As the weather gets warmer in the spring, but not so hot as it can be in the summer, we get the itch to go outside and breathe in that wonderful, fresh air.
Nature calls to us and we want to surround ourselves with flowers, trees, water, and life.
What better way than going on a picnic? But what to make for it? Let us help!
APPETIZER: Avocado Summer Rolls
Just because it says “Summer” doesn’t mean this delicious and refreshing treat isn’t perfect for your picnic.
Basil Coconut Sauce
- ½cup full-fat coconut milk
- ¼cup basil
- 1tablespoon cashew butter
- 1tablespoon lime juice
- 1/4 jalapeño, optional
- ½clove garlic
- ½teaspoon fresh ginger
- ¼teaspoon sea salt
For the summer rolls (Some options. You can get creative):
- 6(28cm) spring roll rice wrappers
- 4 ounces cooked rice noodles
- 4 ounces extra-firm tofu, sliced into strips
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced
- 2 ripe peaches or 1 ripe mango, sliced
- ½ watermelon radish, very thinly sliced, optional
- Fresh herbs: basil, Thai basil and/or mint
- Pinches of sesame seeds
- Tamari and sriracha, optional for serving
- Large cooked peeled shrimp
- Use a food processor to combine all ingredients for the sauce. Pulse until it’s combined.
- Fill a shallow baking dish with 1 inch of warm water. Take one rice paper and soak it for 7 seconds then lay it on a clean, damp kitchen towel. Put whatever fillings you want on the center of the wrapper. Be careful not to overstuff…it’s kind of like making a taco.
- Fold the bottom of the wrapper over the filling.
- Fold the sides over the filling, then fold the top over the filling. Roll and tuck the rice paper.
- Repeat with other rice paper.
MAIN COURSE: Chickpea Salad Sandwich
This is a healthy and delicious recipe that stands out from the PB&J or Ham and Cheese crowd.
- 1½ cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon capers
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sandwiches
- handful of thin green beans, trimmed
- 1 soft baguette, sliced in half
- 8 to 10 Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced in half
- thinly sliced red onion, rinsed and dried
- vegan mayo (or regular mayo), for spreading
- ¼ English cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 radish, thinly sliced
- 6 to 8 fresh basil leaves
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Use a food processor to make the chickpea salad. Just put it all in and pulse, but don’t puree it.
- Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil and place a bowl of ice water nearby. Drop the green beans inside the boiling water for 1½ minutes then scoop into the ice water. Once cool, drain them, pat them dry, and chop them into 1 inch pieces.
- Put the sandwiches together on a baguette. You can spread a layer of mayo on one half of the baguette and top it with the sliced cucumbers, radishes, and basil. Spread the chickpea salad on the other side and press the chopped green beans into it. Add the olives and the red onion slices. You can season with salt and pepper if you wish. Press the sandwich together.
DESSERT: Peanut Butter S’Mores Cookie Bars
Time to get naughty! You’ve been so healthy with the appetizer and main course, it’s ok to have something fun.
- 1 pouch peanut butter cookie mix
- vegetable oil, water, and egg as needed by cookie mix
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1¼ cups mini semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup miniature marshmallows
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom and sides of 13×9 inch pan with cooking spray
- Prepare the cookie mix per package instructions.
- Stir in cracker crumbs, 1 cup of chocolate chips, and marshmallows. The dough will be crumbly. Press it into the pan.
- Bake 16 to 20 minutes until light golden brown.
- Cool for 15 minutes.
- In a small microwavable bowl, microwave the remaining ¼ cup of chocolate chips uncovered on high for 30 to 45 seconds. Stir it until smooth then drizzle over the top of the bar.
- Cool for at least 1½ hours until chocolate is firm.
- Cut into squares.
Besides water or wine, great drink for a picnic is lemonade. Try infusing watermelon, strawberry, raspberries, or blueberries…or even a combination…into the lemonade. Prepare it the night before, then pour it into a cooler…and yum!