98112

Discovery Park
3801 W. Government Way
Seattle, WA 98199

Volunteer Park
1247 15th Ave. E.
Seattle, WA 98102

Saint Edward State Park
14445 Juanita Drive N.E.
Kenmore, WA 98028

Woodland Park Zoo
601 N 59th St
Seattle, WA 98103