Picnics have the makings for a great excursion on a pretty day. Imagine a warm breeze, sunny sky and you’re all ready to rally up your picnic partners, crack the sunroof, throw in your favorite CD and head down the highway to your favorite scenic park, beach or lake. Oh-oh….rewind…did you pack your picnic goodies? After all, a picnic just wouldn’t be a picnic without food. That’s where we step in to offer some quick, healthy and tasty picnic options.
Most times, the last thing you want to do is get boggled down with picnic preparation. Here are some yummy options that can be conveniently prepared the night before or the same day of your picnic, with ease; so you have much needed time to focus on the more important stuff, like enjoying a beautiful day and blissful picnic with the special person or people in your life. Are you feeling inspired to have a picnic? What about this weekend? If and when you decide to plan your next picnic, please keep our tasty and quick recipe suggestions in mind.
Finger Sandwich Assortment
image courtesy of yumsugar.com
ROSEMARY CHICKEN SALAD SANDWICH
2-1/2 cups chopped chicken breast, fully cooked
1/3 cup onions
1/4 cup chopped almonds
3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup fat free Greek yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped grapes or craisins
4 slices light sliced cheese
8 slices whole wheat or whole grain bread
Mix all the ingredients (except the bread) in a large bowl. Place about 2/3 cup chicken salad over 4 slices of bread. On the other 4 slices, place the cheese. Put bread together and enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of chefmom.sheknows.com
CUCUMBER CREAM CHEESE FINGER SANDWICHES
1 onion (grated)
2 tbsps low fat mayonnaise
2 cucumbers (peeled seeded and grated)
1 sprig parsley (garnish)
12 ozs reduced fat cream cheese (softened)
1 lb wheat bread
1 slice cucumber (garnish)
Recipe courtesy of yummly.com
This is one of our personal favorites. It’s super quick and yummy. Almond butter is a great alternative for peanut butter. According to Prevention Magazine it has less saturated fat and although it may have more calories it also has twice as much calcium, fiber and vitamin E.
ALMOND BUTTER & STRAWBERRY PRESERVES SANDWICH
Favorite Jelly or Strawberry Preserves
image courtesy of eatingwell.com
Cucumber & Black-Eyed Pea Salad
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
This tasty recipe uses Greek yogurt and lemon to save calories and add a nice fresh blast of citrus. If you’d like a more spicy flavor, feel free to swap out the regular mustard for Dijon! Ingredients:
4 cups shredded cabbage
1 large carrot, shredded
1 medium bell pepper, chopped (or sliced)
3/4 cup light Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
Liberal dashes of salt and pepper
Toss cabbage with carrots and bell pepper. Add in Greek yogurt, vinegar, sugar, mustard, lemon juice and liberal dashes of salt and pepper. Mix well and enjoy!
Bisquick Reduced Fat Pancake and Baking Mix (The original recipe called for Buttery Pie Crust)- We used Bisquick Reduced Fat Pancake Mix for reduced fat option.
All-purpose flour (for dusting)
2 cups blueberries (about 10 ounces)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg, whisked with 1 teaspoon water
1 tablespoon raw sugar
Preheat oven to 375°.Roll out Bisquick bdough on a floured surface to a 15×12-inch rectangle. Cut into 6 rectangles. Toss blueberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Brush edges of rectangles with water; mound some blueberries in center of each. Fold dough over, and press edges to seal. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with raw sugar. Cut slits in tops. Bake hand pies, rotating sheet halfway through, until juices are bubbling and pastry is golden brown, 35–40 minutes (juices will run onto parchment). Transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
1 10-ounce jar all-fruit blueberry jam, such as St. Dalfour
1/2 tsp almond extract, or more to taste
Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper going both ways.
In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process oats, almonds, and salt until finely ground. Add in the pitted dates and pulse until crumbly. Add in the melted coconut oil and process until the mixture comes together. The mixture should hold together when pinched.
Remove date-oat mixture from the food processor, set aside 3/4 cup for topping, and press the remaining mixture firmly and evenly into the prepared pan.
In a small bowl, stir the almond extract into the blueberry jam.
Spoon the almond extract-infused blueberry jam evenly over the crust in the pan. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup crust mixture evenly over the jam; press down lightly.
Chill in the refrigerator until firm, at least 1 hour. Cut into 16 squares; store individually wrapped in the refrigerator or freezer.
* Don’t forget you can always pack your favorite fruit in lieu or in addition to your dessert. Fruit is a terrific compliment to any picnic meal. Here’s an additional appetizer to consider. It’s got all the flavor of a potato chip minus the extra cholesterol.
Cool fruit beverages are the ideal thirst quencher for a cozy picnic. Here’s a couple of our favorites. Pour them in a large thermos, pack it up and your all set for a perfect picnic!
image courtesy of rachelraymag.com
Watermelon Agua Fresca and/or Strawberry Lime Agua Fresca are oh so yummy on a warm and sunny day. Cold icy watermelon and strawberry always seems to do the trick. Watermelon Agua Fresca recipe is from Every Day with Rachel Ray. Strawberry Lime Agua Fresca is from Katie at the Kitchen Door. Cucumber Lime Water is another affordable & healthy option. It’s light, refreshing and taste good with almost everything.
ADDITIONAL PICNIC ESSENTIALS These items can definitely come in handy!
JJ Cole Essentials Blanket
London Picnic Backpack is durable, yet lightweight. Includes a handy blanket for two. Also has an insulated cooler compartment
When was the last time you had a picnic? Please share your experiences. We’d love to hear all about it. Picnics can be so much fun! Fond memories in the making.
Featured image courtesy of http://yourintrinsicbeauty.blogspot.com